I am always surprised when life follows fiction (perhaps I shouldn’t be). In Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged1 the world stops working and things start falling apart. As the story unfolds, we learn that the governments of the world essentially step in and redistribute the by products of work to those who have need (I would say want). Over time those who work get tired of working to support those who have “need” but won’t work. Productivity and innovation die. The government decides who gets what including income and wages. In other words, income is disconnected from work and effort. Switzerland just attempted to become the first nation to decouple income and work. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/05/swiss-vote-give-basic-income-every-adult-child-marxist-dream) Fortunately 78.1% of the voters rejected the proposal; however, just the fact that it made it to the ballot and is under consideration should be a wake up call to all of us.
Before you start saying “not everyone can work”, that is true. Some people are incapable due to physical, mental or other challenges. Those who are capable should work. The Bible tells us in 2 Thessalonians 3:10
“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” NIV
Work is the basis of self-respect and in finding a sense of accomplishment. It is the means by which we contribute to community.
Now if a person cannot work because there are no jobs, then we need to examine why there are no job opportunities. But I’ll save that discussion for another day.
Copyright ©2016 Lea A. Strickland
1 If you haven’t read the book, I recommend you read it or at least watch the three part movie series based on the book to get the big picture.
Note: I don’t agree with Rand’s Objectivism or that our objective in this world is one’s own happiness. I believe in the God of Bible.