In all of the discussion about lost jobs, I find the below to be strangely lacking; perhaps I have just missed it?
It seems that one of the largest issues with job losses is this: Relatively fewer people exist. For us to continue to grow our economy – to create jobs – presupposes a continued growth in employable human beings, right? But as the Boom retires and the Echo ages, there are millions and millions fewer people. Anecdotal: Five years ago in my town we had three Little League leagues… and six elementary schools. We now have two LL leagues and five elementaries. And I’m in a suburb of Los Angeles, not the flyover rural agrarian hinterlands.
This is fundamental demographics – the kind Steyn always discusses. But it also leads to the inescapable conclusion that many of the lost jobs will NOT come back as there are no people here to take them.
We can pretend that all these jobs can come back with the right policies, and we can pretend that we need to grow X-million jobs/quarter to reach the level of jobs we had 10-15 years ago, but that’s just fantasy. Most of the jobs that have left are not coming back… and it’s not just because of policy and cost. It’s also because there are too few workers here. (And we need more babies and better schools, not more H1B visas, BTW.)
The other intriguing thing is this: Our policy folks – the legislators in Congress and the States, and the various Governors and the Pres – don’t seem to understand that the Industrial Revolution is, for the Developed world – OVER.
We talk about the Information Age, but our policies – unions, unionized teachers, etc., are based on the Industrial Age. And our education calendar remains styled on the Agrarian Age, for cryin’ out loud. In an educated Information-Age population, how many really smart, driven people only want to work on an Agrarian-Age calendar, i.e. only 10 months a year, putting their brains on “idle” the rest of the time? None. How many of us in college knew peers who wanted to become teachers just so they could take summers off? (Most of us.) These are not exactly high-performance achievers. Consequently, only “the dregs” are in the education system – and that’s an observation made years ago by the Dean of the BC School of Education.
All of these unions mindsets, and the policies supporting them, are designed for the Industrial Age. Unions are an artifact of the Industrial Age and as out-of-place in the Information Age as a buggy-whip in a Ferrari.
The Industrial Age is over in the Developed world, but our Industrial-Age policies are hindering our moving more-fully into the Information Age, and perhaps precluding our moving into the post-Information Age, whatever that may be. And that is not good for our future.
Democrats don’t get this because they cannot exist absent union “donations,” having run-out of ideas in the 1930s, and Republicans seem so stunned (still) by being in the majority that they seem unable to articulate, well, anything at all (like why they are negotiating with themselves instead of playing hardball with the Dems: ‘Here’s our debt bill.. see you in September’).
I’m kind of a political junkie and spend LOTS of time reading columns, articles, etc. I don’t see the two above issues being addressed… but am not sure why…