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Guest Post: Future Economy, Future Stability, Future Careers

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Future Economy, Future Stability, Future Careers  

Dissent, feedback, innovation and adaptation are the only sustainable sources of stability, prosperity and well-being.

Reader Michael K. recently asked one of the key questions of the next 20 years:

I would very much like to learn your thoughts on what careers may be viable for our children. With the future likely to change our lives so dramatically, where do you see opportunities for some form of career growth and some form of stability?

Thank you for the question, Michael. All of my books can be read as attempts to answer this question: or Weblogs & New Media: Marketing in Crisis, Survival+: Structuring Prosperity for Yourself and the Nation, An Unconventional Guide to Investing in Troubled Times and Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change.

There is no way to adequately address the many issues raised by this question in a single entry, but we can start with these general observations:

1. The next 20 years will not be like the last 20 years, so projecting current mainstream trends will very likely lead to wrong answers. Trends change, cycles turn, and so predicting the future by extrapolating current trends leads to faulty conclusions about the future.

2. Centralization of the State and economy was the dominant trend for the past two centuries: that model has failed and will be replaced by decentralization. The expansive Central State (a.k.a. the Savior State) now dominates the economy and society; everything not within its direct control is considered a threat. The State enforces a self-serving financial feudalism based on financializing the economy to benefit the few and indenture everyone else into debt-serfs.

We are like the Ming Dynasty in 1340: the State and empire seem permanent and enduring, yet four years later the entire system collapses under its own weight as all the internal rot that was masked by propaganda and political expediency finally gives way.

3. The Internet cannot be put back in the genie's bottle, nor can it be limited to serve the State and Elites like the police forces, financial system, etc. The Web has a simple ontological imperative: creatively destroy monopolies and every effort to limit information, dissent and feedback. To the degree the Central State is a monopoly that limits information, dissent and feedback to protect itself, it too will be dismantled by the Web.

4. The Central State and financialization are the buggy whips of the coming era. Those depending on making buggy whips in 1901 decried the rise of automobiles, but their resistance to the tides of change did not stop or even hinder those tides.

For the past 60 years, financial security flowed from the Central State and the various monopolies it enforced or controlled. For the past 30 years, wealth flowed from the relentless financialization of the U.S. and global economies. Those cycles are ending, and whatever financial security is possible going forward will flow from self-reliance, self-organizing social capital, and decentralized social and technological innovation.

It boils down to a simple choice: either ride the tide of creative destruction of failed/ depleted models or be washed away by the tide.

5. The non-market economy has been eroded by the State and financialization. The market economy (consumerism, financialization, the State) has turned our society into a high-cost-basis economy that generates an abundance of poverty and social defeat. The alternative is a low-cost-basis society where social capital counts for more than consumerist identifiers and debt-based "prosperity."

What does this mean in a practical sense?

1. Let go of old models of financial security. Do not assume a government job means 30 years of security and a fat pension thereafter. That's the past, not the future.

2. Assume monopolies and cartels imposed by the State will be disrupted and implode. The key example here is the sickcare system imposed by the State. For decades people have seen sickcare expand year after year, and so it seems sensible to assume that joining healthcare a.k.a. sickcare was a path to security.

Sickcare now absorbs 17% of the U.S. economy, roughly double that of other industrialized democracies. Thus we can assume this percentage will revert to the mean, i.e. shrink by 50%. "Healthcare" as currently practiced is another buggy whip industry doomed to be creatively disrupted and remade.

3. The best career strategy going forward is to assemble multiple skillsets. What we know is that current models will be disrupted, but we cannot know the future. Thus we cannot know which skillsets will be demand. That may change constantly; "security" will flow not from clinging to failing institutions for 30 years but by being flexible and adaptive.

What sort of skillsets will likely be in demand?

1. Essential practical skills. These include cleaning teeth, repairing aging vehicles, maintaining natural gas distribution pipes, configuring web servers, growing and preparing food, organizing community events, overseeing projects to completion, and so on. There are many such skillsets. The key is to learn skills that don't depend on an institution or a State-imposed monopoly for their existence.

For example, if you learn how to teach effectively and are open to dissent, feedback, innovation and adaptation, then you can teach just as well in an informal "charter school" environment as in a formalized, centralized institution (of the sort that's being creatively disrupted and replaced by lower cost, decentralized, self-organizing networks).

2. Internet skills. This doesn't mean knowing how to add songs to an iPod or smartphone, it means learning some technical aspect of the web well enough that you can do something useful for others with that skill. Examples include configuring a server, managing security of a network, implementing content-management software (Drupal, etc.) or knowing a coding language that is in demand (this will change over time, of course).

3. Accounting. Keeping track of money, assets and projects will remain key skills. Knowing how to do so is a practical skill, even if it is knowing Quicken or an equivalent electronic checkbook. Understanding how to organize and track progress in a complex project is a practical skill.

4. Written communication. Being able to write effectively is a key practical skill. Whatever the setting or project, some things will need to be stated in writing.

5. The ability to work with others. This includes learning to be patient, empathetic and positive, and gaining the ability to get something done despite the constant pettiness and contrariness of human beings.

This also includes recognizing that there must be a "membership" that grants privileges and responsibilities to members and excludes non-members, a membership which can eject destructive members into the outside world. We can't be everything to everyone.

6. Understand that dissent, feedback, innovation and adaptation are the only sustainable sources of stability, prosperity and well-being.

If a young person has mastered an essential practical skill, a web-based skill, a working knowledge of accounting/data management, project organization and basic writing, they will be in demand by some group, organization, enterprise or community.

I think these aphorisms, drawn from my lengthy collection listed below, capture the essence of security, adaptability and mastery in the decades ahead:

"There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity." (Douglas MacArthur)

"We are what we repeatedly do." (Aristotle)

"The way of the Tao is reversal." (Lao Tzu)

"Chance favours the prepared mind." (Louis Pasteur)


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Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:38 | 2394184 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

So, while everyone is growing their own food, they will also be surfing the internet?  FAIL.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:44 | 2394208 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I've got an Acer tablet out in my hoophouse with me most of the time. Not only can I stream music off of my media server, but I can keep an eye on the radar when needed. Plus, I can use it while I'm hanging out with my goats.

So, not really fail.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:50 | 2394228 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Long sharecropping.  Especially once those cities start emptying out.  While many of us are in agriculture and self-sustained farming works well for those of us with the real-estate, access to water, the appropriate climate, and the know-how, It will not work for 7 billion people.  Hence, I see seriously see sharecropping coming back, especially once the productivity of the commercial fertilizers and pesticides are taken out of the equation.


For you, the hedgeless horseman, and myself, yeah it works.  For L.A. or D.C. counties (or any of the other thousands of population centers), not so much.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:55 | 2394249 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

While many of us are in agriculture and self-sustained farming works well for those of us with the real-estate, access to water, the appropriate climate, and the know-how, It will not work for 7 billion people.

Ah, the comfortable position of inheriting from robbers rather than robbed...

Theft is so central to US citizenism.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:02 | 2394274 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Just like chinese citizenism.  China and the U.S. elite have been on the same page for quite some time moron.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:03 | 2394602 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

China and the US elite?

So that is the US elite that will inherit from robbery? Not chinese elite but china. That should mean different pages but hey, US citizenism is what it is huh.

the US citizen middle class have clean hands

Funny how US citizens on this site subscribe to that chinese citizenism fantasy.

Truthers are so valuable for that.

Such material.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:33 | 2394730 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

contradict yourself much? 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 16:35 | 2395116 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

As Japan readies for life without nuclear power as of saturday...

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:39 | 2394458 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

We will be lucky to find a sharecropping position.  I am personnally considering going back to school to major in picking through heaping mountains of garbage. I think there will be a lot of opportunities in this field in the future.   

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:57 | 2394563 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I see a lot of openings in the "security" area as well.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 20:20 | 2395536 Bwahaha WAGFDSMB
Bwahaha WAGFDSMB's picture

Not really, I think the robots will be doing most of that work.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 15:30 | 2394640 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Wayne Karp would concur.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:09 | 2394312 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

FYI- the internet only stay on so long as a miriad of entities (including power providers) stay on line.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:48 | 2394222 tmosley
tmosley's picture

This particular zealot of the death cult thinks we need to get into a time machine and live before technology, no matter how much more efficient and productive it makes us in every single facet of our lives.


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:10 | 2394264 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Technology has been great are upseting the balance of a number of biological cycles.  Unless you understand the amount of energy required to accelerate/manipulate the nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur cycles (to name only a few), shut the hell up.  Moreover, like all things, the details matter and in this case it is all about the oxidation states in every cycle being in balance.  Technology has been great at increasing the supplies of various elements in the desireable oxidation states for commerical farming and hence population growth, but this has required a huge flux of energy input and ignores the consequences of upseting the balance of the various oxidation state.

I have no doubt that Nature will fix the problem. Do I mention people dying?  No, so go fuck yourself tom, there are real experts out there who have worked in these fields for a very long time.  Your posts are always contradictory and idiotic as I am sure your many responses will be.  Consider yourself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work hard and be rewarded with some free time to blow on the internet.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:36 | 2394432 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

yeah, until that impacted molar punches your ticket, or the little scratch on your finger lets tetanus get in from the soil and work its magic.

Pick a luddite church that features snake handling, I hear their faith healers are top notch too.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 16:15 | 2395057 smb12321
smb12321's picture

There is a strong anti-technology streak out here (quick, click that down arrow).   It accompanies the survivalist mentality and those who are obviously panting for violence and societal breakdown (as if that will cure our problems).  

Although I grow food, the idea that we should feed and clothe ourselves, learn plumbing, electricity, etc (forget about medicines and cleaning materials) seems silly. Frankly, I'm not big on scrounging dawn to dusk like some 14th century peasant.  One of the hallmarks of modern society is specialization.  

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 09:17 | 2396467 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

"Specialization is for insects."

--Robert Heinlein

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:52 | 2394243 Terminus C
Terminus C's picture

Yes, there are some strange disconnects in this vision of the future.

The point about being flexible in your skills, willingness to learn and adapt and being prepared for a world that will not be like what we have had in the past are all valid.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:56 | 2394250 Matt
Matt's picture

Growing your own food isn't a 60 hour per week occupation anymore.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:46 | 2394404 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Super easy until the first drought year, when you're bucketing water 1/2 mile from shit creek just to eek by.

Or you hear your dead gal riding wildfire, coming to get your after an early frost takes the crops.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 16:25 | 2395086 smb12321
smb12321's picture

(As a farm boy) you have no idea what it takes to grow food for a family of four.  Not only is LOTS of land required (forget the talk about "one square yard" or other such BS) but there is the matter of seeds, planting, weeding, fighting bugs and animals, luck with the weather (or irrigation) and knowledge of timing and storage.  And this assumes you are a vegetarian and living in a fertile area!

And if everyone is scrounging for food all day or getting their horses shoed or cutting logs for heat, the constant flow of inventions, products, medicines or research will not magically appear. 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 22:50 | 2395770 Joseph Jones
Joseph Jones's picture

Where did the author type the word "everyone?" 


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:41 | 2394194 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Prostitution is always lucrative.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:43 | 2394202 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

I'll take your word for it......if it works for you !

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 16:31 | 2395105 cossack55
cossack55's picture

How much do you pay in declared income taxes?

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:45 | 2394197 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Keeping track of money, assets


How can you put those in the same sentence ?  MONEY is no longer a Store of Value: it is NOT as "Asset".  MONEY is simply a Medium of Exchange and should have a high Velocity but doesn't because it has a huge Quantity trapped inside the banking system. 


Rule 1: Never Trust Banks or Insurers. They make it very hard to get money out from deceased estates and flood you with paperwork and make it hard to access your own funds. 

Rule 2: Expect to be cheated. Regard every Lawyer, Banker, Salesman, Politician as a Thief and Con Artist 

Rule 3: Expect to lose everything at least once during your life. 

Rule 4: Learn to Cook, Sew, Grow, Hunt, Fish, Make, Do,  

Rule 5: Think Poor !   Think how little you want to spend and how much you can do without.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 16:28 | 2395100 smb12321
smb12321's picture

1.  Been through several deaths and had no problem with insurance collection or banks.

2.  Don't make generalizations based on a few bad individuals.

3.  The vast majority of folks never lose everything

4. Why?  That's how they lived in the Dark Ages.  If everyone is hunting or fishing or sewing or growing who is supplying the software to make ZH magically appear on our screens (and who will manufacture the screens?)

5. I agree -live below your means.

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 03:59 | 2396024 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Been through several deaths and had no problem with insurance collection or banks.


So have I and if there is any serious money they work hard to hang onto it even issuing cheques in the wrong names....but it is all part of the game.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:43 | 2394199 phat ho
phat ho's picture

I'm thinking: toilet seat sniffer from Botswana will be in record demand



Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:45 | 2394209 q99x2
q99x2's picture

That's multiple me skillsets. I anything do can.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:45 | 2394212 Burr's 2nd Shot
Burr's 2nd Shot's picture

I've got just one word for you, just one word...farming.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:50 | 2394235 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Need to add two more words.

First, Cesium.

Which leads to, Plastic.

Maybe someday Fukushima will be brought under control, but until that day comes, the rain is hot.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:56 | 2394255 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

"One word. Just one word. Plastics!!!"

The Graduate

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:57 | 2394260 sabra1
sabra1's picture

farming? how does that fit in with AGENDA 21?

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:02 | 2394284 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

better get started pronto. there is a hell of alot more to it than throwing some seeds on the ground. We are probably 70% self sufficent on our 4 acres here in FEMA region6 and we've been at it stedy for 3 yrs. A water well hooked to solar or hand pump is the absolute 1 thing you must secure if possible. No food you live 3 months no agua 3 days.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:07 | 2394308 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

A backup propane generate will work in a pinch. 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:23 | 2394372 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Yes, the rule of 3's!

studied you have, strong in the force you have become.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:49 | 2394520 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

If one is preparing it is a good idea to remember this rule as well: two is one and one is none.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:08 | 2394630 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

Any valuable item must follow the "One is none, two is one" rule.  Carry two firearms, two flashlights, two means to make fire, etc.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 17:03 | 2395197 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Nah, ranching is where it's at.   Eat meat, live free of the diseases of civilisation.   Farming produces  carbs mostly, animal food.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:46 | 2394216 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Cartels and monopolies imposed by the state to implode?

Waooo, dont make many of them since the state is merely a tool, not the agent (corporations, the products of middle class societies are)

Will corporations find as a good tool as the state? Maybe not. Wont mean they will loose their competitive edge entirely.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:48 | 2394217 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

My teenage daughter is constantly wondering about her future career, and doesn't find my answer of "there aren't going to be any career jobs worth having" too comforting.

I always go back to the idea of finding ways of providing people with value, and don't become too dependent upon any one source.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:28 | 2394398 ThirdWorldDude
ThirdWorldDude's picture

On the contrary, medicine will always be valued in any future version of socety... 


This being your first time, you get the advice pro bono.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:10 | 2394646 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

I would clarify that however as medicine without the current technology and industrial supply resources in place.  You had better have your own supplies, and don't expect to get advanced materials unless you're very wealthy.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 15:38 | 2394932 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



What a nice segue.  I am ready, willing, and able to manufacture actual antibiotics (sulfa) and pain killers (laudanum) should the need ever arise.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:48 | 2394221 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Quite easy

if your family own means of productions, you'll get a job.

If not, prepare to pack up and be ready to replay the pionner story as US citizen nations have been triggering a new wave of colonization.

That is all, US citizen folks...

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:59 | 2394272 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Confucius says "He who farts in church, sits in his own pew"



Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:04 | 2394608 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

There were churches in Confucius' times?

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:47 | 2394784 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Ha!   Well, of course not.   There were temples back in the 500s BC.   I used the word church for the US citizens

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:48 | 2394787 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous said:

There were churches in Confucius' times?

Yes, of course there were.

Confucius was the founding father of US citizenism.


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 17:06 | 2395204 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Confucius says "He who farts in church....

The temples were drafty back then.  

Just look at any kung fu movie, and those loose clothes they wore to accentuate the flapping and snapping sounds of their kicks and chops and leaps.    That's the way things were back then.   Everybody was kung fu fightiiiing...

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:50 | 2394231 TooBearish
TooBearish's picture

i like working with other people the best - is that really a skill or a social norm/expectation - ie "please hire me - while i dont work well with other people, i get by on my good looks and my ability to clean teeth..."

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:04 | 2394294 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Haha, well don't discount good looks.  It will always count, fair or not.  Our genes cause us to seek a good looking mate (good looks generally equals good health), and employers, past and future, have the same genes. 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:30 | 2394411 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

clean, articulate and well spoken, with no hint of * dialect?

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:53 | 2394232 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Lewis Black had an interesting idea. What the new aristocracy will soon be hiring. A personal ball washer.

(2 Min. Vid)

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:51 | 2394236 perelmanfan
perelmanfan's picture

Met a small scale organic farmer in rural Maine who, as an experiment, ate only what he grew for nine months. He said he could have kept doing it forever, and felt a great peace knowing that as long as he could scrape together the property taxes, he and his family would be fine. I think a great deal of modern angst is due to inchoate terror associated with knowing we're at the end of long, complex, fragile supply chains. Develop skill sets and assets around shortening the supply chains essential to your family's survival. Dismissing this as hippy-dippy nonsense is a potent, persistent meme of TPTB. It is not nonsense, it is common sense distilled to its very essence, and the only source of peace and calm that always delivers.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 15:00 | 2394830 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Good post, now we just need to find arable land for everyone and their livestock etc.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 15:56 | 2394988 perelmanfan
perelmanfan's picture

No shortage of land, this guy's place was 15 acres. The opportunity is there. No sensible vision of the future works for "everyone" but this one can for those who will make the effort.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 16:31 | 2395104 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Big difference between land and arable land.  So everyone in the world gets 15 acres huh?  I take it math wasn't your strong suit.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 16:51 | 2395168 perelmanfan
perelmanfan's picture

I said, this vision does not work for everyone. I take it reading wasn't your strong suit.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 17:07 | 2395210 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

In this vision, most people move underground, mostly after dying, which leaves 15 acres of arable land for each not yet dead person.

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 00:31 | 2395873 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

According to wiki, there are 12,062,733,072 acres of agricultural land worldwide. That's 2 per person, right now. Imagine a farmer, with wife and 3 kids, plus 3 hands. 8 people to work 16 acres. It's not really THAT unreasonable.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:53 | 2394240 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

wow, I agree with a good half of this. The future is totalitarianism states. War, famine, revolution, crazy weather. There may be a great reset at the end, but at that point the whole game changes. My advice to young people, dont play the game. There is no need for big houses, fancy cars, designer clothes, they are all bullshit that bring with them the chains of debt. Stay the fuck out of debt. That is the key to the future. Be self reliant. Enjoy the simpler things in life. Don't get mindfucked into materialism. Keep life simple. Dont be afraid to try new things or go to new places. Stay out of debt, and for godsakes dont have kids until and if you are financially secure.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:06 | 2394299 centerline
Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:55 | 2394252 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Auto mechanics makes sense.  People will keeping the family car, not trading up.  Of course, i've been buying disposable cars.  Buy a car for $3000 and drive it until something major breaks, then find another.  But the supply of these types of cars may dry up a bit. 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:59 | 2394275 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

My son kept busy between jobs recently doing car work in his driveway for $30 an hour from a craigslist ad.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:37 | 2394438 jonan
jonan's picture

not if we get a second round of cash for clunkers...wealth destruction on steroids...

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:56 | 2394253 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 12:57 | 2394261 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

There will be a high demand for massage therapists, given the rise in stress levels that's occurring. Of course, the people in need will be broke, so it may be more of a barter transaction.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:12 | 2394323 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

Massage seems more like a luxury item.  But you may be able to get one for 10 bucks (or =) in the next few years. 

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:53 | 2394804 Grinder74
Grinder74's picture

Only if everyone has their own Secret Service detail.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:03 | 2394289 no life
no life's picture


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:24 | 2394380 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

it's Dinky-Dee.   you haven't seen the documentary on the collapse, have you?

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:37 | 2394439 catladdy
catladdy's picture

Wrter assumes the internet will always be available to the masses? This may not be true

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:43 | 2394484 sof_hannibal
sof_hannibal's picture

Big money interests own the government... They will keep the show going as long as possible... being anti-central panning is nothing more then being anti-globalization and anti-coporatocracy... Before blaming the sate in regard to this quote (from the piece above), one most consider who controls the US government, which is big business lobbyists... In reference to this quote:

"5. The non-market economy has been eroded by the State and financialization."

I hope we also consider, those policies that have gutted and hollowed out the US economy (i.e. that has also led to the eroding of the US economy). The assumption via the "laws of economics," which have dictated that the American economy benefits in the long run from all forms of international trade, including the outsourcing abroad of most jobs-- to include call-center and software programming jobs-- is wrong.

Being able to purchase groceries 20 percent cheaper at Wal-Mart does not necessarily make up for the wage losses.

As with the banking sector, they play games with the lives of millions, hysterically reject any kind of government intervention when the profits are rolling in, but are quick to pass the bill for the cleanup and the far-reaching consequences of these avoidable tragedies to the public when things go wrong. We have a straightforward proposal: if they want public money, we want public control. It's that simple.when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted...

“The commercial media … help citizens feel as if they are successful and have met these aspirations, even if they have not. They tend to neglect reality (they don't run stories about how life is hard, fame and fortune elusive, hopes disappointed) and instead celebrate idealized identities – those that, in a commodity culture, revolve around the acquisition of status, money, fame and power, or at least the illusion of these things. The media, in other words, assist the commercial culture in “need creation”, prompting consumers to want things they don't need or have never really considered wanting. And catering to these needs, largely implanted by advertisers and the corporate culture, is a very profitable business. A major part of the commercial media revolves around selling consumers images and techniques to “actualize” themselves, or offering seductive forms of escape through entertainment and spectacle. News is filtered into the mix, but actual news is not the predominant concern of the commercial media.”

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:44 | 2394489 grunk
grunk's picture

Small engine repair and welding.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 17:08 | 2395211 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:44 | 2394493 mmafan11215
mmafan11215's picture

The best advice is to learn some business skills (in school or on your own) and learn a trade that can't be outsourced. carpenter, mechanic, electrician. then start your own business so you don't rely on someone else for your employment (or retirement) and you can reap the rewards of your own hard work instead of seeing the praise go to your boss and the profits to the shareholders.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:04 | 2394603 lazarus
lazarus's picture

With the housing crash and the gutting of the unions, it's a race to the bottom for wages and profits in all of the trades.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:51 | 2394530 agadhvi
agadhvi's picture

While these predictions seem like they were pulled out of a hat....I think Michio Kaku has done a better job predicting the future in his book "Physics of the Future" by Michio Kaku.


"Space elevators. Internet-enabled contact lenses. Cars that fly by floating on magnetic fields. This is the stuff of science fiction—it’s also daily life in the year 2100.

Renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku details the developments in computer technology, artificial intelligence, medicine, space travel, and more, that are poised to happen over the next hundred years. He also considers how these inventions will affect the world economy, addressing the key questions: Who will have jobs? Which nations will prosper? Kaku interviews three hundred of the world’s top scientists—working in their labs on astonishing prototypes. He also takes into account the rigorous scientific principles that regulate how quickly, how safely, and how far technologies can advance. In Physics of the Future, Kaku forecasts a century of earthshaking advances in technology that could make even the last centuries’ leaps and bounds seem insignificant."

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 21:01 | 2395595 smb12321
smb12321's picture

I love Kaku (9/10 of ZH poster have never heard of him).  He awes yet keeps his feet on the ground and firmly planted within the laws of physics.  Considering the last 40 years, the miraculous things he talks about seem quite tame.  Many of our current concerns - energy, health care, food, poverty, etc - will be mostly solved via technology.  It's this weird ZH yearning for a Medieval lifestyle, growing your own food, making your clothes, reverting to pre-industrial society that is troubling.

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 01:41 | 2395920 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Imagine if the mega conglomerate company who bred horses, farmed and sold their feed, had all the patents on horseshoeing, made all wagons and stagecoaches, was the number one barn builder, and was the main sponsor for every horse racing derby, also had an R&D lab. Imagine one of their guys invents the horseless carriage. Would it ever get built?

Imagine if Edison was an employee of International Candle and Oil Lamp company, and his contract stipulated that ICOL owned all his inventions.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 13:57 | 2394549 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Dear Michael K.,

If you really do exist, I have some advise for you too.   First, raise your children well, expose them to all facets of life while they are growing and maturing.    Second, don't worry about what career they should be 'steered into'.    The best thing you can do as a parent is to let your kids work in a field that they love and let them know if they fail the first few times, it OK.   Their job could be anachronistic trade like creating one-off hand-crafted buggy whips, or cleaning chimneys or working in bio-technology.    If they like what they do, chances of succeeding and leading a relatively happy life are high.   If they are being steered into fields because they are 'useful' or 'abundant' or 'where the money is', chances are they will be disenchanted with the world around them, regardless of the usefulness or cache of the job they have.



Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:07 | 2394625 Meatballs
Meatballs's picture

Suits me and my skillsets just fine. Let's get on with it.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:10 | 2394642 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Ah, oversight. Big one.

Work in security.

As supply lines are saturated, and the lack of growth of inputs going with, the demand for securing the loot you already got grows bigger.

Security jobs, the army, the police etc...

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:16 | 2394668 Silver Dreamer
Silver Dreamer's picture

Totalitarian states always need a lot of jackbooted thugs of course.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:15 | 2394674 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

plenty of jobs cracking heads and waving jimmysticks in jolly old china, isn't there?

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:49 | 2394794 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Security jobs, the army, the police etc...

...the paid propagandist Chinese citizenism trolls...


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 14:40 | 2394762 sbenard
sbenard's picture

It depends! Are we talking pre- or post-EMP attack?

Post EMP, all that will matter will be FOOD! If you can farm, you'll be fine. I'm with the farmers! :)

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 15:14 | 2394775 sschu
sschu's picture

2. Centralization of the State and economy was the dominant trend for the past two centuries: that model has failed and will be replaced by decentralization

Just because it has failed does not insure that it will not be the dominant trend in the future.  Those who are in power and who benefit greatly from this trend and structure will not relinquish this power easily.  It is not that far-fetched to see how the US could end up in a Soviet style system for 50 years.  The net effect this will have on the population is of course catastrophic.

Contrary to what he says, which is for the most part good, there is no guarantee that the dominant central state is obsolete, quite the contrary, I think it is one the rise (look at the elections in Europe and tell me who is winning).  It is a failed model, but that is no guarantee it will be replaced.  The simply is too much power to be had and the lure of security is too great for many people.  

The classic quote, those who are willing to trade freedom for security are likely to end up with neither, is the path of the future IMHO.  Very sad.


Thu, 05/03/2012 - 17:11 | 2395218 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

To which we can add "North Korea"    "Cuba"   "Zimbabwe" and others.   Failure of central planning does not always lead to less central planning.    Often enough it is a stable situation.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 18:28 | 2395390 drysafe
drysafe's picture

All this sounds very much like Dmitry Orlov's prescriptions. Except the money part - he is more radical and assumes that money will soon become meaningless/obsolete, too (and thus, I am assuming, he'd take that Quicken skill off the list).

His argument is that the United States may soon resemble Russia - specifically the Russia of those few difficult post-Soviet years. Remember those proverbial lineups for toilet paper, so seized upon by the world press? Well, exaggeration or not, people in those lines *certainly had the money* to buy the damn toilet paper! The problem was that their money wasn't of much value in a climate of supply shortages of all kinds. So, according to Orlov, we need to prepare ourselves to deal with exactly the same kind of scenario.

P.S. I also wonder if web servers is something that'll be very necessary when e-commerce disappears (and with it, most of advertising $$$) and when hosting fees will start climing due to higher and higher bills for powering/air-conditiniong all those data centers.

Thu, 05/03/2012 - 23:27 | 2395806 Plumplechook
Plumplechook's picture

What a bunch of crap.  All those future-proof careers he lists like accountancy and IT are being outsourced to India and other third world countries at an accelerating pace.  

By the time most of your kids graduate the only jobs available for them will be flipping burgers or waiting tables.

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 04:25 | 2396039 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

A career with DHS looks like your best bet. Jones says billions are being spent.

Want to feel like a real man? Like to torture people? It's a job that will be in demand in America for quite a while, apparently:

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