Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I've had a similar feeling about how our society deals with people who don't fit in in this way (non-productive), and it's a fun thing to play around with in your head because in a loose way it undercuts a key selling point of organizing your society capitalistically like ours: during the cold war, it was like "yeah well you Soviets just give every lazy bastard some meaningless quasi-task in a widget factory or in some faceless ministry and go around telling the rest of the world there's no unemployment and you're building Utopia. We in the West, otoh, have purpose and let our people put themselves to better use!"

So your observation reminded me that our society has plenty of people on a similar sort of hidden dole: vast corporate structures with uncountable layers of non-productive paper pushers, with a very small proportion of employees setting the vision and another small bunch generating most of the value. A social welfare program by any other name ...

So like do large human groups just inevitably have some subset that doesn't quite fit (in terms of work and productivity) but who need taking care of so we semi-deny their existence ("no slackers here!") while we semi-throw'em a bone ("here's a paycheck, go look at Facebook for a few hours and fiddle with PowerPoint while I harass my secretary")?




> So your observation reminded me that our society has plenty of people on a similar sort of hidden dole:

This is why everyone wants to be university educated. The great bulk of "respectable" office jobs require no real skill or effort, just some cultural knowledge about how to talk like you're contributing.


> We in the West, otoh, have purpose and let our people put themselves to better use!"

AKA people invent novel ways to support themselves when the alternative is starving in the street


Lol yes


Read “Bullshit Jobs” for an anthropologist‘s view of this. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs


I have been thinking on this. From a capitalist point of view, an Universal Basic Income may be useful to remove non-productive people from companies. I think the productivity increase (because non-productive people tend to drag productive people around them) May very well offset the costs.


It won't work for that.

Some non-productive people are non-productively lazy, and UBI may work for them.

Others are non-conformist creative types, and UBI will half work for them. IMO it's good to have some of these types around in a business to shake things up - as long as they have some practical skills and aren't just dreamers.

Others are primarily interested in accumulating power, and corporations provide a perfect cover for them. They will get off UBI as soon as they can, but they're often incredibly toxic, and large organisations of all kinds are very good at empowering them.

With the odd exception, they're probably the biggest threat to the future of any business. And they're very good at disguising this. They're the people who turn in solid financials and performance stats. But the results are built on rubble, and often their management doesn't discover this until it's too late.


Why are you so concerned with the future of a business you likely have absolutely zero stake in? Why lick the boot that much? What will the boot give back to you? The amount of complete corporate loyalty in this thread is absolutely dense & sickening. It's totally out of touch with reality and a seemingly huge fetish for money & power, destroying the lives of those below you because they've figured out how to work smarter. What even is society anymore? It's everyone just pinning each other against each other. It's depressing. Have some solidarity.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: