BBC Radio has a 2021 New Start for its Rethink programmes. They began in summer last year asking what ought to change as the world emerges from Covid-19.
The new series deals with Fairness. The first* on wealth (4 January), raised the true value of essential work. Early on, the presenter asked listeners to think a moment about a quote from anthropologist, the late David Graeber:
‘There seems a general rule that the more obviously one’s work benefits other people, the less one gets paid for it.’
Mr Graeber was often controversial. There were links with the Occupy Movement. Yet the Financial Times made his last work, Bullsh*t Jobs, 2019 Business Book of the Year, and he held positions at leading UK and US universities.
It’s easy to unpick this ‘general rule’. But it might be worth remembering when policymakers and all of us think about 2020 and how we can organise things differently and better.
On second thoughts, why not start now?