Monday, January 15, 2007
Trends Swami Prognosticates About U.S. Workers
The coming of the New Year is a time for assessing the future, such as it is. In this spirit, trends research guru Gerard Celente weighs in on the future of the American worker. He has gleaned the following glimmers from his crystal ball:
1) The most growth will be seen in the physical, mental and spiritual health professions, the boom in which will be driven by the aging of the Baby Boomers and others. I.e., if a fortune teller hands you a tarot card with a skeleton on it, it just means you might have a bright afterlife as a death counselor.
2) College, obscenely expensive as it is, will diminish in importance and the old idea of the apprenticeship will be increasingly revived. Just don't count on getting chosen for The Apprentice.
3) Learn Chinese.
4) It will become harder than ever before to start your own business, what with the soaring cost of health insurance and other expenses. You may be doomed to stay a slave like the rest of us.
5) Outsourcing will grow, especially in medicine. You may end up becoming a "medical tourist", and getting your heart bypass in Slovenia. The good news is that snooty MDs will get the same kick in the rear the rest of us have been getting for years.
6) The coming recession, whenever it does finally come, will further whittle away pay increases and job benefits, pinning the average American worker against the wall. As Celente says, "It's a plantation economy. The workplace is not a happy place these days, mostly because while the average worker is putting in more hours and is more productive, the average commute time is longer and the financial debt hole is deeper."
7) On the bright side, if our savings accounts will remain skimpy, the informational riches of the Internet will expand, allowing anyone to learn anything just by getting online. Maybe then we can become trends gurus, too.
"Reality smacks high hopes in business" from the Des Moines Register