Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Boomer Legacies: The Employee-less Society

James Altucher: "People with jobs are like 'the walking dead.'" (2013) Video Source: Youtube.

The Baby Boomers inspire a long list of social and economic generational legacies which they do not care to acknowledge. As mentioned in this post, On Declaring Moral Bankruptcy, one of these legacies is the gutting of the liberal professions and the move to an employee-less society, in which employers feel no moral obligation or loyalty to their workers. The old concept of professional decency never worked very well, often was patriarchal or sexist and encouraged nepotism and other forms of patronage. Despite these deep flaws, there was at least a culture of professional behaviour which suggested loyalty ran up and down the workplace hierarchy. Increasingly, we see the opposite; workers are held to ever higher and more demanding standards, while employers wash their hands of responsibility to their underlings.

From Yahoo: the Daily Ticker's Aaron Task talks to James Altucher about why you should quit your job. See Altucher's site here, and his view in the video above that across all sectors in the economy, employers are moving toward temporary employees with no job security and no benefits. When employment numbers finally improve significantly, what you will not see in the stats is that we will be living in a new economy. In that new economy, there will be no job security.

The Great Recession, Altucher maintains, was just an excuse to get rid of expensive permanent employees whom employers wanted to remove anyway, due to outsourcing, technology and globalization. Your permanent job (if you (still) have one), Altucher insists, is going to disappear anyway, so start looking at what your parallel alternatives are as a solo-entrepreneur.

For the Baby Boomers who are seeking to cut costs, this is a remarkably short-sighted policy. It grounds the entire economy in the bottom dollar and ruthless soulless efficiency. But anyone could tell you that money is just an idea, and as such it reflects a philosophy of existence. Remove the humane aspects from the very human act of work and the society will overall become less humane. Could we not have made the transition to a more mobile and globalized economy without pulling the temple down upon our heads? That choice, which Baby Boomer employers made and are still making in the 2000s and 2010s, will have long term implications.

After being treated like this, I really wonder how eager Generations X, Y and Z will be to support Baby Boomers' exploding pension, health and other social welfare costs over the coming decades. Isn't there a chance that these generations might remember the 2000s-2010s, when they were casually fired and the culture of workplace concern for their welfare and futures was destroyed without a second thought? See my posts on Boomer workplace legacies with regard to Gen X here and here; Gen Y here and here and here; and Gen Z here.

For all my posts on 60s Legacies, go here


  1. When I had conversations about this topic in the past I would distill the changes in business to what I would call the Fezziwig Factor. In Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Scrooge is led by the Ghost of Christmas Past to witness himself at different ages at the holiday. As a young man he was a clerk for a business owned by Mr. Fezziwig, who taught him everything he knew about commerce and profit and drove him to work hard throughout the year. Then, at Christmas, Mr. Fezziwig would throw a huge celebration for himself and his employees. It was a large expense that had no quantifiable return, something contrary to his own principle and general practice of profit-making. Yet he did it anyway because for Fezziwig the money his business made was always, always, always a means to an end and never an end in itself. If the money couldn't pay for what made him happy then it never had any value in the first place. The by-product of this is that he enjoyed the loyalty of his employees (at least of all but Scrooge and Marley). Having lived a life and run a business in which profit and returns were ends in their own right, Scrooge reluctantly realizes that he was now missing what he took for granted as a young man.

    Our businesses have become infested with people whose pursuit of profit has deluded them into believing that it has made them powerful when in fact they are serving their own money instead of the other way around. The more powerful soldier is not the one with a sword too heavy for him to lift but the one who learns to wield the sword he can lift.

  2. Great comment pblfsda! You summarized it completely. It is interesting, and lamentable, that in the past 30 years the pursuit of money has become an end in itself, rather than a means to other ends. The recession should have reminded *everyone* of that lesson. Sadly, I think many people did not learn what the recession should have taught. If it had, you would see a renewal now of funding for the arts and humanities, and other projects that don't clearly pay big bucks, but have qualifiable benefits, that expand our consciousness and improve the condition of our hearts and souls. And you would have a return to Fezziwig's style of employment - a return to humane treatment of employees by employers. A glance at Forbes and Bloomberg reporting, and the entertainment industry and other sectors of the economy, says otherwise. The lessons of 2008 were wasted.