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The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

If there was no need of money, what would be the motivation for anyone to work?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14634points) October 29th, 2009

What if no one needed to work to survive? How would work get done?

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48 Answers

PandoraBoxx's avatar

yes, I like the mental stimulation.

gailcalled's avatar

There always needs to some medium of exchange. The barter society might work, with some complications and a lot of paper work. I repair your car, you take out my appendix.

I hunt the mastedon, you cook it. We both eat.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

probably, as the job I have is enjoyable. Go in every day, not likely. A few times a week, though, yeah, I could handle that.

Parrappa's avatar

I believe this is called communism? Social classes equal, government provides necessities but everyone is equal.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@Parrappa That’s not quite correct. In Communism everyone has to work, and there is still money.

Facade's avatar

Depends what you think “work” is. Even then I probably wouldn’t. I’d probably just have hobbies.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Self Actualization

nxknxk's avatar

I know some people with a great need of money and they still have no desire to work.

I would not work.

J0E's avatar

Only the work that needed to get done would be done. Like the stuff you already do without being paid, plus other essential things that would be necessary to survive.

ninjacolin's avatar

people only do things they’re compelled to do.
Slavery would get people to work. So would hunger.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

So if no one works. I guess bridges and roads are a thing of the past then.

Blondesjon's avatar

@gailcalled . . .me luv when you butch

adri027's avatar

room to grow

J0E's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Not necessarily, if enough people need a road or a bridge it will get built. If there wasn’t any money our jobs would get bigger since we would need to do more to survive.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@J0E So necessity is the motivation for work then.

J0E's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic In a world without money, yes. But I suppose the same can be said for a world with money.

wundayatta's avatar

So, perhaps you are suggesting that there are machines that provide us with anything we want, and there is an endless supply of resources for these machines to make us whatever we want?

We’d get involved in doing whatever we think is fun. Most of this would have to do with socializing. We’d make music, tell stories, dance, seek spiritual experiences, explore the world, and on and on.

We will always be doing something, whether we call it work or not.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@rangerr I sowry, I give you a cookie, mmkay?

J0E's avatar

@daloon I think we all would like to think that if there was no money we could just do whatever we wanted, but I doubt it. No money means no jobs which means people would have to do more, not less, than what they already do just to survive.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@daloon In a world without money, work would still have to be done to exist as a society.
What I’m asking is, “what would be the motivation to work?”, not “would you work?”.

rangerr's avatar

@Psychedelic_Zebra only if it’s dinosaur shaped..

laureth's avatar

If no one needed to work to live, perhaps work wouldn’t need to be done. But then someone would get bored and start producing something (knit sweaters, say, or wooden trivets) to pass the time. People would want the stuff, to decorate their place with and admire while they’re not working all day, or maybe wear to stay warm because the gas was shut off from nonpayment. But they would need to trade something for that trivet, so they’d produce something themselves, of equal value. And before you know it, all those nonworkers are working.

ninjacolin's avatar

the motivation to work comes from “need” not money.
and we’ll always do whatever we believe we “need” to do.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m saying that the notion of what work is would change. The robots would do all the work necessary to give us everything we want.

The motivation to “work” would be our need to pass on our genes. We would still all be in a competition for status. The arts or other entertainments like sports would be the arena of competition. You might argue that making music or writing or playing games is not work, but I think it is.

Anyway, it’s the same reason that we do any more work than is necessary for survival today: status. We’re monkeys and status in society is very important to us, whether or not our basic needs are provide free.

oratio's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Not entirely correct there either. No civilization has ever reached the communistic “state”. Money and leadership was deemed to be needed during the socialist phase building up to communism. Something they never left.

jsammons's avatar

I find it impossible to fathom a world without, not necessarily a need for money, but a currency of some sort. People would compare their wealth to who has more and bigger and better. I think that there would be a mental form of “money” regardless of a monetary system.

Clair's avatar

Self fulfillment.
Ex: If money was no issue, you could freely obtain a house. Ok,..but what about when this house got a leaky roof? What would be the motivation of you fixing this house instead of asking another to do it? Self fulfillment, making sure it was done right and showing that you are capable.
I agree with @daloon that even if there was no money, status would still be considered. And as the ever sexy @jsammons says, the bigger house would be ‘dominant’ to the smaller house. This hypothetical world is extremely hard to imagine, as it has never existed. (That I know of. Please correct me if I’m wrong because this would be horribly interesting to know otherwise.)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I actually think I’d be more motivated to work if no money was involved. Because I would be doing, not because I HAD to, but because I CHOSE to. That’s huge.

ninjacolin's avatar

well, i do think you’re wrong about that. i think because of money you choose to work the shitty job that you work. ;)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@ninjacolin Not true. I don’t stay very long at a job I am unhappy at.

YARNLADY's avatar

If all our basic survival needs were freely provided to us, like we do to our pets, I would still be motivated to do many of the things I do, such as creat art through needlepoin, and various crafts.

Many people would be free to think of ways to improve their life and the world around them through technology and science, others would continue to write, because that gives them great pleasure.

Fluther works because there are hundreds of people (dare I say thousands?) who have questions to ask and hundreds of people who enjoy answering questions. We don’t get paid for any of it.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

robotics is the obvious answer, but perhaps a system would come about where the motto “you get what you put in” is adopted. If you don’t work, you don’t get the benefits of goods being provided for you. In essence however, that world would be virtually identical to the one we live in today, just without paper/credit being exchanged in the process.

ninjacolin's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 but why did you go to work at these places at all? did you not choose to?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@ABoyNamedBoobs03 It will be someones job to make sure the robotics are maintained.
Also, there’s no robots in this question. Where did the robots come from here?
There’s no robots in this scenario that don’t already exist in our present day society.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@ninjacolin I went to work initially so I could make some money. But if while working at my place of employment I discovered that it made me very miserable I always left as soon as I found a better job to replace it. I never let a job make my life hell. No amount of money is worth my happiness.

RedPowerLady's avatar

You would need to work to be able to trade goods. It would be quite difficult to supply yourself with everything you need. So you would still need to trade. Also you would need to work to say grow food, build your house, etc.. We would also need workers to be midwives etc.. The motivation would be the benefit of the community. And without incentive for money I argue that the benefit of the community would become of greater importance. Also just getting your needs met.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic initially of course man power would need to be invested to build said machines, but as far as needed people to maintain this devices, you wouldn’t necessarily need manpower to maintain and repair them. you could do this by a couple different ways.

you could build them in a circular manner, meaning machine A has two jobs, one’s to build cars, the other is to fix machine B, while machine B processes food, it also has the capability to fix machine C etc etc etc.

the other, more realistic option. Is to build a vast surplus of designated repair machines, these machines not only are suited to fix other machines of various tasks, but are also able to fix other repair bots.

And I was just saying that if money didn’t exist, people wouldn’t have to work in order to make a living, so in most cases, people wouldn’t work. So you’d need robotics to take their place. And you’re right, currently Robotic tech isn’t able to handle something like this, I just assumed you meant in a futuristic setting.

Obviously if you just rid the world of all monetary value today it would completely collapse.

timothykinney's avatar

I really enjoy authentic work. It fills the soul and makes the sun seem brighter.

ragingloli's avatar

self improvement, self fulfillment, advancement of humanity, helping others.

nikipedia's avatar

I love my job. If I didn’t need money to survive I would definitely do it for free.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I agree that no job is worth my happiness. I have worked a few jobs that truly sucked, but as soon as I could get out, I was gone.

To answer the question again, I think that if I had everything I needed, that is, I didn’t need money for my bills, my house upkeep, my needs and wants, then I don’t know if I would ever go back to work. But then, when I want to remodel my house, or plant new flowers, or cut down the tree on the back of my lot, how do I get the work done? I can do most minor repair work on my house, but I do not have the skill or the equipment to take down a 70 yr old plus tree. I am not qualified to re-wire the whole building. Without money, how do I entice the local tree surgeon to come give me an estimate? How do I get the electrician to show up? Would either one even exist? Would service jobs exist at all?

A society without money would have to be based on the barter system, but that has its limitations.

janbb's avatar

Socializing, a sense of purpose, intellectual stimulation and structure.

benjaminlevi's avatar

people interested in bettering our world would still work. People motivated by environmental concerns would still try to rebuild our infrastructure in ways that would be less environmentally destructive, intellectually curious scientists would still do their science work, and medical professionals who work for doctors without borders.. exc.

but I doubt many people would want to work a cash register at 7–11.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

@benjaminlevi we could get robots to do that job.

ragingloli's avatar

or do it like the Japanese: Vending Machines.

benjaminlevi's avatar

@ragingloli Those are pretty much robots.

Jack79's avatar

The question in the title is different from the question in the explanation.

If I didn’t need money, I’d still work just for fun, I just wouldn’t pick my job based on how much it gives. It would actually be better, because I could then do things that I’d be better at, more useful, or would be more fulfilling. And it has happened in different periods of my life, including now (when it’s not really that I don’t need money, but it’s that I don’t want a full-time job with geographical commitment). So I’ve been singing even when it’s not financially worth it, playing in an amateur theatre for free (and also write the music) and also sing in a choir. And I still kept my job at the record company, which is very little money. And do some translation if someone asks.

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