Friday, January 13, 2006

Faded myths - industry

I'm working in the industry for several years now. As an insider I have realized that we are in a declining branch. It's not only written in the newspapers it's a fact.
I'm with plastic industry, so in a couple of decades this issue will cease to exist because of biological reasons. Plastic constists of oil and there will be no oil anymore in future times not too far away from us.
I'm 36 and concerning that I will probably have to work until I'm at least 65, this means another 29 years. I started working when I was 19, so I have worked 40% of my demanded life working schedule.
But of course this is theoretical. I think 40 years of work is a period of time that should be accepted as sufficient. This would mean only 23 years from now on. About half time for me, okay in 2 years. Concerning my dreams of working part time when I turn 40, I'm already over the top. Maybe I will win the lottery and the situation gets even better. The more I think further the better it feels. Hey, let's stop tommorow.
But I'm drifting away, I was talking about industry. I think it's a fact that jobs have been reduced and will be reduced in the industry dramatically. And it's wishful thinking, that the service sector can compensate the loss of jobs.

There a only limited possibilities:

We all work part time.
We all work honorary with a part of the remaining time (for ecological, educational, caring for the old etc. projects)
We accept and cede financially the fact of umemployment
We install a society of "bread and games" (panem et circenses), this means entertainment for the not working part of the people to keep them in a mood that will not lead to revolution
We reduce our standard of living and the explotation of our natural resources (see Club of Rome, the limitation of growth)

Not many of these issues are discussed seriously at the moment. Politicians still pray to the golden calf of economical growth. That's stupid and means disregard the truth. I hope we will awake when it's not already too late.


Blogger patroclus said...

Well Konrad, that's interesting. I don't know about Germany, but in the UK in the late 70s and early 80s there was a lot of talk about how the advent of computers and robotic machinery for production lines etc. would mean that everyone would soon have to work a three-day week in order for there still to be enough labour to go round. This seems laughable now, as we all seem to work far harder than ever.

I guess what is happening is that industry as a whole will continue to move away from physical production of goods and further towards the creation and manipulation of digital information. Stuff that, if you think about it, does not actually exist as a physical entity, but still has a market value.

I've nearly always worked in the software industry, which these days does not produce physical products at all (give or take a few CD-ROMs, but even those are obsolescent now), but there's more work than ever.

Maybe it's just time for you to switch careers. Or win the lottery and take early retirement :-)

6:00 PM  

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