The End of Employment... and the beginning of...?

Fri, 10 Jun 1994 11:14:23 -0400

it), the author argues that this may be exactly what is going on... that
since the late 1970s, the prospects for the 'employment booms' of the kind
experienced in the postwar period are fairly dim. Due to lots of structural
factors, and automation, 'downsizing' is the operative word for a lot of
industries, not just the Explanation Industry. The author takes this
opportunity to suggest that the end of economic growth means we can start
focusing on _human growth_, referring to the prospects for physically,
mentally, and spiritually improving the species. It's a nice idea, but I
suppose the book leaves out the fact that, while working on species growth,
we all still need to eat.
One economist (I also can't remember who) suggested that, with the
gloomy prospect of a large class of white-collar unexmployables - it's time
to do away with the idea of 'jobs.' Instead, we should guarantee everyone a
Basic Guaranteed Income, and then let them supplement that as they choose,
by finding whatever part-time, self-directed work they can find at the
moment... I actually do not find this so crazy an idea. It would be a way
to let everyone do what they love (not just academics) and not worry about
their children being unable to eat.
The simple fact, with Ross Perot and Dan Foss' warnings duly noted, is
that the number of 'jobs' - not just academic ones - meaning a position
with some degree of security, benefits, union protection, full-time
occupation, and possibility of career advancement - are disappearing, to be
replaced by various kinds of 'flexible' employment, meaning lacking those
As anthropologists, we are capable of looking at social alternatives. I
think one of the traps in our society is that we're too focused on finding
'jobs,' and not good at thinking at the ways in which we can provide people
meaningful work (and an income) outside of a 'job.'

Seeker1 [@Nervm.Nerdc.Ufl.Edu] (real info available on request)
CyberAnthropologist, TechnoCulturalist, Guerilla Ontologist, Chaotician
Discordian Society, Counter-Illuminati Operations Branch
"The map is not the territory." -- Alfred Korzybski
"The menu is not the meal." -- Alan Watts