Your Job Controls Your Life, Not The Government

Whether you realize it or not, your job probably limits your freedoms more than the government does. Think about it: What you wear, when you eat, the hours you are awake, etc., are all often determined by your employer.

I spent several years in academia where, yes, there are limits to one’s freedom, but those limits are often much less than in the world of industry. There wasn’t a particular dress code, I could eat whenever I wasn’t teaching a course, and I got to sleep in late sometimes because my schedule started at 10:00am.


As I transitioned from academia to the life of industry, what I found was a significant loss of freedom. Granted, not all academic jobs guarantee freedom, but I had significantly more freedom as a TA and an RA than when I was working this-or-that other job.

I have argued in the past that unless it’s a real need for a job—such as a medical need if one is a nurse or a safety need if one is a linemaintainer—that dress codes should be at the bare minimum in the workplace. Give people the freedom to wear jeans, t-shirt and sneakers instead of making them spend their hard-earned money on outfits that conform to the current business standard.

No doubt, the workplace could be improved with a shorter work week, a less demanding dress code and flexible lunches. These are just for starters. Most people are currently coerced into work. That is, they don’t work by choice. They work because they need money. That locks us into a system that grossly controls many aspects of our lives. A UBI, for example, could fix that by giving people the option to work or not work.

But make no mistake: However we got here, your job controls many aspects of your life and it’s time to question whether this is called for, to give people the option to work less and to give them the real choice of whether to work or not.

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