The Human Equation by NY Times columnist Bob Herbert, who says that un and under-employment is the real economic problem. I think he’s onto something. Economist are not likely to jump yet, since unemployment usually is a lagging indicator, but remember the jobless recovery after 2001? Could it be even worse this time. The distant past is not always a good indicator of the future when fundamentals are shifting.
Consider, the service economy. If agriculture employs 3% and manufacturing is heading for 20%, we’ll need about 77% of the population in some kind of service occupation. That seems a bit much to sustain. In the industrial revolution, agriculture did not shrink as fast as manufacturing has in the last 40 years.
It is not just throwing money at the problem. We need to rethink the fundamental of our capabilities and our imagination of what’s possible. Society needs change (think of the changes from the industrial revolution)and we need it to happen pretty fast. How about a change management cabnet post? Could we see the rise of totalitarianism again this century? If people become desperate enough . . .?