Liberation From Fear in The Age of Trump 2: The Job Dilemma

1. What is a Shit Job?

a shit job, I mean either a job that pays well but is meaningless and pointless, and also unproductive and useless for anyone other than the job-holder (aka a bullshit job) or a job that is bad for any other reason, e.g., it’s boring, dangerous, demeaning, otherwise low-status, grossly underpaid, etc. etc.

Simply put, a shit job is a job you would quit right now, if you could afford it.

So the criterion of whether you now have a shit job or not is this:

Would you quit your job right now, if you could afford it?

If so, then you have a shit job.

Is this your fault?

2. The Job Dilemma

No, it isn’t your fault.

In The Age of Trump — that is, over the next 4 to 8 years — most people living in the USA are going to face the following dilemma, The Job Dilemma:

either you have no job, or else you hate your job because it’s a shit job.

The reasons for this are simple.

First, in November 2016, according to US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, with 7.4 million unemployed people actively looking for jobs, plus 2 million long-term unemployed people.

That’s almost 10 million unemployed people.

Do you think that those people are happy or unconcerned about being unemployed?

If you do, then you’re in the grip of a self-serving cognitive illusion.

Try it sometime, for a year or 2, and then tell me what you think.

Unemployed people hate being unemployed, like a sickness unto death.

Let’s assume that the roughly-10-million-unemployed-people number is a benchmark for the next 4 years.

This means that, for the next four years, roughly 10 million people are always going to be unemployed and hate their own lives like a sickness unto death.

Second, over the next four or eight years, advances in technology are going to make a great many current jobs obsolete — e.g., driverless trucks.

Third, since many or even most people would quit their current job instantly if they could afford to, many or even most jobs are going to be shit jobs.

Now as I pointed out in the first essay in this series, on poverty and economic oppression, President-Elect Trump, who received 46.3% of the popular vote, is a billionaire — a greedy, ruthless billionaire.

So for most people, the act of supporting Trump, and voting for Trump, was what is called internalizing your oppressor: kissing the foot of the person who is stepping on your head.

Do you really think that, over the next 4 or 8 years, he and all the other rich people in the Trump governing elite are even going to attempt to fix The Job Dilemma?

Hell no. Of course not.

So, for as long as Trump is POTUS and nothing is done to fix The Job Dilemma, you’re screwed.

3. Universal Basic Income and a Fifteen-Hour Workweek for Understaffed Non-Bullshit Jobs, i.e, Eco-Jobs

According to The Wake The Fuck Up! Party , aka The WTFU Party, and its Universal Basic Income (UBI) proposal:

· Anyone 21 years of age or over who has a personal yearly income of $50,000.00 USD or less, and is capable of requesting their UBI, would receive $25,000.00 USD per year, with no strings attached.

Moreover, over and above UBI, The WTFU Party is also proposing a Fifteen Hour Workweek for Understaffed Non-Bullshit Jobs (FHW-for-UNBJs), which says:

· Anyone 18 years of age or older who is living permanently in the USA, who has completed a high school education, and is mentally and physically capable of doing a job, would be offered an eco-job, paying a yearly wage of $25,000.00 USD, for fifteen hours of work (three 5-hour days) per week.

More precisely, then, high school graduates of 18 years of age or older would be offered an eco-job paying $25,000.00 per year, and, in addition, when they reached the age of 21, provided they were earning in total $50,000.00 USD per year or less, they would also receive another $25,000.00 as their UBI (subject, however, to systematic scaling-back for non-eco-job income, as described below).

In any case, it would mean that anyone 21 years of age or older with a high-school degree and who is also mentally and physically capable of working, would have a guaranteed yearly income of at least $50,000 USD if they chose to do an eco-job.

***

Here are a few more details about UBI and eco-jobs.

(i) The UBI is to be paid by a monthly stipend check.

(ii) Eco-job income is not taxed.

(iii) For all individual yearly incomes of $50,000.00 USD or under, no tax will be levied; hence for someone receiving their UBI and also doing an eco-job, no income tax will be levied.

(iv) For all individual non-eco-job incomes, for every $1.00 USD earned above the standard UBI of $25,000.00 USD, that recipient’s total UBI is reduced by 50 cents, until the recipient’s total UBI is reduced to zero; hence for those individuals with yearly non-eco-job incomes equal to or under $50,000.00 USD, the maximum UBI + non-eco-job income sum is always $50,000.00 USD.

(v) For all individual yearly incomes over $50,000.00 USD, for every $10,000.00 USD earned, that surplus income is taxed at the rate of 1%, with the highest surplus income tax rate being 50%; hence the maximum surplus 50% tax rate starts at individual yearly incomes of $550,000.00 USD, and applies to all higher surplus incomes.

***

4. Five Types of Eco-Jobs

According The WTFU Party’s FHW-for-UNBJs proposal, there would be five types of eco-jobs.

1. eco-education (eco-ed) jobs: that is, jobs whose specific role is to provide help in currently under-staffed areas within the system of Universal Public Education (UPE),

2. eco-healthcare (eco-health) jobs: that is, jobs whose specific role is to provide help in currently under-staffed areas within the system of Universal Free Healthcare (UFH),

3. eco-protection (eco-pro) jobs: that is, jobs whose specific role is to provide help in currently under-staffed areas in (3i) urban-environmental clean-up and tending (including garbage collection, litter removal, recycling, public gardening, snow removal, etc.) and (3ii) natural-environmental clean-up and tending (including forestry and re-forestation, water pollution-clean up, industrial pollution clean-up, etc.)

4. eco-transportation (eco-trans) jobs: that is, jobs whose specific role is to provide help in currently under-staffed areas in the hybrid or all-electric car industry, and

5. eco-administration (eco-admin) jobs: that is, jobs whose specific role is to provide help in organizing, implementing, and running the system of eco-jobs.

5. The Requirements for an Eco-Job

According to The WTFU Party’s FHW-for-UNBJs proposal, there would be 6 individually necessary and jointly sufficient requirements for an eco-job.

1. If you want to own a vehicle other than a bicycle or other self-propelled machine, you either (1i) sell or trade in any gasoline-only vehicles you already own, in return for a free hybrid or all-electric car, or (1ii) if you do not already own a gasoline-only vehicle, then you receive a free hybrid or all-electric car,

2. If, by virtue of requirement 1, you do own a hybrid car, you agree to drive it according to a regular plan for modest gasoline consumption,

3. You agree to purchase and eat meat-products according to a regular plan for modest meat-consumption,

4. You have completed a high school education,

5. You are 18 years of age or older, and

6. You are mentally and physically capable of doing your eco-job.

6. How Would the System of Eco-Jobs Be Implemented?

According to The WTFU Party’s FHW-for-UNBJs proposal, in the first six months of 2021, all (roughly ten million) unemployed people would be asked the following two-part question: do you meet the requirements for an eco-job, and if so and you were offered an eco-job, would you take it?

Let’s call the number of unemployed people who could answer yes to both parts of that question, the New Jobs Number, aka the NJN.

Then, in the second six months of 2021 a total number of eco-jobs equal to the NJN would be created and offered to those unemployed people.

Also during 2021, the number of jobs made obsolete due to new technology would be calculated.

Let’s call that number the Obsolete Jobs Number, aka the OJN.

And also during the first six months of 2021, everyone who has a job at that time will be asked the following question: if you were offered an eco-job starting in January 2022, would you quit your current job and take the eco-job?

Let’s call the number of those who say yes to that question the Shit Jobs Number, aka the SJN.

Then, starting in 2022, the total number of eco-jobs that would be created and offered every year would be equal to the OJN + the SJN for the preceding year.

7. What is the Concept of Human Work?

According to The WTFU Party, this is the concept of human work:

· human work is any form of creative or productive rational human agency

· every human worker is a real human person, inherently possessing human dignity, and not a mere instrument or a mere thing

· there are two basic kinds of human work, namely job-work and life-work

· job-work, in general, is whenever a human worker receives wages in return for creation or production

· job-work, specifically according to FHW-for-UNBJs, is the part-time (15 hours per week) means by which the person earns an adequate living-wage doing something productive and useful for humanity

· life-work is some creative, meaningful activity (aka a project), or a series of such activities (aka projects), pursued as a full-time, or almost full-time, lifetime calling

· the basic function of job-work is to enable and support life-work, although one’s job-work could also be chosen as one’s life-work

It is crucial to note that life-work is an exceptionally broad category, including anything from raising children or otherwise caring for other people, to carpentry and other sorts of craftsmanship, to playing games or sports, to making or performing music, to painting or sculpting, to writing literature of any kind, to making movies, to studying and writing history, to philosophy.

What is essential to life-work is that it involves creative, meaningful activity.

Therefore, life-work substantially overlaps with the category of human play, which is often falsely opposed to human work.

On the contrary, insofar as play is creative and meaningful, it can also be life-work.

8. Six Decisive Reasons for Implementing UBI and Eco-Jobs Together

First, under the system of UBI together with eco-jobs, no one who is capable of working and who wants to work will ever be unemployed again, forever.

Second, under the system of UBI together with eco-jobs, no one who is capable of working and who wants to work will ever have to take a shit job again, forever.

Third, under the system of UBI together with eco-jobs, The Job Dilemma would be fixed, forever.

Fourth, under the system of UBI together with eco-jobs, since there would be an initial set of eco-jobs created and offered in the second six months of 2021 equal to the New Jobs Number, then a further set of new eco-jobs equal to the Obsolete Jobs Number + the Shit Jobs Number for 2021 created and offered in January 2022, and then a further set of new eco-jobs equal to the OJN + SJN for 2022 created and offered in January 2023, and so-on for subsequent years, then, year by year, there would be a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the USA, and, correspondingly significant progress would be made by the USA towards preventing future disasters of global climate change.

Fifth, therefore, under the system of UBI together with eco-jobs, every eco-job will by its very nature be a useful, productive, environmentally respectful job.

Sixth and finally, under the system of UBI together with eco-jobs, since the function of job-work is to enable and support life-work, the universal availability of eco-jobs will be in itself liberating for you and the rest of humanity living in the USA too.

9. Two Things You Can Do Right Now

In order to make UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs, and eco-jobs a reality, you can do these two things right now:

  • Publicly demand The WTFU Party’s version of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs, and eco-jobs
  • Elect a President and Congress in 2020 who support The WTFU Party’s version of UBI, FHW-for-UNBJs, and eco-jobs

That’s only four years away.

Only four years away from no more fear of unemployment or having to do shit jobs, forever.

Mr Nemo, Nowhere, NA, 9 December 2016

The WTFU Party is a sub-project of the online mega-project Philosophy Without Borders, which is home-based on Patreon here.

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.

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