Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Economists are so 0-5! Don't look to them for solutions!

Here in Oregon, the recession continues. Unemployment is at 10.6% as compared to the oh, so much better national rate of 9.7%. Yesterday a friend shared two newspaper articles showing the grim job prospects for this year's graduates--especially those in the teaching fields. Due to budget deficits in many states, schools are not only not hiring new graduates, they're firing teachers.

Since the 2008 crash, 15 million people have been unemployed and with a predicted jobless recovery, many of these people and their families will be permanently displaced out of the economy. Yet, when I listen to government or private economists they continue to perpetuate the myth that some 'big business' will show up and start hiring and things will get back to status quo.

When I hear this, I just shake my head. Economists know that we've moved solidly into a "Knowledge/Service" economy yet they keep talking as if this new economy will work the same way as a Consumer economy. But jamming a Knowledge/Service economy into the same framework as a Consumer economy is like sticking a square peg into a round hole.
It simply won't work.

But then I think of the Choosing Continuum--and remember that 85% of people are 0-5, reactive, unconscious and passive in response to crisis/problems going on in their lives, so why should economists be any different? If anything, we should expect it--and then promptly stop listening to them. Because a 0-5 response to economic, financial, social and environmental problems that are occurring right now will not do the job. We're not going back to status quo/consumer economy. That is so 20th century--we're in the 21st!

Time for us to go 6-10--proactive, conscious, self-responsible for designing new solutions. From what I've read--the new framework will require us to recognize that the 'work' that we'll need to be doing in this new economy is very different than what we did in the old economy. That's what we need to be exploring. For those who are Life Puzzle makers--you're well on your way of starting on the pathway to success in the new economy.

As Richard Florida writes in The Great Reset, a book about a post-crash new economy, the future belongs to those who are able to be autonomous and good decision makers. That's decidedly folks who have adopted the 6-10 process of taking responsibility for their own lives, pro-actively creating their own work, consciously designing whole and dynamic lives. To achieve this, we will be spending far more time in career fields dealing with human development and creativity than in the old fields of manufacturing and consumer products.

The problem however is that the way we measure and monetize the current economy makes it very difficult to welcome these new employment sectors. That's because they're not built on 'unlimited growth and production', but are instead much more around ideas and creativity. Creative ideas/creative humans are the outcome of these new employment sectors but are hard to monitor in the traditional ways. But it is what we need economists to start working on! Or even better--we do it ourselves.

The current consumer economy has 3 employment sectors where one can earn a living: markets, government or illegal (think drugs, sex trade etc.--lots of money made here!). But the new Knowledge/Service economy will need to expand this into six employment sectors: markets, government, illegal (sorry, it's just always going to be a part of us!), household (where creatives a created!), volunteer and the natural environment. With the addition of these three new employment sectors, not only can we re-employ everyone--the work they'll be doing with produce a vibrant economy.

First step you can take? Be a Life Puzzle maker! Then you'll be well on your way for being part of this new economy because Life Puzzle makers are autonomous and good decision makers.