On Google Plus, one can find circles and communities where it is possible to have civil discussions. Here is an example. The card to the left was posted and got 10 +clicks and 3 repostings. One of the comments was notable.
I am ambiguous about this notion – and it is fundamental. Are there enough jobs to go around? If you are over 55 the “no one is hiring” is true. If your skills are primarily to be used in a manufacturing or assembly line shop, large or small, “no one will be hiring” for 3 reasons:
1)globalization and free trade means someone likely in Southeast Asia will do the work for such a fraction of your necessary living wage that the job and work will be done there. The labor cost savings will out weigh additional costs of transportation and support;
2)Companies are working triple overtime to replace workers with a new generation of smart machines that never get tired, work anytime and for any length – and can be replaced if they “wear out” at much lower cost than humans. Just watch the recent set of GE commercials selling “smart machines”.;
3)Even in the non-manufacturing arenas of support, marketing, finance, innovation, and administration – a new wave of global outsourcing is going on. So the fall back options are becomng ever smaller.
I remember going to the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York where flying cars and 20 hour work weeks were the promise of the Fair. The flying cars never happened but the 20 hour work week at subsistence wages, instant layoffs, and forget any benefits is becoming increasingly the new “working dynamic”.
Will mass customization and a underground barter economy arise? It already has where I live. Will it be enough to stave off mass social unrest? Not sure.
Now this is by no means the typical comment; but that it happens without troll-like surlishness is welcome. Even more interesting is that in Google+ Communities like the Art of Photo Post-processing or WordPress, the commentary and discussions can be extended and fruitful. Not sure how long it will last but it is refreshing improvement over say Slashdot or Reddit where trolls still abound like stray wolves, striking suddenly and snuffing out good chats.