At one point, work meant something. We’d put in our hours, and in return, we’d make enough money to have a decent standard of living, including a home, a car, and maybe a few short trips each year.
The antiwork community on Reddit claims the bargain no longer exists. Work is no longer worth it.
What’s the Point?
One user, the Original Poster (OP), came to Reddit venting about their current situation. During their stressful morning commute, they came to the stunning realization: what’s the point?
“Most of us are just working to survive, living to work if you will,” claimed OP. “We work sh*t jobs with sh*t pay with hardly any free time to ourselves.”
No Way Out
OP pointed out that the laughable advice people receive about bettering themselves no longer applies.
“Get a Better Job,” they say, not realizing that most jobs have the same problems: They’re soul-sucking and still don’t pay a minimum wage.
“Get an education,” they stress, ignoring the outlandish cost of college in the US and the crippling debt crushing an entire generation.
Is This All Their Is?
OP finished their rant by lamenting the human condition.
“I can’t help but feel like this isn’t how humans are supposed to live,” they said. “Under constant stress, anxiety and depression while working jobs that barely cover the rent all while being one major emergency from being homeless or in debt.”
“What are we even doing here?” they ultimately asked.
So Many in Similar Straights
The community commiserated with OP, each sharing their own financial struggles and inability to get ahead.
“The cost of living has gotten out of control and takes a really high income to achieve financial independence alone,” said one user.
“We are so far removed from “living life” at this point because of the hyper-monetization of everything,” added another.
“90% of my life is work, and the other 10% is being tired from working. I have a federal job in the US working 6 days a week and still can’t afford a house where I live,” commiserated a third.
Social Contract Broken
One user said the social contract is broken.
“It’s why we are seeing more and more people slipping into addiction and despair- and not participating in this system. I don’t really blame them,” they stated.
Corporations paid just enough to keep the middle class fat and happy until they didn’t. Now, if you’re not rich, you’re poor, and the middle class is slowly fading into oblivion.
So What Can We Do?
On a personal level, there’s not much we can do. Each person can individually try to rise and get a better job, but those are few and far between.
Some decided that working for someone else wasn’t cutting it, so they went into business for themselves. They blog, stream, edit videos, and take freelance work to make ends meet, but it allows them to live more freely.
We can also work to change the system. Demand action from politicians. Organize so they can’t ignore us. Vote out career politicians who steered the ship into this mess and support candidates who put people first.
The situation may be dire, but it’s not unsalvageable. We can still save the American Dream.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.