Friday, March 8, 2013
" ... And at the same time the parents of kids expected and expecting them to follow their same path, go to college, get married, have two kids, work for a large company at a steady job, mom at home and so forth, when this model only lasted at most 30 years and was due to such a particular moment in history when the USA was a manufacturing giant, mom could stay at home since dad got paid enough to support them and so on: compare that to today, when jobs are not only unsecure, but no one even knows what jobs must be done, the future is all uncertain, the 1950s and 1960s model broke forever and so forth.
The mistake is that of thinking that changes are normal ..."
More precisely: the mistake was in thinking that that lifestyle was normal, would continue forever (no one seemed to notice how new it was, that it was only around for a few decades, that is was all very iffy, given how many things could change and happen and given the history of humanity), when it was due to a set of converging forces and a configuration of forces, technology, international division of labor situation (the only industrialized areas were the USA and then the EU and JAPAN) that made that lifestyle possible; thinking and planning and expecting - the expectations - that the future will be like the present and even better (hence you can make all the debts you want, the future will go forward, things will always improve, I will get a raise and a better job and so forth), that lifestyle was eternal, it was always going to be like this, we will always need to go to college, land a steady job (only to hear corporations and economists and politicians start chanting and complaining that you need to change type of jobs every 2 years, you will need constant training and ever more education, you will need to "hone" your skill set, and change your skill set constantly given all the new fangled technology that will come online and so forth: but all of these excuses were a kind of rationalization to try to explain why jobs weren't be created at the rate the economist, the optimistic economists expected (it was always the workers fault), as if having full employment is a given, is natural and normal, is even necessary (it should be the other way around, a progressing society that is going towards the future should really need less and less work and jobs and such: many jobs needed means many problems needing to be solved, means we are not "pregressing" but going backwards, we're not being "productive" or "efficient" and such), there will always be so many jobs, all based on innovation and new tecnhology and new things and opportunities and so forth. Nothing further from the truth. Actually the truth is always nothing further from the truth.
But actually it is no jobs and not working that is the normal situation, jobs and the need to work is the exception, most of humanity has always been unemployed so to say, jobs were few since jobs and the need to do something was and really still is an exception, although everyone has this model believing that having millions of people going to work everyday is normal, when it is another exceptional quirk, another of those truly exceptional situations that paradoxically the technological economy enforced first by producing them in manufacturing, then by eliminating them, but societies had to invent the services sector to create the appearance of jobs (and so many jobs are mostly appearances, rituals, customs, make it look like you are working but not really producing anything (financial gimmicks are a product ?) and such) in order to distribute cash that wouldn't be distributed since there would be no reason to distribute it: bottom line, jobs are mostly make believe, it is not normal for societies to have millions of workers and jobs, societies probably need very few workers in only a few sectors end of story, this is another fairy tale of expectations, the job creation myth, the full employment myth and so forth, all based on some magical "economic law" that the economists discovered in the last few decades, when there is no such law (and even women started to enter the workforce, go figure).