Why We Don’t Quit Those Bullshit Jobs

Why We Don’t Quit Those Bullshit Jobs

VPRO (2019)

Film Review

This film, featuring anarchist anthropologist David Graeber, challenges the myth that capitalism is the most efficient form of economic production – namely because it creates a large number of managerial jobs that contribute nothing to the economy. Thirty-seven percent of UK employees believe it would make no difference to society if their jobs didn’t exist.

While adding nothing to the economy, many of these jobs are responsible for major environmental damage. This is especially true of jobs designed to aimed at increasing consumption of useless stuff. An advertising executive, for example, creates £8 of environmental damage for every £1 of salary.

Graeber contrasts redundant and damaging management jobs with low paid front line caring jobs. A childcare worker creates £9 of social value for every £1 of salary earned.

At the same time the productivity demands of the bureaucratic management class make it much more difficult for front line care workers to carry out their work. At present nurses spend 60-70% of their work day filling out forms for their managers. This leave them scant time for actual patient care.

Graeber maintains that contrary to right wing propaganda, corporations are every bit as bureaucratic as government, if not more so. Upper tier managers are loathe to reduce the number of front line managers because their pay and status derive from the number of people they supervise.

The film, which is in German with English subtitles, features interviews with a number of German managers and ex-managers. They talk about the nightmare of going to work everyday and trying to look busy (by spending time on Facebook and other on-line sites) because their assigned work takes up so little of their time.

 

 

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