"Now more than ever, chance will favor the prepared mind. The coming future will be unique in our experience, in our existence. Buckle up young ones - this is going to be quite a ride."
Listen up young folks. This is mostly for you. People my age have already run our race. Besides all of which, this is a much different world than the one myself and my peers competed in. Some of us have known for a while now the future was going to be different than what we are all used to. I just had no idea it was going to be this different.
First off, let me just say one more time that this entire $15/hour argument is bogus. It really is. Why? Supply and demand. In the Twin Cites right now, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Plus we have scads of people out of the workforce. Huh? I know that is not the economics most of us learned by - but nevertheless, that is today's reality.
To further complicate matters, we still have many lower level jobs which are unfilled. Go to any fast food joint. ALL have a help wanted sign up. And the lateral mobility of most of those lower tiered jobs is very fluid. Plus, as technology continues to mature, many of those lower tiered jobs will start to go away. The jobs which remain will take a higher skill level, which will result in a higher wage. Probably much higher than $15/hour.
But here is where the warning comes in for the Millennials and the Gen-X folks. To not only survive, but thrive economically in your future, your must be very nimble in your training and skill sets. Plus - be willing to learn and re-train at all times.
A few weeks ago there was an economist on the news saying the future of work is going to be like something we have never seen before. Because of technology, 80% of the work needed to keep our society functioning will be done by 20% of the people. If you think those numbers don't add up, they don't.
Here is the bottom line. It is becoming more and more likely that besides have rock bottom unemployment numbers, we will also have workforce participation numbers which are also staggeringly low. Like a constant of 100M+ people out of the workforce. If our society has the necessary people to do the jobs which need to be done, what are all the rest of the people who are out of the workforce going to do? Now we have touched on the $64,000 question.
Here are my suggestions for young folks going forward to help fend off some of this future shock (Sorry Mr. Toffler):
- Stay informed! Don't stick your head in the sand and don't be a Chicken Little. Stay informed locally and nationally. Read different sources on things.
- Stay educated! Never stop learning. School is only one place in which you learn (although, in some government schools that is hard).
- Grasp, not fear, the future! The future is not something you need to worry about in 30 years or so. The future is here now. You will either be a part of that future or you will soon be in the past.
- (This is tough one for some) Be involved politically! Make sure the people we vote for also understand the future. Beware of charlatans and liars.
- Stay connected in your community. The unprepared minds of some will need the support of those who are prepared.
I hope this did not sound too dour. Now more than ever, chance will favor the prepared mind. The coming future will be unique in our experience, in our existence. Buckle up young ones - this is going to be quite a ride.