Monday, December 18

If You Don't Work, You Don't Eat …

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Fearmongers always want to tell us that the good days are behind us.  “You now have to work twice as hard, for less pay, work other people’s job as part of your job description”, well I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing.  The thing about it, is that we were hooked on easy money.  We could buy this, sell that, flip this, invest in that.  Everyone was told that the right purchases, with a little extra care and a minimum investment, would sell themselves.

So everyone thought that it was okay to borrow in order to make a few bucks.  The interest would pale in comparison to that big payday at the end of the year.  We now learn that everyone was borrowing from everyone else, against everyone else, including large financial institutions.   So now we hear that a lot of jobs are not coming back, and that the jobs that do exist require a lot of education. 

These are things that we already knew going forward.  The mania of various bubbles; tech, credit, housing, whatever else may come along, is a nice diversion from the hard truth; we are inefficient at best, someone is willing, and able, to do our work for a fraction of the amount and large corporations have more employees outside of the country than they do within these borders.  I knew that jobs that consisted primarily of manual labor were evaporating back in the early nineties when I was in high school.  The factories had already closed and people were already out of work.  Not in Detroit but in my neck of the woods in Ohio, still in the Rust Belt, but not in the Motor City.

I already knew that the jobs that would be created would require a lot of education.  I took various jobs in customer service and data entry that I also knew could be automated to some degree.  I figured that the politics of replacing 100 people with one machine, and the catastrophe that would ensue if 100 people were out of work, were the only reasons that companies continued to hire us to do what many would consider to be menial labor.  It used to be that any job that required you to use your mind was one that could propel you into the middle class.

Times have changed, and there are no jobs that do not require you to use your mind.  These days there is a differentiation between jobs that require mental facilities that can be proven through the acquisition of a college degree, and mental facilities that can be taught for cheap in six weeks.  There are plenty of jobs that someone can teach a high school graduate to do.  Whether or not that high school graduate wants to take his own money and go to school so he can get a job that requires more skills, so he can earn more money, is his or her own prerogative.  Most employers will help you out in that endeavour; granted you may have to work for them for a period of time, but that is a better deal that not having a job and having to rely on loans, which you have to pay back, to get employment.

So is it really as bad out there as it seems, or are we finally overdue for that adjustment in reality that we put off trying to make a quick buck?  You have to work hard, but you already knew that you would have to work hard.  If you didn’t I would have to ask where you were at for the last 20 to 30 years.  A lot of people were blindsided, because even though their kids were attending school their jobs still had some life left in them.  But the writing is on the wall and we have to persevere.  There has to be enough faith to know that God will still provide if you do your part, regardless of what it looks like out there.  No one said that it would be easy, but then again, work was never about anything easy to begin with …

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