I would surmise that people like jobs.
If that were true, that would validate much that goes on. If people genuinely want to work, genuinely want to occupy their time making money for other people, genuinely want to do things like sort mail and operate cash registers and wait tables...if people genuinely want these things for themselves, I have no problem with that. I might not understand it, but others have asked me why I've spent hundreds of hours programming open source materials and other things I've done. So, to each as they choose.
But I'm skeptical that all of these people doing these things they're being paid for would choose to continue doing them if they weren't getting paid and didn't need the money.
I want this critical point answered
You're focusing on the trees, ignoring the forest. At no point in this thread have I advised people to quit their jobs and forage for food in the woods. At no point have I suggested that people without food or money should scream principals and demand that others feed them.
I entered this thread
by discussing the nature of money and pointing out class differences in how work is perceived. I responded to Aqizzar
further developing those same ideas. And my post
before you asked me your question was focused mostly on perception.
I've pretty consistently been promoting a change of worldview
rather than a particular course of action as some magic elixir to fix everything tomorrow by sundown. Many of the things I'm suggesting might not be practical as society is right now
any more than the idea of traveling from LA to New York in a few hours was practical before airplanes were invented. But to suggest that what I propose is not possible is just as silly as suggesting that flight is impossible. You probably don't go instantly from having no planes to suddenly having 200 foot long passenger jets, but if you refuse to even consider the possibility of flight, you're unlikely to get them at all.
The first step is to mentally conceive the desired goal.
what would you have unemployed people do?
I'd have them do whatever they feel they need to do given their particular circumstances. If that means getting a job to survive, so be it. But for both the employed who don't want to be and unemployed who want to be, I'd heartily encourage both to mentally conceive the sort of life, lifestyle and society they'd like to have.
Imagine...just humor me...a fantastic scenario where, let's say star trek style matter replicators were invented tomorrow, and somebody uploads plans to the internet. A couple dozen hobbyists download the plans, build the machines, and then use them to replicate more replicators and start passing them out to neighbors. In months our entire economy would be irrelevant. Anyone could, at the push of a button, make anything they wanted. The only things of value would be things like ideas, art, replicator "recipes" and electricity to power the things. The sum total of "work" required to maintain a functioning society would be however much work was required to generate power, maintain roads and keep the internet working. That's pretty much it. There would be plenty of hobbyists interested in keeping the internet running, just for fun. And it would be reasonable to suggest that a few thousand volunteers at a time could be rotated out to maintain power and roads. Maybe you'd see posts on craigslist looking for people to spend a wednesday night replicating road repairs, followed by pizza and beer.
In this scenario, the amount of work being done is drastically reduced. Taxes, banks, money, cashiers, accountants, salesmen...so many things would be irrelevant. But this would come with no significant loss of quality of life. Probably there'd be a massive improvement to it. Looking at this extreme a scenario it's very easy to see how work could be massively reduced with no loss of quality of life.
Looking at a less ambitious scenario, think about when dishwashers were invented. The amount of time spent washing dishes decreased. And presumably the amount of time and energy spent working to make enough money to buy a dishwasher was also less than the amount of time and effort spent washing dishes. There was an overall reduction of workload without loss of quality of life.
I propose that this very same concept could be applied...more.
But we, as a whole society, just aren't thinking that way. When labor saving possibilities manifest, too many people people perceive them as bad because they eliminate the workload. We perceive "work" as a good thing. I propose that it is not.
Yes, I acknowledge that there is potential for awkwardness during transition. When robots replace factory workers, suddenly those factory workers don't have money to buy food. That's a problem. But keeping people working jobs that are technologically irrelevant is not a good solution.
This is why rather than suggesting a singular course of action, throughout this thread I've been promoting a change of worldview
. Because once we as a society realize how much we do is unnecessary, it will make each step of the transition that much easier.