Kwasi Kwarteng: 'We have created a culture in which people can, as a lifestyle, opt not to work' - video | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk - http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment...
Kwasi Kwarteng: 'We have created a culture in which people can, as a lifestyle, opt not to work' - video | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
"Conservative MP Kwasi Kwarteng, the co-author of Britannia Unchained, argues that Britons must work harder if the country is to compete with China and India. He says purpose of the welfare system has been distorted since its incarnation in postwar Britain and that people should no longer shy away from manual labour" - M F from Bookmarklet
This is interesting. When I was young I worked in pubs for very little money, but if you complain on how poor you are when you do manual work in this country, people will tell you to study and improve yourself and get a better job. - M F
Which ok might not work for everyone and someone has to clean the streets. - M F
But then you cannot tell people to go back and clean the streets for little money when you have been telling them for decades that it is their responsibility to improve themselves. Sorry but when you have a family and lose your job you cannot survive on the minimum wage without the help of the welfare state even if you are prepared to do manual work and work at all hours. - M F
I just love it when a former Etonian and Oxbridge grad tells people they need to do (hard) manual labour and not shy away from work! :-/ - Halil
To be honest I think I had more fun working in pubs than in offices, it's the low pay that is the problem. Hard work is fine but not to have money to feed yourself properly when you work full time is not acceptable. - M F
Hard/dirty/grimy work and low pay will always be married partners so long as the people running those enterprises are driven by greed. I refer you to this article posted by Spidra: http://ff.im/14qmDG - Halil
A lot of people would pick low pay for a job they enjoy - as long as they can live on it and save a little. Even hard manual work can be enjoyable - many of these jobs have visible results and a good team spirit - again as long as you can live decently on what you earn, and are correctly provided for (i.e. employer takes duty of care seriously), and can save a little. I want to know that whatever service or product I buy, the people making it happen can make a decent living from it. Perhaps the Fair Trade label should be extended to developed countries too :) PS: There are deadening jobs, though, and we need to find ways to automate them so no human being is expected to waste away in them! - Iphigenie
And what is so wrong to a world where people could, as a lifestyle, decide not to work? There's not enough work for everyone, the kind of growth we'd need to give everyone a job would implie consumption on a scale that is unsustainable, and most people who don't work happen to be carers or do other valuable social roles, or are people who need help and care. Making them "work" wouldnt help anyone. - Iphigenie
I try not to buy anything from places that don't pay their staff a decent wage but it is difficult as I cannot do the research required for every single thing I buy or use, I like the idea of a Fair Trade, or Fair Wage label, that would be cool. - M F
Yeah - it gets to be pretty impossible if you look at how they pay/treat people here, how they pay/treat people abroad, how they treat their suppliers, environmental considerations, whether they have a side business in anti-personal mines, or other unethical behaviours part or present - you can't buy much. Pick your compromise. - Iphigenie
@Iphigenie your statement is so depressingly true - Halil
If you can afford the time to find them, find small companies, small retailers etc. It's no guarantee but in general they just treat their people better, because individuals are more visible in a company of 500 than of 50000. Problem is we dont have the time to find research for every product. And when even the coop can start squeezing farmers to oblivion, you have to keep researching over and over. Social media and websites can help by sharing that research, but at the moment online we are easily distracted to overfocus on one issue or company and miss all the other stuff. - Iphigenie
to go back to what these guys are saying - it's interesting how these things are always framed as some kind of choice. Women chose to work part time or stop work to care for children (not mentioning that they might chose differently if other choices were possible). People chose not to work (again, if other choices were possible, if more support and choices had been available, most of these people would have chosen paths that don't lead to them not finding decent, humane, work). - Iphigenie
I agree and all these people are privileged they have always had choices they cannot imagine what it like when you do not have them or you only have a few and all very unsatisfactory. - M F
Choice is an illusion, at least for many. When you have no money, no prospects, no old school boy contacts to help you along, choice is not an option. It's better to be rich and dumb, than poor and dumb, since the latter will always get stick. And on that point, how many rich dumb kids are running the country/companies/banks etc because of money/family name/social status etc? Whilst there are some success stories, these people often end up as asses themselves and talk as if everyone can open up a stall in their garage and become an instant millionaire. Luck is a big factor, not just motivation. There are many people with failed businesses due to bad luck even though they tried all their lives to succeed. - Halil
The other lie they tell you is that if you work hard you will succeed. The world is full of people who have worked hard and stayed poor. Many of them are not stupid but they lack opportunities, it is difficult to think of opportunities when you are struggling to make ends meet. Try and ask someone working 60/70 hours a week if they have ever thought of going to uni to improve themselves. - M F
Yes, the "work hard" of very successful people has nothing in common with the work hard of people one supports via Kiva. I remember one lady listed on there, she was nearling 70 and doing 3 different jobs to keep things afloat. Crazy to imagine, and not all that awesome, but I certainly admire her! Never give up... but not everyone can not give up when life beats you over and over - Iphigenie