The Future of Work

November 3, 2013

For all who are perplexed or troubled by the dramatic changes in the nature of work across the last 30 years or so, the LSE sponsored debate between Robert Skidelsky and Maurice Glasman, both members of the British House of Lords, is a fascinating and revealing 
listen: http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=2074
It kicks off from John Maynard Keynes’ forecast around 1930 that we would be enjoying about a 15 hour workweek by now. Technology would enable that, and we would all be enjoying much more leisure. That has not happened, and the discussion at the LSE focuses on why? What has happened that results in our continuing to work almost the same number of hours as in 1930?
If it because we love work?
Because we fear leisure?
Because the human appetite for more (greed) draws us every more into work?
Is it the capitalist system, the owners of capital finding evermore ways to exploit the less privileged?
And, what are the solutions that can improve the outlook for the future?
I believe both commentators would agree that their differing views both fall short of realistically defining a path to better conditions.
Nevertheless, both are highly intelligent students of the issues and worth hearing–twice already for me!

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