~ Charles Hugh Smith [extracted/edited ~R]
A growing number of workers are becoming increasingly concerned about the future viability of their jobs, and in many cases that of their professions. Looking at a future increasingly defined by slower economic growth and higher energy costs, many are asking:
“What is the future of work?”
In broad brush terms, the Powers That Be have gone “all in” on a bet that this recession is no different than past post-war recessions: all that we need to do, to get through this “rough patch”, is borrow and spend money. And the household and business sectors will soon recover their desire and ability to borrow more, and will spend it all on one thing or another (we don’t really care what or how, because all spending adds up into GDP anyway).
In other words, we’re supposed to “grow our way” out of stagnation and over-indebtedness, just as we’ve done for the past fifty years.
Unfortunately, this diagnosis is flat-out wrong. This is not just another post-war recession, and so the treatment – lowering interest rates to zero and flooding the economy with borrowed money and liquidity – isn’t working. In fact, it’s making the patient sicker by the day.
[…eliminate the noise of official propaganda, and the high keening wails of Keynesian cargo cultists… the economy is rolling over again… an economy which creates fewer and fewer jobs, with ever-greater mountains of debt.]
This is not a bump in the road; it is the exhaustion of the entire model of growth that we have depended on for the past 30 years.
Once the debt saturation point has been reached, adding more debt subtracts from the economy rather than adds to it. This is reflected in the decline of employment by every metric: total number of jobs, civilian participation, payrolls per capita, and employment as a percentage of the total population.
We need a new model of employment, and indeed of “growth” itself.
Sadly, the Status-Quo financial witch-doctors have only prescribed more debt.
So, the key question to ask ourselves is: where will the demand for work be in a post-debt, post-cheap oil economy?
[emphasis added ~R]
This article was a timely find, as it leads nicely into my next Post – Zero Growth.