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Thread: Youth unemployment ...finally someone who shares my concerns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada

    Youth unemployment ...finally someone who shares my concerns

    Finally the whos who of the world at the Davos economic forum are discussing an issue I have long felt threatens the relative peace we have in the world today. Youth Unemployment. For many this is not an issue given many of you dont have kids or are in retirement but you do have grandkids that at some stage have to find a place in the world.

    For me the numbers are enormous and the problem far greater than what might be perceived by many. Its not just a matter of a job or providing them with job opportunity. They fundamentally have a very different outlook. I see this in my two boys and in my view they have had life easy maybe way too easy.

    We have commented on and off about how difficult it is to work with the next generation things like merely having them show up being one issue never mind the rest. But in demographic terms they represent a significant percentage of the population and would be future contributing citizens. The problem does not reside in a single country or even group of countries its universal in our global economy.

    And in case anyone has forgotten what happened in the UK a few years ago when riots broke out across the United Kingdom it ended up in enormous pandemonium as youth went on the rampage burning and looting.

    So its good to hear people like the CEO of Coke being interviewed and hearing that hopefully the talk about the subject is moving to action amongst the big and powerful. Check out the video in this link from Bloomber Business Week.

    If you have any doubts about how this issue can lead to instability take a note of what is happening in South Africa today.
    The Platinum Mine miners have gone on on strike for better wages, they looking to move up from around $500 per month to what they would like to see is double. But what is significant that few observers are noticing in my opinion, is the age profile of the miner there today versus years back. Its a much younger group and with very different outlook. They are far more militant than ever before.

    What you may not know is that South Africa sits on 80% of the worlds platinum.

    In parts of Europe ie Spain and Italy for example youth unemployment is in the realms of 40% and this is the western world being referred to not third world or developing countries.

    I have some rather hard line views of what could be done to get this lot working but i dont think they would go down to well in the modern day nanny society. It would interest me greatly to hear others views of what could be done.

    Part of me feels we have gone to far in destroying the merits of working with your hands and schools should be changing to bring back modernized programs of the ones we all went through like Industrial Arts. Not everyone is suited to a service industry role in a cubicle behind a desk and computer.

    The other part of me thinks we should have conscription again but with a leaning to making different use of the conscripts and different training. I think it sure would not hurt to have the generation learn like i did in the military to take care of oneself and the immediate surroundings.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    Rob thanks.

    Me as 60 and my kids in their 30 and well established I never even give youth employment a moments thought.

    I dropped out of high school and have been working full time since I was 16. I remember how hard it was then to get a job - never mind now. Besides there were TONS more opportunity and I never played with electronic devices back then - there were none.

    Since then I went back to school and got a BS in engineering. Even THAT was a LOT easier.

    It is a different mindset today.

    Thank you for making me think differently about this issue.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    i had the chance to work with a liberal camp for kids and adults this summer and even had alot one on one time with the kids for a five week session and saw many that thought that we can just drift along and tell the older people what to do and how to do it and have you got me this yet.. but i also was able to see some of them have a great desire to do things with there hands and had one young boy 16 tell me he finally got it as to what his dad does and why and gained a new respect for him.. so there are those out there that do have the hankering to do things beside electronic games and making sure facebook or the other social things are going on with out them.. from my perspective we have all striven to have our kids be the execs and get the white collar jobs but do we have the blue collar folk trained to do what the white collar folks need done.. in my eyes we dont..let alone know how to survive if the grocery store closes and they need to fend for them selves.. we wont be here to give it to them and that leaves either starve or steal from the next guy.
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  4. #4
    A very political subject...

    The main factor is productivity and population growth. Productivity increases have outstripped population growth. On the one hand, the population has increased - therefore there are more consumers. On the other hand, technology has made workers more productive.

    Say the population has increased 10% over a given time frame. The market is 10% bigger so logically 10% more of Widget X needs to be produced. If productivity had stayed the same, 10% more workers would need to be hired. But productivity has increased. Perhaps only 6% more workers need hiring. 4% of the new population is out in the cold.

    A secondary factor (at least in the Western world, USA in particular) is the wealth distribution. The upper income brackets are growing (management, owners, the Equity class) and the lower income brackets are growing (service jobs, low skill jobs). The middle income brackets are shrinking (high skill jobs, lower/middle management, people who actually DO work).

    An additional factor is lack of job training. Speaking white collar here and, especially, high-skill blue collar. I'm talking machinists, computer programmers, marketing (non-sales), project management. Companies today are unwilling to take someone off the street, intensely train them for 6-8-12 months, then pay them the prevailing wage. They see it as a risk that the employee will take the training then walk to another company. Therefore, they all want folks who already have 5 years in skill XYZ. Well, how do you obtain that experience?

    Another factor is the majority of the service sector is a low-wage, low-esteem business. People working service sector jobs are generally looked down upon. No one wants to work a job that's low prestige.

    Another factor, which ties back to wealth distribution, is HFT (high frequency trading) and the disconnect on the stock market between a stock and its company. This disconnect isn't a new thing (since the late 70's, really took off in the 80's) but HFT has really shown that, in today's world, stocks are simply widgets of no intrinsic value that can be moved from place to place and one can gamble upon the resulting values. The stock market, especially in the 90's, was sold to the middle class as a tool to move up in the world, build wealth, acquire STUFF and MONEY. As it's been co-opted by the big banks and boutique HFT trading houses, the ability of smaller investors to compete and succeed has tanked.

    Anyway... yeah, it's a problem. A many-headed hydra.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    new york city burbs
    in my world around me, I never saw a problem with todays youth looking for work.(Im sure its a real problem worldwide)
    I always had parades of young men and women in my business leaving their names and numbers looking for work, any work.
    I usually called the local high school, spoke to a guidance counselor, and theyd supply me a list of names looking for work.
    Human Test Dummy

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