Posted by: endithinks | August 27, 2008

On economic challenges

The job market is a land of mines right now in the United States.  People are losing work in key industries that have been the backbone of American economic strength.  Some people are saying we need to protect the jobs we have here and become more protectionist about our industries and our workforce.

I say we open them up more.

We need to realize that a new economic reality is upon us.  We can no longer rely on the economic strength of the past in particular in the United States the industries of manufacturing and hard labor.  We must come to terms with the ideas that we are going to have to reinvent ourselves and I must say that I am confident that we can do it.  We’ve done it before.

America used to be a agrarian society when our founding fathers stitched together the federation after the war of independance.  We were a nation of simple basic materials (fur, cotton, lumber, sugar) and farming.  We were only industrialized in the north and most of that industry was in promoting and producing simple products of only domestic needs.

We started to see a shift in our economic policies with the presidency of Jefferson after the ingenious aquisition of Louisiana (basically the entire rest of the continent) from France.  We started to see more of what we were capable of and we started to explore the vast resources this country in which this country is blessed.  We began to spread out and at the same time we became closer and started moving to the cities after the farmers became more and more efficient.

We also saw a major shift in our economy as a result of the Great Depression.  During the depression where the average unemployment rate was hovering around 25% the Roosevelt Administration took heroic efforts to revamp our economy and make it more flexible and able to bend and move with different tides.

The Citizen Conservation Corps was one such project that took out of work mostly young people and got them working building public places such as parks, trails, roads, bridges, shoring up rivers and dams.  the other major shift was in a shift towards more service type of jobs.  We saw during the depression a growth in industries like janitorial duties, housekeeping, hair styling, barbers, and other types of services that took peoples skills and made them gainfully employed.

We can do it again.  The way to move forward is to retrain is to retool is to take heroic efforts to make our country more viable and flexible in the growing world economy.  We need to focus on energy, services and the best source of continuing employment and strength, innovation.  we are a nation of thinkers and risk takers.  We need to get off of the safe team and jump back into the river of chance, innovation and ideas. 

As Michelle Obama said in the DNC speech, “We need to stop doubting, and start dreaming.”

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