Why do we still pretend crap jobs give our lives meaning?
by Lee Camp
Part 2 - Why should we all have to be slaves to the labor market to survive in the first place?
Forgive me a quick aside about the inner workings of systemic racism. As those unemployment numbers make clear, not every problem in America involves racism, but every problem in America also involves racism. Systemic racism deniers refuse to comprehend this. When shit is bad for young people – it’s even worse for black young people. When life sucks for the elderly poor in the United States – it sucks even more for elderly poor Hispanics. If the police are using weapons of war to crack activist heads – they’re cracking black activist heads twice as hard. If there’s a clean water problem in America – the water in Indigenous communities isn’t just unclean, it has chunks of shit in it!
(Usually chunks of something Dupont used to produce Teflon™. I mean, what’s a few thousand people with cancer in order to ensure the egg slides right off the pan?)
Now let’s break down this unemployment problem because much like a good one-night stand, you must get to the bottom. (I’m only half sure I understand what that sentence meant.) So, the surface problem is obvious: a lot of young people are unemployed. They don’t have money, they can’t pay rent, they can’t pay their student loans, they can’t afford food or life, they can only buy a regular coffee at Starbucks instead of the Frappe Unicorn Caramel Almond Juice Latte™. So that’s one reason employment is important.
But if we excavate down to the second layer, we find a more important – and largely censored – quandary: Why should we all have to be slaves to the labor market to survive in the first place?
Many people work their asses off grinding away at awful monotonous crap that shouldn’t even have to get done at all. Our economy overflows with useless work. Utterly meaningless jobs, profoundly redundant tasks, excessively bureaucratic nonsense, woefully vapid spectacle production, joylessly soulless drudgery. They proliferate everywhere one looks.