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View Diary: The Myth of the "Consensual" Marketplace (124 comments)

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  •  nothing consensual about "work or die" (12+ / 0-)

    Sometimes I think that even greater bargaining power for employees and customers is not enough to set people free, because you still have to make the bargain in the first place.  When a handful of people exercise an effective monopoly on those most precious of resources - jobs and money - they're still the ones in charge, and whatever you get from them you get at their sufferance.

    Call me selfish but I'm not terribly interested in working and buying stuff in the first place, so the ability to command more favorable terms - while necessary and desirable - doesn't get to the heart of the problem as I see it, which is that I have to spend most of my waking life earning that life itself ... while spending most of the rest of my waking life at home on the couch for lack of the means to do anything else.

    The world is too big and life is too short to spend it in a box making money for someone else, no matter how generously you're compensated for your valuable (to them, but not necessarily to you) service.  But all the things that make life worth living cost money rather than making it ... unless you're a member of a tiny minority of gifted people, and maybe not even then since the difference between "work" and "play" seems to be whether what you're doing is obligatory or not: as in, what would happen to you if you didn't do it?

    I suspect that most people who admire and aspire to the rich do so not because they want to run a business, but because they want the freedom and the toys that they need to be rich in order to afford.  To that mindset, all of the paths to great wealth are like going around the world just to walk next door: working more and harder when they see the whole point of being rich as having the ability to work less and easier.

    •  That's more the public sector side of the equation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos

      where people would be provided with alternatives to a rat race, through things like education, art, public parks and wilderness areas, more paid holidays, etc.  

      I demand that you prove you're alive.

      by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:05:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  begs the question of why have a private sector (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenotron, Kevskos, Laconic Lib, Chi, Renee

        When all the good stuff is somewhere else?

        I'm trying to imagine a world where all physical goods are the product of someone who was "playing" rather than "working": artists, artisans ... people who do what they do for the joy of expression and experiment.  Where the greatest investments in physical infrastructure are devoted to leisure or at least motivated by something other than profit: altruism, aesthetics, etc.  Where the people held in the highest esteem are the people who are best at creating and playing.

        •  For one, profit is not inherently unproductive. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, mike101, J M F

          It's just usually unproductive when treated like an end in itself.  However, with proper regulatory and bargaining parity mechanisms, business can be a highly efficient means of allocating resources, an amplifier for a powerful personal vision that uses profit as a tool rather than an end in itself, and a laboratory for innovation that doesn't have to justify risks to a thousand committees.

          For another thing, the public sector is not dedicated to "playing" - barely at all.  It's simply bureaucratic politics rather than profit that largely drives it.  Play is an inherently anarchic undertaking that doesn't work well in any sort of formalized structure, and yet requires the support of such structures to be possible.  So the key is to have a good balance of the public and private sectors to get the best of both.

          Also, productive "playing" is always small-scale - to really make a difference in the world, you have to be serious and make strategic decisions, and either pursue a political agenda via government or non-profit organization or a business agenda through an industrial venture.

          I demand that you prove you're alive.

          by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:58:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Who will make the sewer pipes? (5+ / 0-)

          There are some things that some people will make for free. Software is a big one on the list. Mechanical stuff. Furniture. Art. Music. Pottery. Limited quantities of food.

          But there are other things that we depend on that simply aren't 'fun' to make. For anyone.

          Most mass-production jobs could probably be offloaded onto robots eventually, but we're not there yet.

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 02:16:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  who should have to make sewer pipes? (0+ / 0-)

            Who are you OK with doing the work that you don't want to do?

            I don't think that anybody should have to work in the sewer; it's the only ethical position to take if I don't want to work in the sewer myself, otherwise I'm left arguing that it's good enough for some people.  The consequence of that is that I need to develop alternatives to the sewer rather than putting lipstick on the pig of sewer work.

            •  No one should have to work in a sewer, but... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Simplify

              once bargaining parity is established, there's no reason there would be a shortage of people willing to do it for the likely very high wages and benefits they'd get.  Pay people enough, and a job does become consensual no matter how awful.  If prostitutes were paid $50,000 per blowjob, people would be abandoning law careers and office manager positions to become hos.  

              Business doesn't distinguish between making money and taking money.

              by Troubadour on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 04:13:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Call me when... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Troubadour, kyril, Sparhawk

              ...and only when, you've developed these alternatives.

              But until that happy day, we need people to work in the sewers. The only ethical way to get them to do it is by offering them cash.

              •  And not just sewers (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                eztempo, Troubadour

                Mining.
                Plastics.
                HVAC systems.
                Fixing downed power lines.
                Hell, farming.

                All unpleasant activities, all necessary. All need someone motivated by money to do them.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:29:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Troubadour

            unfortunately for the globalists and the "titans of industry" robots won't be buying any products ever.

            "History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance." -James Madison

            by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 03:05:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And this choice is Corn syrup flavored and hidden (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, Laconic Lib, Kevskos

      the "die" part is all candy coated and disguised to make the bitter pill go down an oblivious esophagus... and the hints that all is not well are easily blamed on the scapegoat du jour via the wholly owned fear-mongering mouthpieces .

      Any dissenters will be guaranteed to be howled down by the fearful enablers of the invisible choice dictators... enablers who cling to what has been sold to them as a great lifestyle that they have a say in... but one that is in danger of being taken away by undeserving "others"...

      Work or die is even absorbed by these pawns and spewed out wishing death on those labeled undeserving... those who apparently are not "working", i.e. buying into the lie entirely.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:53:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So...you want the fruits of someone else's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      labor, but don't actually want to labor yourself?  Super - you and everyone else.  

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