Unemployment: share the wealth


For my first post on my first blog, I must pay homage to my fate as of late. For if it weren’t for the credit crisis, enterprise downsizing and the venture capitalists’ sweaty palms tightening around their investments, then I wouldn’t have any time to make this blog happen.

Thank you America for making this all possible!!

Recently, I’ve become unemployed. More specifically, I was laid off for reason’s, to the best of my knowledge, pertaining to the status of the economic climate. Welcome to the club that 8.1 % (12.5M) of the working Americans have joined. Interestingly enough, this is a 35% increase from 3rd quarter of 2008 rates.

In the most basic of discussions, this means that of the remaining 141.8M taxed workers are supporting the entire US populus of 305,981,668. The gap is widening, as the monthly reports from the Bureau of Labor show steadily rising unemployment rates. At the same time, wages are increasing in viscosity to something like that of granite and the responsibility per employee piles higher with each new layoff.

In light of our overworked and underpaid employees, many of which keep one eye looking over their shoulder for the company slough, I think that the ballooning of unemployment is great.

Something is wrong. To me, that’s what it means; the system isn’t working properly. As more get laid off, the pressure on the system increases by something greater than a simple linear rate. The effect of each person out of work ripples through the community, which now has spanned across the nation and globe (thank you division of tasks and globalization). The outcome? Change.

With extra time, added pressure and general insecurity about one’s sustenance, people get creative . This creativity is not just limited to the art community (which is undoubtedly bolstered by tough times), but the community. On the afternoon local news I hear of a single mother consulting google to fix a leaky shower fixture instead of hiring a plumber. In my local cafe I hear an recently laid off engineer speaking of an idea to revolutionize traffic management on the runways (a little eaves dropping). At an MIT energy conference focusing on emerging technology, I have to push through a crowd to listen to the carbonrally CEO talk about turning sustainability efforts into healthy competition.

Speaking from personal experience, since being thrown out of routine and into the unsure, I’ve become more extroverted and overwhelmed (in a good way) by the enormous opportunities. I’ve felt this same notion in ‘strangers’ as conversation about unemployment rolls off the tongue as easy printing more money. Suddenly, with this situation and hardship shared among so many, strangers get less strange and conversations hold more wealth; with such a blank canvas, the next conversation could launch your next adventure or sow your next venture.

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  1. #1 by Natalie on 03/10/2009 - 10:02 pm

    congratulations on making lemonade. may you defy physics and bounce successively higher. (i think this would, in fact, require defying physics, although my random reasoning may be off)

  2. #2 by mark bobseine on 03/17/2009 - 7:40 am

    Realizing that you don’t have to stand in line with 50 applicants for 1 job you really don’t want anyway is liberating. Understanding that there are lots of opportunities is exciting.

    Go.

  3. #3 by Kyle on 06/18/2009 - 9:47 pm

    Bill. Well written. My hope is that with all of us talented unemployed having the time we didn’t have before we can indeed start to develop those innovative ideas now out of necessity. I am taking this time to improve upon myself those skills that I lost touch with while stuck in front of my computer 5 days a week. When I was let go I kept singing the song from Pinnochio….I’ve got no strings to hold me down.

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