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Exploring the Fiscal Angle

I am not a subject matter expert on economics or labor, so shake a healthy portion of salt onto the following . . .

The fact that layoffs are expected to grow, and that there is no shortage of work - just not necessarily full-time work or work in your area - clamors for a different approach to job hunting. There are the Sologigs and DICEs of the world, which I'm told work pretty well, but how many of the listings in such services are temp-to-permanent positions and how many people who use such services are really, truly free lances? It's a small data set to pull from, but people who want steady work but not day jobs(so to speak) are really getting the short end of the stick.

It doesn't help that the nature of much of the work now not getting done is location-dependent, but it would be extremely helpful if the employers who need location-independent work done would actually allow people who happen to be anywhere to do anything they need done. It's not like there isn't a chunk of a whole country that has proven the case for such a model.

So what does all this have to do with threats to national security? Consider:

  • An un- / under-employed workforce is rife with discontent and disillusionment. Draw whatever historical parallels you want, when people are hurting economically for long periods of time, that's when "revolutions" of some sort tend to pop up and ugly things begin to happen.
  • Economic recovery speeds confidence in the government and facilitates the security of the nation (at least in a traditionalist sense). You get the relative luxury of worrying about threats both present and far-flug when you're not worried about how you're putting food on the table and if you are going to have to work till you are 90.
  • A solution to the modern labor problem (moving from day-job of questionable value and waning interests to steady work of inherent value and constant interest) now means we as a nation are going to be in a better state the next time an economic crisis of this nature hits.

I hate to abuse a buzz-word but I think it is high time someone crafted a 2.0 way of matching work with workers; a brokerage that dealt with the dynamics of modern work and workers, included trust and skill rankings (a'la eBay or Amazon), and allowed both employers to find people (easier) and helped workers manage their time/resources (harder). You see fits and starts of this in gov't circles, usually associated with emergency planning, but every workforce has people with skills they were not hired for; the fact that we don't leverage those skills speaks to our inefficiency and ultimately our ineffectiveness.

I think the person(s) who can code and deliver such a solution are going to be well-known in labor circles, but largely un-sung in the national security sphere (which will be a shame).

Notes

1 Comment

A few points;

1) The use of social media for job hunting is obviously a major change (ie., LinkedIn). Locally in some sections of the country, there are region/city specific "communities."

2) The housing market problems will make it next to impossible for some people to relocate for jobs.

3) One implication of the auto industry problems and the 22,000 layoffs at Caterpiller, for example, are the direct implications on National Security of a shrinkage of the manufacturing base in this country.

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