Bullshit jobs fallacy

June 7, 2021

“The bullshit-jobs thesis is largely bullshit,” reports The Economist in an article about a newly published empirical critique of late David Graeber’s book, which claims that more than half of societal work is pointless. Although Graeber’s thesis has been cited more than 800 times by academics, not to mention media, the data often show the exact opposite of what he claimed:

“In contrast to the high share of bullshit jobs reported by Mr. Graeber, in 2015 only 4.8% of respondents in the EU felt their work was useless. And this proportion had fallen, not risen, in recent years, from 5.5% in 2010 and 7.8% in 2005.”

Note: A more recommended reading would be Graeber’s older book Debt, or Hans Rosling’s Factfulness.

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