The coming era of the climbers and the coasters

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"We can look forward to the next age with dread or anticipation. I would like to think of it as the later. Opportunities will abound."

Heads up kids. The party is almost over. I know - during the age of Obama it was cool to follow your muse. Do what you want, when you want, and the nanny state will provide. The workforce participation level dipped to historic lows and unemployment was often times referred to as "funemployment". In other words, being out of work went from a stigma to a benefit. Buckle up - there is a change in the economic wind coming.
I have reading more and more articles about the upcoming labor shortage in this country. How bad is it going to be? Many employers which need higher tech skills are starting to lobby Washington for more I-9 Visas. Yes, we are still producing some of our kids who want to "climb". Those who will put in the elbow grease and late nights to get the right type of training and or degrees. However, the numbers to fill those new high tech jobs are not there. Our problem is too low of a birth rate, as well as we still have too many young folks who want to "coast".
Now don't get me wrong - all work is honorable. But this country, as well as the rest of the civilized countries in the world, are getting ready for the next leap forward. And that leap is going to happen in the next seven years. For the "climbers", who really want to be major players in this next industrial revolution, the welcome mat is out. For those who want to remain "coasters", the vertical opportunities will become fewer and fewer. Plus - be prepared to see more and more folks coming here from India, China, Japan and points west. These are the new immigrants who will fill the jobs which we will not be able to.
I have said this before. If you know a young person, the best advice you could give him or her is to 1) get trained and or educated, and 2) stay nimble. The staying nimble part is almost as important as the training part. Why? Many of the jobs on the new frontier are not even jobs yet. They don't exist. But they will.
One more thing about the coming labor shortage. In some areas, it is already here. Don't think so? Try going in ANY fast food outlet without seeing a help wanted sign. Just about any department store. People can say they are not going to take employment at a low skilled job until it pays $15/hour. To those people I would tell to wake up and smell the coffee. First off, $15/hour is only $30,000/year. Not nearly enough to live on. Next, I would tell them they will cut off their noses despite their faces. Many employers cannot afford to pay that much for low skilled labor and will phase those jobs out.
We can look forward to the next age with dread or anticipation. I would like to think of it as the later. Opportunities will abound. Some opportunities will be low fruit on the tree. That is - for those who want to climb, will grab them. The coasters however, will have to settle for what little falls on the ground.