If you google (yes, to google is a verb) you’ll get:

re·as·sur·ance /ˌrēəˈSHo͝orəns/


noun: reassurance

  1. the action of removing someone’s doubts or fears.

“children need reassurance and praise”

  • a statement or comment that removes someone’s doubts or fears.

plural noun: reassurances

“we have been given reassurances that the water is safe to drink”

This is interesting, because we all need some reassurance lately. Whether it’s because our health insurance has been cancelled, the insurance company hasn’t offered an alternative, and we’re forced to try the exchanges. Or, we’re a newly minted graduate with unproven skills that we’d use for mutual benefit like gangbusters, if only someone would give us a chance. Or, we’re a displaced older worker that still wants to contribute their skills to society and can’t seem to find anyone who will hire us for anything near (even half) what we’re worth to the employer.

Well, I don’t see it. If left to our own resources (just check the heavily commented websites) we almost squeal with glee at the displacement of humans by technology. Overpopulation, some say with the obvious solutions in mind. A mark of progress others say as they cite previous technology revolutions (market, first industrial, second industrial, digital, etc.).

All of these ‘revolutions’ recast how human labor was employed. Each caused worker dislocations. Some caused worker revolts. None were deterred (only derailed to the average worker’s detriment). They’ll tell you it will all work out. But we’re being inhuman of we go on like that. It won’t all work out. People are suffering needlessly. But we can’t return to the past.

The pundits on one side say if you get more of the pie I get less. So I should take your pie (oh, wait, they call it ‘re·dis·tri·bu·tion’). Some see nothing wrong with this. Others call it theft. The pundits on the other side say business should grow the pie. But business men just take more of the pie that’s left (I’m talking to you, Wall Street). We’ve been told to go shopping and buy from government exchanges, as if all will be better then. But that doesn’t grow the pie, either. It’s plain old manipulation. However, someone has to start growing the pie. It’s not going to grow itself, you know.

a work of the National Institutes of Health, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

Pie slice, NCI at NIH, public domain

At lunch one day, I was discussing this problem with a friend whose politics differ from mine. We discussed the pie. However, neither of us had any since we’re both trying to lose weight after our job losses. I said we need savvy folks to start enterprises online and in bricks & mortar that use our displaced workforce and apprentice our new grads. Businesses are so refined now that training and loyalty has gone by the wayside. How will young workers grow into positions of responsibility? Why aren’t older workers tapped for their knowledge and expertise?

Now, you could say, these unemployed are the dregs of the workforce. They deserve what they got. And you’d be dead wrong in many cases. Good workers are being let go and not hired to boost stock performance. If you’re so concerned about quality employees, test them as a prequalification step. Give objective, targeted proficiency and psychological tests online as a gate of entry to the interviews. Grow and use trained interviewers with subject matter and social interaction expertise. You’ll be surprised what treasures you find.

Now what would you have them do? Well, figure out what we really need as a society and as a world and have them either make it for or serve it to us. We don’t need more pet rocks. But the world does need more energy, more clean and fresh water, safer roads and neighborhoods, better education independent of economic background, life mentoring, better preventative health care access, etc. You get the idea. Find a need and fill it.

Our technology can be leveraged to support these new enterprises in ways we don’t even bother using. Virtual offices will work if they’re managed well. The usual computer snooping software is unnecessary when folks are measured on productivity and results. When continued employment hinges on good cooperation and quality outputs, a factory, virtual service, or distributed design house (as examples) can flourish.

Meetings can be held online (many outplacement services work that way). Folks can gather centrally on a quarterly or less frequent basis once they’ve been vetted and oriented to the enterprise. Better minds than mine have worked all this out. Look for it and get cracking.

Funding can be raised via loans or investors. While loans may be hard to come by, more investment crowdsourcing is becoming acceptable and available. Check with your accountants and lawyers. I can’t figure it all out for you. You have to pitch in.

Think of it, how many billions of dollars are being left on the table in the interest of the bottom line because social responsibility and innovation are seen as what the other guy does? Granted it won’t be as profitable in the short run as the status quo of squeezing the life out of remaining workers. But in the long run it will pay dividends in work satisfaction, increased tax base, and societal growth and prosperity.

Responsible folks need to give this country (and this blogger) some reassurance and get ‘er done.

Off a Cliff – Thomas Jefferson Douglass

How can our leaders blithely stand by while our economy careens toward a metaphorical cliff of runaway debt, tax increases of many sorts and a knee jerk cut to social entitlement and defense spending? At least that’s what the crisis is this time around.

It takes a body of people who freely exhibit extreme deception; manipulative cunning; lack of guilt, remorse, or empathy; a failure to accept responsibility for actions; a parasitic lifestyle; and a lack of long-term goals coupled with impulsivity. Wait just a minute, those characteristics are found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision. Hmm, I think we have a problem here.

Now ‘those leaders’ would have you believe that it is the fault of the rich, or the unions, or Wall Street, or those that don’t pay any income taxes at all. But that is not true. It’s everyone’s fault because ‘we the people’ voted them in and we keep on doing so. We’ve been warned about this looming cliff for more than twenty years by some folks reckoning. And we’ve done nothing except wring our hands and wait for ‘our leaders’ to kick the can down the road once again.

Nothing has happened so far, has it? Well, the bad news is that ‘nothing’ is coming to an end. Unless, of course that is what you want to have happen. What? Does anyone want the American economy ruined and the country, a hostile takeover candidate, subjugated by other nations?

Some think this nation inherited the imperial scepter from the last great power, England, and it wields it too well. Some think a nation constituted by the people is no different from a kingdom of tyrants and shouldn’t be cherished as the special experiment it is. Some want the nation punished for its ‘sins’. Some have hedged their bets. Some just want to fiddle while the nation burns. Maybe they’re right. ‘We the people’ don’t seem to deserve this nation any longer.

President George Washington said in 1789: “… since there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people…”

 Flowery language for ones so modern as us; but, nevertheless, he was right. We have dishonored this great man, and even more, his entire generation, by our quest for happiness, advantage and public prosperity without virtue, duty and honest policy. We offend Heaven when we disregard ordained order and right. And finally, we abdicate liberty and representative government when we give over this final experiment to those we would not voluntarily let into our homes. We must exercise our franchise for those who would freely exhibit honesty and be honestly effective; show empathy; accept responsibility for actions; live a magnanimous lifestyle; and establish long-term goals coupled with determination to get things right for the nation.