Sunday, December 27, 2009

Here's The Real Story On America's Unemployment

The end of "job" as we know it

"One of the ways we kid ourselves is calling our unemployment rate 10 percent. In government-speak that's the "U-3" number, which counts just current job seekers. What it doesn't count are "discouraged" workers, who have given up looking, and the "involuntarily part-time" or underemployed workers, who also can't find full-time work.
That's the "U-6" number, a more recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics metric. Today it's more than 17 percent, which means real unemployment is approaching one in five Americans. And, yes, that's a (post-Depression) record.
Growing evidence suggests that something far more fundamental than just another economic cycle may be going on. The modern office/factory-model job as we know it actually could be headed for extinction. Goodbye, permanent employment. Hello, contingent work, contractual employment and "composite" careers.
Many of us know people like my relative (by marriage) who's a part-time associate pastor who also delivers newspapers, does home remodeling and sells Melaleuca. It's a living -- in fact, he's been doing it for years by choice. We're also seeing more and more six-month and one-year contract jobs with employers who don't want to commit to workers beyond that. This may well be the shape of things to come.
William Bridges, the visionary executive development consultant and author who named this phenomenon "dejobbing," foresaw this years ago: "What is disappearing is not just a certain number of jobs -- or jobs in certain industries or jobs in some part of the country or even jobs in America as a whole. What is disappearing is the very thing itself, the job."

Good riddance. The entire concept of exploitive, punch clock toil for an hourly wage should disappear forever. It brought more misery and hopelessness than it's partner christianity and allowed a few soulless reptiles to control billions of people through fear and intimidation. And banks.
I guess it can all go back to Aristotles use value and exchange value. He distinguished economic acquisition into those two categories and the dominance of the latter, especially since the industrial revolution, completely corrupted the concept of exchanging work for dough. The sickness of collecting money as a goal in and of itself is an unnatural human activity, Aristotle maintained, and he warned it should be reined in as much as possible. Cheers to the old sage; he believed work to be a corrupt waste of time that would keep citizens from higher pursuits. Two dozen centuries ago he correctly saw it could be the means for social control and enslavement.


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