« 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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