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Work should not be preached as a duty. Watch

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    Work should be a means to an end. Presently people work to avoid starvation and provide for their children, and although benefits are available to support those who cannot find work, if the government is not successful in creating the right conditions or environment for job creation, they must not be allowed to take away the right of citizens to claim benefits, nor even remove benefits and preach work as a duty.

    The notion that work is a duty is a cruel holdover left from the Victorian era. It appears today, as it does on TSR, as "putting something back into the community". People who preach this "putting something back" are either backward or cruel, or both.

    Let people put something back if they want to. It is not a duty, but a choice made by the individual. It has value for those who see value in it, and no value for those that see no value in it. It is nonsense to assume that a person is lazy because they see no value in doing something that other people value.

    Work is necessary. Let it be said. And when a person receives benefits that person should be ready to work if offered a job. This should be a contractual agreement. And it is at present. The problem is that this is all very well if there are jobs available, and if people are skilled enough to do them. Everyone seems to be looking for the 40 hour job. In many cases, taking anything less than 30 hours per week would mean claiming some form of state benefit, such as housing benefit. This is a manic situation, and the result will be generations of people who find it difficult to find work, and who will suffer guilt all because work is preached as a duty.

    I've said it before and I will say it again, the economic situation you find yourself in is not your fault. If you cannot find work it is not your fault. If you don't want to work, it isn't your fault, it is your value. And if you want to work, that is your value also.

    This outdated view that people should work because it is their duty, that they must "put something back", should be combated wherever it is to be found. So as long as the present economic system is based upon the sole pursuit of profit, Darwinistic thinking, and Victorian ideals, there will always be people who will "sponge off the state". The best way to get people into work and get them paying their own way is to reduce hours, increase wages, curtail the profit motive, and create jobs that are correlative to people's interests and passions. If people are not interested or have no passion, then you must not hold it against them.

    Show by example by all means, but do not preach work as a duty.
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      (Original post by Martyn*)
      Work should be a means to an end...
      I understand the sentiment and it is especially the case under capitalism that the many find themselves labouring for poor reward, financial or personal, when we're not subject to unemployment and underemployment that is.

      I certainly agree that the illegitimate nature of capitalism (a system in which the earth, its resources and the productive forces that depend upon them, are coercively monopolised by a capitalist class to their advantage and to the consequential alienation and exploitation of the remainder) destroys any notion that we have some kind of functionalist duty to labour for the capitalists. Of course, seeing as capitalism has something of a total grip on our options and uses the state to further its ends we can't easily step outside of its coercive demands, but we can try. I take my hat off to anyone who has found even some small way, by some small degree, to beat the system, a system that is entirely illegitimate.
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      (Original post by Oswy)
      I understand the sentiment and it is especially the case under capitalism that the many find themselves labouring for poor reward, financial or personal, when we're not subject to unemployment and underemployment that is.

      I certainly agree that the illegitimate nature of capitalism (a system in which the earth, its resources and the productive forces that depend upon them, are coercively monopolised by a capitalist class to their advantage and to the consequential alienation and exploitation of the remainder) destroys any notion that we have some kind of functionalist duty to labour for the capitalists. Of course, seeing as capitalism has something of a total grip on our options and uses the state to further its ends we can't easily step outside of its coercive demands, but we can try. I take my hat off to anyone who has found even some small way, by some small degree, to beat the system, a system that is entirely illegitimate.
      I agree entirely.
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      Personally I agree that work is and should be a means to an end (i.e supporting yourself and your family).

      However there are a couple of things I'm a little unsure on in your argument...

      1) The notion about putting something back being preached is wrong. As you yourself say, people taking 30hr jobs may require some form of benefit in order to survive, but where does that benefit money come from? Taxpayers is it not? And where does taxpayer money come from? From taxes surely? While I will confess my ignorance of the ins and outs of the tax system, surely a significant portion of it comes from the money the government spends in the benefits sector comes directly from the amount we pay in tax, in which case, if that's so, then surely while preaching that we should "give something back" to society by working is not necessarily a palatable thing for people to hear, it is necessary if we wish to avoid the situation where people who cannot find work starve because of the economic situation they find themselves in - earning your own money supports the state, which supports the population, and the most vulnerable - and without people earning their own money, the system falls apart, or am I missing something there?

      2) The alternative you propose... I just don't see how it can work to be honest:-

      A) How do you curtail the profit motive? Surely people will always do stuff because they think it will benefit them in some way?

      B) Which leads us onto how can you create jobs in areas where there is no profit to be had without the private sector (which is for the most part I imagine profit-driven)? The only other candidate to do such a thing that I can see is the state itself, but then again, if you're not making profit how can the system run? And more to the point, surely it's a waste of public money if you're setting up jobs for people in niche areas which are not making a profit?

      Furthermore, what do you do with people who aren't interested in anything to do, even if you don't hold it against them? Do you simply support them anyway? In that situation, why should anyone work? And even more so, why should they work, even in a job they like and are paid well for for less hours, to support people who do not work?


      I don't know... there's a lot to digest in your post... and so honestly I've forgotten some of the issues I originally had haha - if I remember them I'll edit them into my post, but otherwise yeah... just some food for thought I suppose.

      EDIT: I suppose looking at Oswy's post the point about "stepping outside the capitalist system" is something highlighted by some of what I said I think... particularly the part about benefits requiring tax-payer cash.
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      Why shouldn't work be a duty? Why shouldn't people have to work for what they get? Surely that's a fair system. You either put up or shut up. Obviously the jobs need to be there to do this but why should I have to fund those that don't want to work.

      Someone shouldn't be able to just opt out and decide to live of the benefits system because they think they don't need to. That's worse than anything else. I work long hours, 6 days a week and I get taxed so that those who choose to play the benefits system don't need to work?

      No thanks jeff.
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      (Original post by uktotalgamer)
      Why shouldn't work be a duty? Why shouldn't people have to work for what they get? Surely that's a fair system. You either put up or shut up. Obviously the jobs need to be there to do this but why should I have to fund those that don't want to work.

      Someone shouldn't be able to just opt out and decide to live of the benefits system because they think they don't need to. That's worse than anything else. I work long hours, 6 days a week and I get taxed so that those who choose to play the benefits system don't need to work?

      No thanks jeff.
      No-one "lives" off the benefits system. The benefit system is there as a support. Moreover, people in work also claim benefits, not because they are "living" off of them, because either their wages are so low or their housing costs are too high.

      People work for what they get? If that were true then people in work would not need help from the state/tax payer. You work long hours not because you pay taxes, but because your wages are not enough to live on. That is not the fault of those who cannot work or choose not to.
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        (Original post by uktotalgamer)
        Why shouldn't work be a duty? Why shouldn't people have to work for what they get? Surely that's a fair system. You either put up or shut up. Obviously the jobs need to be there to do this but why should I have to fund those that don't want to work.

        Someone shouldn't be able to just opt out and decide to live of the benefits system because they think they don't need to. That's worse than anything else. I work long hours, 6 days a week and I get taxed so that those who choose to play the benefits system don't need to work?

        No thanks jeff.
        Your reasoning is trapped within what might be termed 'naive functionalism'.

        If the system itself is illegitimate, as anti-capitalists like myself regard it as, then we are under no obligation to voluntarily comply with the demands it expects of us. Welfare, under welfare-capitalism, represents an attempt to pacify those who lose out in the arrangements capitalism imposes upon us. In short, why not bite the hand that feeds us if the hand that feeds us is of an oppressive master.
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        It doesn't make sense anywhere outside of a commune.

        We're contributing into a global system in which most of the proceeds are concentrated at the top. We only agree to do this because we want the money for ourselves and our family. It has nothing to do with society.
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        (Original post by Martyn*)
        No-one "lives" off the benefits system. The benefit system is there as a support. Moreover, people in work also claim benefits, not because they are "living" off of them, because either their wages are so low or their housing costs are too high.

        I would wholeheartedly disagree. There are loads of cases out there, especially in the north east of those that havn't worked an hour in their lives. They recieve benefits for doing nothing; for contributing. I suppose you think this is fair due to the "capitalist pigs" at the top not giving them the chance? Load of crap. People make what they want of their lives.

        The average earnings in the UK are about £26000. Do these people need benefits? Certainly not. I agree that the state has to give to people who need, but as with any system, the number of leeches ruin it.

        Until Labour gets over this point that benefits should be not just given, but earned, they'll never be able to create a functioning government.


        People work for what they get? If that were true then people in work would not need help from the state/tax payer. You work long hours not because you pay taxes, but because your wages are not enough to live on. That is not the fault of those who cannot work or choose not to.

        Again, you're assuming. I actually work long hours because I choose to. I get more money that way therefore I can afford more luxuries. However, I'm left with a tough choice. Do I work a hell of a lot more to afford a little extra but be taxed a hell of a lot more; or do I work less and be taxed less. That's my main problem. I work for everything I have. Why should my taxes be given to those that can't be bothered to work? A lot of people around the UK need cold hard reality checks. For example those that are overweight and can't work due to how fat they are. They need to get off their arses, do some exercise and put the fork down. If they don't want to they can **** off the benefits system and stop claiming for something that they put no work into.
        See above.
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        Like UTG above i do agree that people have a duty to work. If you wish to live in this country then the minimum i expect from you is that you do not be a net cost to the state at least where you can avoid it and so from 20-70 i think that whilst you should be supported for a period of time, you should be made to accept a menial job if you cannot find a job of your own choice.
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        (Original post by uktotalgamer)
        See above.
        I don't assume anything. You wrote you work long hours because you have to. I'm saying that you shouldn't have to. You are doing maximum work just to get by, it seems. 10 years ago I could work 20 hours per week and have enough to live on plus buy clothes, run a car, and afford the rent. Can I do that now? No way. Stop blaming people who get a measly £70 per week or whatever it is for you having to work long hours.
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        (Original post by Martyn*)
        I don't assume anything. You wrote you work long hours because you have to. I'm saying that you shouldn't have to. You are doing maximum work just to get by, it seems. 10 years ago I could work 20 hours per week and have enough to live on plus buy clothes, run a car, and afford the rent. Can I do that now? No way. Stop blaming people who get a measly £70 per week or whatever it is for you having to work long hours.
        But the person in question can secure increases in pay or promotions.

        Just because you have to start at the bottom struggling does not mean you should stop.
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        OP, you are a feckless waster with an entitlement complex.

        And yes, the economic situation you find yourself in often is your fault - or, conversely, to your own credit. It results from seeing and exploiting opportunities and striving to improve yourself.
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        I don't disagree with the OP until it gets to the point of being exploited.
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        tl;dr version 'Work is not a duty, but you need to do it to eat and stuffs so it basically is a duty but isn't a duty.'
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        (Original post by Martyn*)
        I've said it before and I will say it again, the economic situation you find yourself in is not your fault. If you cannot find work it is not your fault. If you don't want to work, it isn't your fault, it is your value. And if you want to work, that is your value also.
        At birth, yes it isn't, but there are things you can to to help and improve the economic situation you're in. And yes, it you don't want to work it is your fault, for being a lazy sod.

        The best way to get people into work and get them paying their own way is to reduce hours, increase wages, curtail the profit motive, and create jobs that are correlative to people's interests and passions. If people are not interested or have no passion, then you must not hold it against them.

        Show by example by all means, but do not preach work as a duty.
        Reduce hours, increase wages? And where's the money for this coming from? In what world is an employer going to pay more for less?

        Special offer at Tesco! Half a pack of biscuits for double the price!!!!

        Create jobs that are correlative to interests and passions? Generally there are that, but you need to reach university level to find them. Science based careers, IT etc. They're there unless you have no qualifications and have to end up working at Tesco.

        If people have no passions, sure that's fine. But that's no excuse to not work and to subsequently leech of the state. After all, people work less = less economic productivity, so where's the money to fund the workless going to come from?
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        (Original post by L i b)
        OP, you are a feckless waster with an entitlement complex.

        And yes, the economic situation you find yourself in often is your fault - or, conversely, to your own credit. It results from seeing and exploiting opportunities and striving to improve yourself.
        You're wrong. You are confusing causes with effects. People find themselves in situations where they fall out of work and struggle. They did not ask for that unless they deliberately chose it, but then even here there are usually reasons. But no-one I know wishes to struggle. The economy is a system, and economic situations be they good or bad, advantageous or disadvantageous, are the effects of that system not the causes.
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        80,000 people in the UK claim incapacity benefit because of alcohol, drug, or obesity problems. Why should these people have a right to choose to only consume from the system rather than contribute as well? Admittedly, if there aren't jobs for people to have, or the available jobs are insufficient to support a reasonable lifestyle, then they should not feel ashamed about claiming benefits. But I don't think that people should choose to be in debt to society. That's the way our society is structured, and if they want to live in it and benefit from its qualities like free healthcare then they should at least accept that.
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        ITT: OP believes that the state should provide to everyone. Even if they've done nothing whatsoever do deserve it.
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        (Original post by Martyn*)
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        Work isn't a duty, of course. But it does become a different proposition when someone is being supported by their fellow citizens who do work.
       
       
       
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