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Work should not be preached as a duty. Watch

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    (Original post by tjf8)
    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?
    Because if you're a drug addict you have a mental illness, and we do not throw mentally ill people out onto the scrap heap.

    What kind of cruel, small-minded microdick ****er would seriously begrudge a few mentally ill junkies being able to actually eat?
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    (Original post by MostUncivilised)
    Because if you're a drug addict you have a mental illness, and we do not throw mentally ill people out onto the scrap heap.

    What kind of cruel, small-minded microdick ****er would seriously begrudge a few mentally ill junkies being able to actually eat?
    Yeah they are in the minority there. While I would say it depends on the severity of the problem, I admit that with regard to bad cases you have a point. I think you would be hard pressed to argue the case for the others in that population though.
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    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read and this is all about the nanny state. What is wrong with the many planning for the many instead if the few planning for the many. This is simply communism. As long as you give benefits to do nothing then you encourage people to do nothing. Another way of putting it is that in you subsidise poverty, you create more of it not less. This kind of thinking will just take us right back to the Stone Age through a 2 tier society where one tier is dysfunctional and growing and where its increasingly taboo to discus the problem.


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    Interesting topic.

    I agree that it's time we questioned the idea of hard work being a virtue.

    Let's say man A works 60 hours a week because he wants to buy the latest flash car. He provides for his family but never spends any time with them.

    Man B is single, lives on his own and chooses to work part-time, the minimal amount of money to get by so that he has more free time to pursue his own hobbies and interests.

    Why is it that society sees man A as hard-working and dedicated but man B as a lazy waster?
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    I like the original post.

    We live in a time of smash and grab economics in my opinion. We work because we need money, and most of us are out to accumulate as much we can as easily as we can.

    I find it interesting that you mention Victorian values, I often feel our current values are inferior to Victorian ones because we seem to take every opportunity to pat ourselves on the back for how tolerant and benevolent we are. The reality is that we are actually moving backwards in our attitudes.

    I always laugh when millionaires say they want to carry on working at ASDA or wherever. Why on earth would you bother?
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    (Original post by garethDT)
    Interesting topic.

    I agree that it's time we questioned the idea of hard work being a virtue.

    Let's say man A works 60 hours a week because he wants to buy the latest flash car. He provides for his family but never spends any time with them.

    Man B is single, lives on his own and chooses to work part-time, the minimal amount of money to get by so that he has more free time to pursue his own hobbies and interests.

    Why is it that society sees man A as hard-working and dedicated but man B as a lazy waster?
    Indeed. If you can afford to work part time, why shouldn't you?
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    (Original post by garethDT)
    Interesting topic.

    I agree that it's time we questioned the idea of hard work being a virtue.

    Let's say man A works 60 hours a week because he wants to buy the latest flash car. He provides for his family but never spends any time with them.

    Man B is single, lives on his own and chooses to work part-time, the minimal amount of money to get by so that he has more free time to pursue his own hobbies and interests.

    Why is it that society sees man A as hard-working and dedicated but man B as a lazy waster?
    Because monetary value does'nt mix easily with our moral code and in terms of monetary value, Man A adds more. It's the same reason why a footballer (a simple entertainer) gets millions whilst physicists may be paid a mediocre salary.
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    Of course people can choose not to work. Just don't expect us to fund it.
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    (Original post by garethDT)
    Interesting topic.

    I agree that it's time we questioned the idea of hard work being a virtue.

    Let's say man A works 60 hours a week because he wants to buy the latest flash car. He provides for his family but never spends any time with them.

    Man B is single, lives on his own and chooses to work part-time, the minimal amount of money to get by so that he has more free time to pursue his own hobbies and interests.

    Why is it that society sees man A as hard-working and dedicated but man B as a lazy waster?
    Does man B live off the state?
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    I agree somewhat; the average person's life completely revolves around work. With this recession, employers are able to advertise 'zero hour contracts' with no holidays or guaranteed hours, shocking underpayments, no sick pay etc. and people will take the job because there's no other choice. We watched a documentary at college the other day set in the 1950's, where a group of men halfed their working hours so a group of redundant men could jobshare with them. Slightly OT, but wouldn't it be great if society was like that nowadays? Instead of universal judgement against benefit claimees, some compassion and empathy could be shown. However, I do not believe that anyone should get something for nothing. If someone chooses not to work, that is up to them. They should, however go out and find their own food, build their own shelter and fend completely for themselves. If you gave everyone the choice to not work and still be relatively financially comfortable, the country would come to a standstill within hours. It's not economically or socially viable.


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    And of course the crux of the argument is that people/business needs to be less selfish, pay people better, give more jobs out and so forth. The issue there is that this simply does not comply with the way the world currently works, and frankly, it shouldn't. Profit is a perfectly legitimate motive, bandying around terms like illegitimate is rather pointless, as this has no base beyond your own personal political and philosophical leanings.

    Basically, what you're saying is you want a more socialised world and that people shouldn't feel bad about opting out if they feel disillusioned. Well, that's your opinion, but under this system, people who opt out are going to lose, and this system isn't changing.
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    (Original post by politics_student)
    Does man B live off the state?
    nope
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    The first line of your lecture made me think of Immanuel Kant.
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    (Original post by Martyn*)
    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.
    I sympathise with your view although I disagree with some of the extremities within it.

    I think work is important and people should work to provide for themselves and better themselves, it is also an absolute necessity to the smooth running of society and can even be good for our mental health (so long as we aren't overworked) as we attach a lot of meaning to our selves by our occupation and because it gives us the opportunity to form companionships with co-workers. Work also makes us strive to better ourselves since we need skills and qualifications for most jobs and because the jobs themselves also provide us with experience and improves our skills, probably if a person has had a lot of jobs then it's built up a lot of skills and experience and has made the person rather intelligent.

    That said though, I think how we choose to work is in far too much control by our employers. We should have much more choice in the hours and days that we work and whether we want to be paid monthly or weakly also if we want a day of work but don't expect to get paid for it then we should be able to. Right now most people have little control over their hours and a lot of people work very long hours and have little time to themselves or for family time and we only live bloody once as well!!

    Yes it was much worse in the past and today we probably work lesser and we do have more rights, but it doesn't mean we can't go further.

    I think we need to have a rethink off working practice and come up with sensible practical solutions to change it which will benefit the individual but businesses and the economy also.

    http://www.bis.gov.uk/files/file14239.pdf
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    It's not a duty, I agree with that, but you cannot expect something for nothing. If you are not willing to put back into society via paid work then you should recognise that you are not entitled to receive anything ?from? society. If it not your duty to work then it is not ?our? duty to prop you up. You're free to choose to not work, as long as you sign on the dotted line to refuse any benefits, so that the rest of us don't have to pay for it.

    I do agree that our traditional views of "work" need to be challenged though. A house-husband/wife is just as important as the person who works in a store or factory, because ultimately they're nurturing the next generation of society.
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      (Original post by Rakas21)
      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...
      But this kind of argument simply assumes that the state and its expectations are legitimate; it's a kind of question begging. Does the Jew in 1930s Germany have a duty to the Nazi state because they 'wished to live in that country'? You are thus treating the nature and policy of 'the state' as an unquestioned rightful force when that notion is easily put under question. As far as I'm concerned the state should support the needs of the people who happen to live within its jurisdiction not the other way around, and it should do so with equitable effect. As capitalism and the associated principles of private property do not lead to an equitable distribution of need in society so any state which defends capitalism and private property has no legitimate demands on us. Obviously the rich will support such a state, because it is supporting them, but the rest of us can reasonably ignore any claim by it that we have moral duties to labour for the capitalist class or jump through hoops for welfare.
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      (Original post by rmpr97)
      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.'
      That doesn't follow. Often "duty" implies moral content. I can eat not because I have a duty to others (or myself) to do so, but because I need to if I want to live. So your summary is incorrect and therefore you misrepresent him.

      (Original post by L i b)
      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.
      This is quite simply untrue. Most determinants of a person's income are external factors.

      On an international level, seeing and exploiting opportunities and striving to improve yourself often do make it easier to find a job, but a man who possesses those qualities growing up in, say, Thailand will unlikely reach the same outcome as an identical man placed in Britain, with all the opportunities that a free education system, parental wealth, job opportunities and connections supply.

      On a domestic level, there has never been full employment. Economies often suffer from a lack of demand and a saturated supply. Often people take unpaid internships to "exploit opportunities" and "strive to improve themselves". None of this necessarily translates into an improved economic situation for the striver. Even things that can be classed as "internal" are often luckily gained (talent, for instance, sociability, intelligence, endurance); but external factors, such as connections, inheritance, life-experiences, and so forth play a more substantial role than brute effort and striving.

      ---

      As for the OP, I think work is a duty insofar as if everybody adopted the mentality that we ought not work, then society would be in a sorry state. I feel compelled to care for my parents in retirement, for my girlfriend, for other people, for myself, and that, at present, requires working...
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      (Original post by Oswy)
      But this kind of argument simply assumes that the state and its expectations are legitimate; it's a kind of question begging. Does the Jew in 1930s Germany have a duty to the Nazi state because they 'wished to live in that country'? You are thus treating the nature and policy of 'the state' as an unquestioned rightful force when that notion is easily put under question. As far as I'm concerned the state should support the needs of the people who happen to live within its jurisdiction not the other way around, and it should do so with equitable effect. As capitalism and the associated principles of private property do not lead to an equitable distribution of need in society so any state which defends capitalism and private property has no legitimate demands on us. Obviously the rich will support such a state, because it is supporting them, but the rest of us can reasonably ignore any claim by it that we have moral duties to labour for the capitalist class or jump through hoops for welfare.
      On the whole i do believe that the state and a minimum expectation is legitimate. Individuals vote to be governed with the expectation that they will not pay overbearing levels of taxation but enough for the state to provide services should they need it and eventually an adequate pension. Because of this the majority of people in England (i say England because i believe it to be further to the economic right than most of Europe) i believe would agree that people have an obligation to not be a drain on the public finances where they can help it. This is not to say that they have to go out and seek a six figure salary but to earn enough to provide for themselves and pay some degree of taxation whilst not being such a drain that everybody else is forced to pay through higher taxes. In regards to your private property point i have to disagree, the fact that the distribution is not equal does not prevent somebody from earning a sufficient amount to pay for themselves and is essentially irelevant.

      I make an exception for Nazi Germany on the basis of mass discrimination, here in the UK the majority of people can expect to be employed in some form.
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        (Original post by Rakas21)
        On the whole i do believe that the state and a minimum expectation is legitimate. Individuals vote to be governed with the expectation that they will not pay overbearing levels of taxation but enough for the state to provide services should they need it and eventually an adequate pension. Because of this the majority of people in England (i say England because i believe it to be further to the economic right than most of Europe) i believe would agree that people have an obligation to not be a drain on the public finances where they can help it. This is not to say that they have to go out and seek a six figure salary but to earn enough to provide for themselves and pay some degree of taxation whilst not being such a drain that everybody else is forced to pay through higher taxes. In regards to your private property point i have to disagree, the fact that the distribution is not equal does not prevent somebody from earning a sufficient amount to pay for themselves and is essentially irelevant.

        I make an exception for Nazi Germany on the basis of mass discrimination, here in the UK the majority of people can expect to be employed in some form.
        Liberal democracy, as opposed to, say, Marxist economic democracy, only ever facilitates the advance of the most powerful portions of the capitalist (and petty-capitalist) classes. So you're still question begging. Arrangements under capitalism and private property benefit some groups and disbenefit others and those in the latter category, given the absence of any political power to change the situation, can not be held to some moral obligation in a system which does not, and is not intended to, work for their interests. I'd also caution you against trying to make simple distinctions between private property and capitalism in toto. The monopolisation of the earth and its resources have a direct bearing on all other economic activity, whether or not an individual capitalist happens to own a few, or a few hundred acres. Shares in a company which mines natural resources, or simply makes use of them, amounts to a share in the monopolisation of those resources, for example.

        As I've said, welfare under capitalism is not, at least not primarily, intended to support but to control and thus maintain the status quo of structured inequalities.
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        I often face the problem that I'm unable to rep you. This is spot on. The very notion that one has to "earn" a living is abhorrent to the idea that life is a gift. Is it a gift or is it not a gift? It is not a gift if you cannot politely decline it, and it is not a gift if you are forced to perpetually use it to the ends of others with that same gift (what a ludicrous gift that would be).

        Employment for the majority will one day become a positively impractical endeavour for any government. Any economist who claims that new inventions will forever instigate the birth of new industries for employment is simply lacking in their imagination and underestimates the novelty, power and potential of future technologies. At any rate, the measure of a person ought not be what he has accomplished in his career; already we have discovered much that delivers good to humanity that provides no reliable method to procure economic reward in return. Those jobs that cannot be automated will eventually become so highly skilled that it would be unreasonable to expect the average person to be able to do them. This cultural mania about the importance of 'work', where 'work' only counts as those behaviours which benefit the economy, value to others be damned, is one that will fade away once the automation of almost all labour has been effected, and we will remember it as worthy of ridicule and as a product of endemic narrow-mindedness.
       
       
       
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