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First we have to break ourselves free of the idea of what employment means.

In a government economic sense it means working for money. That's why the statistics have always had a problem with women who stay home to care for their family.

Since economists measure everything by means of money those things which don't lend themselves to this measure are not worth considering. This also leaves out a large part of the population who do things not for money.

When I first "retired" I used to tell people that I was still working, just not getting paid for it. I now do things like blog and maintain my web site. I give away my expertise in photography (I won't claim any special expertise in blogging!)

The next thing to be considered is whether "employment" is even something that should be a goal. Don't we have the concept of "make-work" jobs to keep people employed? Societies think it is important to pay people so they won't starve, but they demand that they do something for the money.

As I say frequently, we will need a new model if we are going to have a steady-state economy, one that doesn't consume more than can be renewed. The amount of "work" that would be needed in that case should be much less than now. If under 10% of the population is in the agriculture sector then we can see that producing everything that we need can't take more than another 20-30%.

We could cut the amount of work that each person needs to do, or we could rethink things and not treat those who aren't being paid as loafers or parasites. I think some further thoughts on the concept of work would be worthwhile.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 31st, 2007 at 07:01:53 PM EST

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