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Working for its own sake has become a virtue for many people, the idea being that if you do not pull your weight you are a slacker and since success comes from hard work those who have money are morally superior by definition.  We get lots of pontification on the subject, ranging from Larry Summers' statement that women (especially those with children) did not have what it takes to be successful as professionals because they were not prepared to work the minimum of 80 hours a week on their careers, to the Tea Party's view that those who don't have money don't deserve aid (and they include the working poor, even if they put in 80 hours a week, because if they REALLY worked hard they would be rich!)  The Protestant Work Ethic is heavily drummed into the American psyche. Since I have worked on a project with a director who believed work was everything, no matter what the result (he bragged that he often worked 20-hour days), I have realized that extra work is not the same thing as productivity, and wealth does not necessarily come from hard labor.  In fact unnecessary work may in the end stifle innovation and ruin a project that should have been altered to fit the reality, rather than continued to its ultimate failure.  Efficiency, proper planning, and right livelihood (a Buddhist and perhaps Kantian concept - working on something that is not a detriment to society) are more important to me.

On the door of one of my colleagues at the university there was a sign: "If you don't find me busy it's because I did it right the first time."  I've always liked that and another I found at the 4-H office: "Never try to teach a pig to whistle; it wastes your time and annoys the pig."  Both point to problems with the worship of work for work's sake.  Actually accomplishing something worthwhile is better than working for work's sake.  Not all work is worth doing. Building atomic bombs, developing banking derivatives that destroy other people's money,  or obstructing democracy by manufacturing barriers to voting, are cases in point.  We would be better off to pay some people not to work.

But let's say that you have a task that is worthwhile, such as working in an ER ward. Obviously many people put in long hours of necessity in such places, but they also cannot work beyond their ability to do so (they become less effective when worn out), and accuracy and efficiency should be the watchwords.  I told the director who worked 20-hour days, "Maybe you can do this, but I am not worth much after 12 hours and I will not pretend otherwise."  The entire work crew felt the same way and he was about as well liked as a case of the plague. My co-workers considered me exceedingly tolerant because I did not openly gripe about him. His management skills were terrible so we spent long hours for two summers with no publishable results. I finally tried to redesign or abandon the project after it became obvious that it would go nowhere, and was overruled by his boss as well as him, though he could not easily fire me as I had expertise that he needed.

There is something to be said for "laziness." Everybody needs to recharge, and relaxation can often be a fertile ground for innovative thought. According to George Gamow in his book "Thirty Years that Shook Physics," Niels Bohr ran a rather loose ship with students working at all hours of the day or night, but often not coming in until late in the morning and often taking a break in the afternoon to accompany Bohr to go to a movie, usually a Western! Yet he and his students laid the foundation of quantum mechanics.  The physicist Richard Feynman, originator of QED (Quantum Electrodynamics), also believed in making work fun and in intellectual curiosity. He did not think that work by itself was sufficient or that unproductive work was good.

Non-productive or counter-productive work for work's sake, often coming from inadequate analysis, is one of the curses of modern Capitalism. It results in lost opportunities and the destruction of resources. Some complex projects should begin with a short term pilot project to test out the feasibility of the design, yet on the project I mentioned earlier, my superiors skipped that step, thinking it unnecessary.  To me it would have been more efficient than jumping into the proposed work with both feet at the start, which of course resulted in failure.

But such non-productive work concepts are often rewarded, as CEOs who run the company into the ground get bonuses even as they leave the firm a smoldering pile of wreckage (See: http://billmoyers.com/....)  We had a local utility with a monopoly that managed to go bankrupt by throwing a bunch of cash into the junk bond market.  Did anyone get punished? Hardly, the people in the leadership were given bonuses! Meanwhile firefighters who do work long hours protecting us get the shaft, and fast food workers are getting poverty wages as their managers buy extra houses and cars with their huge bonuses, or invest the extra money to make even more. Labor is shortchanged at the same time we extoll the virtues of the Protestant work ethic. Something is clearly out of whack!  

Once you have enough money to live a relatively decent life (probably no more than $100,000 at most - actually estimated at $75,000/year recently See: http://www.forbes.com/...) you should really live instead of trying to add to your fortune (other than prudently setting up savings for education, retirement and emergencies) and buying toys.  This does not mean that you should be idle all the time, but that you should be employed, as much as possible, in enriching your life and those of others. Including actually taking real vacations to recharge. Our current love of work for work's sake leads only to misery, social Darwinism, and a lack of productive results.

To leave this essay on a more cheerful note I suggest you look at Bill Watterson's (the creator of Calvin and Hobbes) words from a commencement speech he gave in 1995, recently illustrated in Calvin and Hobbes style by Gavin Aung Than at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...
 

Originally posted to Desert Scientist on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Progress is only made by those with time on their (8+ / 0-)

    hands.

  •  Some good thoughts in this diary (16+ / 0-)

    when I was in grad school I lived for a year in International House which was basically a dorm for grad students.  A lot of the students living there were in the MBA program.  One was an Australian who lived on my floor.  After a few weeks he told to me, in mild amazement that his fellow Business students actually seemed to be interested in the subject matter.  "I just want a job" was his feeling.  He bought himself a unicycle and rode it in the hallway.

    One of the faculty in my department in grad school made a point of writing on the wall of his lab every time he came in to work on a holiday.

    I like my work and I don't mind spending quite a bit of time at it.  But I like doing other things as well and sometimes just doing nothing.

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 10:51:01 AM PDT

    •  doing nothing can be good! (13+ / 0-)

      Like waiting for the cricket to chirp.  
      nothing....... nothing...... nothing.......
      Chirp!   Data!!!! Woo!
      Now we are working!
       

      •  Exactamente! nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        matching mole
      •  When the Nothing Nothings (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest, Desert Scientist

        Time slows down and space curves. A while back a tree fell on my sauna. For a long time nothing happened. Its portion of space began to develop curves following the distribution of forces in the gravitational loading of the big old poplars impact, but that was about it.

        This tiny house was nothing special. It was just sitting there doing nothing with its door knocked off and its window knocked out, positioned in the tree line just across the creek that used to be the center of a road north of my south field where the deer like to stage their raids on my gardens and orchards.

        Every morning when I went out my front door there it was, just sitting there patiently doing nothing but waiting to be fixed and being scouted out by my critters as a new base of operations. There was a sort of tension to it.

        Located on what used to be the old Union road that once passed by the barn headed uphill by the house with teams of oxen pulling lime casks up over the mountain its an artifact of an earlier time when the region was settled by Finns handy with tools. The sauna is an intermediate structure about 50 feet south west of the house and 75 feet south east of the barn.

        I decided to replace the caved in roof with a green standing seam metal roof to match the barn, and the front door and window destroyed by the tree with an out swinging pair of 15 light patio doors to let the north light in for painting and offer a view of the place.

        The framing was a little difficult because the tree had squashed but not quite shattered everything in the roof so I had to jack up the rafters pull and replace the ridge beam and then replace the broken planking.

        After sawzalling out the broken parts of the walls, and pulling the nails from the shingles and boards it was possible to repurposed them and the old studs in the new configuration.

        The pickup and some mooring ropes and cables were up to pulling  the cement piers plumb and I spliced in a bit of old barn beam to patch the saunas sill where it was damaged.

        I thought I might put a 12 x 12 southern yellow pine on pressure treated fir deck north of the sauna but then I wondered if it might not be more fun to construct a float on the pond to its southwest up where the old dirt road reaches the mountains shoulder and screened from it by a bunch of bullrushes using four of those blue oil drum sized antifreeze barrels for floats.

        So far nothing has happened with that; certainly no work.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 09:22:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Doing "nothing" actually leads to creativity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Desert Scientist, RiveroftheWest

      Many of the best, most innovative and new ideas come to people when they are doing "nothing much" so their minds can just wander.

      We need that "wandering" time to be creative, because that's when you make novel, unique connections between things that are seemingly unrelated.



      Women create the entire labor force.
      ---------------------------------------------
      Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:00:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course this is true (5+ / 0-)
    I have realized that extra work is not the same thing as productivity, and wealth does not necessarily come from hard labor.
    Our system does not reward "hard labor" if you are talking about physically hard labor at what economics call an "unskilled" position. The old-time example is a ditch digger.  That's some of the hardest labor there is, but because it is unskilled -- i.e., it does not take any special education, certification, specialized skills to be qualified to do that job -- lots of people can do it.  Labor, just like almost everything in our economic system, is a supply and demand thing.  If there's a low demand for a  type of work, and a high supply of people qualified to do that type of work, the compensation for that work is lower.  Apparently, for example, there's a very high demand for very tall men who are very good at throwing an orange ball through a hoop, and a very small supply of very tall men at the highest level of that particular skill, so that pays a lot.  I wouldn't pay minimum wage for someone to do that, but apparently a lot of people are willing to pay millions for that particular set of skills, because there are a lot of other people who will pay to see very tall men do that.  So, they make a lot of money.

    It's largely the same thing, to a lesser extreme, in most areas. Bill Gates is a zillionaire because he did something very unique that ended up being in very high demand.  Doctors make a lot of money because it takes a lot to get the skills necessary to be a doctor, and there's a lot of demand for doctors.  Same with engineers right now -- we don't have a lot of people, relatively speaking, going into that field, and we have a pretty high demand, so someone getting out of school with an engineering degree is more likely to find a decent paying job than someone who gets out with a degree in theater, or that someone who has just a high school education.  

    As for this:

    Once you have enough money to live a relatively decent life (probably no more than $100,000 at most - actually estimated at $75,000/year recently See: http://www.forbes.com/....) you should really live instead of trying to add to your fortune (other than prudently setting up savings for education, retirement and emergencies) and buying toys.  This does not mean that you should be idle all the time, but that you should be employed, as much as possible, in enriching your life and those of others. Including actually taking real vacations to recharge. Our current love of work for work's sake leads only to misery, social Darwinism, and a lack of productive results.
    That's a decision we each individually have to make for ourselves. If leisure is more important to you than the extra income, by all means you should make that decision.  I know people who were working for someone else (as a plumber, or an electrician) who were making a good income, and decided to go into business for themselves, sacrificing some income for more control over their own time.  That's certainly a legitimate decision.  Some 18 year olds in college decide they like theater more than engineering, and so they knowingly make the decision to major in theater, knowing that they are far less likely to get a good-paying job when they graduate than if they had majored in engineering.  That's the beauty of a capitalist system when it works well -- for the vast majority of us, it puts in our hands certain choices, and we make those choices with knowledge of the effect of those choices on our income.

    I recognize that certain aspects of our capitalist system are not functioning well and need to be fixed.  But that principle -- that we all make choices that affect our income -- is what makes regulated capitalism a better economic system than any other I know.

    •  You hit it when you said "regulated capitalism." (9+ / 0-)

      Of course this is a personal choice, as are many things.  My point was that there is no virtue in work for work's sake, except to waste effort and in some cases make others rich! Even in capitalism work should be goal-orientated and that goal should not just be to make management and the stock holders rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

      I'm not sure that capitalism as it is now practiced is working well at all for most people.  It is, however, working well for the investment bankers and Wall Street however.

      •  That's a decision you can only make for yourself (4+ / 0-)
        My point was that there is no virtue in work for work's sake, except to waste effort and in some cases make others rich!
        I have a friend who has worked very long and hard most of his life to build a plumbing business.  He has made a good life for himself and his family and sent his children t college. That was (1) because he developed a marketable skill; (2) he worked lots and lots of long long hours over his life. He saw a real virtue in work -- for him, it was worth it.

        I'm a lawyer.  I put in four years of college (studying to make grades while others may have been out partying), and three years of law school (same), and an average of 50-60 hours a week since, because I saw those things as things I could do to make a significant difference in the life I could provide for my family.  That's a choice I made.  Others in law school decided that they wanted to make different choices and that's fine.  

        Even friends I have who work for big corporations work (1) went to school and/or developed a skill; and (2) work hard because that is something they can do to make lives better for themselves and their family.  I know someone who has worked on offshore oil rigs much of his career.  He has taken on hard schedules, and worked hard to make himself valuable to the company.  He now makes a very good living.  And, like many employees of big corporate oil companies, his job and income has ties to what those companies call "shareholder value."

        There are things most of us can do to increase our own income -- education, learning a marketable skill, demonstrating that we are worth more to a company than others, that kind of thing.  I agree that such decisions are harder for some than others -- a child born into a middle class family has an easier time making some choices than a child born to a 15 year old high school dropout on government assistance.  And I agree that we need to provide the opportunity for children like that to make better choices.  And I agree that it's not fair that some have an easier time than others.  As I've said, it's not fair that I'm not a seven foot tall man with a special talent for throwing a ball through a hoop.  It's not fair that I was not born the child of Bill Gates, or even George W. Bush or Barack Obama.  But life is not fair.  For a variety of reasons (not just income level) some have an easier time making choices that better their lives than others do.  What we can do for our capitalist system is provide opportunities for everyone (or as many people as we can) to make choices that allow them to take control of their own economic lives.

  •  An end, not a means (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Desert Scientist, Kevskos, SherwoodB
    There is something to be said for "laziness." Everybody needs to recharge, and relaxation can often be a fertile ground for innovative thought.
    The mistake here is trying to justify laziness as a means to an end.  It allows us to “recharge”; it leads to “innovative thought.”  You are merely conceding the battle to the work ethic right after firing the first shot.

    Idleness is intrinsically good, an end in itself, desirable for its own sake.  It need not be useful at all, and in my case, it never is.

    This does not mean that you should be idle all the time, but that you should be employed, as much as possible, in enriching your life and those of others.
    Being idle all the time is the summum bonum, and anything that interferes with my sloth is an imperfection.  And there is no greater way to “enrich” one’s life than by eliminating work from it entirely.
  •  If you have a community of 100 people, but (10+ / 0-)

    only 50 people need to work 40 hour-work-weeks to provide everything the community needs, what do you do?  Create busy-work for the other 50?

    Sound outlandish and irrelevant?  Well, we have a housing surplus of millions, no food shortages, no electrical shortages... What do we need our unemployed to do?

    Look how much work goes into making McDonald's toys:
    1) One group of people scavenge the globe for resources
    2) Another set turns the raw materials into production-ready raw materials
    3) Another group makes the toys
    4) Another group send the toys across the globe
    5) Another group holds them until someone forks over money and hands the toy to his kid
    ( oh yeah, the kids plays with it for 15 minutes then throws it into the trash)
    6) Another group collects the garbage containing the toys
    7) And finally a last group buries the toys with the trash

    It is literally work-for-the-sake-of work.  If we paid these people to simply chase their tales we'd all be better off (less destruction to the environment).

    The rules to monopoly are fair and apply equally to all. So what is your problem with joining a game-in-progress where all the properties are bought and the bank is empty...???

    by ban48 on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:40:04 PM PDT

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

      I remember reading something a long time ago about a city within a dome, and one crew of workers spent their shift climbing all over the dome tightening the bolts that held it together because the expansion and contraction of the steel throughout the day tended to loosen them.  Then another crew of workers spent their shift climbing all over the dome loosening the bolts because the expansion and contraction of the steel throughout the day tended to tighten them.  Kept 'em all out of trouble, too, seems to me....

      Is this what we're talking about here?

      Sound familiar to anyone?

      Out here in the fields I fight for my meals,
      I get my back into my living.
      I don’t need to fight
      To prove I’m right.
      I don’t need to be forgiven.

      Liberal = We're all in this together
      Conservative = Every man for himself
      Who you gonna call?

      •  The Romans built roads to keep their army busy, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        so did the Incas (I think it was the Incas, one of the south American empires).  There is nothing wrong with 'make-work', if you actually do the 'make-work' part.  the Chinese do this today - they have guaranteed employment.  If you can't find work, they will make-work for you - you might end up sweeping a perfectly clean street, but you will have a job and thus 'earn' your share.

        But, it is completely dis-ingenuous to demand everyone 'get a job' without the 'make-work' to provide the jobs.  The Tea Party would say this turns us all into slaves of the government, but the demand that everyone get a job turns everyone into slaves, the only question is whether they are slaves to their democratic government or slaves to the local feudal lord.  That is why democracy is, after all, the enemy of feudalism.

        The rules to monopoly are fair and apply equally to all. So what is your problem with joining a game-in-progress where all the properties are bought and the bank is empty...???

        by ban48 on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 05:49:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great Stuff. Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, Desert Scientist

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:02:59 PM PDT

  •  Ya know.... (9+ / 0-)

    I've been in the workforce for over 40 years, been in some great job and some not-so-great jobs.
    But in the first 35 of those years, while never making loads of money, I always found time to have a good time with friends, take care of family needs, do things other than work during the week, and was able to put some money away in the bank.  I worked two jobs and still found time for myself and my significant other.
    I enjoyed working, it wasn't play, but it fulfilled that need to do something worthwhile in a structured environment.  And I always enjoyed my co-workers.
    Something happened though, in the last 10 years or so, it's all about WORK, WORK, WORK.  We are now treated as automatons, not as people with lives outside the 9-5 grind.  You're not fast enough, good enough, bland enough. Everything is measured.  Late, even a minute, and you receive a demerit, there are no excuses, you should have left earlier.  Bathroom time is measured and you are allowed just over 1% a day of your time to use for personal hygiene.  Sick, take the time, but be warned, you will be given a demerit.  And enough demerits and you're out the door.  Forget saying anything.  You will be labeled a troublemaker and, worse, a negative person!!!!  And you will be watched even more closely and allowed no extra privileges.  WTF?
    Just exactly who are the jackasses who make these rules?  Who gave these nincompoops the keys to the zoo?
    And sadly there are middle management types who relish the control and the meting out punishments for the errant employee.
    I hate work, I hate wasting my life doing something useless for people who'd just as soon get someone to replace me, when I slip up, which, inevitably will happen. I don't even particularly care for my co-workers.  I hate what has become of the workplace.
    Oh, and time with friends?  Not during the week, maybe during the peace of the weekend.  Take care of family needs?  Hardly.  Do anything other than dread going to work in the morning and total collapsing relief when I get home is about all I can do.  And putting money in the bank?  Forget it, debtors prison express is the track I'm on.
    Something has to change.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:12:07 PM PDT

  •  I am an airline pilot. I take my job seriously, (10+ / 0-)

    and I am gone away from home a lot.  I put in a lot of years to prepare for it...it's not an entry level job.  I make a load of money.  But the work isn't particularly hard.

    The folks that throw the bags in the bin under the airplane work a hell of a lot harder than I do, and make a hell of a lot less money.  With very few exceptions, I don't think working harder is going to "get them ahead" at all.  Hard work does not make you money.

    Those who have lots and lots of money generally didn't get it by doing work...they got it by getting other people to do the work for them.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    by Bisbonian on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 03:24:43 PM PDT

    •  You have a good point (3+ / 0-)

      If they can convince others that "work is good for you, keep it up and you will get rich" while not doing anything much themselves but reaping the profit from that work, they will get rich without working much at all.

      That's pretty much what has happened to most of us, we are on the end of the convinced to work hard so others can profit.



      Women create the entire labor force.
      ---------------------------------------------
      Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 01:07:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the biggest problem with work... (5+ / 0-)

    ...is that it can have a tendency to make people addicted to always having to do something, making it difficult to simply enjoy life.

    A fairly large percentage of people die shortly after retirement, in part because they've become so used to the workaday routine, they don't know what to do with themselves.

    And the difference being "doing" and "being" is dramatic.

    Being, without the need for having to achieve anything, is true freedom. And there's nothing wrong with that, as long as someone's fulfilled their legal and moral responsibilities.

  •  i guess its a discussion uppermiddleclassers need (0+ / 0-)

    to have with themselves and each other.  not clear from the article and comments whether the discussants realize how privileged and fortunate they are, calvinhobbes cartoonist included.

    •  As I said in another answer, I've known poverty... (6+ / 0-)

      and it isn't fun. I have also traveled a bit in the "Developing World" and have seen poverty beyond what I ever experienced.  Only by hard work, luck, and a lot of very kind people along the way was I able to become middle class.  But that is one of my points - it is not true that if you only work hard you can reach the American dream.  Luck (toward the end of my career that meant outliving the political situation that had stuck me in a non-changeable slot for ten years) and people who actually helped me, although they had little to gain by doing so, got me to my ultimate goal - a college professorship.

      Had a lot of improbable things not lined up I would have spent my life as a just getting by or on the street person, no matter how hard I worked.  We now are living in a Republican-made hell where it is doubly hard to either work your way up or get any breaks.  If you work for some big companies you are at the mercy of whatever Ayn Rand worshiper owns the company.

      •  the mention of $75,000/year for "decent life" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        probably threw me off, the whole sentence being "Once you have enough money to live a relatively decent life (probably no more than $100,000 at most - actually estimated at $75,000/year recently See: http://www.forbes.com/....) "

        can't find the statistics at the moment, but i seem to recall that median household income in the u.s. was estimated at about $34,000 last year.

        just sayin'.

        •  My point was not that this was an average ... (3+ / 0-)

          income (I don't make that much myself), but that it was a sort of upward limit on deriving happiness - you simply don't gain any more real satisfaction above that level unless money is you whole interest (a rather unbalanced life, I would think.)  One could argue that it depends on what satisfies one personally.  Some people may be as happy as they can get at $20,000 a year and others may need $1 million.  I am of the opinion (but that is me) that there is no human being who is worth more than $1 million a year, even a rock star or football player.

          In other words having $10 billion does not extend your happiness in proportion to having a steady income of a maximum of $75,000.  You are not even say 5% more happy. This is at least in part, I think, because a human being has really no concept of $10 billion or even $1 million and you can only play with so many toys and you can't live in more than one house at a time.  Time is more important than money.

          Work and money are related, but not (as I have noted) in proportion to the value of the work done.  If that were true teachers, fire fighters, police, and even garbage collectors would be paid more than some bankers.

  •  George Gamow's book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Desert Scientist, RiveroftheWest

    is on my book shelf now.  I've ordered and given away many copies through the years hoping to turn some heads.  Very good take on the subject. Thanks.

  •  I remember the founder of a self-help group (5+ / 0-)

    from the eightieam I think (Neurolinguistics, possibly), who said that "the work ethic" was perhaps the most insidious invention of humankind. I never forgot that.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 07:14:47 PM PDT

  •  Automation; Different Work Purposes & Overlaps (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Desert Scientist

    Many of these questions will become unavoidable for modern society as more previously human functions are automated.

    Answering them will be made more difficult by the variety of different purposes of work, including to obtain:

    •    physical essentials (e.g., food, shelter, medical treatment – for one’s present working self, future retired self, and children)

    •    psychological essentials (e.g., feelings of usefulness, belonging and security)

    •    psychological luxuries -- which may feel to many like essentials (e.g., prestige and power)

    Although some overlap between these purposes is probably inevitable, our decision-making as individuals and as a society would probably be improved by being more attentive to the different causes and consequences of each purpose.

  •  Yes, yes, 100 times yes! (3+ / 0-)

    Especially

    Non-productive or counter-productive work for work's sake, often coming from inadequate analysis, is one of the curses of modern Capitalism.
    So many in 'business' simply want to 'dig right in' and 'get things done as quickly as possible', rather than allocate enough time for proper design and analysis.
  •  The Work Ethic Facilitates Exploitation (3+ / 0-)

    The Work Ethic is the RWNJ supply-side Economics argument technique applied to ethics. Its purpose is to divert attention away from the older and more universal ethic, fairness. We don't hear anything about the Fairness Ethic because the population might become aware of how much they're being ripped off and harmed.

  •  There is a beautiful quote from Isabella Beeton (3+ / 0-)

    on this:

    AFTER THIS GENERAL SUPERINTENDENCE of her servants, the mistress, if a mother of a young family, may devote herself to the instruction of some of its younger members, or to the examination of the state of their wardrobe, leaving the later portion of the morning for reading, or for some amusing recreation. "Recreation," says Bishop Hall, "is intended to the mind as whetting is to the scythe, to sharpen the edge of it,  which would otherwise grow dull and blunt. He, therefore, that spends his whole time in recreation is ever whetting, never mowing; his grass may grow and his steed starve; as, contrarily, he that always toils and never recreates, is ever mowing, never whetting, labouring much to little purpose. As good no scythe as no edge. Then only doth the work go forward, when the scythe is so seasonably and moderately whetted that it may cut, and so cut, that it may have the help of sharpening."

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Sep 01, 2013 at 07:53:23 AM PDT

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