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Discussion #1 - Careers

Not long ago, almost everyone was a farmer. Then came the industrial revolution, & we began making machines to create an easier life (& more interesting). Then we decided that a double-income society was a good way to go, so people could afford to pay more for everything. Now in recent years, we've started exporting (or importing) these manufacturing jobs to countries that have large, low-wage labour pools, and virtually no pollution controls. Can anyone see what is wrong with this picture? And we wonder why career competition is heating up to such an insane degree. Some competition is healthy, but the real demon here is the increasing polarization of wealth distribution.

While it has long been believed that higher education is the holy grail of achieving/maintaining a higher paying/more prestigious career (and it is), it's also an undeniable fact that far too many doctors (PhD's) are out there driving cabs. Since World War 2, the number of students enrolled in universities and colleges (and taxes) have been steadily increasing (along with costs). Demographics will help the job situation some in the near future (retiring baby boomers), but after that (20 years from now) the effects of the boomer generation will wear off.

Human labor is always the biggest expense for any company, and they will only pay as much as they have to. This means that the law of supply and demand is by far the biggest factor in determining how much they are willing to pay for any specific job. The more people who want to do this form of work, the lower the wages will be. Skill level, education required and prestige level all take a back seat to this factor.

When choosing (or switching) a career, keep this competition level in mind. It will rise and fall (similar to the stock market), which can make it difficult to predict if education or retraining is required. There is a rule of thumb, however, which always applies. The more glamorous and exciting the career path, the more competition you will face (and in extreme cases this is the understatement of the century).

If you are planning/shooting for this form of career, do not let this fact take the wind out of your sails, as a career like this may be far more rewarding in many ways. This is really the big trade-off. Competition is getting pretty intense in virtually all career paths anyway, and what matters most is that you follow your passions and enjoy your work (or at least can tolerate it). Life is so much sweeter when you actually enjoy your work-day. Another popular option is to have a back-up career, in case your first choice doesn't pan out. Worst case scenario, you have an amazing hobby or hobby-business that feeds your soul for life.

In recent years, this entire situation has been growing in intensity, as the younger generations are experiencing even more stigmatization of the "lower perceived classes" of work than ever before. There is almost a global obsession with celebrity, prestige, perceived significance, and perceived success in general. When push comes to shove, this all tends to sort itself out, but often there are those who decide to "jump the fence", and turn to the dark side to support their desire for a turbo-charged and glamorous lifestyle. In recent years, policing is becoming the largest municipal budget increase for many cities around the world, largely for this reason.

Another important factor to consider is the responsibility, difficulty, or ambient stress level of your chosen career path. While it's true that most of us can do whatever we set our minds to, some are more energized by intense careers than others. We are all wired differently, and what stresses out some energizes others. This principle also applies to the education, financial risk (or both) required to achieve these careers. We all have different objectives in life, and this fact helps to make life far more interesting. On top of this, every community needs virtually every form of worker in order to function properly. Our competitive spirit drives us to achieve more (which is a good thing) but at the end of the day (or our lives), we are all 100% equal in significance.

The vast majority of careers where productivity is the main priority benefit greatly from type A personalities. Non-type A individuals would be well-advised to seek out careers that require the more patience-related talents & skill-sets. Examples would be teaching, counselling, sales, physical therapy, human resources, upper levels of management, and many others.

Automation/technology and globalization (utilization of the entire world's labor pool), are both starting to shrink the overall demand for human labor in the richer countries. When looking at "the bigger picture" this will not at all be a bad thing (eventually). We just need (as a society) to get over this economic (and political) "speed bump" in human history.

The main purpose of technology is to free up human time for more interesting things. This is exactly what is happening, but the economics are not keeping up with the advancements in technology, and this new-found free time is not being evenly divided. This (in the short-term) is creating massive unemployment in many countries around the world. Eventually the world will adjust to this new reality (of humans having more leisure time) as it accelerates, we just need to speed this process up.

Technology & automation are an extremely important area of life to pay attention to, and factor in when making career choices these days (& moving forward). A good example of this would be the career of trucking. It's just recently starting to become well-known that this career's days are basically numbered. Even though this career requires very little education, globally, the career of trucking is one of the largest employers overall, & commonly pays fairly well. According to the tech industry however, it will only take less than 10 years before robo-trucks (autonomous vehicles) will almost completely take over the industry.

This means an unspeakable number of really good-paying middle class jobs virtually erased off the planet, permanently (not to mention all the spin-off jobs). Then, shortly after, will come the taxi, bus, and delivery driving jobs. While there are always a few tech, maintenance, & engineering jobs created when this happens, the ratio of jobs gained vs jobs lost is never even close to 1:1. Otherwise, what would be the point, when the #1 priority of virtually all businesses on earth is to make more profit, not less. Profit, as we all know, is revenue minus expenses, and the #1 expense on any company balance sheet is almost always human labour. It's not all doom & gloom however, we just need to be smarter about career choices, and be sure to factor these things into the equation.

"Political will" is what drives most of this issue (hence this entire blog), and the biggest road block to the world advancing beyond this hurdle is human greed, ego and ignorance. The world is desperately clinging to old-fashioned ideals and notions that simply do not work any more. The best example of this is the 40+ hour work week (which in countries like China is more like 100+). Even though most of us have a strong genetic desire to work a full week, this simply is not sustainable at this point in history (and moving forward). Companies and individuals who are currently working (which is most of us) benefit from this longer work week in the short-term, and this is why the political will has not yet shifted.

Real permanent jobs cannot be created, even when governments throw massive amounts of money at the problem. They can definitely stimulate the economy by things like building or improving infrastructure. They can also create an environment for jobs to be created by supporting private companies and innovation, etc., but they cannot simply wave a magic wand and create real long-term jobs directly. Real work either has to be done, or it doesn't. When governments award tax dollars to companies for job-creation projects, what is really happening is generally that real work is being relocated or siphoned from other companies, not being created from scratch.

In the meantime, while the world is sorting all this out, our children (and in some cases we) must continue to survive and thrive in this crazy world of ours. We humans have gone through some pretty bad economic periods in history, and at the end of the day, much of the joy in life is from the competitive struggle to survive. While this is definitely true, the joy and excitement is quickly squelched and replaced with intense stress and anxiety if this struggle becomes insanely extreme. When choosing (or changing) career paths, it is extremely wise to consider this level of competition, as it will likely continue (and increase) for the remainder of our lifetimes. A good example of just how competitive things are getting out there, is the fact that a huge number of higher level college students in the top US schools, are now using Ridalin and Adderall to focus better, get better grades, and stay competitive.

When you do finally amass some cash or equity, you may decide that becoming an investor as a primary, secondary, or retirement career may be an attractive option. While there are many excellent investment vehicles to choose from, I personally prefer land (combined with income-earning real estate). "Location, location, location" is critical, but mankind will never figure out how to manufacture, build, or mine any more of it (land). All we can do is chop it up into smaller pieces. While there is a plan to start a human colony on Mars in 2024 (Mars One), I personally would not bank on this creating any kind of serious competition for quite a while.

We are very much "pedestal people", in that we as societies love to put each other on certain pedestals, and career (or past career) is by far the most common method we use. A good example of this would be the "collars", ie. white collar, blue collar, etc. This really only serves 2 basic purposes, A, to feed our massive egos if we are the more respected "collar", and B, help to achieve the correct "pedestal placing" in society, which is actually just a load of crap.

We all have different neurology, which makes us more inclined to prefer different kinds of work, but this does NOT make us more or less significant as human beings. Societies that get away from this medieval form of thinking tend to prosper like crazy, a good example being that handful of Nordic countries in Europe. There are also a few countries in Asia which are starting to realize that treating people as equals is by far the quickest way to achieve economic prosperity.

Another great example of this would be the trades, which have historically been treated as a lower form of career. Now, we're starting to see tradespeople commonly earning far more than many young folks with PhD's, something rarely seen in days gone by. Much of this is driven by the law of supply & demand, and when there's a shortage of skilled workers in any career, the wages tend to go up dramatically (& quickly). The respect level however, tends to take far longer, especially when many of us don't really want to get our hands dirty, or do more physical forms of work.

There are in fact many different forms of intelligence, not just one. Some of us are gifted academically, some more in street smarts. Some are gifted logically, and some more creatively, or physically, and so on. These differences serve to enhance all communities, as it takes all forms to make any community function. Instead of only rewarding the academically inclined, for instance, or the creative, all human forms of talent should be rewarded. And I mean financially, not just little tokens of gratitude or appreciation.

Not everyone wants to, nor is there enough work available, for all of us to become doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, etc., and the polarizing wages in most developed countries are greatly encouraging the wrong way of thinking on this subject. Even the term "middle class" is basically a slap in the face to (currently) the majority of every communities' citizens.

It's amazing how quick we all are to label various careers as being precarious. The sad reality however, is that with the recent shrinking of the manufacturing sector, virtually all career types will now soon be either professional or precarious. The solution to this is not to desperately try and hang onto (or bring back) these factory jobs, which will simply not work, but to change our attitudes (and the wage levels) of the remaining careers. In many cases, these are also extremely important jobs, that must be done in order to keep our cities functioning. In most Western countries now, the average lawyer (for example), earns approx. 25 to 50 times the hourly salary of a bus driver. Both have people's lives at stake, and one career requires far more education than the other. There should definitely be a wage or income difference, but not even close to this degree.

We can argue & debate the ideologies of higher education vs lower education careers "till the cows come home", but at the end of the day, no countries' economy cares at all about how much ego-pumping a career demands. All the economy cares about is the numbers. Wages, spending, saving, borrowing, investing, inflation, employment statistics, GDP, M2 (money supply), consumer confidence, taxation, and many other issues of this nature. The bottom line undeniable fact, is that every economy on earth which prioritizes human equality, and therefore far less income disparity between careers, always thrive 100% of the time over countries that do not.

Therefore, choose a career that suits you (your personality), not just one that pays better. Basically, because health & happiness matter far more than wealth, and also because most countries on earth are starting to figure this one out. In a few decades if not sooner, the trend will likely reverse, and the wage/income gaps will start to decrease, simply because it's enormously better for every economy. Again, there are already more & more countries adding to the list, who are actually experiencing this dramatically improved quality of life already. Some recent, and some have had this figured out for decades. Now that we're living in the information age, it won't be long before most countries enjoy the good life.
Discussion #1 - Careers

Not long ago, almost everyone was a farmer. Then came the industrial revolution, & we began making machines to create an easier life (& more interesting). Then we decided that a double-income society was a good way to go, so people could afford to pay more for everything. Now in recent years, we've started exporting (or importing) these manufacturing jobs to countries that have large, low-wage labour pools, and virtually no pollution controls. Can anyone see what is wrong with this picture? And we wonder why career competition is heating up to such an insane degree. Some competition is healthy, but the real demon here is the increasing polarization of wealth distribution.

While it has long been believed that higher education is the holy grail of achieving/maintaining a higher paying/more prestigious career (and it is), it's also an undeniable fact that far too many doctors (PhD's) are out there driving cabs. Since World War 2, the number of students enrolled in universities and colleges (and taxes) have been steadily increasing (along with costs). Demographics will help the job situation some in the near future (retiring baby boomers), but after that (20 years from now) the effects of the boomer generation will wear off.

Human labor is always the biggest expense for any company, and they will only pay as much as they have to. This means that the law of supply and demand is by far the biggest factor in determining how much they are willing to pay for any specific job. The more people who want to do this form of work, the lower the wages will be. Skill level, education required and prestige level all take a back seat to this factor.

When choosing (or switching) a career, keep this competition level in mind. It will rise and fall (similar to the stock market), which can make it difficult to predict if education or retraining is required. There is a rule of thumb, however, which always applies. The more glamorous and exciting the career path, the more competition you will face (and in extreme cases this is the understatement of the century).

If you are planning/shooting for this form of career, do not let this fact take the wind out of your sails, as a career like this may be far more rewarding in many ways. This is really the big trade-off. Competition is getting pretty intense in virtually all career paths anyway, and what matters most is that you follow your passions and enjoy your work (or at least can tolerate it). Life is so much sweeter when you actually enjoy your work-day. Another popular option is to have a back-up career, in case your first choice doesn't pan out. Worst case scenario, you have an amazing hobby or hobby-business that feeds your soul for life.

In recent years, this entire situation has been growing in intensity, as the younger generations are experiencing even more stigmatization of the "lower perceived classes" of work than ever before. There is almost a global obsession with celebrity, prestige, perceived significance, and perceived success in general. When push comes to shove, this all tends to sort itself out, but often there are those who decide to "jump the fence", and turn to the dark side to support their desire for a turbo-charged and glamorous lifestyle. In recent years, policing is becoming the largest municipal budget increase for many cities around the world, largely for this reason.

Another important factor to consider is the responsibility, difficulty, or ambient stress level of your chosen career path. While it's true that most of us can do whatever we set our minds to, some are more energized by intense careers than others. We are all wired differently, and what stresses out some energizes others. This principle also applies to the education, financial risk (or both) required to achieve these careers. We all have different objectives in life, and this fact helps to make life far more interesting. On top of this, every community needs virtually every form of worker in order to function properly. Our competitive spirit drives us to achieve more (which is a good thing) but at the end of the day (or our lives), we are all 100% equal in significance.

The vast majority of careers where productivity is the main priority benefit greatly from type A personalities. Non-type A individuals would be well-advised to seek out careers that require the more patience-related talents & skill-sets. Examples would be teaching, counselling, sales, physical therapy, human resources, upper levels of management, and many others.

Automation/technology and globalization (utilization of the entire world's labor pool), are both starting to shrink the overall demand for human labor in the richer countries. When looking at "the bigger picture" this will not at all be a bad thing (eventually). We just need (as a society) to get over this economic (and political) "speed bump" in human history.

The main purpose of technology is to free up human time for more interesting things. This is exactly what is happening, but the economics are not keeping up with the advancements in technology, and this new-found free time is not being evenly divided. This (in the short-term) is creating massive unemployment in many countries around the world. Eventually the world will adjust to this new reality (of humans having more leisure time) as it accelerates, we just need to speed this process up.

Technology & automation are an extremely important area of life to pay attention to, and factor in when making career choices these days (& moving forward). A good example of this would be the career of trucking. It's just recently starting to become well-known that this career's days are basically numbered. Even though this career requires very little education, globally, the career of trucking is one of the largest employers overall, & commonly pays fairly well. According to the tech industry however, it will only take less than 10 years before robo-trucks (autonomous vehicles) will almost completely take over the industry.

This means an unspeakable number of really good-paying middle class jobs virtually erased off the planet, permanently (not to mention all the spin-off jobs). Then, shortly after, will come the taxi, bus, and delivery driving jobs. While there are always a few tech, maintenance, & engineering jobs created when this happens, the ratio of jobs gained vs jobs lost is never even close to 1:1. Otherwise, what would be the point, when the #1 priority of virtually all businesses on earth is to make more profit, not less. Profit, as we all know, is revenue minus expenses, and the #1 expense on any company balance sheet is almost always human labour. It's not all doom & gloom however, we just need to be smarter about career choices, and be sure to factor these things into the equation.

"Political will" is what drives most of this issue (hence this entire blog), and the biggest road block to the world advancing beyond this hurdle is human greed, ego and ignorance. The world is desperately clinging to old-fashioned ideals and notions that simply do not work any more. The best example of this is the 40+ hour work week (which in countries like China is more like 100+). Even though most of us have a strong genetic desire to work a full week, this simply is not sustainable at this point in history (and moving forward). Companies and individuals who are currently working (which is most of us) benefit from this longer work week in the short-term, and this is why the political will has not yet shifted.

Real permanent jobs cannot be created, even when governments throw massive amounts of money at the problem. They can definitely stimulate the economy by things like building or improving infrastructure. They can also create an environment for jobs to be created by supporting private companies and innovation, etc., but they cannot simply wave a magic wand and create real long-term jobs directly. Real work either has to be done, or it doesn't. When governments award tax dollars to companies for job-creation projects, what is really happening is generally that real work is being relocated or siphoned from other companies, not being created from scratch.

In the meantime, while the world is sorting all this out, our children (and in some cases we) must continue to survive and thrive in this crazy world of ours. We humans have gone through some pretty bad economic periods in history, and at the end of the day, much of the joy in life is from the competitive struggle to survive. While this is definitely true, the joy and excitement is quickly squelched and replaced with intense stress and anxiety if this struggle becomes insanely extreme. When choosing (or changing) career paths, it is extremely wise to consider this level of competition, as it will likely continue (and increase) for the remainder of our lifetimes. A good example of just how competitive things are getting out there, is the fact that a huge number of higher level college students in the top US schools, are now using Ridalin and Adderall to focus better, get better grades, and stay competitive.

When you do finally amass some cash or equity, you may decide that becoming an investor as a primary, secondary, or retirement career may be an attractive option. While there are many excellent investment vehicles to choose from, I personally prefer land (combined with income-earning real estate). "Location, location, location" is critical, but mankind will never figure out how to manufacture, build, or mine any more of it (land). All we can do is chop it up into smaller pieces. While there is a plan to start a human colony on Mars in 2024 (Mars One), I personally would not bank on this creating any kind of serious competition for quite a while.

We are very much "pedestal people", in that we as societies love to put each other on certain pedestals, and career (or past career) is by far the most common method we use. A good example of this would be the "collars", ie. white collar, blue collar, etc. This really only serves 2 basic purposes, A, to feed our massive egos if we are the more respected "collar", and B, help to achieve the correct "pedestal placing" in society, which is actually just a load of crap.

We all have different neurology, which makes us more inclined to prefer different kinds of work, but this does NOT make us more or less significant as human beings. Societies that get away from this medieval form of thinking tend to prosper like crazy, a good example being that handful of Nordic countries in Europe. There are also a few countries in Asia which are starting to realize that treating people as equals is by far the quickest way to achieve economic prosperity.

Another great example of this would be the trades, which have historically been treated as a lower form of career. Now, we're starting to see tradespeople commonly earning far more than many young folks with PhD's, something rarely seen in days gone by. Much of this is driven by the law of supply & demand, and when there's a shortage of skilled workers in any career, the wages tend to go up dramatically (& quickly). The respect level however, tends to take far longer, especially when many of us don't really want to get our hands dirty, or do more physical forms of work.

There are in fact many different forms of intelligence, not just one. Some of us are gifted academically, some more in street smarts. Some are gifted logically, and some more creatively, or physically, and so on. These differences serve to enhance all communities, as it takes all forms to make any community function. Instead of only rewarding the academically inclined, for instance, or the creative, all human forms of talent should be rewarded. And I mean financially, not just little tokens of gratitude or appreciation.

Not everyone wants to, nor is there enough work available, for all of us to become doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, etc., and the polarizing wages in most developed countries are greatly encouraging the wrong way of thinking on this subject. Even the term "middle class" is basically a slap in the face to (currently) the majority of every communities' citizens.

It's amazing how quick we all are to label various careers as being precarious. The sad reality however, is that with the recent shrinking of the manufacturing sector, virtually all career types will now soon be either professional or precarious. The solution to this is not to desperately try and hang onto (or bring back) these factory jobs, which will simply not work, but to change our attitudes (and the wage levels) of the remaining careers. In many cases, these are also extremely important jobs, that must be done in order to keep our cities functioning. In most Western countries now, the average lawyer (for example), earns approx. 25 to 50 times the hourly salary of a bus driver. Both have people's lives at stake, and one career requires far more education than the other. There should definitely be a wage or income difference, but not even close to this degree.

We can argue & debate the ideologies of higher education vs lower education careers "till the cows come home", but at the end of the day, no countries' economy cares at all about how much ego-pumping a career demands. All the economy cares about is the numbers. Wages, spending, saving, borrowing, investing, inflation, employment statistics, GDP, M2 (money supply), consumer confidence, taxation, and many other issues of this nature. The bottom line undeniable fact, is that every economy on earth which prioritizes human equality, and therefore far less income disparity between careers, always thrive 100% of the time over countries that do not.

Therefore, choose a career that suits you (your personality), not just one that pays better. Basically, because health & happiness matter far more than wealth, and also because most countries on earth are starting to figure this one out. In a few decades if not sooner, the trend will likely reverse, and the wage/income gaps will start to decrease, simply because it's enormously better for every economy. Again, there are already more & more countries adding to the list, who are actually experiencing this dramatically improved quality of life already. Some recent, and some have had this figured out for decades. Now that we're living in the information age, it won't be long before most countries enjoy the good life.