..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

... just to remind myself why I'm doing this ...

Depending on our personalities, the world can be a crowded place or a very lonely one. For those who seek comfort in numbers, there is no shortage of hangers on, but for those who avoid that circus, keeping thier own counsel can leave them feeling quite alone and disengaged from the mad place we call home. Life is a trade off and most of us choose how we live it.

For me, I'd rather work things out as best I can, using my own thoughts and feelings to sort things out. Following the crowd has never been a temptation to me, but that has its price, one that I'm totally comfortable with every day I get to stand up and be the person I aspire to be. When I sometimes lose track of who that is, I come here to remember, to reconnect and to resume my quest.

These posts are a reflection of some of what matters to me and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to collect these thoughts as they form in my head, as they prepare the way for my life, as it evolves from one day to the next. They re-inspire me when things seem to be floating about, with no particular aim or purpose, and it does happen from time to time.

So, today I had these thoughts that I think are worth writing down for the future me to look back on when I need to ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The term “job creation” is somewhat akin to an oxymoron.

Thinking about the concept of a “job” one realizes that a “job” is a response to the recognition of some kind of need. The job that responds to a need then does the actual creating, not the other way around. Establishing a job requires an existing need to be recognized or a new need to come into existence and that should perhaps be the focus of such efforts.

Recognizing and identifying shortcomings wherever they may exist presents opportunities to correct and/or satisfy those shortcomings, by engaging people to address them, and that would be the most productive method of providing sustainable employment opportunities.

It’s not insignificant that newly “created” jobs are often counted in terms of “estimated man-hours” (or weeks or months) of ‘life’ or productivity, which indicates the limitations of what has been “created”. Sustainability is usually not one of the key objectives, because if it were, many of such jobs would not be worth counting. Inherently, these creations are temporary measures that will eventually need to be repeated in some form, over and over, using (wasting due to repetition) valuable resources in the process every time.

It is government’s responsibility to provide the facilities and services required by its electorate to sustain a reasonably secure and healthful environment within which they can conduct their lives and do so in the most productive way available to them in their circumstance. To do that the government undertakes the expenditures on their behalf and pays to create that sustained environment, and regenerates it as needed to ensure its continued effectiveness to achieve and ideally to improve it.

I am of the opinion that by maintaining the “creation of jobs” (or more accurately the provision of a benign source of income) as the primary objective, government wastes far too many resources. By redirecting its efforts towards the provision of facilities and services to address real existing needs and new ones that will always manifest themselves, more than a limited number of employment opportunities will open up and remain viable for far longer than the temporary solutions of “created jobs” to address short term situations artificially generated to find something to do for the unemployed.

The hardnosed yet essential aspect of this concept is that no “job” has the immunity to stave off its elimination if it becomes redundant. Every job must exist solely because it is in place to address an existing need and not just to provide income as its main purpose. When that’s the case, resources needed to provide solutions to real needs are being diverted making less available to address sustainable opportunities. Bloating is wasteful and counterproductive.

Infrastructure renewal is by far the most efficient and widely beneficial method of providing opportunities for sustainable employment across many disciplines and skill levels. A well-planned schedule of infrastructure renewal projects that continues without major interruptions and without end is the most efficient and most sustainable “job creation” strategy at government’s disposal. It’s also the most appropriate and ethical strategy in terms of a reasonable and fair taxation policy.