I hardly ever write political posts on this blog. This is an exception – somewhat.
For starters, I am middle of road politically. Right leaning economically as many small businesspeople are, left leaning socially. I tend to fall in line behind my C-in-C no matter which party they belong to. I will do the same whoever wins in November.
However, in writing my recent book about automation and jobs I have been deeply affected by all the pessimism about jobless futures. It has taken every fiber of optimism in my body to write Silicon Collar, which ended up as a positive book about how we need to relish having machines as our colleagues and peers.
In my research, I had plenty of opportunities to feel very good about our jobs/business economy. We filed tax returns with the IRS with total Adjusted Gross Income at nearly $ 9 trillion. Which means pre-adjustment, we have a large pie of $ 12 trillion to share. That’s just in the US – there are many other healthy job economies around the world.
Never before have we had so many choice in jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies workers into one of 840 detailed occupations. CareerPlanners.com does an even more granular listing and lists 12,000 separate jobs. And they do not even include all the entrepreneurial, franchising and other gig economy opportunities we have. Never before have we had a chance to get second, third, later acts in our careers. Never before have so many technologies converged to make work safer, smarter and speedier. Yes, we may not have life time employment, plates for 25 years of service, or pensions but we have ended up with many other positive things in return.
As Warren Buffett said in his annual investor letter earlier this year “The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history.”
And yet, I saw all kinds of pessimism and discontent about the economy. While the book takes on many academicians and analysts for irresponsibly creating this pessimism, our politicians are also to blame. The UK has already paid a heavy price, the US may do so next.
They are nit picking on each other. They should be spending more time telling us how they will improve on the economy we have rather than writing it off.
Let’s all make them focus on that over the next 100 days. Trump and Clinton are both old school businessman and politician respectively. I want them to consult with Jeff Immelt, Tim Cook, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Colin Powell and others who are much more forward looking, globally savvy executives.
Fellow Americans, let’s keep them honest. Let’s use their rallies, their debates, their websites, Twitter and other social media to keep them focused on what’s important to us and our families. Enough of the pessimism and focus on each other! It’s an incredibly critical 100 days.