The economic rules have changed since 2008, the old plan of gainful employment and fulfillment has been replaced by a new plan of ennui, anomie, anxiety and emptiness – a deterministic world where everything is pre-planned and predictable up until the moment it happens, where we’re all preordained to mediocrity.
The question is what happens if the Luddite Fallacy stops being a fallacy and we have a situation where the most of the entire left side of the bell curve is unemployed, along with an increasingly amount of the middle. This makes re-training the workforce unworkable because the minimum IQ to perform middle-class work will have risen high enough to exclude most of the population.
Maybe this is why the entitlement spending problem will keep growing — everything is just too darn hard and expensive for mere mortals without the necessary connections, work ethic, intelligence, or luck.
Is your job next?
The gig & temp economy is replacing some of these low-income workers who have not yet been automated or outsourced, but the pay tends to be poor, the work tedious & demanding, and the hours unreliable. You don’t get the nice benefits of a regular job, benefits such as getting paid just to show up and doing the bare minimum, and a nice predictable paycheck; in the gig economy, you have to always be creating value. You are personally accountable for everything, unlike with a large company where the consequences of individual employee incompetence are dispersed among everyone. It’s simple math: You have 1,000 employees and 100 of them are dead-weight/free riders, each employee shoulders 10% of the loss for the laziness of some. At some point, if this percentage becomes too large, the company fails and everyone gets fired. But in the gig economy, where we’re all forced to become entrepreneurs, you bear 100% of the consequences of your actions or inaction.
So this is the economic reality we live in, the natural course of evolution from an economy with too many overpaid, unproductive jobs (pre-2008) to an economy where productivity and efficiency is paramount. Get used to it. It’s not going away.
Related: The End of Jobs