A Response to “Invitation to a Dialogue: How to Create Jobs”

Nick’s Notes: The following is a letter I sent in an email to the New York Times piece, found here.

The question is fundamentally mistaken from the get-go. I don’t think we should be focusing on what can make us employed but rather what provides value for ourselves and our communities. The question of jobs vs. value has long been conflated by mainstream politicians and pundits who hold the notion that holding a job is equivalent to creating value.

Presume there are individuals who are digging ditches for a construction project. They’re all gainfully employed because they’re using the least modern technology possible. Perhaps shovels instead of bulldozers and such. This would surely create more jobs, but would it create more value?

There are solutions to these issues but it isn’t working for rehashed government sponsored programs from the 1930s. Instead, we should be encouraging self-direction and worker cooperatives, not top-down government programs.

And forcing people to do what they want through an economic “draft” would not only be a massive undertaking but would be unenforceable without reinforcing  the already-existing surveillance and police state as well as the ongoing massive violations of our civil liberties.

Let’s focus on making jobs work for us and not us for jobs.

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