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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  306 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Claire's files Chapter 11

We're mostly of the same mind. A different friend of mine pointed out how companies like Toys R Us and Wal-Mart were Amazon before there was Amazon, which was also reflected in this comment by kleinbl00. One of the ideas brought up, is that twenty to thirty years for now, we'll all have our people down the street that are our preferred small business go tos. For example, I have my preferred bookstores, one of my buds has his own tailor (who is surprisingly affordable!), many of us support small business from candle and soap makers, to pet supply stores, to pretty much anything. Almost all of us love family owned restaurants, especially of the ethnic variety, and try to eat at those places more often than fast food and chain places. Durable goods tied into this whole conversation too, which kleinbl00 also alluded to in his comment on this thread, but I don't really have much to expand on that.

There were two big hurdles that we discussed with this idea and we don't know what to think of them. The first and foremost is that specialty stores will employ less people and if durable goods become the standard again, there's gonna be less churn in retail. This means those without the skills, knowledge, and resources to start their own businesses will be left in the lurch and additionally if goods last longer, and people by less, demand will go down. Both of these things will mean that while goods and jobs might be of a higher quality, there will be less of everything to go around, once again meaning some people will be left in the lurch.

The second big problem that we see, is that if retail changes, other things are gonna change too, from health care and benefits, to real estate landscape, to demands on transportation, to a whole bunch of other things. If all of this collapses too quickly, and if we as a country lack appropriate and effective responses, there are gonna be ripple effects that could potentially be both wide reaching as well as long lasting. It's the unkowns in this area that really have us worrying, and while we can make predictions, we just don't know what we're gonna come across, let alone how to address it, until shit really starts falling apart. By then? It might be too late for a lot of people.

goobster  ·  305 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I understand and respect your concern for our fellow Americans and their jobs, but I think it might be a bit patronizing, if you dig into it a bit.

For example, if we take your position back in the early 1980's, you could be saying, "Personal computers are going to put typists out of work." And, "Full Service gas station attendants will be left in the lurch, when people pump their own gas/drive electric vehicles."

The thing is that the future is not a straight line from the past, projecting forward like an arrow to a predictable future.

Shit changes.

When typists are no longer needed, they find other - usually more fulfilling - roles. Some of them got into Desktop Publishing and layout, and then moving those skills into electronic newsletters, and finally web pages. Secretaries got greater responsibilities, because their time was not taken up with typing any more. Personal growth changed from receptionist > typing pool > secretary > wife-of-an-executive, to demonstrating an ability to learn and adapt and get into management. Or sales. Or marketing.

Shit changes. People adapt.

People also age out of a demographic, and into a new one. The young ones coming up behind them - like the typists' kids - grew up with computers, and got into web and software development. (For example.)

Cohorts grow obsolete, but still need to make rent, so they adapt, change, move somewhere else and switch careers, go back to college, take online courses, get into government retraining programs, and they continue to pay rent, and buy cars, and work other jobs.

The only people who get left in the lurch, are people like coal miners, who stayed with a dying industry, in a town with no other options. And there has to be some personal responsibility there.

Any one of those coal workers could have taken the government retraining that was being offered, and learned web design. Then started a business teaching other people in town the same thing. Then hired their neighbors to do more work, for clients outside the area.

But they largely didn't. (Well, some did.)

Shit changes.

And we can't see today, how things will be tomorrow. And thinking that we need to help others protect themselves from being left in the lurch is a touch patronizing. Just a touch, but still patronizing, nonetheless.

user-inactivated  ·  305 days ago  ·  link  ·  

For now, let's agree to agree on some things and disagree on others. :)