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“Leisure time is only leisure time when it is earned; otherwise, leisure time devolves into soul-killing lassitude. There’s a reason so many new retirees, freed from the treadmill of work, promptly keel over on the golf course: Work fulfills us. It keeps us going.” – Ben Shapiro
Shapiro hits on one of the main reason the loss of jobs is so devastating. Even if the government were able to reimburse the wages of all of those thrown out of work, life would still be unsatisfying for many. They have not earned that leisure time. It feels wrong, and they feel marginalized. They feel unfulfilled.More
There’s a story about a young man who hopes someday to be an airline pilot. Having to pursue his dream “from the ground up,” he finds himself servicing the lavatories for small jets on a private ramp. Employed by a penny-pinching manager, there’s an unresolved repair ticket on the waste pump hose. Due to this malfunction, about once a week the young man gets sprayed with a combination of “blue-juice” and human waste. One evening he comes home after work, stinking of disinfectant and poo. His bride suggests that maybe he should look for a new job. “What!” he exclaims, incredulously, “and get out of aviation?”More
I’ve always thought that the poor souls in Hell who are forced to wash Satan’s notoriously foul rear end surely have the worst job ever. (I’ve forgotten the Biblical citation for the passage in which these ablutions occur. You’ll have to trust me on this.) Even Satan’s most hard-hearted demons — those who are able to oversee, without breaking into tears, those poor souls who are forced to watch an endless loop of Nancy Pelosi’s speeches — feel compassion for the Rear Enders (their official job classification).
Their job is made worse because Satan is literally the boss from Hell. “You missed three dingleberries!” the Evil One would scream in that irritatingly screechy voice of his. “Use some elbow grease, minions!”More
We are in new territory. Three days ago, we had 300+ infected with Coronavirus. Today, we are well over 500 infected that we know about. Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, and face masks of any kind are long gone from local stores. A recent trip to Dollar General had dwindling supplies of toilet paper and bleach. […]
The other night my beloved called me upstairs to the main floor of our house to show me something outside. I looked out the window to see a five-point buck deer, not ten feet away, staring back at us with curiosity. I said to my wife “If only I had a rifle, the creature would have nothing to fear from me.” I couldn’t hit a bullet with the broadside of a barn.
Not that I haven’t tried. After all, if you live in Montana hunting is practically mandatory, especially for men and boys. Hunters generally think of non-hunters as less masculine than they ought to be, and nobody wants to be labeled a sissy. So, I started hunting when I was fourteen, seeing it as more of a duty than a profitable form of recreation.More
Work is not just a paycheck retrieval system or hippie repellent. There is actually a specific definition of work in physics, but we need to start before that. Force is not female, it is the push or pull on an object. Gravity pulls you into your chair, toward the Earth, while the chair presses your […]
“A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo.”– Shigeo Shingo
Shigeo Shingo was a Toyota engineer and the progenitor/guru of “Lean,” or “Sigma Six” business improvement methodology. When my spouse was in the military, Total Quality Management™ was a thing. W. Edward Deming’s TQM had allegedly made Japan an auto tech powerhouse, was doing the same for the Ford Motor Company, and had now come to a USAF base near you! (Though her boss still had a Two-Minute Manager book in her office. So last decade.)More
My career has been in “Embedded Software”. That means that I wrote software (and sometimes designed the hardware) for physical products. Eventually, if a company is to be successful, these products need to be introduced to the market (that part is the product launch) and then sold for a profit. One company I worked for […]
I recently read an intriguing book concerned with the exponential advances in technology and the impact thereof on human society. The author believes that the displacement of human labor by technology is in its very early stages, and sees little limit to the process. He is concerned with how this will affect–indeed, has already affected–the […]
I have just discovered a writer named Sean Dietrich. According to his website, he “is a columnist, novelist, and radio show host, known for his commentary on life in the American South.” I had never heard of him, but he is great – humorous, touching, smart. And he somehow manages to write a column – every […]
Oren Cass joins City Journal editor Brian Anderson to discuss his new book, The Once and Future Worker: A Vision for the Renewal of Work in America.
The American worker is in crisis. Wages have stagnated for more than a generation, and reliance on welfare programs has surged. Life expectancy is falling as substance abuse and obesity rates climb. Work and its future has become a central topic for City Journal: in 2017, the magazine published its special issue, The Shape of Work to Come.More
“Happiness belongs to the self-sufficient.“ Aristotle More
I can’t write this anywhere publicly, although I want to, so I’ll waste it on a private thread on Ricochet. I’m self-employed, running a business that just passed its 15th anniversary last year. I provide direct services to small, medium and big business who need development, management and support for their websites. In some cases, […]
I co-own a small website services firm. Yesterday I got a cold call from a company named Government Marketplace, which helps small businesses get added to the GSA database for vendors to the government. For a relatively small fee, they handle the paperwork and process, with the promise of regular government contracts that, theoretically, would […]
I have been under an increasing amount of stress and pressure at work for the past six months. I’ve never dealt with stress very well and this time has been no different. It’s not helped by the wonky blood sugar issues I’ve been experiencing or the latest round of flu that I feel coming on thanks to co-workers who couldn’t be bothered to stay away from the office when sick.More
(January 12, 2031) Joseph Damier came home to his high-rise San Francisco condo after a long day at Cestoda, a small but growing urban planning research firm specializing in the rather mundane business of working with various government agencies in the United States and internationally to reconfigure cities to be more diverse and socially just. […]
The Luddites and technophobes have a point. Machines do displace workers. Always have. From the cotton gin, machine tools, and punch cards to combine harvesters, industrial robots, and business software. And it is this “displacement effect” that leads to scary forecasts about AI and robots leading to mass technological unemployment and underemployment.
But MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo argue in a rich new paper, “Artificial Intelligence, Automation and Work,” that there is far more to the story. For starters, automation may allow tasks to be performed more cheaply, increasing demand for them. The introduction of ATMs was followed by more jobs for tellers because it reduced the costs of banking, and banks opened more branches. Or the productivity effect could be broader: Agricultural mechanization lowered food prices and created more demand for non-agricultural goods and the workers producing them.More
For most of us today is a day off of work – a time to spend with family and friends in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. However, there are some among us for whom Christmas is just another day at work. The purpose of this post is take a moment to thank those […]
A few weeks ago, my boss asked if I would like to contribute to a school blog that would help with marketing efforts for our small school. Write stuff and have it count for work hours? He may as well have asked if I wanted to go for walks and get paid, or make comments […]