Accontentarsi della ricchezza

BERKELEY – Negli Stati Uniti, sono necessari solo tre lavoratori su dieci per produrre e consegnare i beni che consumiamo. Tutto quello che estraiamo, sviluppiamo, progettiamo, costruiamo, creiamo e trasportiamo – anche semplicemente preparare una tazza di caffè nella cucina di un ristorante e portarla al tavolo di un cliente – viene eseguito a malapena dal 30% della forza lavoro del Paese.

Il resto passa il tempo a pianificare cosa fare, a decidere dove collocare le cose che ha fatto, a compiere servizi personali, a parlare con gli altri e a registrare quello che sta facendo, in modo da poter capire meglio cosa fare dopo. E invece, nonostante la nostra evidente capacità di produrre molto più di quello di cui abbiamo bisogno, non ci riteniamo fortunati ad avere una tale sovrabbondanza di ricchezza. Uno dei più grandi paradossi dei nostri tempi è che i lavoratori e le famiglie della classe media continuano a combattere in un periodo di abbondanza senza pari.

Noi, nei Paesi sviluppati, abbiamo a disposizione più del necessario per soddisfare i nostri bisogni primari. Abbiamo abbastanza legami carbonio-idrogeno da rompere per rifornirci di calorie; abbastanza vitamine e altri nutrienti per mantenerci in salute; abbastanza vestiti per tenerci caldi; abbastanza capitali per mantenerci, almeno potenzialmente, produttivi; e abbastanza divertimenti per non annoiarci. E produciamo tutto questo, in media, per meno di due ore di lavoro al giorno fuori casa.

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