By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
— Robert Frost
Every time I hear a politician talk about their plan to create more jobs, I cringe. We don’t need more jobs. We don’t need more working hours.
Our collective goal is to maintain a high standard of living and work fewer hours. We want to be free to spend more hours doing the things we love and being with the people we love.
In the United States, there’s no shortage of food. There’s enough food for everyone to be fat and happy. But our current economic system structures things such that we play a game of Who gets to go hungry? This is immoral. Let’s create a system where everyone gets fed and we all work fewer hours.
There is no shortage of housing, land to build on, and raw materials like lumber and concrete. But our economic system creates vacant homes and forces us to play a game of Who gets to be homeless? This is immoral. Let’s create a system where everyone has access to quality housing.
There’s no shortage of life-saving medical treatments. No shortage of insulin, EpiPen‘s, etc. But our current economic system makes these important treatments incredibly expensive. As a result, a few people get rich, many people needlessly suffer, and society is worse off. Let’s create a system of universal access to quality healthcare.
People worry about automation. It’s already killed a ton of low-skill jobs. And now automation is gunning for more jobs.
Truck drivers, delivery drivers, postal carriers, etc. are people who will become unemployed as robots take over transportation in the next 20 years. Some politicians are proposing ways to create jobs for these displaced workers.
But what if we didn’t worry about automation? What if we embraced it?
For example, imagine a million truck drivers lost their jobs tomorrow due to automation. There would still be enough food to feed them as well as everyone else. There be enough housing, healthcare, etc. We don’t need to create more jobs for these people.
Let’s design an economic system where we welcome time-saving automation as a blessing to society because it allows us to collectively work fewer hours.
Ask your politicians
Next time you talk to one of your local politicians, ask them, What are you doing to make sure everyone has food, shelter, healthcare?
Then ask them, What are you doing to make sure we all work fewer hours?
Our goal is not to create more jobs. It is to maintain a high standard of living for all people and for us to work fewer hours.
There’s no shortage of housing and materials to build housing, so let’s provide housing for all souls. There’s no shortage of food so let’s feed everyone. Let’s embrace automation because it gives us what we want: to work fewer hours.
Together, we can build it a better world.
Be well, my friend.