David Graeber’s concept of bullshit jobs went viral when he first published his essay in 2013. It resonated widely and was translated into multiple languages. He describes the growth of jobs that workers find pointless or meaningless, and if it did not exist would make no difference to the world and perhaps even leave it a slightly better place. I went to selected Youtube videos, and report some of the relevant comments that people have made, which form testimonies to this phenomenon.
I manage rainwater catchment tanks in the CA central coast where water is very scarce. I can barely afford a studio apartment. Meanwhile, all of the bankers, golfers, investors and folks that simply move money around have very large estates and don’t seem to lift a finger. It’s not only that the BS jobs are ubiquitous but that there is an direct relationship between the BS’ness of your job in relation to your wage earned. e.g. Higher level of BS = Higher Wage. Low level of BS = Low wage. we need to remove invisible layers of ‘policy violence’ to flip this equation upside down, so that bankers are scraping by for selling us all out and, for example, people like hotel maids can live comfortably, because they actually provide a real service.
As a young PhD student at a European university, I can relate. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe research is valuable, it’s just that I see so much waste of talent, time and resources around here. First of all, the most competent researchers don’t really have time to do any research, because they spend most of their time trying to secure funding. This includes keeping up with the often complicated application processes for research grants, writing applications for research grants, and reviewing the applications of other researchers. A lot of time also goes to building cooperation with businesses, as required by many funding agencies. Time is also spent on doing scattered favors for said businesses to maintain the cooperation, while trying to explain to them why finding ad hoc solutions to their immediate issues through trial and error does not generate knowledge that will help them in the future. Our performance as researchers and research institution is measured by the number of peer-reviewed publications we spit out. In response, time is wasted writing a larger number of papers with less substance and lower quality, which researchers are then spending their time peer-reviewing or reading in order to stay updated. The irony is that the motivation behind all of this is to make research more effective. Without reading even one of our publications, our overseers look at the quantitative measures of our performance and conclude that our research is indeed more efficient.
a large portion of IT is b.s. We say new software and hardware are upgrades but they usually are not…its just a way for people to keep their jobs. I did this for 15 years and had the identity crisis Graeber talks about, got tired of building new programs when there was nothing wrong with the existing program.
walked into work and the IT guy must not have heard me come in. he was sitting in his chair blankly staring, looking half asleep. i got the impression that he just wanted to kill himself, and this must be how he starts every day, asking himself, “here we go again, another boring bullshit day i have to slog through cuz i need that check”
There is a huge pile of software around than needs to be maintained, and this is far from creative and challenging job of actually building new stuff, necessary or not. Is this maintenance actually a BS job? I am afraid for the most part it is, as most functions are never used, or problems are simply not understood by people who did not take a part in building the system originally. And jet, it is major part of software job market today.
In IT there is a perverted incentive to make things as complex as possible. More systems means more FTE’s means bigger span of control for IT managers means more pay… To me, its as simple as that. Ive been working in IT for 2 decades and almost all attempts to simplify things fail because at some point some manager realizes: hey, if this is simplified I loose half my staff and that means I can’t justify my pay grade. On the other hand that is also why new projects are started and the old stuff is never really cleaned up, simply because its cool to score with new cool technology. Never mind cleaning up the mess of the previous failed project…This goes on and on and on in the corporate world…. Its the elephant in the room, the emperor without clothes. We all know it but no one dares to talk about it. If you do they look at you as if you are the one that is crazy…
I was thinking about this last week. I literally work/produce 25 hrs of real work in a 40 hr week. I’d rather just be honest with my employer and work 8-12 daily and go home but I’m salary. It’s depressing and a waste.
Me and my partner would leave work early like 3 times a week on average and we would still claim 8 hours every day, but he really became so depressed and the relatively small amount of hours that we actually did put in became grueling for him. He ended up quitting and sending me an essay about how great he felt in the form of a text message, and it’s just like David says here, working a bullshit job is actually mimicking what depression really is. It’s crazy that these ideas are actually taboo. The structure must be preserved.
I once worked for a university and watched the secretary next to me play solitaire on a daily basis while i successfully watched multiple movies and a couple of seasons of hells kitchen before i got an actual task to do…which only lasted a week. So there’s two more for your list!
I had a bullshit job working ironically for the same university as David Graeber does. I left mainly because of the boredom. I worked 35 hours a week of which 20 were most of the time a waste.
I dropped out the third year of police university college because of all the bullshit during my practice year at a police station. It spiraled me into a depression from a sense of meaninglessness by watching all the bureaucracy and the hopeless fates of the people we were supposed to serve. Now I am studying sociology and I see more and more of this collective lie in this field as well – papers being written with no sense of discovering anything at all, just the need to publish. The dilemma for me is that I feel I need my masters degree in order to even have a voice. None of my twitter posts or facebook updates ever gets listened to. There is no platform for legitimate critical thought – it gets swallowed by algorithmically tuned social media that cater only to the individual echo chambers. If I talk to my fellow students about actual discovery of truth, they just look at me in bewilderment for a bit, then go back to their phones and silently filter me out of their feeds.
I Loved this talk. I was first turned on to David Graeber and read his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years while pretending to work at a bullshit job. The company I worked for was bought by another company who didn’t seem to do a proper accounting of all of its employees. As a result, I had almost nothing to do for six months. During this time, I read books, Wikipedia, and watched countless hours of Youtube. It was a bit nerve racking knowing that I couldn’t tell my coworkers or bosses, because I knew the immediate response would either be “Why didn’t you tell us earlier?” or “You’re fired.” After this experience, I became a teacher at a charter school. I worked nearly 80 hours a week even though teaching my classes only accounted for 15 of those hours because my school required each teacher make entirely new lesson plans every year. Keep in mind I taught Algebra, a subject that is still taught the same way it was in the early 1900s. I could have used Algebra lessons from 1901 and called it a day. At this school, there was an attitude that if you didn’t give every waking moment of you life to the job you were short changing your students’ futures. There was no discussion by anyone on how to become more efficient with our time or make the job more sustainable in the long-term because no one wanted that. Instead the admin and many of the teachers wanted to feel like martyrs in service to “urban education” or “the community.” The whole experience had a “secular hairshirt” feel to it as Greaber says.
For me the thing he really hits on is this devaluation of acutely productive work by those doing bs jobs. As a freelance videographer and photographer for 20+ years, it amazes me that clients often seem to think that I should be paid less because it appears to them I do a vastly more enjoyable job than their own. I have actually experienced hatred and utter contempt from some of these middle management for what is in truth my extremely hard earned intellectual capital and experience. Not to mention zero job stability and the need to trudge all over the place with more gear than I can carry just to produce work to suit someone else’s ego-emotional needs.
I love you man, I do security patrol, I drive around the entire damn city to give parking permits for people who wouldn’t have needed them if it weren’t for pointless rules developed by the home owners association, 90 percent of the time the job is pointless, the rest of the time it’s scary.
when i was 14 i got a job at the place my dad works being a nighttime receptionist no one ever called and i had about 1/2 hour of work every night at first i thought this was great being payed to do nothing after about 2 weeks i get frustrated and i angrily go to my father thinking they aren’t giving me work due to his seniority he explained to me that the job didn’t used to exist but there was a short list of calls that needed to be made each night after hours and the dayshift person wouldn’t stay late and do it so they made a whole part time job for one 20-30 minute task and would get mad if i wasn’t at the desk or on my phone in the empty building i quit soon after
We’ve got a lot of duct-tapers at my job. We’ve got a multi-million dollar automated data management system. Do we use it? Nah, just make a million folders and email excel spreadsheets everywhere. Got an email from one of these spreadsheet monkeys earlier today asking me to update some b.s. spreadsheet that doesn’t end up getting used for anything. Yeahh…ignored. Sorry you have a B.S. job but leave me alone.
Middle management is a bull shit job, they play on phones and yell at a occasional worker once a week, that was doing their job anyway
Watching this from work right now. BS job confirmed.
Sounds like my workplace , where accountants can’t value anything, No one quite knows what HR does, where one multi million dollar consultant after another has produced stagnating sales, and the top management is clueless about the business.
I have been a “flunkie”. I rather enjoyed it. I was the secretary to a director and assistant director of a hospice, as well as the nerve center of communications for the hospice nurses and aides…wait, I was WAY underpaid. I still liked it for the most part though. I quit my last job because I am very highly skilled in my field, but I was given so much work and so little time, that I was forced into a “duct taper” role. I spoke with management constantly about it, and they agreed with my recommendations, but they said there was no ROI on doing things correctly. The ROI is not destroying my soul.
I’d add a 6th category, one most lawyers perform: aside from being Goons, we are also Wealth Praetorians. 95% of our job is protecting wealth and extracting it from others.
My top five bull…t jobs in ascending order of distaste: 5) cutlery sales, 4) nutritional supplement sales, 3) financial plans sales, 2) telemarketing sales and 1) debt loan collection.
Greeters is a bs job. All they do is smile, and say “hello how are you?” When you enter the store. They don’t really care about how you feel. They don’t do anything else.
This subject’s fascinating- I have jumped in and out of BS jobs as I have gone from technical facilities positions to the management of those who I worked with. In three distinctly different settings (one private and two public sector, labs,/hospitals, casinos, and universities) the same things happened when I went to middle management. I became a box-ticker, constantly working on energy saving solutions that were never implemented due to some taskmaster’s flunkies or goons. We had endless meetings, living documents, reports to the top brass, etc. and for the most part no real long-term plan was implemented. I am glad to be back in the world of technicians now.
I really don’t get the basic income thing. I lost my job in my field in 2003 and there are no jobs in my field now and all I want is a freaking job. I think probably there’s more people like me out there. I have a master’s degree I spent seven years training for this! Graduated honors- have great reports from when I did work. What about a right-to-work? I don’t mean that in the slam the unions kind of way, I mean like Roosevelt had this program where he employed all kinds of people to do what they were intended to do . like artists. I’m an art teacher. Since the rise of common core here are NO art teacher jobs. All I want to do is work in my field and I can’t! I can get a shit job and do whatever and in fact I have one but the basic income thing? I’d rather have a job doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I mean I’m not slamming people who want to just get income and not work but that sure isn’t me
agree with much of what Graeber has to say, in fact (and without blowing my own trumpet) I beat him to it, if not to print by several decades. But, then I’ve actually spent most of my life in the real, as opposed to the unreal world of work, otherwise known as academia. Which brings me onto my central gripe with Graeber, his myopia. Sure, advertising (where I once worked) is 99.99% horseshit. The same goes for most of the jobs I’ve done, absolutely no problem with confessing/accepting/realising that. In fact, as I’ve just said, I realised long ago that most of what I and those around me – lower middle class humanities graduates, were doing was utterly futile, on any meaningful metric. No, where find fault with Graeber is the cardinal sin of hypocrisy. University administrators are engaged in bullshit jobs, but academics employed in women studies, gender studies, and most of the rest of the humanities for that matter are all hard working Stakhanovites, whose only fault is that they have to bow to the will to these moronic admin epsilons. No Graeber, that just won’t do, I’m afraid. Modern publicly funded academia is a leviathan that pays out huge, YES, I mean huge salaries and very cushy conditions – $100K prof salaries in the UK are the norm, and readers weigh-in at 70K. And what do we, the unwilling saps paying for this largesse get in return? Almost 100% bullshit. The vast majority of the academics in the humanities – NO, not the social sciences, they DON’T exist, don’t come remotely close to Graeber in terms of originality of thought and meaningful intellectual output. Quite the opposite, most find a niche, get tenure and then pretty well coast until retirement. And how do I know? Well, two of my closest friends are currently winding-down the clock to the latter, having contributed as close as makes no difference, nothing to the sum total of human knowledge or achievement, but both are very comfortably off and will continue to be, courtesy of their very nice index-linked pensions – paid for of course by me, who of course has no pension himself.
so what are we going to do with the people ? are we just going to give them free food, housing etc etc ? may as well give them BS jobs otherwise these people will eventually go nuts and kill everyone…
I am a low level manager at a small company, co-managing three employees with another guy (we swap them around depending on project demands). One of the issues the other manager and I often have is that when we have something that we need to get done, we could hand it off to one of the three guys, and have to fix it later, or we can just do it ourselves and it will be right the first time. Often enough, the amount of time we would spend explaining it first then fixing it later is close to or even less than the time we would take doing it right the first time, yet our bosses want us to use the workers anyway. Honestly if we had one more guy at our level, we could probably get rid of the other three.
I work in car production and I can tell you that all of of us who make the actual products despise all of those office leaches. They spend all their days on gossip, inventing stupid regulations, meetings about solving problems their ideas caused and neglecting what minuscule contributions we actually need from them like ordering the needed amount of parts, materials and supplies. And after all of that they gave the gall to call a meeting every 3 months, show us bullshit powerpoint presentation and tell us that WE need to work harder so THEY can slack in good conscience
I had a box ticking job for many years and I hated it. I worked for an insurance company and made sure people got to their doctors appointments (I didn’t drive them or anything useful like that) and writing reports. Before that I was a case manager and spend my days filling in care plans, risk assessments and more forms and paperwork rather than helping people
I’ve had at least three jobs that I consider high on the Bullshit Meter. The first was weed-wacking to make miles of fence appear trimmed on a farm (purely aesthetic and unnecessary). Second was shuffling boxes of documents around in a warehouse to new boxes so customers could be charged a “reboxing fee” for “storage maintenance” (we were pressured with a quota, even for ones that didn’t need it, which was most of them). Third, working in a fast-fashion store was bullshit because the store was filled with people wasting their money replacing their wardrobes unnecessarily. I’ve had maybe two jobs that were unambiguously useful. All of the rest were either directly or indirectly bullshit. We could be automating things and deliberately working less, but apparently we would rather spent resources doing these obsolete tasks. On their death beds, virtually nobody wishes that they spent more time in the office.
To hear this from an Professor is sort of a circular argument, as he is a Box-Ticker himself. Nobody approaches education or the sake of learning anymore, they do it to get a box checked off. America has more Journalism Professors than employed, tax-paying Journalist’s. Any sane economy would fire these Professors, but they still exist. What bank would loan money for an education with no hope of financial return? You are right about the need for a basic income, or we will have to invent more useless jobs.
I am a box ticker, and I work beside a flunkey, who does not all day, but play and reply to emails, waste time, read novels for recreation at his desk, waiting for emails to come in, and maybe meet with a prospective customer/client if an email from the weeks before actually produced a willing recipient in the form of a prospective customer/client. Well at I at least feel more productive ticking boxes, rather than reading the latest 20 something novel on company time.
basically you’re complaining about how corporations spend their money. Why do you care? It doesn’t affect you. Let them waste their money on useless jobs
Hey guys, I’m under such stress that I can’t even think of a solution so maybe anyone there has an idea for me… I know I’m a slave, that my job is useless and that my wage barely pays my rent, and I also know that I don’t have any short-term way of jumping off this mess. What you recommend me to do to not rely on a “job” anymore? I’m 28 and I don’t have any marketable skill and I spent all my life just occupied with obeying what was told. I already know that I’m screwed but there must be something to avoid suicide, for fuck’s sake. This whole generation is utterly fucked.
BS jobs are great, I wouldn’t want any other kind of job. I work at a BS job overnight where I’m by myself for 8 hours doing nearly nothing. It gives me plenty of time to do things that I like, like studying math, physics, music, electrical engineering. I used to teach physics in college and that was just another annoying and wasteful job.
I am in manufacturing. I’m a machinist… At least for now. The job market is tanking and the demand is at a low so who knows how long I’ll have this job title/career. He is right tho, so many ppl have bullshit jobs. The way things are managed is ridiculous. Most of the office staff (and I work for an international corporation) are just middle men, or managers managing other managers. That’s why there are so many office cuts.
Singapore is FULL of this type of jobs, given to locals: administrating other people jobs. And Somehow it keeps the economy
This is exactly why I became an urban farmer. My work is growing food. It’s about as far away from a bullshit job as you can get. And I’ve never felt better about life
I recently spent two years working for a company that made aviation electronics, non-critical for those of you who are curious and know the industry. I worked by myself as a coordinator inside our FAA Part 145 Repair station in a position that up until my time with the company had required two full time employee’s. I was able to streamline and clean up the process, to the point that it took one person 1/2 a day to complete. I was asked by the head of quality control to record my process in writing and it was submitted to the FAA whom approved it, I received a huge promotion to process engineer as a result.
75 % of jobs are B’S jobs. I know people that actually sleep on the job and hide in other parts of the buildings making great money. Totally pathetic if I say anything I get fired.
The big problem is that there are too many people on the globe for the jobs available. I was made redundant several times and the government unemployment agency forced me to apply for jobs which basically were not there anymore ,the ultimate wet dream for civil servants!
This exposes what i’ve been feeling for over 5 years now. I work in a bank headquarters, and i have absolutely nothing to do. And i see people making meetings to solve nothing and call me, it’s absolutely disgraceful.
I’M A SECURITY GUARD AT A LARGE DOWNTOWN DENVER OFFICE BUILDING. My job consists of sitting behind a granite & marble counter in the lobby. I rarely even direct people to where to go, or what floor(s) company x, y, or z is on because large touchscreen monitors near the doors do so. Mainly, I’m there just for “show”, to imply the building is monitored and guarded. It is, but mainly by computerized systems. At most, I might have to ensure homeless people don’t try to come in. It doesn’t pay much, but it does pay my bills.
let me say this. throughout my years working in New York. I’ve got burnt out 4 or 5 time. bad enough to want to kill myself. I’ve long for a job that pays me to do nothing. because down time for me is design time. work on projects and teach myself software to build my craft. I don’t understand the stupidity of this fake problem you come up with. what? you want society to give you your dream on a plate? is that it?
Good stuff I have told my children and anyone else who would listen for at least a decade that avoid jobs that cannot be easily explained or get a job were your job title is what you do i.e. you are a Nurse, carpenter, teacher, even lawyer (non corporate as those get hard to explain) doctor, pilot and many others those are real jobs. Vague job title jobs like manager or business person tend to be BS and in the long run are not rewarding
Most jobs in the tertiary sector are essentially glorified admin positions that any 13 year old could do discounting maturity of course. Most large companies could fire over half their workforce and not only be fine but better off as they would become more efficient. People see jobs as their right but really no one owes you a job. Business exist to turn a profit and hopefully provide useful products and services but not to provide jobs in itself. I own businesses and struggle to see the need go hire many people being so easy to leverage technologies in todays world. We can turnover many millions and have no more then five people at any one time. This is becoming the new normal I believe.
Garbage men in NY had a strike once and demanded more income, the mayor refused but after 6 days the stink got so bad that he did something. Bankers in Ireland had a strike once for more income and nothing happened, even after 6 months Ireland was still ok. Enough said.
I am at work listening to this and I want to commit suicide … unfortunately I am based at the ground floor ! I am a corporate lawyer for a bank btw … everything is true, please some help
I was a security guard for a waste management facility in Gardena, CA. My job was to deter the public from climbing a 12′ fence with barbed wire, to steal trash.
Watching this video while working at a bullshit job just made me fulfill my life!!!
Yah, only the elite creeps have BS jobs. The rest of us work like dogs, many with two or three to pay exorbitant rents and taxes either for or to the people who have BS jobs like dimwit here is talking about. Living in our cars in church parking lots, collecting food stamps while working. What era is this imbecile from? It’s like watching a slave beg their oligarchic masters to give themselves ( and by extension all the other slaves) more work. No wonder his story got attention . Corporate wet dream
We’ve nailed food, water, and shelter. We’ve nailed entertainment. We’ve nailed banging each other all night. We don’t need to have billions of people all working nonsense jobs. Automation shouldn’t create fear of job loss, it should create the prospect of shorter work weeks.
God, reminds me of when I worked retail. My job was (legitimately) important, I put all the stuff on the shelves, ordered inventory, made sure all the price tags were accurate. I was also the only employee in the particular section doing this job. No me, no stocking getting done. I was ‘part-time’ and worked 34 hours a week. I had one supervisor. He was full time. His job was to literally tell me to work every day I was in, and to put his signature at the bottom of all the stock requests I put in. One day I was sick, he said he’d cover for me. 5 minutes later I had the General manager calling me. I was informed that my supervisors job was to make sure I do work (the word he used was “delegate”), not to do my work for me. That’s right, they literally had one guy, paid more than me, to just tell me to work and nothing else. He quit a week later. Somehow I managed to keep working…right up to the point where they cut my hours so they could “afford” to hire a new supervisor for me.
The real Bullshit jobs are half the upper management jobs. Every job I’ve had there is one or two guys who no one knows what the hell he or she does all day and that person likes it that way.
My first job at one point there were 5 managers, 5 staff (including myself), 2 book keepers, 1 secretary. In what world does a small company need 5 managers?
That taskmaster job sounds like what Michael Scott from The Office essentially did. In the show the Office Michael Scott was a general manager but he was clearly not very qualified in the job. In fact we later learn that without him around (or any manager) his employees could to run the office on their own and didn’t need to be motivated or supervised to their jobs properly and productively. They still went to work everyday on time, took regular reasonable breaks and meet the quotas of what they had to do. If anything Michael was more hindrance than help to his employees who barely tolerated his stupid distracting antics and his nonsense lectures and workshops.
People managing people that don’t need managing. That would be my boss, except mine also finds the way to get less done while lowering quality and working people more. Its like magic.
I worked at an office supply store for a long time and one day the regional manager paid a visit (above the district manager) and he literally told us to take down all the top stock shelves and rearrange them by one notch because they weren’t all the same height. Like a matter of an inch or two. This require taking all the stock off the shelves and putting it back. For the entire store. This was for over stock mind you. This project took days that could have been spent doing things far more productive
I always thought of this when I was trying to be a salesman. I kept thinking, “I don’t need to be here. I don’t need to be bothering these people. I’d rather be bagging groceries”
I love the phrase, “the Bullsh**isation of jobs.” ie improving efficiency by having everyone spend 5 hours per week filling out time management reports and then hiring someone to analyse those reports.
I think there is an interesting angle being missed here. With the cost of labor being dirt cheap, companies can afford to have swarms of lowly paid workers that don’t really have many responsibilities. Of course this is usually only found in office settings. In the blue collar/retail world, you are drained to the marrow. Every second of every minute has to be set towards maximum efficiency and productivity. When I worked in office environments though, the difference was night and day. However, I would be willing to bet that if companies were forced to pay their workers a decent wage, you would see those kind of positions evaporate. The point of the BS job is that the people who fill them are disposable and replaceable. This is why even when we are at full employment, politicians yammering on about “more jobs” still resonate. It doesn’t matter how many jobs you create now, because the vast majority of job creation pays $10 – $14 and hour; good luck raising a family on that without making some egregious sacrifices.
Human resources “professionals”, bank “boards of directors”, “consulting” firms, advertising, project managers, marketing directors, government research firms, etc. etc. etc. These professions exist to make companies “feel like” companies. None of these jobs existed 125 years ago. ALL of these corporate talky-speaky catch-phrasy theoretical bullshit jobs were created in the face of food and other necessities being transitioned away from the population producing them to corporate mass-production. Seriously. Listen to the way people with these professions talk. They act like they’re fucking god’s gift to the universe. “Executing on results”, “streamlining labor costs”, “pivoting revenue focus”, “maximizing profit”…you can’t listen for more than five minutes without throwing up. They f’n KNOW deep down that they realize they are not needed, indeed WERE NEVER needed, the world existed just fine without them before the 20th Century, and they thank f’n God that the economy has provided them with fake ways to collect dollars. As the 1900s technology evolved, we stopped having farms and sustaining ourselves with our own labor, and now we face a rapidly growing population that has everything made for it by giant companies, food, shelter, cars, clothes. We make NOTHING ourselves. Our income has to buy literally everything, we have no self-sustainability. It makes your resume totally invisible in a sea of resumes, it makes your degree invisible in a sea of identical degrees. You HAVE to get into these bullshit professions and avoid actually being on an assembly line making something tangible because you’re guaranteed a life of wage poverty if you don’t. And then you have to pretend that your job is actually relevant.
The British are becoming a nation of middle-management, middle-man economics. Our manufacturing, engineering and construction work is all being sent to the Third World for a saving in labour. A lot of the rewarding, enriching work that we enjoyed throughout time has been sold off and now we have employment agencies, endless telesales jobs but a shortage of apprenticeships for trades. If the British consumer was willing to Buy British, as a matter of principle, rather than buying cheap crap from abroad; I really believe we could bring back a better, more independent economic model for this little island
The problem is more and more things are already being made with less and less people needed to make them. So we keep inventing jobs because we must keep enough people on the hamster wheel. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. This country is rich with products, resources and food. Yet poor with people to buy them and about to get way poorer with jobs when technology eliminates a truck load more.
Capitalism is working exactly the way it’s supposed to, bullshit jobs might be one of those contradictions that a certain someone wrote about a long time ago. The current neoliberal paradigm is all bullshit, so bullshit jobs shouldn’t surprise anybody.
My boss in corporate IT did LITERALLY nothing. I can’t think of anything the fucker did. We used to make fun of him and say that we should, “ask Frank if he saw X, Y, or Z on You Tube” because the answer would always be yea.
90% of the military is a gigantic jobs program. My friend was hired to complete a multimillion dollar contract to streamline and improve the logistics of the army. That would require firing thousands of people and replacing them with better software, the military told them never mind because that would require finding new jobs for thousands of people. So my friends company was paid millions to literally do nothing
They have been PURPOSELY holding back automation because they have such a poor imagination about how one would fix the problem. Remember, they got women into the workforce AFTER a great deal of industrial automation. They automated fast food back in the 60s and then would they have us believe we can build cars but not hamburgers. It really is a tacit conspiracy by major people in government and industry because they fear an uprising.
I think you’re attributing the state of the world to “intelligent design” when it’s probably more a matter of inertia and stupidity. Up until only a few decades ago, people had to work sunrise to sunset. They weren’t productive enough not to. In these circumstances, it is easy to understand how working people would be angry at those who refused to carry their own weight. We were only able to create a lot of wealth by giving people the freedom to unlock their talent and their industry. The economy grew in strange and unpredictable ways, but that led to unimaginable breakthroughs. We can expect productivity to grow exponentially in the coming decades, so it might be time to consider a universal, minimum income and a 15-hour work week. I mean when productivity is going up and costs are going down like they have with microchips, resources may be so abundant that it doesn’t matter if a basic income is simply given away. Meanwhile, we’d better hold on to the bullshit jobs we have. It’s going to be a rough road to become the Jetsons.
I’ve been in I.T. for 25 years, and I have a calling to go and learn woodworking or welding, or some such craft. They joy of building something tactile, rather than providing a conduit for data that nobody needs, seems much more rewarding and permanent.
You believe in a degree of top-down control that does not exist. The “ruling class” would love to automate more, if it was more cost-effective (which it soon will be). Yes there are bullshit jobs out there, but that isn’t explained by some sort of plot orchestrated by the upperclass; the causes are more mundane than that, like departments not wanting their funding cut, managers wanting to look like they have a lot of people under them, policy regimes, bad incentives, etc. Everyone thinks the secret of society is that someone is in control of everything; the real secret is that no one is really in control.
Employment consular can be added to the list of bullshit jobs.BTW, why do we call these people elites? They are amongst the lowest forms of life on the planet!
Senior Corporate executives and management jobs should be completely eliminated. They are biggest bulls**t jobs.
I am a truck driver and the company i work for has so many bullshit office jobs to micromanage us drivers through the phone thousand miles away. They are like backseat drivers states away.
Japan in 2017 is still full of policemen and public highway workers who manually direct traffic. In fact, I passed four firemen (two each end of the the road) this morning who were directing traffic through a quiet country road whilst some locals were cutting back trees that were overgrown.
There is a 4th category jobs that actually make society worse off i.e. most advertising, hedge fund managers, Wall st bankers and most property developers, etc
Actually, the incentive of having people with full-time jobs lies in the fact that most people would be bored out of their minds if they didn’t have a job. The vast majority of people in today’s society don’t have any fulfilling, healthy hobbies. I wouldn’t have said this before, but since moving to China, I’ve seen that people wouldn’t rise up without work as much as shut down and feel that life is meaningless.
I have thought there are a lot of bullshit jobs. Like in the humanities department where communists peddle racial insecurities as legitimate science on my dime.