Sunday, April 29, 2012

If We Don’t Create More Jobs, When Will the Culling Start?

It is estimated that the worlds population reached one billion for the first time in 1804. It would be another 123 years before it reached two billion in 1927, but it took only 33 years to rise by another billion people, reaching three billion in 1960. Thereafter, the global population reached four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987, six billion in 1999 and, according to the United States Census Bureau, seven billion in March 2012, (though the United Nations, estimated that the world population reached seven billion in October 2011).

Now, due to poor global governance, the majority of countries around the world have been dealing with an extremely harsh recession that has seen severe job losses across most sectors, leading to the inevitable increase in unemployment. Worse still countries like the UK have just gone back into recession, creating further uncertainty as the unexpected downturn puts pressure on their government to react (just after announcing their budget for the year ahead).

At the same time, we have known for decades that jobs in industries like manufacturing would reduce as technological advancements replaced human skills with technologically driven ones. Then we have the Internet revolution, both from a B2B and B2C perspective that is also having an impact on retail job numbers on the average high-street.

You don’t have to be a Professor or rocket scientist to see the signals from the impact that the lack of jobs are having on communities and the world’s youth in general. So where are the decision makers in government and business who are developing ‘real’ strategies to create employment opportunities for their citizens?

Just look around the world, as the US seeks to recover after Obama’s stimulus package, including tax cuts and the surprisingly successful bailout of the car industry, Europe as a whole may in fact drag the world, especially the US back into another recession. At least the US economy has seen modest but sustained growth and a very gradual decline in unemployment (as well as a surge in debt again – which some may warn is not such a good sign as others suggest).

Whereas in Europe we have France seemingly ready to elect a new president who promises to impose a marginal tax rate of 75%, which most observers agree would reduce prospects for a quick recovery. The German economy, once the growth engine that could pull the Eurozone out of recession is slowing and German chancellor Angela Merkel faces threats from three areas (1) her voters won’t tolerate sending more of their hard earned wealth to support other European failures; (2) her support from other countries is dropping and (3) the potential new French president plans to withdraw France from the Franco-German partnership. Then we have the Dutch faltering and the Fitch ratings agency considering lowering the Netherlands triple-A-rating. Then, if this wasn’t enough, you have far right pro-Nazi parties in Greece gaining votes and worse still gaining seats in Government, as the Greek citizens lose faith in mainstream parties to solve their country’s problems . And then in Spain, where 24% of the potential workforce are unemployed (more than 50% in the case of young people), the difficulties are looking as insurmountable as those in Greece.

On top of the above we also know from the World Food Programme that, “there’s a 1 in 7 chance that a child will be born hungry, as nearly 1 billion people in the world go to bed hungry each night.”

History has taught us what happens when the ‘masses’ find themselves unemployed and worse still starving; so why don’t we recognise the signals and learn from our past? Surely our global leaders aren’t that arrogant to think ‘luck’ is going to solve the problem or that they can have their four or five years of limelight, write their auto-biography and go on the speaker circuit, passing the problem on to someone else – who they can then heckle from the cheap seats.

So what’s the answer – we can wait for the ‘revolution’ that must surely come from our citizens, who ‘their leaders’ have simply abandoned and where their bad luck will be blamed on ‘unavoidable, outside influences’ by the politicians of the time. Be in no doubt, these won’t be the peasants of past historic uprisings, these will include highly qualified people, up to their necks in debt, for an education that only helped them understand how messed up our global economy really is.

We must accept that certain industries are now so technologically advanced that the human element is a small proportion of its overall business operation, and this isn’t going to change in the medium or long-term. So what we need to urgently find are industries that are ‘human driven’ and look for ways to encourage real sustainable growth so that we can create real employment opportunities. Otherwise as history has taught us, the only industry left for these individuals will be crime, then revolution – until, of course, some backroom boy in some obscure government department comes up with the bright idea of culling the population to solve the worlds employment issues.


Smith, D. (2012). Hold on tight the double dip begins. The Sunday Times, 29-04-12, p.15.

Stelzer, I (2012). Buck up, Europe, you’re holding back America. The Sunday Times, 29-04-12; Business, p.4.

Sullivan, A. (2012). The dire state of Britain’s economy could sway the US election. The Sunday Times, 29-04-12; News Review, p.4. [accessed 29-04-12]

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