Looking for a job?

I saw a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about the 2010 graduates. Today, the Letters to the Editor had several lamentations about this perennial subject and it got me thinking...

Back when we were rolling out of the caves and becoming the Homo Sapiens that we are today, each and every person had to be an independent player. Sure, there was the tribe, but if you wandered far out of camp you were on your own.

Even as recently as 100 years ago, society was a thin neglegee compared to the oppressive woolen Snuggee it is today. Without rapid communications and transportation, unless you were smack in the middle of a town or city, you had to take care of yourself. There was no one to call to come and bail you out of your situation. Was it tough? You bet. Would I want to live back then? Not so much.

Then we got comfortable after World War II. Plenty of jobs, GI Bill, education galore, big companies, big pensions, big unions, credit cards, cell phones, safety net, Medicare, Social Security, SWAT teams, government help everywhere.

Then we had the recession of 2008. Companies shedded jobs that will NEVER return. Things have changed. People are having to make their own way, more and more. Micro-businesses are springing up like desert flowers after a spring rain. Technology is allowing this to happen in an unprecedented manner and those that are willing to seize the moment are finding a new way.

But, what to do with the uninspired... the ones either not willing to find a new way, or the ones not able to find a new way? To me, that is the big question of the second decade of the new millinneum. In prior times, you could just live on the farm and eeke out an existance, or hunt and live the life of a hermit, but in today's times with our huge societies and neighborhoods and lack of tribes, what do you do?

I don't diegn to say that I have the answer, but I can already see what is NOT the answer. The boundary of permanent unemployment benefits beyond 99 weeks is already being tested. Are these 10 Million citizens the new Welfare Queens of the 10's? Where will it end?

It is easy for me to say "Cut off benefits." But I have a job and I employ 6 others. On the other hand, running that business and innovating to keep that business relevant takes most of my energy. Is it fair for me and other workers to subsidize those that are unwilling to adapt to the new situation and who adopt a permanent woe-is-me stance?

We scoff at the angst in Greece and the flames in Bangkok, but like a heroin addict going through withdrawl symptoms, when the US does what we all know it has to do... well, this nation ain't seen nothin' yet.


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