: I would doubt that most people now do "Totally unskilled" work. More people in the UK are employed in the service industry than in any other sector. Many of these jobs involve regular interaction with the public and colleagues, and can hardly be compared with mind-mumbing and repetitive unskilled jobs of the early industrial revolution.
Fortunately for us, capitalism has brought about advances that mean few people have to lead lives of such drudgery. There is very little manufacturing, for instance, left in the UK. That which does remain is largely hi-tech and hi-skilled. Primary industry is all but extinct.
As for job sharing, the sad truth is that most people are incapable of doing jobs that would be described as skilled or professional. That is because, to do these jobs, you have to have a skill or a profession. Most people don't. Seems obvious really. The only way around this would be to educate / train everyone to an extremely high standard. This hardly seems practical. In any event, many people probably do not have the native ability for such work, and more still would have no inclination to undertake years of further education. the though of gangs of gangs of building workers being press-ganged into training for accountancy is a rather chilling one.
There will always be jobs that are more boring than others and the least educated / skilled will always do them. This is necessary for the orderly function of society as the best jobs are usually the most difficult and need the most talented and skilled people to do them.
There will always be jobs be thought of as drudgery despite the fact that the actual standard of even the worst jobs is increasing. This means that it is better to serve fries than to work in a coal mine for 20 hours a day (just about), so Adam Smith's vision in this respect is becoming increasingly out of date.
Just as the "poor" in the West are richer than the middle classes of the past in absolute terms, the standard of the worst jobs that humans have to do in capitalist societies improves with time.
This is the beauty of capitalism. Increased wealth and comfort for all - even the poor and disenfranchised.
When I want my appendix removed by a traffic warden, I'll subscribe to these job share theories.
Incidently when Smith talks of men doing simple work and becoming stupid - he doesnt speak about the mechanics, office PC using clerks, welders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painter & decoraters and all those other non-college educated jobs people do all around us in the West, but more the repetetive work of digging, log chopping, yarn weaving as done by the majority of workers in his day.
: Needless to say, mechanics, office PC using clerks, welders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painter & decoraters 'and all those other non-college educated jobs people do all around us in the West' were not prevalent in 1776.
: NEITHER WERE CASHIERS, JANITORS, SALESPEOPLE OR WAITERS---todays's highest growth 'professions' (New York Times, 31 August 1997, sec. 4, p. 9).
: The 'repetitive work of digging, log chopping, yarn weaving' is but the cashiering, janitoring, sales hustling, and table-waiting of TODAY---jobs that stultify the minds of MILLIONS of people everyday in our 'advanced information economy.'
: Gee would like us to think that TODAY'S proletariat is comprised mainly of semi-skilled workers (such as mechanics, office PC using clerks, welders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painter & decoraters)---but that's NOT the reality.
: The reality is that most people do TOTALLY unskilled work.
: Then as now.