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Aug 22, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on Life After Economics: David Graeber on Bullshit Jobs.
@19 It turns how we define the word 'value'. Let's nail it down a bit more:

"Value: Actions aimed at a certain goal involving a person deciding to produce something (which does not have to be material). This requires the person imagining said goal, and the relations it will take to create it, since man has the gift of imagination and is a social creature."

I'm actually paraphrasing Graeber's definition of value from "Towards an Anthropological Theory of Value". You can begin to see what he's getting at now. In the article, he's arguing that if a job is both inefficient in the production and distribution of goods, AND is devoid of anyone's observable conception of value, it's a bullshit job. As he says, it's always up to the person performing the task to determine if their job is of the bullshit variety. His definition of value is why he believes this to be so.

So Graeber isn't arguing that a benevolent dictator should be making any decisions about other people's conception of value. He's saying that value (his definition) should be democratized through the elimination of unnecessary work. You seem to implicitly take two different stances on this issue. On one hand, you're saying that nobody can truly tell another person if their work is valuable. I agree with this. If said person isn't deciding for themselves, we're actually talking about someone else's value being channeled through the labor of said person.

On the other hand, you're claiming that in fact the market is the final arbiter of value. At this point we need to examine who "the market" represents. And thus we go back to Graeber's quote in the article about 1% of the population controlling the majority resources. So when we use the euphemism of the market, we're really talking about the conception of value being controlled by the 1%.
Aug 21, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on Life After Economics: David Graeber on Bullshit Jobs.
@1 Right, but you're missing the premise of the article. There's no reason we have to organize an economy around the principles you mention any more, even if we charitably assume what you describe is how things actually work.

His argument is that the underlying reason resources and who gets to determine value are being rationed the way they are is social control. It surely can't be for reasons of production and distribution, as workers have been massively diverted worldwide away from these very tasks over the past 100 years. The economic theory you articulate is obsolete.
Jun 4, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on The Minimum Wage: Putting Some Myths to Rest.
@7 Considering that you seem to spend most of your waking hours spamming the comments of every post I read here, I'm sure you haven't just skated through life on mediocre effort and white male privilege.
Jun 3, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on The State Department Wouldn't Know Irony If It Smacked Them In the Face.
@3 Look, we can't help it if our society has been brainwashed to believe that the only possible way to structure social interactions is a hierarchical bureaucracy, and it takes a while to unlearn. From the looks of things, there's going to be another wave of democratic unrest soon that you can come up with new and exciting excuses not to participate in. Just sit tight... and keep sitting.
May 31, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on "Supersize My Salary Now!".
@26 That's not a fact of life, that's a fact of capitalism which can be changed.
May 30, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on "Supersize My Salary Now!".
Henry Ford figured out 100 years ago that if you want capitalism to work (not my preference, but to each their own), you need to pay workers adequate wages so they can buy stuff. How are commenters on here still confused about this shit?
May 3, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on An Interview With the Man In the Hat (Upon His Release from Jail After His May Day Arrest).
Thanks for actually interviewing the people involved, instead of turning May Day into an extended disaster story like the rest of the media.
Apr 20, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on I Hate the Beacon Hill Library, and You Should Too.
Good stuff, Charles. Seems like you've struck a nerve with the white, liberal Stranger readership based on the comments. Strike away.
Mar 7, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on More Evidence of Global Economic Recovery.
@6 God that would be beautiful. You've given me hope for a better(or at least more schadenfreude-fueled) future.
Mar 7, 2013 Tent_Liberation_Army commented on More Evidence of Global Economic Recovery.
@2 ...that really, really wasn't the point of this article. It was more that the entire growth-based paradigm is looking increasingly suicidal for our species. Yet neither of the two major political parties are proposing any other construct.

It's actually kind of nuts to think about. "Growth" has replaced any sort of articulated societal goal in America. But growth is largely illusory, fueled by externalizing hidden costs in production, such as environmental damage. As the externalized damage becomes more noticeable, economics increasingly turns into a zero-sum game, with wealth being transferred to a small oligarchy.

Someone asked Bill Clinton a few years back how to fix the economy. His reply was that we'd have to come up with a technological advance as great as the internet. While that would certainly kick-start our growth model again, it's indicative of how the elites seem incapable of examining the larger assumptions our society is based on.