Freedom From the Day Job
Would you work if you didn't have to? When that topic came up among coworkers the conversation used to go at cross purposes, until I figured out that I needed to start by explaining that my work was my writing. The point of freeing myself from from my day job was to be able to do more work, not less.
Understanding the question correctly depends on using the word "work" correctly. When I use the word, I'm thinking in the sense of a work of art or literature or science or engineering. Used properly, the word "work" refers to the stuff that you do that's worth doing. Who wouldn't want to do that?
Too many people, though, use the word "work" to mean what they do at their job, especially if it's tedious or unpleasant. They use "work" to mean flushing their life away in 40-hour increments in exchange for enough money to keep a roof over their head, put food on the table, and buy the occasional electronic gadget to distract them from how miserable their lives are.
If that's what you think work is, then it's no surprise to imagine that no one would do it unless they had to.
If you think that way, then there's a certain perverse logic to the way people are guided toward debt—student loan, car loan, mortgage. There are plenty of people out there—even Wise Bread readers—who aren't at all sure that most people would do any work, if they didn't have debts to pay off. If most people could cover their bare minimum expenses without a day job, who knows what they might do?
I don't know about you, but I'd like to find out.