In work poverty

I heard this term recently and it hit me hard. What kind of advanced society or civilisation says in-work-poverty is acceptable?

The neoliberal story is built around the myth of hard work gets rewards. Tell that to the woman who has to walk 3 hours a day just to get water for her family. Would she fit in the ‘lazy’ and entitled category?

To be in work, often in more than one job, and to remain in poverty, not through frivolous or careless spending, but simply trying to survive, is a form of modern slavery.

It is true that in many ‘wealthy’ countries there is a sense of entitlement. This is not the exclusive domain of those in the lowest socioeconomic group. Those with excessive surplus of monetary and asset wealth are some of the most noisily and demandingly entitled people. They want their tax cuts, access to lawyers and tax havens, multiple investment credits. 

I am going to propose that part of the problem is our modern story of jobs. That our societal worth as humans is built on the foundation of the job you have. 

If you do not have a job you are lazy and worthless. 

There will always be lazy and entitled people, at all levels of the financial wealth spectrum. 

I believe that most people want to do work that matters to them, that they care about, and if possible that makes the world a better place. 

But instead we keep the economic wheels going by employing people to do what David Graeber calls Bullshit Jobs and what Bucky Fuller called Obnoxico. 

The future of work would look very different in a Syntropic World. For a start we might consider the Universal Syntropic Income (Thank you Benny Wallington)…the ability to have the survival needs cared for to enable a focus on creativity and service…to then do what is spontaneously arousable from within for the highest good of the highest number of people.

‘To have a job’ will live in the category of fossil fuels and dinosaurs. Entropic. 

Photo taken January 28th 2021

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