If you could never work again but still earn middle class salary, would you do it?

cdnbig5's picture
Rank: Orangutan | banana points 281

Let's say someone offered you middle-class salary adjusted to your city's COL (around 50k in most medium-sized American cities) would you do it on the condition that you never get a job?

Meaning you can never move up the social ladder but you never have to work.

Comments (59)

Nov 17, 2018

By never getting a job does that include not starting up my own company/ executing my own investments?

Nov 17, 2018

delete

Nov 17, 2018

A little context: I'm asking this question because in the future after 90% of jobs are automated, we'll all be living on UBI and I wanted to see what people thought of living a life like that.

Once all jobs are automated, I'm not 100% sure if starting companies will still be a thing so I'm going to lean toward no that you can't start your own company.

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Nov 17, 2018

What's UBI?

Nov 17, 2018

delete (posted in wrong area)

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Nov 17, 2018

Would probably become a non-functioning alcoholic.

You literally couldn't pay me to not work.

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Nov 17, 2018

How do you think people in the future will cope with the entire population being unemployed due to A.I?

Nov 17, 2018

Many people will be living in extremely realistic VR bubbles as an alarming number of people already do in MMO video games.

Nov 24, 2018
cdnbig5:

How do you think people in the future will cope with the entire population being unemployed due to A.I?

People not seeking employment are not unemployed.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 17, 2018

Absolutely not, I'd go insane after a couple weeks of not working.

Nov 17, 2018

My thoughts exactly, I wonder how the generations 100+ years from now will deal with all jobs being automated.

Most Helpful
Nov 19, 2018

Pretty sure this is a troll post based on OP's insinuation in every reply that full automation and UBI are inevitable.

This is, of course laughable - the brave new world young turks in silicon valley subscribe to the belief that the terminus of human history is devolving into a childlike state, while suckling on a mechanized tit until the heat death of the universe. Anyone with a passing understanding of human nature and history would probably understand why that will never come to pass.

Nov 19, 2018

preach brotha.

in the unlikely scenario where everyone has the same amount of money in PPP terms and more free time, I'd probably just train, surf, and hunt. and then I'd start a business where I'd teach you how to surf and sell you some fresh wild game. and then I'd have more money in PPP terms because I'd be selling goods & services to others. so UBI would not achieve the desired outcome of equality, but it'd be because of choice, not because of abuses in the system.

good luck automating surfing and venison, nerds

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Nov 19, 2018
thebrofessor:

preach brotha.

in the unlikely scenario where everyone has the same amount of money in PPP terms and more free time, I'd probably just train, surf, and hunt. and then I'd start a business where I'd teach you how to surf and sell you some fresh wild game. and then I'd have more money in PPP terms because I'd be selling goods & services to others. so UBI would not achieve the desired outcome of equality, but it'd be because of choice, not because of abuses in the system.

good luck automating surfing and venison, nerds

I get what you're saying, but I think it's more than a bit disingenuous to say that the ultimate goal or "desired outcome" of UBI is pure financial equality.

Nov 17, 2018

Are saying that not all jobs will be automated in the future?

Nov 19, 2018

Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

Nov 19, 2018

My initial response is, yes. Then, thinking about it more, the idea of not working and sitting around is absolutely maddening. If UBI becomes a thing, then I'm buying land in rural Alaska and homesteading so I'll at least have things to do and produce something tangible and of use.

"We listen, if it feels good we shake."
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Nov 19, 2018

You people are pathetic. The day I derive "meaning" and "fulfillment" from working (i.e. doing shit I wouldn't do in the absence of compensation) is the day I off myself.

And yes, in case anyone was wonder, OP is trolling.

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Nov 19, 2018

I'd think that too if I was in risk management

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Nov 19, 2018

LMAO +1

"When you do what you love you'll never work a day in your life"

Nov 19, 2018

Fucking roasted lol

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Nov 17, 2018

Not sure why you're telling everyone I'm trolling, never implied this anywhere in my post.

Also, you may not enjoy what you do but that doesnt mean every person with a high paying career must be miserable like you.

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Nov 25, 2018
dsch:

You people are pathetic. The day I derive "meaning" and "fulfillment" from working (i.e. doing shit I wouldn't do in the absence of compensation) is the day I off myself.

And yes, in case anyone was wonder, OP is trolling.

The fulfillment isn't necessarily about the specific job you do. It's the sense of accomplishment of an honest day's work, of self-sufficiency, of independence. There are a great number of people who don't give a shit about those things, correct. But there are many people who will feel useless and dependent and even enslaved to their position in life. Make no mistake--a world of no work would leave countless people completely lost.

Nov 19, 2018

I could totally do it. There's just a lot of hobbies that I enjoy doing and would like to pursue in a much more intense way. You don't have to sit around watching ESPN all day. I'm the type of person who likes to push himself to the limit, and I don't need a job to do that.

If you're gonna lift weights and exercise, become the most jacked guy at the gym. Would be interested also in doing some PhDs in fun subjects like History, Art History, etc. If you like gardening, make your garden the best one in the neighborhood. There are a lot of ways that you can continue having drive and intensity without a formal job.

If you can't see the possibilities out there, you're just not thinking hard enough.

Nov 19, 2018

Could you afford the PhDs though? Would they even be worth it if you never worked again?

Nov 19, 2018
Frybird101:

Could you afford the PhDs though?

PhD programs are free a lot of the time. You have to pay rent and living expenses, sure, but you "earn" your PhD through teaching & research

Nov 19, 2018

That would be a part of the fun. You could work on academic articles and be a part of the academic conversation without ever teaching a class. It would be something interesting to do without work which could keep you very busy.

Nov 19, 2018

I'd probably still trade.

Nov 19, 2018

You guys are insane. You Excel jockeys really find that much meaning in your jobs? Perhaps this is a poor sample given y'all spend time on WSO and so are likely to wrap up personal identity in your job. Broadly speaking, the idea that people "need to work" is not supported by much recent evidence. Nearly half of people say they feel their job is pointless/provides no meaningful contribution to the world.

The argument that people not needing to work would lead to mass substance abuse and meaningless consumption is fallacious in a couple different ways. The fact is, capitalism created and depends on the kind of consumptive behavior that many right-wing posters here seem to deride (TNA et al). If people were as frugal as they probably should be, (paid their credit cards off on time, didn't go out to eat as much, etc.) the US economy would fucking collapse. So yeah, if you assume that human behavior under the kind of toxic consumptive capitalism will continue to apply under UBI, then yeah sure there's going to be some issues.

Like shit, I like to engage in dumb consumptive stuff. But a lot of that is stress driven from work. Boss is a dickhead? Gotta go drink and watch mindless TV to forget about it. Stressed about that next rent payment? Sometimes just want to forget about it and buy some takeout even if it's not the best idea financially. Just straight up hating your job? Wearing a new pair of shoes you really like will at least make the day more bearable.

UBI is clearly not some kind of universal solution and I'm not necessarily a proponent of it superficially. But toxic and mindless consumption is directly tied with the fact that most of us dislike our jobs and don't have enough energy to do anything outside of work that isn't mindlessly consumptive. Having a stable middle class income without having to work some shitty job behind a desk for 50+ hours per week opens up so many things. People have become so attached to the idea that we absolutely have to work that they've convinced themselves and others this delusion that what we spend so much of our lives doing is human nature. This is the actual fantasy, not "UBI" or "healthcare for all".

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Nov 19, 2018

I would also add that this "work forever" mentality is a very American attitude - not some universal truth. Go to Greece or Italy and ask the retirees over there how many of them miss working?

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Nov 19, 2018

Sure but that's a good opportunity to get owned by some facile argument about how the greek/italian economies aren't doing so well

Nov 25, 2018
DeepLearning:

Broadly speaking, the idea that people "need to work" is not supported by much recent evidence.

This is such an asinine statement that anyone who has experience with a population of retired people knows is wrong.

Also, a number of people have looked at this statistically.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/early-retirem...

Nov 19, 2018

Right. This is conditioned upon a society that values people based upon their contribution to GDP. So yeah, it makes sense that in such a society, retired people will feel lost or meaningless. The argument that retired people in the US feeling bored or useless is evidence that work is a necessity for human happiness is facile and lacks any amount of nuance. It's an argument that is entirely motivated by a cultural obsession with work.

The only reason people feel shitty about not working is because there is socially constructed shame in not working. We assume homeless people are lazy and unemployed people are incompetent. There's never ending shame inflicted upon those who do not work.

Instead of encouraging people to work a few extra years in a pointless desk job that gives people a false sense of accomplishment or societal value, perhaps we should be giving retired folks additional outlets for them to be active and engaged. The debate here is not whether being active and engaged with other human beings is a necessity. Clearly it is.

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Nov 25, 2018

Think of your entire life but without any time taken your employment or anything related to your future employment. It's a bit hard to imagine so we can represent it with numbers.

If the average American dies at 80 (most likely will be higher in the future) and there's 8760 hours in a year then you have 700,800 hours in a human lifetime.

If you sleep 8 hours a day for each day of your life (being very generous here) 80x(8x365) that's 233,600 hours gone and we're at 467,200 hours.

Subtract 4 hours a day for eating, family and other obligations (again I'm being very generous) 80x(4x365) then we lose 116,800 hours to necessary life obligations we're at 350,400 hours in a lifetime of free time.

If the average person spends 40,000 hours in education, homework, commute and other related events then we are at 310,400 hours of free time. As it is right now, education's main purpose is to prepare us for employment so who knows what it will look like in the future, the majority of people could drop out at high school for all we know but for argumentative purposes, we'll leave it as is.

So we're at 310,400 hours of free time in other words 35 years of time to ourselves.

What are you going to do with 35 years of extra time? Travelling, volunteer work, higher eduction and your hobbies might come to mind but that won't be enough.

There are 195 recognized countries as of right now, if you spent 7 days in each country in the world it would take around 4 years. Also remember this number includes every 3rd world nation in Africa, nations that are largely war zones, nations in anarchy or with extremely high crime rates like Venezuela, Honduras and many others in Central America as well as nations like North Korea. So the number is most likely closer to 2-3 years rather than 3-4 and remember that's if you visit every single country.

Now that you've spent 2-3 years traveling, you have to find what else to do with the remaining 32-33 years of free time you now have.

Well, you have 3 options, volunteer work, higher education or pursuing your interests.

Let's be honest here, the great majority of people aren't going to suddenly pursue a Ph.D. because they're now getting free money and free time. First, most people don't have the work ethic or abilities and second, most don't have the interest. Once again for argumentative pursposes, we'll say that the person in question pursues a Ph.D. A Ph.D. takes on average 8 years to complete. It doesn't take the entire 8 years because you still have free time in betwee, etc but let's say our person in question dedicates every waking hour to research and working on his Ph.D. we are down 8 years and now at 24 years remaining of free time.

On to volunteer work. The great majority of the population aren't altruistic enough to volunteer for an entire year of their life but let's say the person in question is extremely dedicated and volunteers for a full year with no breaks or no free time in between. We're down to 23 years now.

And that leaves you with hobbies.
Are you going to spend 23 years (200,000 hours) straight pursuing your hobbies? There isn't anyway a person could spend a quarter of their life time doing the same thing to burn time without getting bored out of their mind.

And what if someone isn't interested in travelling to all 195 countries, isn't interested in getting a Ph.D. and isn't interested in volunteer work? This most likely applies to millions of Americans so what are they going to do with their free time?

If someone finds any errors in my math or logic please tell me because as of right now, a world without employment isn't a world anyone should want to be a part of.
Am I saying that we should all be forced to work jobs we hate or else we starve? Not at all.
Am I saying that working is a core REQUIREMENT of our species to alleviate boredom and give us a sense of accomplishment? Yes.

I feel any rational person would believe that there is a healthy balance between working 100 hours a week VS having 35 years of nothing to do.

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Nov 25, 2018

Also, if the gov't is just paying you enough for a middle class lifestyle, who says you'll even have the money to pursue hobbies to any great extent?

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/01/06/ups...
"Nonworkers spend much more time doing housework. Men without jobs, in particular, spend more time watching television, while women without jobs spend more time taking care of others. And the nonemployed of both sexes spend more time sleeping than their employed counterparts."

To your point, I think a society of non-employed persons will waste away their lives sleeping and watching TV.

Nov 19, 2018

No, but give me a couple years and then I'll probably answer yes.

It all depends on what you start with.

Nov 19, 2018

No

Nov 24, 2018

No

Nov 24, 2018

Burnt out as fuck right now, so I might say yes. In reality, I'd go fucking nuts within a month (two months if I stopped working during hunting season). It's all moot because there won't be across the board automatization in this life time and quite possibly ever.

I come from down in the Valley, where Mr. when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done.

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Nov 26, 2018

Everyone's saying no, but I don't think most people would literally sit around all day and do nothing after a month or so. If it were me, I would love the time to start a business, study subjects I never got around to studying, learn another foreign language.. I would find things to be productive and give my life purpose.

Time is the most valuable asset.. If you have a middle-class salary, and don't have to work, I would definitely use the safety net to get a business off the ground, and if it doesn't work, then another, and so on..

Nov 25, 2018
EarlFromUtah:

Everyone's saying no, but I don't think most people would literally sit around all day and do nothing after a month or so.

Actually, this is exactly what the non-employed tend to do.

Nov 26, 2018

The unemployed usually don't usually receive a $50,000 salary without working, do they?