By "recover," I mean regain the jobs, confidence and growth rates lost in the recession and subsequent years.
Here's some polling from Gallup that doesn't seem to make it much clearer.
I get the feeling that two things need to happen.
1) Threat of "we'll destroy the country before we compromise" position in government. I don't envy Boehner or Obama on this one. 2 more years to resolve that?
2) Japan: I think a lot of people are worried about the *happening now* demographic problem. Japan seems more likely to be able to fix the problem than their European peers, but they've really not started on that yet.
I believe we have entered a new "normal." This new normal includes government controls of the economy through its level of purchases. Business will always gravitate to serve the largest consumer, i.e. for now government. When government expenditures reach more normal levels, the economy will need to become more competitive. Becoming more competitive will require increased efficiency. When the free market returns, recovery will begin.
So you anticipate government expenditures reaching more normal levels, Regis? Meaning a reduction in spending, right? Somehow, I just don't see that happening. Especially with removing the debt ceiling vote.
The model for what we are experiencing is the 1880's, pre 1893 depression. The employment model prior to WWII and prior to the Great Depression was doing whatever job you could for as long as you could within your field to stay employed. There were no long term career jobs back then. Cottage industry controlled. Historians are examining this subject and NPR had a great piece on this in 2010.
Today we have an abundance of college graduates with no where to become employed at the same level they are trained at.
We are becoming a contractor nation.
In the early 2000's the trend was for companies to hurry up and upgrade their big accounting systems to the next level enterprise system.
In the mid 2000's the trend was to create so much process improvement and implement the lean techniques from 2001 formally.
What we have now is companies with integrated systems in place that have eliminated the need for the problem solver skill sets that the more advanced people are trained to handle. We don't need the middle anymore.
So there will be a couple generations of people in the "doer mode" and a generation on the top as new business owners, but the middle has been gutted to create the contractor nation I mentioned.
As your skills increase you will become less valuable as an employee because your salary expectations increase.
People will be maintaining simple jobs and looking for product marketing opportunities, blog money making and training business opportunities, and opportunities for wealth creation that no longer have anything to do with the job they hold to pay their mortgage.
Its a brave new world, and with the EU collapse expected in the next year and a half, things will only go more in this direction.
Excellent thoughts, Valerie. In your opinion, what is the area of biggest opportunity? I have considered myself as a "doer" in the past. But more and more, I continue to work for my employer and think of other ways to use my skills. I love my job, so I do not have a desire to leave it, but I feel like there is something else I should be doing. Sort of like something is missing.
Thanks again for your thoughts and details supporting them.