This topic contains 21 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  nomad 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #4013

    ben
    Participant

    I was listening to this http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09pmbdf and a Sociologist (oh the irony) speaks about people doing “Non Jobs” And during the recent storm about the Presidents club, I heard one person say that women should be able to do these jobs as at least its better than cleaning toilets. It strikes me that there is an attitude in Britain which I suspect is supported by our academia that any manual or service type job is of less worth and that anyone doing them could do far better.

    Maybe this is why we need migrants to pick strawberries and to work in pubs and mend our plumbing and build our houses. Maybe we should respect and value these jobs a lot more, and tell sneering sociologists to go and get a proper job.

    #4014

    dizzy
    Participant

    Agreed.

    Same as going to uni. Not everyone leaving school wants to go into further education and saddle their selves with a massive debt. But to me if the young of today don’t aspire to more schooling, they are looked down on.

    Nothing wrong with using your hands as a tool for your job.

    #4015

    josh
    Participant

    Nothing wrong with using your hands as a tool for your job.

    @dizzy Very true, but the whole education system is against this, or was. It’s improving. But there is a basic level of education needed to get by in life – maths/economics skills to handle your finances, or even running your own business. English language, and even foreign language. An understanding of culture and history.

    The issue is who makes the decision at say 14/16/18 to move onto a practical course rather than academic. Too young and you could be accused of stereotyping on social background, let the child decide and you have to be sure they are making the right life choice so young. Which ends up circling round to the failing students moved towards it.

    It’s an historical mess from the push to maximum university place (in the late 90s my school had >95% to uni, it was single digits not going – almost 1 per class). Stuck on a road with no obvious destination, and for the brightest students into the dead-end of academia where permanent positions are like hens teeth and the perpetual post-doc on 3yr contracts is no career.

    Guide students from 14-16 towards meaningful jobs, with good prospects, support them. Meanwhile we are moving towards a point where a degree in <insert random degree> is minimum requirement for an admin job.

    #4016

    cam
    Participant

    The best analogy I ever heard, was about life being a wheel.

    The wheels rim is the population, the wheels hub is life as we know it. Then every single job in the world, is a spoke on that wheel. You can take a spoke away, and it might survive for abit, but eventually it’ll weaken and fail. Every single job is just as important as the next!

    #4017

    Ali
    Participant

    The wheels rim is the population, the wheels hub is life as we know it. Then every single job in the world, is a spoke on that wheel. You can take a spoke away, and it might survive for abit, but eventually it’ll weaken and fail. Every single job is just as important as the next!

    @cam I’m happy that it can be argued that, say, cleaning is as important as surgery.

    But how is homaeopathy as important as these? Rubber duck manufacturing? People trafficking?

    I put it to you that your snippet sounds quite good at first, but doesn’t fare well under examination! 😉

    #4018

    cam
    Participant

    @ali People trafficking isn’t a job. So no.

    Rubber Duck Manufacturing provides jobs and financial security to the families that work there. In turn they will put that money back into the economy. The actual product can be sold in shops worldwide, providing jobs within the distribution industry… and so on and on.

    #4019

    howard
    Participant

    @cam Thats the rather simple and childish view I had when I was 16 – Do you really believe that society should value a slum landlord in the same way it values a heart surgeon?

    #4020

    cam
    Participant

    @howard Thats the rather simple and childish view I had when I was 16 – Do you really believe that society should value a slum landlord in the same way it values a heart surgeon?

    I believe that somebody should be valued according to the type of person that they are.

    In your rather simple and childish view, we should value the heart surgeon over the landlord, disregarding the fact that the surgeon may be a complete idiot and the landlord a genuine nice guy? Just because of his occupation?

    #4021

    Ali
    Participant

    People trafficking isn’t a job. So no.

    @cam Of course it is, don’t be ridiculous! So is heroin dealing, and all sorts of other things that not only aren’t valuable, but are actually make “life as we know it” much worse.

    Rubber Duck Manufacturing provides jobs and financial security to the families that work there. In turn they will put that money back into the economy. The actual product can be sold in shops worldwide, providing jobs within the distribution industry… and so on and on.

    But it isn’t important, and your ‘wheel’ won’t weaken and fail without it, it’ll just reconfigure into something slightly different.

    I believe that somebody should be valued according to the type of person that they are.

    In your rather simple and childish view, we should value the heart surgeon over the landlord, disregarding the fact that the surgeon may be a complete idiot and the landlord a genuine nice guy? Just because of his occupation?

    You said that every single job in the world was a spoke in your wheel. We were comparing the value of jobs, not of the people who do them.

    As you point out yourself right there, that isn’t the same thing at all.

    #4022

    joe
    Participant

    I left school at 16 (two weeks after my birthday as was allowed in those days). I became and ‘apprentice’ and the company moved me around inside the company until they found the niche I fitted into reasonably well. They then committed me to the rest of my training. I was paid a lower wage because of this, but did go to college and ultimately got a degree via part time study. It was not easy and involved me being committed to working hard for 4.5 days a week and studying 0.5 days and three evenings.

    These days at 15 children are pushed towards a degree, even if they are academically unsuitable, many of the degrees are useless, and the students are given false expectations as to what kind of job and salary to expect after their study! As a result very few want to take a low paid manual job as they have just wasted 3 years, a lot of money, and think they have a right to high paid employment. As a result many of the lower paid jobs have trouble recruiting as young people have been told by their education institutions that they are better than that.

    It is time that education went back to trying to fit people to a job type that they are capable of and adjusting their education to fit that niche, not filling them with false expectations. There will be mistakes, but not as many disaffected young people as there are now.

    In my varied life I have been a research scientist, car salesman, teacher, building contractor, swimming pool equipment salesman, woodstove designer, chimney specialist and building regs writer. In all of these I worked up from the low paid bottom, except for teacher, where I went back to education and got another degree, whilst working full time stacking shelves at Sainsbury to maintain my family!

    There are people who are happy doing simple manual tasks and those who are high end cerebral workers. Each person is an individual and there is a job to suit them just so long as they are not pressured in the wrong direction.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  joe.
    #4026

    mutt
    Participant

    Thats the rather simple and childish view I had when I was 16 – Do you really believe that society should value a slum landlord in the same way it values a heart surgeon?

    @cam sounds to me like you have already internalised the view that manual/low skill is less valuable than the intellectual. Why add the subriquet ‘slum’ to the low skilled and respect the title of the intellectual? Lets just change that to the more positive nickname.

    “Do you really believe that society should value a social landlord in the same way it values a heart surgeon?” – well yes I think society should value them both as they are both contributing to health, welfare and so on.

    What you are really saying is what you don’t value is people who do particular jobs badly. Slum landlord or reckless heart surgeons are less-valuable I’d agree.

    #4027

    sar
    Participant

    I have always felt that cleaners, carers and the like should be the highest paid! They are proper hard work and often unpleasant. It always seems wrong that those that work the hardest often get paid the least.

    #4028

    sar
    Participant

    You could argue that a larger portion of society benefit from the bin emptier (could be female!) than benefit from the heart surgeon.

    I also think you are likely to have more people who are keen to be heart surgeons than bin emptiers

    #4029

    torieboy
    Participant

    @sar You could, but you can argue any old bollocks and people on here frequently do. I put it to you, if after working hard at school to gain entry to medical school, spent 6/7 years getting getting qualified then on-going professional training throughout your career to save people’s lives and improve their quality of life, you deserve to be valued more than someone who took a mornings ride on the dustbin wagon to get up to speed with your chosen career. If that doesn’t seem fair next time you need a filling just pop round here and I’ll give it a go, I’ve never done any dentistry but I go for a check up every 6 months so I’ve got a vague idea what goes on, and I’m a lovely bloke.

    #4030

    songbird
    Participant

    @torieboy I think you can make a valid argument for a heart surgeon. But I find it harder to justify the enormous wages and importance of someone who works in the city making money , in itself a pretty abstract concept, in an artificial way that will likely never enter or benefit the real economy.

    #4031

    smith
    Participant

    I think you can make a valid argument for a heart surgeon. But I find it harder to justify the enormous wages and importance of someone who works in the city making money , in itself a pretty abstract concept, in an artificial way that will likely never enter or benefit the real economy.

    @songbird Yes, I am also struggling with people in positions like my own. Having worked hard and spent 8 years studying with ongoing training, I now spend my time studying genome maintenance in some obscure parasites. Admittedly, there is a slim chance that I might discover something that makes a valid drug target, thus improving the lives of numerous people in the tropics, but realistically that chance is exceedingly slim. Am I “worth more” somehow than the person who collects my rubbish or fixes my car? I don’t think so…in real terms, those people have far more impact on every day lives than I do. But I don’t think that my job is worthless either.

    #4032

    nev
    Participant

    @sar We can empty our own bins if need be, but I am happy for a portion of my taxes to pay for someone else to empty my bins at home. I even did the job for a few week, straight out of university, before I got a better job. I can’t however carry out heart surgery on my step-daughter, who had seven hours of open heart surgery in August. I don’t begrudge a heart surgeon a generous salary.

    #4033

    Dave perry
    Participant

    I think you can make a valid argument for a heart surgeon. But I find it harder to justify the enormous wages and importance of someone who works in the city making money , in itself a pretty abstract concept, in an artificial way that will likely never enter or benefit the real economy.

    @songbird If you want to expand your widget-making capacity (create jobs, export more, help improve the balance of payments etc) or buy an overseas rival, then at some point you’ll need a clever banker to help you secure the money by underwriting a bond issue. Barnier and his cronies aside, most EU leaders are very worried about losing touch with the levers of capital that are embedded in the square mile. It might all look pretty abstract to the layman, but it takes considerable skill, even if it always appears that the banker wins. Of course that’s a skill in itself I suppose.

    #4034

    jumpingjack
    Participant

    One of my friends, 40years a plumber, had a run in with a customer who turned out to be a lecturer in medieval history. The guy said to him that all people who worked with their hands should only get the minimum wage as they were all basically labourers.

    I said to my friend that I hope you told him that if all the medieval historians disappeared overnight it would be a sad loss but the world would carry on with hardly a hiccup. However if all the plumbers disappeared overnight the result would be quite catastrophic for a lot of people.

    My friend said that he was too flabberghasted to reply to the arrogant tw*t (his words).

    Probably illustrates the value some people put on themselves and their ignorance of reality.

    Unfortunately there has always been a tendency in this country to look down on people who get their hands ‘dirty’ i.e. those who make their money from trade.

    #4037

    Duck
    Participant

    But I find it harder to justify the enormous wages and importance of someone who works in the city making money , in itself a pretty abstract concept, in an artificial way that will likely never enter or benefit the real economy.

    @songbird Actually the city in many ways is the real economy – all that cash that Gordon Brown and Tony Blair were able to spend on what ever they spent it on, came from the taxes collected by the financial services industry. The idea that real jobs involved building ships, producing steel, making cars or whatever imploded in the 1970’s, we are for better or worse an economy that will thrive because of the services we are able to offer, and conjuring pound notes out of financial thin air seems to be the exchequers way of providing all those government services we have.

    #4038

    harry
    Participant

    There’s also a lot of reverse-snobbery directed towards people who have non-manual jobs (pen-pusher is an obvious put down, forgetting that administration and organisation is one of the biggest advancements in society that pulled us out of the hunter-gather age).

    I grew up in a deprived, working class area where those lucky enough to be employed, generally did manual work. There was one computer programmer down our street but I don’t think I knew anyone else who worked in an office. I did student jobs, working in supermarkets and I used to get up at 3am on Saturdays to help my dad with his milk round.

    Now I have a well-paying office job in marketing. To many this could be seen as a ‘non-job’. I don’t produce anything physical and it doesn’t involve hard physical work. However I produce value for my employer and the economy and if I swapped jobs tomorrow with a bin collector, chances are your bins would still get collected just fine but I’m pretty sure my current projects would be in jeopardy for a while.

    That’s not looking down on people who do other roles – just that hard work doesn’t necessarily equal skill. The more skilled a job, the more difficult you are to replace, and that generally manifests itself in higher market wages. Is that fair? Well I’m crap at football, but if I promised to play really really hard could I play for Arsenal and get paid millions? Probably not. Equally I expect myself and those around me to work to the best of our abilities but I’d rather work with somebody giving it 90% producing better results than someone giving it 100% who is simply not very good.

    The minute AI can do my job I’m pretty sure I’ll be redundant as well.

    #4039

    nomad
    Participant

    But how is homaeopathy as important as these? Rubber duck manufacturing? People trafficking?<

    @ali you are suggesting that there is some overall societial worth of certain jobs. Where as the importance of jobs may be localised. So homaeopathy has no intrinsic value as a job (from my view) but it can not be denied that there is a market for it and as such it acts as a conduit for the flow of money. Rubber ducks more so as the manufacturer of said ducks not only employes workers, factory builders, machine builders etc but also the suppliers of moulds and plastics etc. People trafficking is a crime so I wouldn’t really class it as a job as such, though again it has a dubious importance to those using it.

    Having said that I do take your point that you could take homaeopathy out of the equasion and life would continue on, where as bin emptiers, cleaners etc. have a pretty vital role to play in giving us a healthy environment to work in

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