Why the Anti-work Movement Is So Important
History is being made.
There is a major labor movement sweeping across the globe. Workers are fed up, and rightfully so. They are quickly mobilizing. The Anti-work group on Reddit currently has over 1.3 million members. It has been one of the fastest-growing online communities this year.
The pandemic has been an inflection point.
The music stopped when the economy shut down in March 2020. What happens when the world stands still? People start questioning things. They think about life and whether they are on the right path.
Is this it?
Is this all there is to life?
Why do I feel so empty inside?
You work 40 hours a week. You look forward to the weekend. Yet, the very notion of looking forward to the weekend is flawed.
Thank goodness it’s Friday. Thank goodness those five out of seven days of the week are almost over.
I’m rushing to cross out days on my life calendar. And I am supposed to feel good about it? Now, I must savor these two upcoming days before it starts all over again. Again, and again.
People are waking up.
People are having second thoughts about retirement.
The current expected retirement age is 65. The years afterward have been deemed “the golden years.” Ever wondered how ridiculous it is to work most of your life just to have a little time to yourself in the end?
Frankly, many people don’t get that far (unfortunately). This pandemic has shown that you never know when death will come knocking on your door.
In addition, you might not be able to enjoy life at age 65. You might have one of the numerous medical conditions that affect senior citizens.
These are the reasons why people are trying to retire as soon as possible. They fear being called lazy for wanting something different.
However, life is short. It honestly is.
If you want to do something, do it now. Before it’s too late.
People are having second thoughts about college.
“Why did I pay over $100,000 just to get a piece of paper to hang on my wall?”
Valuation is a big topic in finance. How do you place a monetary value on anything? Ultimately, it comes down to whatever someone else is willing to pay for it.
Perhaps, it is time for people to stop buying college degrees.
It’s a trap. You enter the workforce in the hole. Your student loans are dark clouds of doom that hang over your head. The clouds follow you wherever you go. They affect your mood and your thought patterns.
You now work because you need to. You need to pay off these pesky loans. That’s how it has been for generations.
You have invisible shackles around your ankles. Debtors do not have freedom.
What the People want
1. People want higher wages and better working conditions.
After accounting for inflation, wages have been stagnant for decades. Technological advancement did not significantly benefit the little ant workers of the world. Instead, it has led to a dramatic increase in executive compensation. Shareholders are laughing while voiceless workers are suffering from burnout.
2. People want the system to fundamentally change.
“Socialism for the rich. Capitalism for the poor.”
“Socialize the losses. Privatize the gains.”
These thoughts echo through people’s minds every time they hear about a corporate bailout.
Give the big banks a bailout.
Give the airlines a bailout.
Give forgivable loans to businesses.
These programs have all been paid for using taxpayer money.
When will the average person get a bailout?
Does anyone care?
Automation is not only a solution but our inevitable future. We’re slowly getting there with self-driving cars and smart homes. A fully automated society is possible. Science fiction will no longer be fiction, even if it takes a few centuries.
In the meantime, there is no easy solution. A lot of people work because they have to work. They need money to buy groceries, pay the bills, etc. Unless they miraculously come across a huge pot of money, they will continue to work soul-sucking jobs and live miserable lives.
Some people try to escape. They try to control their destinies by starting businesses and side hustles. However, entrepreneurship is not for everyone, and success is not guaranteed.
Others embrace the FIRE movement (financial independence, retire early). In a nutshell, they try to save as much money as they can and call it quits. Instead of retiring in their 60s, some people can retire in their 40s. This might mean being extremely frugal for years, but whatever works.