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« Earning a Living » and the Dilemma of Unpaid Work

Un article en anglais de D. JoAnne Swanson sur son site détaille les souffrances liées à l’emploi subi, et la libération potentielle du travail avec un revenu de base inconditionnel.

It’s deeply ironic that one of the most common objections to UBI is a fear that people wouldn’t work. Only a culture deeply invested in the notion that remunerative work must entail suffering would entertain such a preposterous idea so widely and seriously. The truth is just the opposite: UBI enables work. It’s an investment in human potential. It’s a vote for a world where work is done by true consent, rather than by coercion born of the need to « earn a living » and the struggle to survive. It frees us up to do things we enjoy, instead of just taking any job to pay the bills. It enables us to do valuable unpaid creative work, domestic work, or caring labor without having to go hungry or stay in unhealthy relationships for financial reasons. Not having UBI is in fact preventing a lot of us – myself included – from working to our full potential.

It’s helpful to acknowledge that there’s a difference between jobs and work. Upon receiving UBI, undoubtedly many people would quit jobs they hate, or jobs they’ve taken mostly for a paycheck. But very few would stop working altogether.

With UBI, jobs would be freed up for people who actually want them, and those of us who do unpaid work wouldn’t be forced to compete with them for those jobs.


Illustration : © The Anticareerist.


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