Headlines upon headlines are shouting,
“middle-class families, pillars of the American dream, are disappearing.”
Let’s Face It! The vast majority of us are in “the middle” – you know, hard-working, capable in our traditional jobs, honorable members of our communities and squarely in the middle of the upheavals in our economy and society.
Will “the middle” completely disappear in the struggle to reach the future?
Let’s imagine a couple of possible scenarios for 2025…
…Fast Forward to 2025
Scenario #1 –
- Research confirms that, in 3/4 of the country’s metropolitan areas, the middle-class is facing more difficult challenges than ever. Debt is off the charts. The median middle-class household has just $20,000 saved. Subtract this savings from debt and fully half of middle-class adults have nothing touchable for emergencies – such as job loss – much less for later life.
- The average length of regular, full-time employment in the private sector has dropped below 3 years. Less than 50% of formerly full-time opportunities exist today.
- Although average life expectancy has been extended past 80 years, the public/educational sectors are still “retiring” people on full, underfunded, pensions as young as in their early 50’s. Their solution? The Fed is printing more money and curtailing hiring of new, younger workers in pension-backed jobs.
- “Fast-food” and routine, moderately skilled jobs have been taken over by the desperate. Almost 40% of these “j-o-b-s” have been supplanted by robots and other technologies.
- The shift in demand for talent has not been addressed, many more people, especially in rural areas, are working hand-to-mouth than at any time in memory.
- Business startups continue to lag behind business closures and, worse, all successful startups are in-or-near major cities where educated talent is readily available.
Scenario #2 – It’s Still 2025
- The “I’ll save more later” mentality has been tackled because we teach our children, as early as the first years of middle-school, about the value of saving. Likewise, schools, from early childhood on, are heavily invested in teaching robotics and other new skills, as this hyper-shift era demands.
- Online, virtual, community colleges and universities cater to all ages. The once-upon-a-time scramble for admission to four-year institutions has been replaced by a strong re-connection with community colleges for the early post high-school years.
- Free community college education has succeeded and shown that…
relevant skills are more important than the wrong degrees!
- Advanced, targeted education in four-year institutions, following the community college experience, is of particular benefit to those students who understand that their investment is ensured when they blend personal passion with the underlying goal of meeting new marketplace demands.
- Our studied prediction that up to 50% of workers will work in ways – well beyond the old, 8-5 job – has come true. Contingent workers – AKA freelancers – are well respected and core to the success of America’s businesses.
- The rise in self-employment has resulted in rural workers embracing, and succeeding in, contributing virtual work as a substantive boost to their income.
- Big data has significantly improved the success rates of most start-up businesses and failure rates have plummeted to less than at any time in the past 25 years.
Let’s work together to celebrate the strong resurgence of the Middle. Together we can do it!
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