If we stop stigmatizing the non-employed, we can stop pushing people into jobs that offer little collective benefit. From telemarketers to chuggers to sign holders to beggars, huge numbers of people are forced to eek out an existence on the fringes of the economy in roles that have almost no marginal economic output.
I don’t feel too good about posting a link on a topic that I know next to nothing about (economics), but I liked the clarity and (relative) calmness of this post.
For some additional, related reading, take a look at Economy of Plenty, a post that extensively quotes and summarises two essays written by John Keynes and Bertrand Russell in the 1930s. They quite beautifully explain how to deal with a society of people that don’t need to work. Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a novel set in such a world, go read it if you find that sort of thing interesting.
You Are Not an Artisan is only tangentially related, but also a great read. This essay deals with the future nature of work, with the kinds of jobs the machines will leave for us.