reducing workers' hours

anonymous asked:

If everyone was just given food, medicine, and housing, where is the insensitive to work? I know plenty of people who would be happy to live off the bare minimum if they never had to work for it

i think the incentive to work is that your work makes things better! if everyone’s basic needs were taken care of, people would be able to focus their energy on the work that most needs to be done to improve their communities, instead of the work that will generate the most profit for corporations. some people will be able to do work they are genuinely passionate about, and others will do the more tedious work of keeping their communities safe and well-maintained, willing to do this work because it is highly valued and they are appreciated and taken care of. you might think the only reason someone would do a dangerous or disgusting job would be because they’d starve otherwise. i think they’d elect to do that job as long as the rewards outweighed the risks.

one 2014 study at the university of pennsylvania demonstrated that people with the option of doing nothing instead of performing a task opted to expend more effort on the task than people who did not have that option. not being forced to work actually made them more productive.

the canadian province of manitoba experimented with giving people a guaranteed, unconditional income, and they found that hardly anyone stopped working. some workers reduced their hours slightly, by a maximum of 8%. most chose to work the same amount, and some chose to work as little as 1% fewer hours. 

do “lazy” people exist? probably, but i feel they are much less common than fiscally conservative fearmongers would have you believe. more importantly, i feel the popular definition of laziness is informed by classism, ableism, racism, etc.

plus you gotta ask yourself if the people you know who seemingly have no internal drive to work are just innately like that or if it is at least partially a response to living under capitalism, you know?

but like…even if there are people out there who just genuinely choose not to be “useful” i still think those people have the right to food and shelter and medicine, since there is plenty to go around.