In this episode, we talk to James Livingston about his book No More Work: Why Full Employment is a Bad Idea, a pithy polemic that questions some of the underlying assumptions about work held by both the Left and the Right. Among other topics we discuss why politicians and policy makers are wrong to see full employment as a panacea, the problems with romanticizing craft and craftsmanship, and the potential and pitfalls of distributing wealth based on need rather than what individuals produce.
James Livingston teaches history at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He’s written six books on topics from the Federal Reserve to Disney animation. He is now writing “The Intellectual Earthquake: How Pragmatism Changed the World, 1898-2010,” and “What Was Social Theory?” He is also the founding editor of Politics/Letters.