We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The authors of the book in question believe that happiness comes from not working. That seems kind of strange, because I always felt that the foundation of happiness came from being useful and productive. A quote from the review:
The authors offer suggestions for how to change the balance between work and leisure. First, everyone should receive either a wage from the government (with no obligation to work to earn it) generous enough to enable him to work only part time, or a capital endowment at birth; the risk of people squandering their endowment in “riotous living can be reduced by limiting their spending to approved objects (such as education)”; in addition, the schools would educate people for leisure. Second, they recommend imposing a progressive consumption tax, to make consumer products more costly in the hope of discouraging people from working hard to be able to afford them (it could of course make them work even harder). Third, firms should be forbidden to deduct advertising expenditures from taxable income, since advertising encourages consumption.
But here is the oddest thing about the book: There is virtually no discussion of how people, their incomes halved, might be expected to employ the vastly greater leisure that the authors want them to have.
Don't ya love those would-be utopian societal planners? The authors of the book must live in some alternate universe. We can't all be Michelangelos, nor would most people decide to be.
Wait a minute, by all reports, "the schools would educate people for leisure" is already firmly in place. I read untold number of stories about students, fully credentialed if not educated, having lots and lots of leisure time in which to ponder the high brow thoughts and hypotheses introduced to them in school. If the reports are any indication, this does not bring the students happiness.
Well, I guess I should be rolling in happiness, here. I am a retired USAF Master Sergeant collecting half pay, so I can subsist without a job. Being divorced with no kids helps.
But after enjoying 6 months of leisure, I jumped back into the job market because I wanted to invest for future retirement (when Uncle Sam goes broke). I also had ambitions of buying a new car some day, making sure my elderly parents are taken care of, traveling, and buying the occasional toy.
Until "a miracle happens" I'll keep the alarm set for 4 a.m.
I have always worked, for a wage or none, but the last job I had was the most interesting and I loved the work. Wish I could get back to it (low voltage electricity). Miss it so much. Commercial Fire alarms are my favorite. When it all works like it is programmed to work its a beautiful thing.
I was lucky enough to accidentally get into a field which I thoroughly enjoyed for thirty years. Actyally, I miss it - and the things I could do with the money.
My father grew up about six miles from where I now live. With an outhouse, and one of his childhoof tasks was emprting the night-soil containers from the house into it. Some people might enjot tht, and say I would be happoer if I did not make enough (even now, in retirement) ro insist on such niceities as indoor plumbing (and hot water!) - I do not agree that I would be happier.
Happiness doesn't come from working yourself half to death and fully into serious health problems in order to just pay the rent/mortgage.
Believe me, I've been there. Was worked to the point where I literally collapsed, had a blackout on the way home from work, nearly crashed my car doing 85mph on the highway.
Took months to recover from that.
Neither all work or no work makes you happy, there has to be a balance between the two.
Nor does just any random work makes you happy. It must be something you like, enjoy doing, in an environment where your efforts are appreciated (which is rare these days, most places I've worked you're liable to get a tongue lashing or worse for the smallest mistake but will never hear a word of praise).
Mind I disagree with the authors that consumption should be discouraged (though I can see where they're coming from, reduced consumption means less need for production so people have to work less to meet the needs of their society), but I also disagree with your idea that just any work, for as long as you can physically endure it, at any compensation whatsoever or none at all, makes you happy.
Tell that to the plantation slaves of the 17th century, the galley and mine slaves of the 1st century, the multitude of slaves still kept today in the Muslim world and Africa at large who're worked til they drop and then kicked to death.