I never said I thought it was DELIBERATELY so. That would presuppose some sort of vast conspiracy, which only nutters believe in.
The fact that the system doesn't care is EXACTLY the problem.
If you measure solely against the actual amount or type of labor we perform, you are right that we have it easy. The price we pay, though, is that no one values genuine hard work: they value efficiency, or what they PERCEIVE to be efficiency. It doesn't matter if you cheat as long as you get results, and that's a BIG FUCKING PROBLEM, as I see it. I would much rather work a 10 hour day doing heavy labor and making a mere living wage doing something that MATTERED, than sit at a desk and push paper while making 100K/year if the latter meant playing office politics and cutting corners to get promotions. That makes me unambitious, apparently.
There are tons of farms around me being sold off for development because no one wants to work them anymore. I DO want to work one, but haven't the money. That's pretty fucked up if you ask me. If serfdom WERE still available, that avenue WOULD be open and I would gladly take it, but it's not.