Learning in Recession


Recent studies show more American graduated from all levels of education than before the Recession. Other studies show older ones also tried their luck at start-ups and social entrepreneurship.
The first group just stay out of the depressing job market. The later, creating jobs for themselves and others, all the while, learning on the job to be their own boss.
I suspect there is another unaccounted group called stay-at-home dads or moms who try to save a few baby-sitting bucks.
Low-end restaurants like Panera Bread, hybrid between fast foods and Olive Garden, are holding out.
Japan faced similar changes in the 90’s with corporate lay-offs (unthinkable a generation before that), massive shift in post-industrialized world with people becoming quite disposable and machine quite acceptable.
By next year, we won’t even need someone to check our ticket or take our cash. Just swipe the card (translation: less available blue-collar jobs) or stay home waiting for Amazon drone-delivery (at least conceived and mentioned in passing).
I blogged some time ago about Machine and Me. It’s true that one can go about one’s day without a single human interaction. Chains like Carmax build their business model on no haggling i.e. car buying = appliance buying. Since each touchpoint is minimized, I also blogged about Hi Tech – Hi Touch, our increased need and hunger for organic relationship (now that we move on and off-line, just like a Toyota hybrid).
The Recession was partly caused by greed, but also by a confluence of factors such as regulatory blind spot, data-rich market on steroid (how else would Iceland get hit just equally hard, being miles away from Wall Street) and government reduced spending (post-cold war world).
Now, on this side of that economic tsunami, we pick up the pieces, while some people pick up their doctorate degrees or business licenses.
99 per cent of the population got hit in one form or other.
Or have a close relative or friend who did (unless they were in Healthcare).
Implying in Learning in Recession, was Living in Recession.
We are still here. Hopefully wiser, but certainly not without paying a high cost.

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