actual facts

Wage Slavery: What it is, Why we do it, and What we can do about it.

What is it?

Why is it that we work 4o or more hours a week without hesitation? We spend the majority of our life working for someone else and little freedom to spend and do what we love doing most. We go to the grocery store when everyone else is going, we go to the mall when its packed, we go to the park with our children when everyone else is there, we drive in horrendous traffic five days a week and we go on vacations when everyone else has time off and spend hundreds of dollars on plane tickets that would’ve been cheaper if we had gone the next week but we can’t get those days off from work. We work five days a week, get two days of freedom and start to feel the Sunday blues when we realize we have to wake up and do it all over again Monday morning…for decades. We are the only species that works for a living and yet people are so conditioned to believe that we have to work a traditional job in order to survive. Wage slavery is defined as a person who works for a wage, especially with total and immediate dependency on the income from such labor. Most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and when we have a J.O.B or (Just Over Broke), we have to work or our basic necessities and wants will be severely diminished. Most people make enough just to get by and some make enough to live plenty, but work so many hours that they never get to enjoy the money they make. Isn’t it scary to give one company all that power over us? Because nowadays, people are becoming increasingly disposable and when they put all their eggs in one basket, shit hits the fan. Now don’t get me wrong, some people love their job, and that’s great. The problem is when that job is gone, or you’re laid off, you no longer have the funds to survive.

During the 19th century, there were no labor laws and people were ridiculously overworked. Most people were working 16 hour days and were tired of it, especially since the pay in return was little to live on.

When protests emerged, companies were forced to listen and reduce the hours people worked and suggested an eight hour day and people accepted that immediately. During the 20th century, people would work at companies for decades and then retired from that company and received a pension until they passed away. Nowadays companies are disposable and the rapid emergence of technology has made it impossible for companies to keep anyone for decades and then receive a pension during retirement. It is much more profitable for companies to fire you when you reach a certain age and hire someone younger that can get the same job done more efficiently also, they can pay the younger person less money.

Why We Do It?

Our parents and their parents before them have been working traditional jobs their whole lives and they see this as an only option to make money. They have outdated beliefs that we have to be born with wealthy parents, be an amazing actor, great athlete or freakishly smart in order to make money another way. They believe that going to school is our ticket to securing a career with a company for the next forty years. Social conditioning has bred us to believe that this is the only way to make a living and create wealth even though we know that this isn’t “working” or that we aren’t happy doing it. Albert Einstein states that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. We graduate college expecting this new job to fulfill our desires, wants and needs but are let down eventually. We then seek to find better employment but are left feeling empty inside. Doing this over and over again and expecting different results shows who the true “insane” people are.

As children when we went to school, we were conditioned to answer the question of “what do you want to be”. This question enabled us to believe that we can only “be” something and not “do”. Allowing us to realize that our job defines who we are as people, which is false and crippling information. During middle and high school we have multiple meaningless classes to prepare us for college where we eventually join the workforce, and realize that we are never living to our full potential.

What Can We Do About It

We have been conditioned to believe that living a life of normalcy is true happiness. When you are old and laying on your death bed, you aren’t going to regret taking risks and making mistakes, you will regret not doing and living the way you wanted to. We only get one life, and we should have the right to choose what we want to do with it. We shouldn’t have to be subjected to a life of inadequacy and living for the weekends. Truth is, most graduate students end up realizing that having a degree doesn’t guarantee you a way out of unhappiness.

In order to be truly happy, we have to do things that we enjoy doing. To figure out what it is that makes us happy, think about something that you enjoy doing for free or have always wanted to learn doing. Do you enjoy helping others? Dancing? Creating Content?

The essence of making money without a traditional gig is to supply a need for something that people are willing to pay for. That could be anything. Think of your favorite musical artist, when they drop a new album, you pay for it because you feel like you “need” to listen to their content. You buy their merchandise, you pay for expensive seats at their concert because they’re supplying your need for their music, so in return you pay for their lifestyle.

If we truly do not want to work a traditional job and get the most out of life, it takes patience, a lot of work, creativity and resilience. There will be people telling us not to take such a risk and be under the safety net of a job. But if we are true outliers, we don’t listen to the hype because we know that true happiness is real freedom to do, live and go where you want without restraints.

By: Shaahazadee Khaaliq © 2019