New Rules for a Darwinian Economy
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?