Who's Responsible?

We All Are.

John Philpin
My Newsletter provider (Substack) has just enabled comments/discussion for ‘all’, so short newsletter and lots of room for comments. Let us all know what you think.

Back in December, I linked my microblog to a Brookings report, with the line “Low-wage work is more pervasive than you think, and there aren’t enough ‘good jobs’ to go around.”

”Around 53 million working Americans, or 44% of the total workforce, earn a median hourly wage of $10.22.”

… Brookings Institute

One of my readers sent me an email that I wanted to get back to and build on.

… to me, the article describes the situation (lots of low wage jobs), and states that ‘economic development’ needs to keep these low-wage individuals in mind. What I did not get from this article was whose responsibility is it to develop ‘good jobs’. It seems to me that more business creation leads to job growth, but how can someone be encouraged (or forced) to develop a business that would create jobs that pay well enough to be considered ‘good’? Is it government's responsibility?

No, it is not the Government’s responsibility to ‘create jobs’. Particularly in the 21st century. But it is a problem of such magnitude that the World’s Governments should be thinking and working and talking about the issue - because this is more than jobs. This is a societal problem that is not being discussed anywhere, with any level of seriousness.

Me - from nearly four years ago …

In 2010, the top 5 companies in the USA were employing an average of half the number of people that they did in 1955. Which in turn means that if the US labour pool is around 65% (for simplicity) of the population then.

  • In 1955, the labour pool was approximately 65% of 166MM – or around 108MM.

  • In 2015, the labour pool was approximately 65% of 320MM – or around 208MM.

… and in that same time period – the largest companies that we all grew up with have cut their labour needs by 50%.

The workforce grows by 100 million, requirements of the largest private employees dropped by 50% … and we wonder what the problem is.

(Society And Attitude Need to Catch Up With Reality)

As the larger companies get larger (in terms of their market cap at least), their employee numbers are reducing - partly because they don’t need as many people, to begin with, and partly that so much of what used to be done in house is outsourced, offshored, automated and generally removed from the books.

In a future newsletter, I will dive deeper into the argument that ‘there is no future of work - only a future of income’ - where every single individual creates wealth for themselves through their labour, skills, information, knowledge, insights, wisdom, time and through their assets, thinking, analysis, compassion, agility, flexibility, street smarts, humanity

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

Robert A. Heinlein

But - before I do … what do you think?


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