Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.
Western economies, particularly that of the United States, have been built in a very calculated manner on gratification, addiction, and unnecessary spending. We spend to cheer ourselves up, to reward ourselves, to celebrate, to fix problems, to elevate our status, and to alleviate boredom.
David Cain, Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed
“It is now the capitalist who says, ‘Workers of the world, unite!,’ the better to dissolve those 'inefficiencies’ in the labor market (that is, high wages) that arise from political boundaries. The slogan once expressed a hope to organize a body of workers who were dispersed and hence exploitable, whereas now it captures the desire for a mass of 'human resources,’ exploitable because undifferentiated.”
— Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft
“We now, for the first time ever, have the technology and resources necessary to make the world a great place for everyone. We can provide adequate food, housing, education, and healthcare for everyone, using only a fraction of our labor and resources. This means that we can put an end to wage-slavery. I don't have to work. I choose to work. And I believe that everyone deserves the same freedom I have. If done right, it's also economically superior, meaning that we will all have more wealth.”
— Paul Buchheit, "The Technology"