11 November 2020

What Economy Are We In? That's Not Defined by the Sector that Did Employ Your Grandpa But Rather the One that will Employ Your Kids

A successful society has to teach its children how to make a living.

If you're in an agricultural economy, you had better teach kids how to farm rather than teach them hunting and gathering.

If you are in an industrial economy, you better teach them about machinery and production rather than how to farm.

How do you know which economy you are in? Answer the question, Where are we creating jobs? Farming is still noble and critical to our economy and way of life. If the US shifted all of its educational resources into preparing all of its children to grow up to become farmers, we'd have hot mess in the job market. In 1800, 90% of the workforce was in farming. Today, about 1% are.

Industrial capital is automating more factory work. 85% of jobs lost in manufacturing since 1980 have been lost to automation and only 15% have been lost to jobs being exported to places like Mexico and China. If we educate all our kids for jobs in factories, we will - again - have a hot mess in the job market.

So here's the thing: we are automating knowledge workers jobs with software and AI. Yet we are still raising kids to take jobs as knowledge workers.

We need to teach kids entrepreneurship and innovation the way that past generations taught kids farming, factory work, and knowledge work.

How do you know when you have shifted from an agricultural to industrial economy? When new jobs and wealth are being created in factories and not farms.

The transition into a post-information economy has already begun. Our policies need to catch up.

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