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Saberu

Digging Your Own Grave

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Here's the article: http://herinst.org/sbeder/workethic/grave.html

A lot of people on this forum know how corrupt the system is, yet still follow the 'work ethic' line which I would agree with if we were given lower living costs in terms of rent and food but as it stands people are living to work which I think is unacceptable considering for most of us that means earning just enough to cover daily expenses. A lot of HPC members are successful and save money, get a good salary but this is definitely not representative of the wider population. A labourer in Liverpool was talking about how scarce work is and how pay is so low you could spend all day refitting a bathroom and only get 60 pounds for it, an extreme example but an accurate reflection of life in Britain today.

I don't agree with the amount of money unemployed parents get in Britain for having children which is just obscene but they clearly get 5-6x more than people on Job Seekers Allowance in Britain which is so low as to say you are pretty much on the poverty line rationining your meat because you need to eat more staples like rice, potato and noodles just to survive and probably worse off in the winter if you can't afford heating.. at least pensioners have the winter heating allowance.

I was just saying to my Australian friend (who also teaches English in China like me) that I would like to move to Australia (as I also have Aussie citizenship) and he said "Oh Saberu you are so stupid, people work their guts off just to survive". And he is talking about a country where quality of life is generally much better than in Britain.

Youth unemployment in Britain and Australia are both high, I think around 20-25% so being 'on the dole' is a systematic problem rather than a case of people not wanting to work. Overalll unemployment is much lower, I've heard 5% for Australia and I know it's around 8-10% in Britain so you can see older people with experience have more chance of getting available work which is the reason for youth unemployment... it's not laziness like many would believe.

I get a reasonably good pay in China, free accomodation and much lower living costs but I'd rather be in Australia and 'looking for work' as I'd have the free time to work on my computer so I could one day become successful and break out of the live to work pattern. I'm doing much better than most people my age in Britain in terms of quality of life (i work low hours), I'm doing worse than many people on this forum in terms of pay but I definitely work much less hours than most of you. Despite this I still think I could and woud like to have a much more comfortable life- so I view the lives of most of you simply as slaves to the system. Right now I am a comfortable slave, but still a slave. I work weekdays and get weekends off but the weekdays I work, when I finish work I am too tired to want to bother doing any work for myself.

As a person with high aspirations in life, I want to definitely become rich and have an even more comfortable life than I have right now. I believe I can do so because I have the ability to get there but just need the time and energy to do so. I don't think everyone deserves to be that successful, but the average Britain at least deserves the quality of life which I get right now... ie working 16 hours/ week and if I wanted I could afford to eat out every night.

In my opinion there are two ways out of the system for young people my age, this excludes most of the HPC members who already have a house, or a large savings pot to buy one. One way is to live in a country like Australia, work your nuts off in a country where high paying work still exsits if you are prepared to work very hard then save up money for a house. Then get enough to buy a small property (say an apartment), the key is getting something cheap so you don't need to be a mortgage slave.

The second much more difficult way out of the system which I want to try is to become successful at doing business, but not everyone has the skills and work ethic to try that option. I believe I have the skills but I don't have that killer work ethic that would motivate me to work in a job and work on business stuff simeltaniously. Therefore the system wants to prevent me from getting higher, but I have a plan to get higher unfortunately it involves being labelled a 'dole scrounger'.

I'd be willing to work part-time 15 hours/ week in Australia... problem is I'd be earning less than I would get from the dole. So as a person who has decided I no longer want to do a full time job, and whilst 16 hours/ week is not full-time anyone whose taught spoken English will know an hour of that is like 2 hours in the office, or on a till so still harder than a part-time job.

I'm expecting most people to flame me and say I am a nutter with crazy dreams/ excuses for wanting to be on the dole. But I'm pretty sure my skills, intelligence, drive and motivation are better than most people sitting on the dole right now. I'd be happy to claim much less dole money if it didn't cost an arm and a leg to rent in Australia, I'd be happy with just food, internet and shelter.

In China you can rent an apartment for 60 pounds/ month, internet for 10 pounds/ month then the rest on food, you can live on 150 pounds/ month if you are a Chinese and many Chinese people who earn 200-300/ month only spend 100-150 then save the rest but as a foreigner you'd still need to pay an extra 50/ month for a visa. Living costs are artifically high in Western countries, otherwise we'd all be much richer and dole could be as little as 200 pounds/ month (i mean including everything like rent) yet people would be living better than they do now say... in Britain on JSA.

I can tell you as a fact at least half if not the majority of jobs in China provide their workers with free accomodation, usually sharing an apartment with a workmate. This really kills in the face the idea that Chinese people are paid extremely poorly. 200-300 pounds/ month plus free accomodation is almost as good as minimum wage in Britain considering things like food are 3x cheaper. Western people on minimum wage are really no better off than those Chinese workers, except I admit don't have to work as long hours and can probably afford a handful more electronics... maybe buy a big screen TV if they saved up :rolleyes:

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In China you can rent an apartment for 60 pounds/ month

Where?

many Chinese people who earn 200-300/ month only spend 100-150 then save the rest

Sure, that's a grand total of a grand saved in a year

I can tell you as a fact at least half if not the majority of jobs in China provide their workers with free accomodation, usually sharing an apartment with a workmate.

Linky please. Never heard of companies handing out free apartments. Free dorms with shared facilities, sure. I never knew anyone in China who got a free apartment with their work. I knew people living in dorms and I knew people with subsidised housing.

This really kills in the face the idea that Chinese people are paid extremely poorly. 200-300 pounds/ month plus free accomodation is almost as good as minimum wage in Britain considering things like food are 3x cheaper. Western people on minimum wage are really no better off than those Chinese workers, except I admit don't have to work as long hours and can probably afford a handful more electronics... maybe buy a big screen TV if they saved up :rolleyes:

The average Chinese person does not work part time hours or anything like that. Be it office job, factory job or in the countryside. Half of Chinese people live in the countryside. Have you checked out the living conditions there? Then you have the people making iPods and, according to you, living the life of Reilly in a shared dorm. People on the minimum wage in Britain do not live in shared dorms. Whilst you claim to have lived all over China and speak the language fluently, you also say you have lived there 2 years. It doesn't stack up. Assuming you moved jobs every 6 months, which is extremely frequent, you have lived in a maximum of 4 places. That is not all over. I don't know why you are so determined to talk up the living standards of the average Chinese. Either you don't know what they are, or perhaps you are trying to alleviate your conscience over earning so much more than them and doing so much less. Hence the whole "work ethic is bad" thing

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Saberu, the fixed costs of living in Australia, especially housing, are no longer low relative to wages. Not so many years ago you could live in Australia in a shared house, work 16 hours a week and have time for your own projects. I knew people who did this and wrote books (one of which was turned into a successful film), or just dossed around and had a good time. This is no longer the case. "Normal" people really struggle here to make ends meet these days.

Some are doing better than ever though. There are some professions that still pay obscenely well. There are many small medical practices around where I live that are advertising for GPs, willing to pay $250-$300k! I live in a desirable part of the country...so God knows why they have to pay so much. One of my good friends is a GP - he worked hard in Sydney for 5 years, bought a beautiful house in the Blue Mountains and is now on 24 hours a week living the dream with his wife and kids and earning about as much as a professor working full time at a university (which is also relatively well paid).

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Here's the article: http://herinst.org/sbeder/workethic/grave.html

A lot of people on this forum know how corrupt the system is, yet still follow the 'work ethic' line which I would agree with if we were given lower living costs in terms of rent and food but as it stands people are living to work which I think is unacceptable considering for most of us that means earning just enough to cover daily expenses. A lot of HPC members are successful and save money, get a good salary but this is definitely not representative of the wider population. A labourer in Liverpool was talking about how scarce work is and how pay is so low you could spend all day refitting a bathroom and only get 60 pounds for it, an extreme example but an accurate reflection of life in Britain today.

I don't agree with the amount of money unemployed parents get in Britain for having children which is just obscene but they clearly get 5-6x more than people on Job Seekers Allowance in Britain which is so low as to say you are pretty much on the poverty line rationining your meat because you need to eat more staples like rice, potato and noodles just to survive and probably worse off in the winter if you can't afford heating.. at least pensioners have the winter heating allowance.

I was just saying to my Australian friend (who also teaches English in China like me) that I would like to move to Australia (as I also have Aussie citizenship) and he said "Oh Saberu you are so stupid, people work their guts off just to survive". And he is talking about a country where quality of life is generally much better than in Britain.

Youth unemployment in Britain and Australia are both high, I think around 20-25% so being 'on the dole' is a systematic problem rather than a case of people not wanting to work. Overalll unemployment is much lower, I've heard 5% for Australia and I know it's around 8-10% in Britain so you can see older people with experience have more chance of getting available work which is the reason for youth unemployment... it's not laziness like many would believe.

I get a reasonably good pay in China, free accomodation and much lower living costs but I'd rather be in Australia and 'looking for work' as I'd have the free time to work on my computer so I could one day become successful and break out of the live to work pattern. I'm doing much better than most people my age in Britain in terms of quality of life (i work low hours), I'm doing worse than many people on this forum in terms of pay but I definitely work much less hours than most of you. Despite this I still think I could and woud like to have a much more comfortable life- so I view the lives of most of you simply as slaves to the system. Right now I am a comfortable slave, but still a slave. I work weekdays and get weekends off but the weekdays I work, when I finish work I am too tired to want to bother doing any work for myself.

As a person with high aspirations in life, I want to definitely become rich and have an even more comfortable life than I have right now. I believe I can do so because I have the ability to get there but just need the time and energy to do so. I don't think everyone deserves to be that successful, but the average Britain at least deserves the quality of life which I get right now... ie working 16 hours/ week and if I wanted I could afford to eat out every night.

In my opinion there are two ways out of the system for young people my age, this excludes most of the HPC members who already have a house, or a large savings pot to buy one. One way is to live in a country like Australia, work your nuts off in a country where high paying work still exsits if you are prepared to work very hard then save up money for a house. Then get enough to buy a small property (say an apartment), the key is getting something cheap so you don't need to be a mortgage slave.

The second much more difficult way out of the system which I want to try is to become successful at doing business, but not everyone has the skills and work ethic to try that option. I believe I have the skills but I don't have that killer work ethic that would motivate me to work in a job and work on business stuff simeltaniously. Therefore the system wants to prevent me from getting higher, but I have a plan to get higher unfortunately it involves being labelled a 'dole scrounger'.

I'd be willing to work part-time 15 hours/ week in Australia... problem is I'd be earning less than I would get from the dole. So as a person who has decided I no longer want to do a full time job, and whilst 16 hours/ week is not full-time anyone whose taught spoken English will know an hour of that is like 2 hours in the office, or on a till so still harder than a part-time job.

I'm expecting most people to flame me and say I am a nutter with crazy dreams/ excuses for wanting to be on the dole. But I'm pretty sure my skills, intelligence, drive and motivation are better than most people sitting on the dole right now. I'd be happy to claim much less dole money if it didn't cost an arm and a leg to rent in Australia, I'd be happy with just food, internet and shelter.

In China you can rent an apartment for 60 pounds/ month, internet for 10 pounds/ month then the rest on food, you can live on 150 pounds/ month if you are a Chinese and many Chinese people who earn 200-300/ month only spend 100-150 then save the rest but as a foreigner you'd still need to pay an extra 50/ month for a visa. Living costs are artifically high in Western countries, otherwise we'd all be much richer and dole could be as little as 200 pounds/ month (i mean including everything like rent) yet people would be living better than they do now say... in Britain on JSA.

I can tell you as a fact at least half if not the majority of jobs in China provide their workers with free accomodation, usually sharing an apartment with a workmate. This really kills in the face the idea that Chinese people are paid extremely poorly. 200-300 pounds/ month plus free accomodation is almost as good as minimum wage in Britain considering things like food are 3x cheaper. Western people on minimum wage are really no better off than those Chinese workers, except I admit don't have to work as long hours and can probably afford a handful more electronics... maybe buy a big screen TV if they saved up :rolleyes:

Ok, I've been reading these forums for what seems like forever but I feel compelled to reply to this thread because it simply ties in with a lot of my beliefs. I also worked in China last year teaching English at a university and managed to live off £500 a month in my free apartment and restaurant meals/beer most evenings. Why did I do this? Well, after 4 years teaching science in a mainstream high school in northern England I became disillusioned with the fact that even though I am reasonably well educated, and work very hard in a stressful environment (please don't start the 'teachers have it easy' line) I simply couldn't afford to buy a house in an area that I feel my credentials matched up to. I literally felt like a slave to the system and figured that escaping was the only option that would improve my quality of life. No regrets. The only problem with this scenario is that, as a previous poster stated, you cannot save money. I put away £100 a month out of my £500 which enabled me to holiday during the summer but I would like to move back to the UK at somepoint and so need more income... hence I am now working in Taiwan.

As for living on the dole? Well, I guess I have that 'work ethic' as most people do. I enjoy working, I enjoy making a difference to people's lives as a teacher and I couldn't imagine life otherwise.

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I don't think everyone deserves to be that successful, but the average Britain at least deserves the quality of life which I get right now... ie working 16 hours/ week and if I wanted I could afford to eat out every night.

Why? What has the average Briton done to be able to deserve this? Should other nations work harder to subsidise the Brits?

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so being 'on the dole' is a systematic problem rather than a case of people not wanting to work.

Can it not be both in many cases?

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As a person with high aspirations in life, I want to definitely become rich

...

I no longer want to do a full time job, and whilst 16 hours/ week is not full-time anyone whose taught spoken English will know an hour of that is like 2 hours in the office, or on a till so still harder than a part-time job.

Good luck trying to get rich working less than 16 hours a week! :lol:

Actually I think you seem to split productive activities into an arbitrary distinction of "work" which is for someone else and "other projects" which will make you rich.

I know two self-made millionaires: one is an employee who rose up to the top, the other started his own business and built it up.

You can do it both ways. However, they are the two hardest-working people I know.

If you have a fulfilling job like teaching and a comfortable lifestyle, do you even need to be any richer??

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If you have a fulfilling job like teaching and a comfortable lifestyle, do you even need to be any richer??

I'm moving up the English teaching 'ladder', that is to say in this not particularly well paying job market I am now earning around 66% (so 2/3) more than I was when I started due to a mix of having a couple of years experience and much better job finding skills.

I have 3 friends all doing English teaching, they work much harder than me because they are a little 'ahead' in the job ladder and sure they earn a little more than me (30% maybe) but definitely isn't worth it. I noticed I work harder now than my last job on almost the same pay just because I want to live in a big city with more cultured people, I'm paying the price for entering a competitive market.

I noticed my manager works harder than me, she's Chinese so she probably doesn't get paid more than me maybe the same. She wants to start her own English training centre in future because she knows working for a living is a con, well because she's clever.

Hell you know what? Just about every person I meet who seems intelligent wants to start their own business which I think is the only good option unless you have a really rewarding career or you are a musician for example.

If I missed a class by a few minutes I would be fined and given a warning. If it happened 3 times I'd probably be fired, which isn't a problem as I could get another job. My workplace is stricter because I'm entering a more competitive market by wanting to live in a good city where more foreigners would like to work.

I very much see the importance of being to class on time, I just don't think doing a job where you need the kind of clockwork timing that soldiers must adhere to is something you can describe as comfortable. From my perspective it's an obvious window into my slave like relationship to the 'money provider' ie the company paying my wage.

If you are a boss, you can be a little late to a meeting with your employees or your customers and sure they will be pissed but you don't sacrifice anything... your 'job' isn't on the line so to speak. And you don't have to work a specific time every day, you become a free man .. free to choose when and how he works and your choices to work hard are born out of freedom not out of need.

I didn't really have much motivation to work for myself until now. I recently met a girl who has an amazing fun personality and still pretty and one of the few good hearted people I've ever met. I want to marry her, my life now has purpose because I know if I work hard I can look after her and make her happy. Money was never a big enough motivation for me.

I may consider still staying here to teach English, but I am strongly considering going to Australia so I can have time and energy to work hard for myself.

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Eitherway this is the direction things are heading in, better to embrace rather than resist and get left behind imo. :)

Agreed. And I think think my skills are very well placed to take advantage of it. I speak semi-fluent Chinese and have a lot of IT skills including web marketing so I'd like to be at the fore front of international trade rather than teach English to the children of parents who got wealthy from trade so I can give their children the skills to also be much wealthier than me.

My new girlfriend who I plan to marry has also agreed to come with me, so I am a very lucky man.

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Never heard of companies handing out free apartments. Free dorms with shared facilities, sure. I never knew anyone in China who got a free apartment with their work. I knew people living in dorms and I knew people with subsidised housing.

Free housing with State companies (the biggest employers) was the norm in China.

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If you are a boss, you can be a little late to a meeting with your employees or your customers and sure they will be pissed but you don't sacrifice anything... your 'job' isn't on the line so to speak. And you don't have to work a specific time every day, you become a free man .. free to choose when and how he works and your choices to work hard are born out of freedom not out of need.

I suggest that you set up a business and see if you will be as free as you think. Try to file your VAT return a day late, forget to comply with some regulatory rules,

forget to have arrange for enough money in the banks when payments are to go out etc. Or if your major customer demand that something is done by close of business today or else.

The only way to be a free man is to have a very kind and rich parents (or wife) or win a lottery.

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Why? What has the average Briton done to be able to deserve this? Should other nations work harder to subsidise the Brits?

Some Asian cultures seem obsessed with working all hours, regardless of the monetary gains or the physical and spiritual harm it does. If they want to live like that, and then export the products of their labour to the West where they are sold cheaply, fine by me.

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If we value the work ethic so much why do we spend so much of our societies capital, research, and human resources trying to invent new labour saving devices?

These devices will put people out of work preventing them from doing the one thing we say we want them to do- work.

So what is it we want- do we want people to work, or do we want to eliminate their jobs using technology?

There seems some confusion on this score. For example the same people who complain loudest about 'lazy, workshy scroungers' will also jump up and down if someone complains about technology killing jobs-'Luddites'! they cry.

So they love the technology that replaces jobs but hate the people whose jobs have been replaced. :blink:

Is it possible to be a workshy luddite? :D

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So they love the technology that replaces jobs but hate the people whose jobs have been replaced. :blink:

It's a big competition, those with capital and technology are encouraged to defeat those without it. I would like to use the technology and skills available to me to play the game of capitalism, if I have to 'bludge' job seekers allowance to do that then so be it but I'll still be a more productive person than all those people who just aimlessly search for jobs when there aren't enough to go around.

Though it will take me at least a year of saving money to be able to set myself up in Australia and that's because I'm lucky and don't have children/ dependants otherwise it would have been very difficult.

Some people would say if I want to earn good money in a skilled field then I should go to university to study engineering or medicine perhaps, but if you do that you are still a slave working for the system so your skill can't give you much freedom. The only very rewarding work is doing business (unless you have a unique skill ie musician or footballer) and if you do it as a career you are still a slave, even if you rise up very high you likely have to work your nuts off.

I'm sure even a good musician or footballer has to work his nuts off to be as good as he is so my plan is kind of selfish of wanting to make it big but not necessarily work all hours of the day. My plan to get out of the system is essentially the same dream perpetuated by many people on this forum just I have a method to do it and I am not too proud to claim JSA while trying to make something of my life. Many people here would hate me for that choice or would say I should work in my current job while working on my own things simeltaniously. The way I see it it's pretty obvious if I don't work in a job I will have 3x more spare time and be less tired so be more productive during my free time.

So I'm going to be a ******* and say screw work ethic. I think what I plan to do is much less immoral than the people who just sit on JSA without trying to make anything of their lives or search for a job of which there are millions. Anyway it's a long way off yet as I would have to save money for a year, who knows I might be successful by then :unsure:

Edited by Saberu

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If the work ethic meant anything there wouldn't be people demanding bonus's to do their already well paid jobs.

In fact the only time it even gets mentioned is in relation to people who are supposedly refusing to do jobs that pay minimum rates.

So it seems that the higher your pay the lower your ethics are assumed to be. Culminating in Bankers whose pay is astronomical and whose morality is deemed so fragile that even they themselves complain that their out of control greed is a symptom of poor regulation rather than lack of ethics- which they implicitly accept are entirely absent.

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If the work ethic meant anything there wouldn't be people demanding bonus's to do their already well paid jobs.

In fact the only time it even gets mentioned is in relation to people who are supposedly refusing to do jobs that pay minimum rates.

So it seems that the higher your pay the lower your ethics are assumed to be. Culminating in Bankers whose pay is astronomical and whose morality is deemed so fragile that even they themselves complain that their out of control greed is a symptom of poor regulation rather than lack of ethics- which they implicitly accept are entirely absent.

Well.... yeah, obviously.

Training the slaves to have a work ethic is just good business. You don't expect the masters to fall for that though, do you?

Because you know, it's ********. Hard work has zero value. Only products have value.

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I suggest that you set up a business and see if you will be as free as you think. Try to file your VAT return a day late, forget to comply with some regulatory rules,

forget to have arrange for enough money in the banks when payments are to go out etc. Or if your major customer demand that something is done by close of business today or else.

The only way to be a free man is to have a very kind and rich parents (or wife) or win a lottery.

Or live frugally and invest shed loads.

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Some Asian cultures seem obsessed with working all hours, regardless of the monetary gains or the physical and spiritual harm it does. If they want to live like that, and then export the products of their labour to the West where they are sold cheaply, fine by me.

Yep - they leap off the top floors of their company factory barracks in Taiwan by the Hundred

Japanese average 35,000 p.a suicides after working their corporate butts off, getting smashed out of their skulls due to the relentless (conformity) corporate pressures and crawl into their boxes to face another 12-15hr day (7+hrs unpaid)

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Funny how the more free the market gets the less free everyone else seems to get. Much more free market and we'll all be sleeping under our desks at night because going home won't be an option for today's thrusting young executive. :lol:

(Assuming you can afford a home that is.)

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I want to definitely become rich and have an even more comfortable life than I have right now

Appreciate the simple, free things in life - nature, learning, love, exercise etc - stop for two minutes and acknowledge the thrill of just being alive. The world is an amazing place.

If you are content, you are rich indeed.

And no matter how late or stressed or in a rush you are, never ever walk up an escalator!

be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be

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