Working, what’s the point?


“Working, what’s the point?" This is the title to a piece on the BBC that highlights the dim prospects of work for two un-employed twenty-somethings, in a former mining town in Northern England. But it’s also a question that they themselves raise in discussion.

So let me answer the question for them: The point is so that I can pay for others to survive whilst they look for work as opposed to insuring against my loss of income should I lose my job. I work so that I can pay for the healthcare of others should they become ill rather than paying to secure my good health in the future. I work so that other peoples’ children can gain an education, yet I know that should my own children ever want an education I will struggle to pay. I work so that the wages and pensions of those that redistribute my earnings into services I don’t require are generous. Far more generous than I could ever imagine. I work so that I can pay more to the government when I use services, when I drink, when I eat, when I read, when I heat my home, when I light my room. I work so that you don’t have to. And for that I’m left wondering, “what’s the point?"

A small percentage of my money does end up in the right place. It pays for a police force to keep the streets safe for others and me. It pays for an air force, navy and army to keep the nation safe and it pays for a justice system that prosecutes transgressors. (Or it should in theory).

Perhaps the day is fast approaching when I and others like me shrug one morning, roll over, hit snooze and also say quietly, “Working, what’s the point?"