The harder you work, the more money you should earn. It’s not fair that we go out to work whilst others sit at home and claim benefits. Right? Both statements are commonly said my many a Tory. But, I have a few problems with these statements.
One would assume that the harder one works, the more money one would earn. But this simply isn't the case and never has been. You could alter the statement by saying ‘the longer ones works, the more one earns.’ I would agree with that completely as it’s a fact. But, working hard doesn't necessarily pay. Nurses work desperately hard and yet they are paid less than £30,000 a year. Meanwhile, a big shot CEO could earn ten times that amount for sitting in his office all day and taking three months holiday a year. Or if you think that CEO has earned that money, what about an ordinary manager at Tesco. He’s probably earning the same amount as the nurse and yet one would be hard pushed to say he works as hard as a nurse.
This isn’t about raising nurses pay. This isn't about introducing a higher rate of tax for the rich. This is about the mantra that hard work pays off. It doesn’t. It’s a Conservative soundbite that rings well with white collar workers. It’s this mantra that has made so many people dogmatic about capitalism and created a rightwing ceiling in offices across the country.
The second point I’d like to touch on is ‘It’s not fair that we go out to work whilst others sit at home and claim benefits.’ This one isn't just a Tory saying but a national hatred. 90 per cent of the population would argue that these people are lazy and they need to get off their fat arses and work. But, have you not ever thought that these people just want to be free? They don’t want to be slaves like the rest of us. The chains of the west grinding them down to a pulp. No, you probably haven't and still probably won’t because capitalism has told you what is right and what is wrong. Now, there are benefit claimants that are genuinely lazy and don’t want to work because they can’t be bothered. But, this is different to not wanting to be a slave.
Both Miliband and Cameron used the phrase “hard-working people” in this election. But, this soundbite is so misunderstood. Working hard doesn't always pay. Working longer does. But working longer doesn't mean you work harder. I’m not advocating to do the bare minimum as my views are far more radical that telling people to work a little less harder at work. It really is amazing that the American Dream has crossed the Atlantic Ocean and deluded all of our minds.