Originally posted November 21, 2016
I see a lot of people claiming that jobs are good for people, because
jobs give life more meaning. They point to studies "showing" that people
are happier when employed than unemployed, even when "controlling" for
just giving people money. Needless to say I haven't read any of these,
because I am not in the habit of filling my brain with motivated
Now first of all, really? Do you expect me to believe
that someone who cleans toilets for a living is happier than they would
be if they didn't have to do that? That's retarded.
importantly, this motivated reasoning is failling to take into account
that not having a job gets you yelled at all the time. "Get a job!"
people yell at mendicants. They really do that, all the time. And it's
not just yelling. The whole American culture is infused with an ethos
that being unemployed makes you worth less, that you're not earning your
keep, that you don't deserve to exist. Unless you're a child, woman
spent years unemployed before, and I'll be unemployed again, probably
soon. My quality of life is easily lower having to work all the time
than not. Work sucks. This is the most obvious thing in the world. Which
is one reason everyone wants to get counterintuitiveness points for
pretending it doesn't. But the bigger reason, as far as I can tell the
reason it's achieved memetic fixation, is that people who have jobs
really hate them, and resent people who are able to get away without
having them, and resolve the cognitive dissonance by telling themselves
that jobs are actually good.