Comments: Imagine there's a paycheck

I had also hoped to parlay this story into a "what would you spend your time doing if you didn't HAVE to work" comment fest.

My answer: I would build more and invent more. And maybe also farm more.

Posted by johngalt at October 31, 2014 6:15 PM

You were a little more generous than I with Chipoltle. I heard the strains of Merle Haggard warning us of "drinking free Bubble Up and eatin' that Rainbow Stew."

I think of the dumpster divers ("Freegans " -- that's the name) who are already there. They enjoy a lifestyle for which Willa Cathers' characters labored seven days a week and they are not impeded by work.

Likewise, I would hope for a future where yes, you could have a 2014 lifestyle without work, but that those choosing that would be equally derided. And the rest would still fervently produce to afford the latest flying car.

My public sector relatives are all retiring or discussing it, though most are younger than I am. I -- in perfect health -- would not dream of stopping in less than 12 years and then would hope to work half-days-most-days-a-week as my father did: a splendid "half-retirement" that lasted several years.

With my imperfect health, I worry monstrously that I might be shunted off to disability before then and I dread the idea. Playing guitar and reading on the weekend is a joy but I need the structure imposed by employment.

Which was the Vonnegut book where nobody works? It was a dystopia and the protagonist's best day is when he helps a person repair a car and gets $5. My economics and Vonnegut's are less than identical, but I think he nailed that one.

Posted by jk at October 31, 2014 7:38 PM

Try a Heinlein book called Beyond this Horizon. It concludes that humans are basically productive and even when not, "working," per se they still create stuff that increases wealth.

Posted by dagny at November 3, 2014 11:55 AM
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