I was listening to Seth Godin speak on a YouTube video the other day. If you have not done this, you should. Godin makes sense of a lot of economic trends we have witnessed over the past few decades which have caused a lot of us to lose much sleep. In this case, he was speaking about how jobs were going to be a thing of the past. In 1850, the unemployment rate was close to zero; in 2050, it will be zero again. He isn’t saying people were not working or are not going to be working. People just didn’t have jobs back then, because there weren’t jobs to be had in mass.
Godin goes on to say that this idea of having a job and getting a pension and getting paid to do mediocre work lasted about 80 years. He mentions Ford and Carnegie as putting this notion into our heads. There are other players in this blame game, of course, but you get the point. Jobs are not a necessary fact of nature, and we are taking them for granted. The transition will certainly be hard, but we need to make it.
This idea made me think to myself, I wonder if Ford and Carnegie were around today, what would they be saying to all of the jobs talk in politics? I’m thinking they might throw their hands up and go have a drink thinking to themselves, “Create your own darn jobs. We gave you jobs for 100 years. What do you want from us?” I’m just saying.