Everyone is talking about jobs.
I just got back from Washington, DC, and that was the key buzzword. If you ask for anything from the government, you must promise that it will deliver jobs. If you tell them that you have a project that will deliver jobs, they tell you that they have no money to give you because too many people are without jobs.
Some of the big shots up North seem to think that if they put people to work building high-speed rail lines that will solve the problem. Sure, but what happens if, as in many areas, nobody rides on it? Now you have a government in more debt than before and the same people out of work again.
We were headed in the same direction in 1939 but a few guys decided to declare war on us and saved our butt. That won’t happen again because the new wars don’t require factories producing thousands of tanks and ships, etc. Yes, a few defense contactors will do well but the millions taken off the unemployment rolls back then will not happen again. Wars are not the same today.
Some people, I won’t say who, claim that if you give tax breaks to the wealthy, they will provide more jobs (that word again). I recently spoke to a very wealthy friend of mine (I mean really wealthy) and he said that as long as the government is willing to give him money and tax breaks, he will take them but he has no intention of hiring more people just to use up the money, especially if he has nothing for them to do.
Some people say that if you give money to small companies that they will hire more people. Would you? If you own a business that has been struggling for quite a while, would you take the money and add staff, when things are tight as they are?
Besides, who really needs people. I have been watching a series on the Science Channel called Factory Made. It is fascinating to see simple things like butcher knives or paint rollers being made in a factory. The problem is that you hardly ever see actual “people” doing anything. It is all robots. The robots actually look like people and move like them as well.
Who makes the robots? I guess someone in China or Japan but here is the scary part: My religious friends prove the existence of a supreme being by telling me that man will never be able to make something that can recreate itself. Oh yeah? I would not be too surprised that we will someday see robots making robots. If you doubt that take a look at your iPhone and think back 10 years or so. Get the point?
I don’t know how many people actually are employed in retail or wholesale sales but who needs them anymore? I find it faster, cheaper, and better ordering online. My wife tells me that Farm Stores is allowing you to order your weekly food online and pick it up in one of those drive-through places. Say goodbye to the food salesman who used to try to get better placement for their products in the local supermarket.
Even politics is being affected. Want to start a revolution? You don’t need to go door to door stirring things up. I just learned that the Revolution in Egypt started with Google and Facebook. So there! Please folks, don’t enlist me for a revolution. My mailbox is overloaded already. Of course if the same thing happens in the U.S that has happened before in other countries, that is the disappearance of the middle class, we might begin to see things here that we never thought imaginable.
In the meantime just go out and “create more jobs!”