Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Presidential Debate: Does Either President Understand the New Employee?

The first Presidential Debate is in Denver. They will talk back and forth about a myriad of ideas. One idea they are sure to discuss is jobs. They will talk about tax incentives, jobs training, labor unions, and off-shoring. They will argue about trickle-down and trickle-up, (they won’t use those terms but that is what it boils down to: Does a really healthy “rich sector” make for better jobs, or does a really healthy “labor sector” do the trick). But they will be wrong either way.

Neither candidate understands the new employment economy.

The major trends driving the new employment economy today are:

·         Rapid growth of self employed
·         Explosion of social media as a “skills for sale market”
·         Emergence of job titles that didn't exist even 12 months ago
·         Rejection of the idea of traditional “employee”
·         Rapid growth of social entrepreneurs
·         Workers who follow a “skills path” rather than a career path
·         Virtual companies that don’t care where the employee works from (or which country)

These trends aren't supported by diatribes about sending work overseas, or shoring up America’s manufacturing, or supporting America’s unions, or even forcing trade wars with other countries.

If you want to help the people hit hardest by unemployment, don’t try and prop up the infrastructure that supported employment in the last 4 decades, support the creation of a new infrastructure that will enable employment for the next 4 decades.

I’d love to hear the debate talk about breaking the traditional bounds of employment and creating a new FDR like “Public Works” project that will build the infrastructure for the new employment economy. (BTW – a short commercial here: one of the biggest impediments to people taking risk, or working in non-traditional employment is the lack of access to health care – I would think both the GOP and the Dems would understand that point!).

How many of us think our sons and daughters will have a career path just like we did? Not many I would guess. So why do we want to create an artificial support system that is mired in past economies?

I have an idea, let’s Crowd Source the Presidency (and the congress). May the best ideas win!