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New Rules for a Darwinian Economy



January 21, 2010 – Comments (5)

 I just came across this article from the US NEWS.  Its a really good article about how the rules for a successful middle class life are changing and that we need to adapt or we will be left behind.  Heres an excerpt:

Many of the nearly 8 million jobs lost during the recession may be gone for good, with high unemployment likely to persist for several years. Consumer spending may decline permanently, depressing huge economic sectors like housing and retail. Scarce credit and other problems, meanwhile, are stunting the growth of new businesses and inhibiting the "creative" part of "creative destruction." "This is not just a recession," says futurist Edie Weiner, president of consulting firm Weiner, Edrich, Brown. "This is a transformation."

If so, Americans may need to reconsider the unwritten rules that have governed upward mobility since the end of World War II. From 1945 to 2000, the American middle class was a kind of perpetual prosperity machine that created vast amounts of wealth--which mostly stayed in the United States. There were disruptions, like the recessions of the mid-1970s and early 1980s, but the wealth compounded and progress always resumed its upward trajectory. Various assumptions formed the pillars of this phenomenal era: A good education leads to a decent job and a satisfying lifestyle. Working hard means your income will keep going up. Devotion to your career will produce a comfortable retirement. And each generation will be better off than the one that came before.

Now, banking on those assumptions may constitute dangerous living. As Americans are ruefully discovering, a bachelor's or master's degree doesn't guarantee a job these days. Hard work might bring a paycheck, but not necessarily job security or a reliable nest egg. Devotion to your company or career won't inoculate you from getting kicked to the curb. More Americans are working harder just to stay even and asking themselves a troubling question: If I did all the right things, why does it feel as if I'm falling behind?

Full Article

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On January 21, 2010 at 2:35 PM, binve (< 20) wrote:

Hey outoffocus, Great post, I agree. Real wages have been falling but the perception of a comfortable lifestyle has been subsidized by speculation (housing and stocks) as well as excess borrowing.

Devotion to your company or career won't inoculate you from getting kicked to the curb.

Amen to that.

These precepts should serve Middle class workers well for the coming decade.

- Work hard.
- Live below your means.
- Save.
- Pay Down Debt.
- Be Happy and Grateful for what you have (concentrate on positives)..

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#2) On January 21, 2010 at 2:49 PM, lemoneater (56.82) wrote:

Very good article. Thanks for sharing.

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#3) On January 21, 2010 at 2:52 PM, carcassgrinder (33.30) wrote:


+1 Great article...thanks.

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#4) On January 21, 2010 at 8:19 PM, ChrisGraley (28.49) wrote:

This article could have been posted 10 years ago and still have been relevent, but nobody would have paid attention to it.

Good find outoffocus.


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#5) On January 22, 2010 at 8:54 AM, 4everlost (29.00) wrote:

The old mantra that has been fed to the majority of the citizenship for decades:

Work hard in school and get a degree in college.

Get a job in Corporate America.

Live below your means and save.

Invest in a portfolio of diversified mutual funds.

Retire at the end of a hard working career.

It just doesn't cut it anymore.  Our children need to be taught that there are alternate paths.  The US education system is not the place to turn to for this knowledge.  It has to come from somewhere else.  Maybe CAPs? ;-)


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