Summary of Fuck work

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?


Get the Article

Fuck work summary
If work doesn’t define you anymore, what will?


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


American politicians across the political spectrum agree at least on one thing: the need to restore “full employment.” Economic historian James Livingston posits that this is both unrealistic and uncalled-for. Writing for the online magazine Aeon, he argues that the obsession with work prevents Americans from facing the realities of the 21st-century labor market and from finding a new purpose in life that doesn’t revolve around their jobs. getAbstract recommends this stirring critique of American work culture as an upper for the unemployed and food for thought for workaholics. And by the way, Livingston’s writing style is more refined than his essay’s title might suggest.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why no federal policies will restore “full employment” in the United States,
  • Why Americans’ obsession with their work ethic don’t match the realities of the 21st-century labor market,
  • How the federal government can generate the necessary revenue to provide a basic income for every American.


Most Americans define themselves through work. It provides a daily structure, an income and a sense of self-worth. And it supposedly builds character. But Americans’ belief in this work ethic doesn’t match the realities of the 21st-century labor market. First, there isn’t enough work for everyone. No...
Get the key points from this article in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Author

James Livingston is history professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey. His latest book is No More Work: Why Full Employment is a Bad Idea.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

By the same author

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category