All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. (Aristotle)
UPDATE: As Michael notes below, a better translation of the above is in Rackham (reproduced from Michael's citation):
This isn't a better translation as Michael is wrong about it being a misquotation. It's a mild paraphrase of a sentence from Aristotle's Politics Book 8, Part 2:
And any occupation, art, or science, which makes the body or soul or mind of the freeman less fit for the practice or exercise of virtue, is vulgar; wherefore we call those arts vulgar which tend to deform the body, and likewise all paid employments, for they absorb and degrade the mind.
But at present we are studying the best constitution, and this is the constitution under which the state would be happiest, and it has been stated before that happiness cannot be forthcoming without virtue;
[I]t is therefore clear from these considerations that in the most nobly constituted state, and the one that possesses men that are absolutely just, not merely just relatively to the principle that is the basis of the constitution, the citizens must not live a mechanic or a mercantile life (for such a life is ignoble and inimical to virtue), nor yet must those who are to be citizens in the best state be tillers of the soil（for leisure is needed both for the development of virtue and for active participation in politics.)
Aristotle, Politics 1328b-1329a
Why? Is it the meaningless repetition of the actions, or something different entirely?
Such a statement seems misleading based on my experience. (I recently got my first job, and it has been nothing but good. I have developed more responsibility and a seriousness towards time management, etc. that does not intuitively seem to line up with "mental absorption and degradation.")
Aristotle's quotes have always interested me. Although they usually make sense, this one did not. It struck me as odd. I would like to understand why he would say something that to me doesn't make that much sense.
Please bear with me as I'm rather new to the entire concept of philosophy. I suppose the question I'm asking here is whether this excerpt should be read literally, figuratively, or disregarded entirely. I suspect the latter will not be the case (but I'm not sure.)