FORWARD BASE B

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The Decline of the Traditional Job

The original Luddites were quick to grasp the long term implications of the industrial revolution as they saw their living vanish overnight.

The ‘job’ as generations from the 19th century onward have known it has gradually been decreasing in importance and reliability.

We’ve tried reducing to 40 hour work weeks, we use schools to keep young people off the job market for years.
We’ve adopted a truly Keynesian economy that devotes most of its efforts to useless pyramids and intangibles rather than producing concrete things, if only to keep people occupied and keep wealth in circulation.

Yet we’ve reached a point where even these measures are failing to create a job market that can distribute wealth enough to create a stable society.

I cannot help but conclude that we are approaching an age of small scale entrepreneurship because that’s how increasingly more people are going to have to make their money. In some ways it is actually an age of opportunity where more people will be free agents rather than hirelings. And perhaps society will actually benefit from vast numbers of useless pyramid builders being freed up to do things that actually yield a net positive effect.

If the payoff from scarce jobs does not outweigh the inconvenience and strain of being lorded over by bosses, alternatives become more attractive.

An initial consideration for finding a solid source of wealth, a viable business concept.

Does it have an economic “moat” that makes it difficult for competitors to challenge you or can anyone set up shop overnight?

Here’s a rundown of the types of economic moats.

4 responses to “The Decline of the Traditional Job

  1. Tim Denton November 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    That’s an attention getting concept: The Luddites were right! Just 200 years to early. And you imply that they were right about the demise of mass employment, but wrong because of the massive material wealth the machines manufactured.
    But the powerful insight here is that it is the loss of mass employment, not the loss of occupations. I think the most powerful evidence that you are correct about the rise of entrepreneurship is the role this plays in economies like India and the Philippines. These are places of massive small–scale entrepreneurship. There is a joke in the Philippines about how their economy is based on selling sticks of gum, which they carry in their pockets, to each other. Of course, these nations are poor, but this need not be in an economy gifted with the massive cheap productive capacity of the machines.
    And Marx was right too, about the dehumanization of the mass employment. But wrong that the way to ameliorate that was by mass government employment. Useless worker drones following massive rule books producing nothing and harassing their fellow-citizens in on the bargain is just another form of soul-destroying occupation. This seems to be all that most people can imagine for the current employment crisis. It is the ugliest and most unimaginative of solutions. And it will produce a concentration of political power that will destroy the freedom the wealth of the machines has allowed.
    But human beings dazzle me with their flexibility and imagination. I think you are right about an age of small scale entrepreneurship. And the opportunity for a society of free agents replacing servile hirelings. Kudos, for stimulating us to think where we want to be in this future.

  2. Nestorius November 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    “The ‘job’ as generations from the 19th century onward have known it has gradually been decreasing in importance and reliability.”

    For example? Details, please.

    How does the so-called industrial revolution affect agriculture for example?

    Do you know that all the new inventions were the cause of the creation of many new jobs?

    Do you know that jobs and professions are killed because of some companies trying to monopolize production globally? For example Nestle, Craft, PepsiCo, Unilever etc.

    Do you know that many of the old ways are better than the new ways? For example the old ways of producing food are far better than the chemicals-ridden modern ways.

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