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detroit 1930s

“In the 50’s and 60’s anybody could walk into a job; there weren’t the armies of unemployed men living in their parents basements; they could easily walk into any number of jobs .. Young people today have plenty of work ethic, they are just not valued at all, treated as disposable bits of garbage to be thrown out at the first possible moment.” — Paul, North America

When people analyze the economy they should analyze what the trend has been and ask: is it easier for common people to make a living nowadays and feel more secure with a brighter future looking into retirement than 10 years ago ? or 20 years ago ? are we as a community and individual people better off than before or the other way around ?

A frequent reader (Paul, from Canada) provides some insight as to what times were like just a few decades ago:

“In the 50’s and 60’s anybody could walk into a job; there werent the armies of unemployed men living in their parents basements; they could easily walk into any number of jobs.. I started working in 1978 which was the tail end of the golden age. We used to work 9-5 with an hour break, no overtime. By the time I was outsourced to Bangalore in January of this year I was gone 60 hours a week and on-call 24-7 and was supposed to be grateful to have any job at all.   People older than 65 have absolutely no concept of today’s work environment where you are shown the door 10 years before your retirement date, expected to work huge amounts of free overtime and basically treated as a commodity. My father raised 5 kids and had a stay at home wife; today it would take 3 full-time incomes to buy the same house and accomplish the same thing. He used to work 1 day of overtime a year doing inventory and complained endlessly about it. Of course he retired to a fully indexed pension something, that I will never see. Young people today have plenty of work ethic, they are just not valued at all, treated as disposable bits of garbage to be thrown out at the first possible moment.”

Times have change drastically – look at the trend:
  • In the 1960s and 1920s, 1 full-time job provided income that was good enough to raise a family.
  • During the 80’s the whole workforce picture started to change.  Indeed, by that time families needed 2 full time incomes and part-time incomes were starting to replace full-times ( wages , benefits and job security started to drop)
  • During the 1990’s manufacturing and productive jobs started to dissapear, replaced by service and non-productive jobs. Incomes were stagnant since the 80’s and purchasing power diluted. Consumerism started to be fed with a debt economy pushed by our monetary system ( Banks ) and Corporatism.

During the last decade of 2000 people have been enslaved with debt ( some or many by their own doing ) , poverty levels have increased in the US to 15% of the population and 11.8% in Canada , less full-times being replaced by part-times and contract based jobs, at any time companies “re-structure” and give workers a pink slip no matter how well the job has been done or no matter the years of ” loyalty” or no matter your age … no matter if there is no reason other than the Company wanting to increase its “profits “.

IMF fears ‘social explosion’ from world jobs crisis by Ambrose Prichard

“The labour market is in dire straits. The Great Recession has left behind a waste land of unemployment,” said Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF’s chief, at an Oslo jobs summit with the International Labour Federation (ILO).

He said a double-dip recession remains unlikely but stressed that the world has not yet escaped a deeper social crisis. He called it a grave error to think the West was safe again after teetering so close to the abyss last year. “We are not safe,” he said.

A joint IMF-ILO report said 30m jobs had been lost since the crisis, three quarters in richer economies. Global unemployment has reached 210m. “The Great Recession has left gaping wounds. High and long-lasting unemployment represents a risk to the stability of existing democracies,” it said.

The study cited evidence that victims of recession in their early twenties suffer lifetime damage and lose faith in public institutions. A new twist is an apparent decline in the “employment intensity of growth” as rebounding output requires fewer extra workers. As such, it may be hard to re-absorb those laid off even if recovery gathers pace. The world must create 45m jobs a year for the next decade just to tread water.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 at 6:07 pm and is filed under All Posts, Deindustrialization. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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