We work to live?

Well, I wasn’t really refering to serfs in the middle ages (thus my reference to ancient Egypt…yes, I know they weren’t CALLED ‘serfs’), however, do you have a cite for this? Oh, not that such a guarantee was theoretically their due…but that it ACTUALLY worked out this way. Perhaps I have a misunderstanding of history but I’ve always heard that plenty of serfs starved to death in Europe when weather conditions made crop failure and they still had to pay their taxes. Fight my ignorance…show me that this wasn’t the case.

You say this as if its a bad thing. Are you claiming that modern-day laborers have a lower standard of living (or more of a chance to starve to death) than your average European serf?


Only if you are so obsessed with it that you don’t enjoy either the fruits of your labors, your labors themselves or anything else. Personally, I don’t work for money. I work for the satisfaction of being useful. I work for the security of having a home and food, and the security(hopefully) of still having them when I’m old and frail. I work for creature comforts like books, cable t.v. and the internet. I don’t find any of that sad, not even a little. :slight_smile:

I am amazed about how little a person has to “work” in their lifetime to secure a nice life in the U.S. The term work is in quotes because I have seen claims that housewives “work” every waking hour. That isn’t work. It is called life. I am watching two kids right as a take a minute to type this.

A typical person might live 80 years.

That is 70800 hours.

The stereotypical adult works from age 21 - 65.

That is 34 years at 2000 hours a year.

That equals 68000 hours

That means that about 10% of your life is consumed by capitalistic work.

You may argue that your is more than this because of overtime or that school should count as well. However, you have to be fair and subtract off time for periods of unemployment, maternity leave, medical leave and everything else that could happen to a person.

If you add in other things like school, volunteer activities, child-care, and household chores then you are just lumping the realities of life into the work column. It simply doesn’t work that way and simple economics dictate that not everybody can be catered to in a luxury hotel on their whims for most of their life. This is what you call an immature viewpoint. The sex drugs and rock and roll crowd crashed and burned (sometimes literally) on a similar theme decades ago but many of them realized the folly of their ideas once the ship returned to earth.

Sorry, that should be 700800 hours.

Which is, on a more basic and less comfortable level, pretty much the same thing as spending all your time working to acquire money.

I dunno, I get to sit in an air-conditioned office, “hunt” my food from a delivery guy or a machine, wear nice and comfortable clothes with no lice or mites in them as well as not worry about flies, insects and parasites getting to me, and I can’t remember the last time I saw a rat. Unless you count the guy trying to sell me a warranty when I was buying my fancy new electronic device.

Oh, and I get to post on the straight dope at work too. All in all, I would say it is a good trade off, this working.

The fact that you are including infancy, twilight years, and when we’re asleep in your “not working” hours strikes me as suspicious; you’re working really hard to get that number down to 10%.

Myself, I live in the present. Around 35% of my waking week is devoted to work; on a given weekday it’s more like 50%! This truly is oppressive, regardless of how much time I didn’t spend at work when I was a drooling baby.

I console myself by spending portions of the money I earn on things I enjoy.

I don’t try to do anything with the numbers. It is just basic math and reality for typical people.

You don’t have to work so much. Really you don’t. The standard U.S. lifestyle even for poor people is so far above subsidence levels that you can cut out a ton of fluff and survive on very little money. I have books on it and subscribe to the Mother Earth News which has detailed people doing just that for over 30 years. You will have to move to a very cheap area, grow some of your own food, and either produce your own energy or just do without electricity altogether. Both my wife and I have sets of cousins that did just that. One asked for money for a solar array for her remote Kentucky cabin home at her wedding this summer.

Other alternatives include getting some in demand skills and then just contracting part time at a good hourly rate. I could do that but we would have to trim our lifestyle and it isn’t worth it. Single people can do that and I have known many that have including some that have worked under me. They contract for a few months to build up a cash supply and then travel until it is gone and the process repeats itself. That takes discipline however.

You can do that stuff too and work either little or none at a traditional job. What are you waiting for? If you are asking how you can get someone else to support your existing lifestyle without you working then that is just stupid and immature.

[greg brown]

Some people live to work, work to live
One little tremble and the Earth might give
You can hide it in the forest in a hollowed-out log
You can hide it in a mansion with an imported dog
No matter how we plan and rehearse
We’re at pink slip’s mercy in a paper universe
And we’re afraid
That we’re just a bum
When all our stuff is gone
And we’re left
Without a dime
Time ain’t money
When all you got is time
And you can see us
Standing on the corner
With a nine-day beard
And a bright red eye


Do you grow your own food? Build your own house? Make your own clothes? Everything you have or use comes at the expense of someone elses labor.

I get bored if I’m not working. “Working” means professional work, or growing food, or helping in my community here. That someone gives me money for some of it, and that I have choices about it rather than being forced to do nothing but pop out babies, work in a mine, or be shot at is a source of conscious and constant pleasure for me.

what’s even sadder is when you have to work with real ignorant pig-headed arrogant pea-brain bureaucrats with an 85 IQ.

It’s pretty freaking sad indeed.