There is one possible circumstance, I have always believed, where that down-spiral might be defeated. As a very modern manufacturer I see what it takes to keep a job from going to China. At the moment there are only about 12 million people in the US who actually make something. Most of the people out of work were paper pushers, assistants, HR experts, assemblers-—mostly “one-skill” people with pretty much zero flexibility in terms of being useful in another job. And typically unwilling to re-train themselves at a higher level in their old company. I know far too many people who think they are safe for a lifetime when they have learned one skill that makes them a living. Continuing education at one level or another is a must. How many houses have you been where there isn’t a single book in sight? Learning how to text on a piece of krap cellphone or cruise for porn on a PC are not life skills. That whole 100+ million people must commit to continuing more advanced learning-—take a job away from a Chinaman. That requires being the best at whatever it is they choose to do. What’s over is the days of half-assed commitment to a minimal-skilled job.
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Very true indeed! Unfortunately, this concept won’t defeat the down-spiral because its easier to sit in the Section 8 Apt. eating SNAP food, selling dope in the parking lot and watching Oprah, NBA, Jerry Springer and BET television all day. Easier to sit in your moms basement in Portland playing internet computer games all day. The dumbing down of both intellectual abilities, skill sets and expectations is irreversible.