Yes, there’s hungry people in the world, and there’s hungry people in America. It’s not for lack of food. We throw away half the food we produce. We throw away stuff that doesn’t look good enough to sit on the shelf. It just gets tossed. There’s no shortage of food. People who are hungry, they’re hungry because we artificially withhold food from them in order to motivate them to work.
But, also, we don’t need their labor. Go outside tomorrow and, with all the jobs you encounter, count how many of them could be done by a machine that already exists. We don’t have to invent a robocop to replace jobs, just look at how many people are still working as cashiers, or baristas.
Cracked.com Executive Editor Jason Pargrin (aka David Wong) on the Cracked.com podcast episode, “What America Can’t Admit About the ‘Millenial’ Generation,” discussing the absurdity of America’s consumerist economy. (Quote is approximately 21 minutes and 30 seconds into the audio.)
I’ll admit, I didn’t listen to the full hour. I just don’t have the patience to listen to two older employed men talk about unemployed youths. Seriously, they couldn’t find a couple of millenials? I was under the impression most of their audience is millenials.
Still, I liked this excerpt. It’s a disturbingly frank description of how the “first-world” relies on the abuse of its own citizens (to say nothing of the outright genocide of everyone NOT living in metaphorical Rome) in order to sustain itself.
For similar arguments made by other people, see:
- David Graeber on death by bureaucracy: “If we had a basic income, we wouldn’t need to decide who needs food and who doesn’t.”
- Douglas Rushkoff: Are Jobs Obsolete?
- McKenzie Wark’s Thanaticism: gleefully enthusiastic suicidal capitalism
For my own arguments:
- Get on your knees and thank the Silicon Valley elites for your chance to serve them.
- Lying is the best and often also the most ethical way to get a job.
- Economic wealth is a system of ruling cliques optimized for justifying behaviors that alienate people
- Divesting from the System: Spotlight on Jobs
- I quit, Because Capitalism