Friday, February 14, 2014

Extended Adolescence and the Quest for Youth

Much has been said about our society's issue with our youth not growing up fast enough. Our teens are acting more like children, and our eighteen to twenty-somethings are acting like teenagers. They're unrealistic, impetuous, and controlled by immature emotions. They put off the traditional trappings of adulthood as long as they can. Often this is attributed to a certain amount of pandering on the part of adults. A certain softness in parenting approaches. And while I think these are -to a certain degree- the cause of extended adolescence I don't think these are the only causes. (Note that I'm not commenting on whether or not extended adolescence is a good thing or not, or on parenting styles. That's a completely different article. )

Our culture is obsessed with youth. Creams, exercises, treatments, spas: all aimed at making us all look and feel younger. There are businesses based around youth, lifestyles aimed at it, champions promoting it. Youth promotion surrounds us. But if everyone is trying to push back the clock, what does that mean for the young ones of our culture? I doubt that "youth-promotion" doesn't extend to behavior. I'm told that thirty is the new twenty. What does that imply about our twenty-year-olds?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why Businesses Tend to Oppose Job Creation

Because it doesn't suit them. It's like real estate: it's always either a buyer's market or a seller's market. Right now there are far more people who need jobs than there are jobs, and that really benefits those already established businesses. They can take their pick. They don't have to make themselves too attractive: if you don't want the job, then someone else does. The current labor market also castrates unions. Striking becomes a whole lot more effective if the strikers are confident that they can find employment elsewhere, and if there's not a bunch of willing workers ready to take the strikers' place. On the other hand -and this is a situation that benefits far more people- if there are more jobs available then laborers the circumstances flip. Suddenly jobs have to make themselves attractive to workers, rather than the other way around. Suddenly business owners' are more concerned about irritating their workers. Unless it's the business itself offering the job, new jobs just restrict a business's power.

Right now the power is in the hands of the smaller group, the owners. If there were more jobs than there are workers then the balance of power shifts. Workers begin to dictate the terms of their employment, rather then the other way around.

Broadly speaking, this is one of the many reasons why capitalism breeds socialism. It's simply a matter of which system most benefits the majority of the population.