I'm being a bit naughty and I don't care, though sadly not in a particularly saucy or interesting way. Instead I'm not going to apply for a couple of the jobs I've just seen on the DWP website. This, quite simply, is because they are shit. If that makes me a terrible person and an irresponsible citizen then tough shit. It's a sunny day and humans were not up on this earth to apply for crappy part time admin jobs at the other end of the nearest city in some ghastly industrial estate. No doubt this is exactly the sort of thing that fuels the dreams of people like IDS and Chris Grayling. Clearly I am a shirker and a feckless layabout not worthy of state support. But is it really worth applying for a job that isn't going to even pay enough to allow me to 'contribute' and to 'pay my way', which is the big deal about working - so I'm told. Can I live on £85 a week? I wouldn't apply for it if it were 850 quid a week (irrelevant really since that is never going to be the case).
At a wage like that you are at best treading water: you are doing nothing more than redistributing wealth. Why bother? It's not like the job is vital to the infrastructure and wellbeing of this society (It's selling petfood wholesale). Just another crummy, poorly advertised DWP jobsearch website advert. My only option is to pursue jobsearching like this and it's something I find actually quite difficult. Of course that means nothing, because when you are out of work nothing is difficult, no matter what your problems might be (including learning difficulties and eyesight that is growing increasingly incompatible with using a VDU).
I suppose all jobs are ultimately just redistributing wealth: taking Petfood Co.'s profits and sharing them out like some kind of neocapitalist robin hood! But if you aren't even earning enough that you are paying tax and NI (or at least your employer is, on your behalf, so you don't actually contribute anything to the welfare kitty even if you do work!) then really what are you doing? If it's something you enjoy doing then fair enough I suppose, though I question whether that's a good enough excuse these days. Is it about that misplaced sense of pride called the 'work ethic'? That's also bullshit: it's just a means of social control, like Jesus or Father Christmas (you'd better be good for goodness sale...). Pride comes from doing something well that you enjoy for its own sake. I enjoy playing and practicing my bass guitar. It takes discipline and effort, but the likelihood that would ever be recognised by my new friends at the Salvation Army is extremely unlikely. Why; well because there's no money in it.
It seems to be all about wealth creation: growth. We must have growth, especially now the economy (that other fictional construct) has tanked again. But even when the economy was 'fine' we needed growth. But that's unsustainable. The Tories make great political capital out of castigating the last government for their apparent fiscal recklessness while hoping we'll forget they are no different. They are all for growth. They are all for wealth creation - and they are all for curtailing its distribution. What then is the point of wealth creation if we don't share it? I suppose the answer to that is obvious - but only if you're a banker (another member of the Barclay's Gang has just received another golden handshake to the tune of millions). Not much redistribution there (the best thing that could have happened to Barclays, with respect to their being fined, was that the customers had their debts wiped, because instead the cost of paying that fine will be passed down).
It seems to me that wealth creation is a bit like painting a house. Only instead of that being a finite job where, once done, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour - a nicely painted house - you keep painting. It never stops: day after day you apply a fresh coat of paint. That's the message. We must continue to create wealth, wealth creation (i.e. The City, banking) is the beating heart of the neoliberal capitalist society. It is the only economy worth a damn; unemployed people with artistic skills perhaps even some musical talent aren't worth a damn, and if they can't be bothered even applying for a job that does nothing more than what they already do then they can go to hell. We must create wealth! The problems are that the wealth is never redistributed, making the whole exercise pointless for the rest of us, and that it's akin to chasing the end of the rainbow - we must have more and more and more!
So I decline these crap jobs. Not because I don't care to contribute anything to help my fellow citizens (we've just wasted 11 billion to pay to allow the world's worst corporate entities to stick their logs all over
and tell everyone what to eat wear and drink for god’s sake!). Instead because I care too much about my own pride and self worth to be a slave to a dead economic system. There is functionally no difference between redistributing Mr Petfood's profits (a concept that seems to exist only for its own gratification) and returning my benefit money to the source by way of Tescos and Santander! London