The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
According to other articles I've seen, it seems that the unemployment problem isn't going away anytime soon. It's remaining in Portugal, Spain and Greece as well as in economies like the UK or the US. Emigration is the new recommendation as Europe's rich clamp down with austerity measures to protect their own wealth, even though the financial, material and social costs of emigration are not taken into account by those policy makers who think they're secure in their jobs through simple privilege and present position. No thought seems to be given for tomorrow, even as all the signs of today indicate that they're going to awaken to some nasty surprises from the society and the environment as a result of their actions today.
Europe's job market is stagnant and the US's job recovery is but a trickle of low paying service jobs. Without minimum wage reform in the US and proactive negotiation between workers and management from both sides, growth is going to be anemic and weak, even though there are jobs from which things can grow again.
Unfortunately, this article does not concern itself with the blue collar labor that fuels the actual production of the economy. That too is undervalued and underpaid, as profits are maximized without dividends even being returned to shareholders (except if they sell their stocks). A society cannot just be a group of academically trained professionals, nor will it likely ever be as a result of mere statistical chance.
Therefore, it's apparent that we have a deficit of demand for higher level work with an oversupply of trained individuals while demand for manuel labor shrinks both in this country as jobs go overseas and in the global economy as automation replaces workers with machines. We either need a rethink of how our economy and society works, such that either people are able to care for themselves without a job (not likely to happen for individual psychological and social reasons), people are enabled to work in spite of potential automation opportunities or that we have a significant reduction of people due to mass death. The most appealing option, in my view, is the second one. However, that would require abandoning the mantra of profit-maximization as well as the social and cultural establishment of a less-profit driven logic in the economy, such that people are paid according to what they're worth (the value of what they produce) and that there are jobs available for people to have, even if it comes at a reduction of profit for the companies in question. This is not likely to happen at all, really, for any sustainable period of time, nor is it necessarily desirable as we lose out on economic and scientific opportunities to improve our lot on this planet and in the universe.
We could work on extra-planetary colonization. That would use time, energy, effort, resources and labor that would otherwise be spare. Or, we could undertake massive public works campaigns that can be repeated and undone in order to provide constant work (inefficient, but it would deal with the excess labor problem). But that would take time and resources that would have to be pryed from the hands of the private elites who have benefitted so illegitimately and handsomely from the current policy set. I see neither one of those things happening.
Therefore, death is all that's left on the table, thanks to the wishes, desires, beliefs and actions of the rich.
They're truly terrible people.
And I wish we'd just get them into mental health hospitals as soon as possible, in order to get them away from these positions in society which they are so unqualified for.
Think about it.