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Or they could make their own traditional brogues using their own leather in a matter of hours, and spend the rest of the time getting wasted on ale. Over time, they enacted a series of laws and measures designed to push peasants out of the old and into the new by destroying their traditional means of self-support.“The brutal acts associated with the process of stripping the majority of the people of the means of producing for themselves might seem far removed from the laissez-faire reputation of classical political economy,” writes Perelman. In sauntering after his cattle, he acquires a habit of indolence.That said, I strongly believe that most people work longer hours than they should and consume too much, and many would benefit from increased free time to spend with family or relaxing.
This section comes from important piece by Yasha Levine that summarized the book The Invention of Capitalism by economic historian Michael Perelman: One thing that the historical record makes obviously clear is that Adam Smith and his laissez-faire buddies were a bunch of closet-case statists, who needed brutal government policies to whip the English peasantry into a good capitalistic workforce willing to accept wage slavery…At the same time in America, workers would see people fashioned in exquisite attire and merely proclaim that through hard work they too would soon possess the fortune necessary to enjoy such luxuries.So Americans have managed to wind up with the worst of all possible worlds. However, their duties, like Machiavellian politics, hiring and firing, preparing for Important Meetings with Important People and Making Big Decisions, sure beat flipping burgers. I submit the problem comes from our American version of capitalism.These are what I propose to call “bullshit jobs.” It’s as if someone were out there making up pointless jobs just for the sake of keeping us all working. In capitalism, this is precisely what is not supposed to happen.My view is that there is light at the end of the tunnel in all of this.