Jobs for the Future
If all the jobs that needed to
be done were being done
there would be a labor shortage.
We just have not worked out how to pay for
The irony is that there are so many Mickey -Mouse, Goofy,
Pegleg-Pete and Vulture jobs that are wasteful of lives, money and
natural resources. But because they are cash-profitable, people are
paid to do them. We even try to invent more. But we should look at
the jobs problem from the point of view of what jobs need to be done
in the world. And then how to pay for them.
The jobs of the future
- The real jobs of the future are to ensure that everyone can live reasonably without wrecking the
planet. They are not just in
information technology (which could even conceivably collapse if
the environment deteriorates so that survival must come first) or
tourism (which requires rich people serviced by poorer people).
Australia should be at the forefront in developing and producing
technology and productsthat are maximally environmentally friendly, and use
non-polluting renewable power resources such
as sun and wind. For example,
we should be at the forefront in land
conservation and reclamation, in a complete change of our
sewage disposal to make the utmost
use of fertiliser, grey water and drinkable water, in a national
public transport and freight system
that is operated by an efficient, honest and well-rewarded
The best recreation and work is helping to re-create your community. The western
suburbs of Melbourne be made as pleasant and beautiful to live in
as, say the best of Camberwell, and the least pleasant parts of
Camberwell be made as delightful as the best, even if the homes
are smaller? Alienated vandals could discover that by improving
their own lot they are getting the best 'revenge on society' Here
is challenge, adventure, character-building, a goal in life, and
permanent satisfaction. Everyone can find personal fulfilment and
develop their own talents. The frustrations are tremendous -
climbing one Everest after another, and requiring practise of a
sense of humour. But everyone becomes more employable, does not
rust, and makes great friends as they work together.
Building for the future, not just
destroying what exists to build more that is going to be soon
destroyed. All buildings and renovations now should be designed to
be adaptable for hard times, when natural resources may be short,
climate harsher, and better use must be made of sun, rain,
orientation, salvage, re-use and human exercise.
Using waste and preventing waste.
e.g.Salvage from building sites and renovations, instead of
everything going in a skip to the tip. Each shopping centre could
have a Redistribution Centre (like Ma Dalley's used to be?) where
furniture and other household goods could be donated for others to
repair or remake and sell, or Opshops could have facilities for
Tuesday Repairers and Renovators. One small business could make
handcarts for enterprising salvage collectors.
'Durability' goods. Manufacture and
sale of goods manufactured for durability and repairability rather
than for cheapness, so shoppers would know where to go. These
shops could link with repairers, know-how agencies and email
Users' groups ('Users' not 'Consumers')
Care for people. Children, the old,
the sick, the handicapped, teenagers, adults (have I included
everyone) should not be harried and hurried because there are not
enough people to do the caring jobs properly. Time is money- OK.
but Time is LIFE. Sitting in the park
while children play around; letting small children go at their own
pace - more or less - to their play-centre; medical treatment that
does not have to be rushed; visits that are thoughtful and
enjoyable rather than dutiful.
Sustainable households. Running
households well for quality living that makes minimum demands on
the environment and foreign debt. This is more constructive than
making things that a wasteful society soon throws out, and can be
done in conjunction with high-status enjoying child-rearing, or
one member of the household taking a turn as home-keeper while the
others work outside. The home-keeper for a household of four or
more should be paid as a civil servant.
'Australia Shops' given low rent,
that sell, display and publicise goods made locally, and by
Australian-owned companies, and invented by Australians.
Grow. Contact with the real world of growing
things. The world easily seems meaningless and without hope
if you are indoors most of the day or on the streets most of the
night. Like babies, most people too, feel and think better when
they can get out where things grow. e.g. Getting up at dawn to
planting and growing things in a garden. Getting out in the
countryside, cleaning up pests and weeds under guidance Doing your
own research and counts on wild creatures in your locality, for
the Nature Conservancy people. Beachcombing occasionally - and
clearing out dangerous rubbish. CityPersons who are not Nature
Freaks still need to have a Nature Binge at least once a year.
Learning practical skills, e.g.
Tuesday apprenticeships - halfday helping - halfday learning.
Inventors' centres in schools/
communities encourage young and old in constructive innovations.
Inventors in Residence, as a special form of Artists in Residence.
Voluntary work. Labour-intensive
jobs/ recreation are needed in pest eradication; environment
cleanup; making life happier for the sick, isolated, helpless;
helping with cash-strapped voluntary organizations ; salvage and
recycling; finding opportunities to develop permanent jobs.
Mutual Help Tuesday Clubs could be
the day's work for retired and unemployed people, linked with
existing organizations such as Lions, Apex, Rotary, churches,
ethnic organizations, etc. so they have an ethos as well as others
knowing where they can help with jobs or training. Club Members
train themselves with help in practical skills, public speaking,
health maintenance, domestic economy (literally), community
service - including to the needy, sick and elderly known to the
club - developing their own vocational expertise, extending their
education, and using their leisure constructively. Retired people
with skills can help others to learn skills in their workshops
Action research can be carried out
by anyone with the ability (e.g. postgraduates) - for example,
working out Sustainability Quotients for products to assess them
for 'Conservation-Conscious' Green Spots or similar markings in
shops. Inventing solutions to problems.
Investigative Journalism. Often, in
watching TV news or reading newspapers, it is clear that there is
a lot more that ought to be known than is printed. Find it out.
The money to pay for the jobs
There are also socially innovative solutions to finding the
finance to pay for them, which will be appearing on Ideas for OZ.
Most of the jobs would prove profitable to the community in any case,
and many would prove commercially profitable, but there could also be
finance through Regional Currency, Benevolence Taxes, Tuesday Work
for the Dole, and Self-terminating public loans. If we had a national
scheme of Everybody Without Exception expected to work usefully for
their living one day a week (e.g. Tuesday) according to their
capacity - even sick people and children trying to cheer up their
carers. Dole for the unemployed would represent pay for their one
day's useful work a week. And this would lead on to opportunities for
fulltime useful jobs.
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