Is the Disposable Worker Something New?

Let’s get real.  The notion of a job with security, benefits,
retirement and health care is little more than 75 years old.  That’s
not very long in human history.  Yet, the latest Business Week
emphasizes the well-known fact that companies are making the era of the
temp more than temporary.  So. . . ?  What’s new?  Humans have had to
work around those situations for centuries.

When we’re gripped by a sense of entitlement generated by a 75 year
history, it makes it far more difficult to deal with the realities of
today’s world.  My tobacco farming grandparents had occasional
sharecroppers and they all understood the deal.  Some of them saved
their money and bought their own acreage, and some of them spent their
money and did without.  And there were plenty of times that my
grandmother shared her largesse with the poor and inept.  That’s the
nature of community.

Thankfully, we aren’t going back to the dark side of that
world.  Still, today’s world is a lot different than the rich middle
class, union driven, auto business that I grew up with in Detroit.  So
we’re going to need to get smarter and take on more personal
responsibility.  When major economic structures change, the change is
usually quite messy.  That’s what’s happening today and it’s messy.  So
for a lot of people it means they’ll have to go back to the drawing
boards.

Lest there be any doubt,this is a rant! 
It’s a way of saying that occasionally I become rather fatigued when
business magazines and media are governed by a newspaperman’s
sensibilities, more interested in conflict and color than historical
perspective, order and synthesis.  Over American history, there have
been periods when for a number of reasons the media has become shrill. 
The shrillness we’re experiencing today seems to be coming out of the
intensely competitive nature of the business and the paranoia some
media people seem to think necessary to succeed.
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