I mean, I get what you’re saying. There are a lot of people out the who should be entrepreneurs but instead get suckered into working for someone else. But there are also a lot of things that can’t be made without big conglomerations of people, like jet engines.
That said, a lot of what you’ve said has got me thinking. I like working with jet engine design. It’s pretty fun, the pay is good, the hours are reasonable, I get to work with other physics/math dorks, and the career is stable. But maybe there’s something I could do to make money for me, and I just need to figure out what that thing is.
I’m not one of those people saying ‘best thing to do is be an entrepreneur, blah blah’. What I’m saying is that everyone should know what their options are and employees educated in business matters are BETTER employees. Every employee I talk to is dissatisfied with their boss/company. But every boss/company I talk to says they are dissatisfied with their employees (“It is hard to find good people”). These people are living in COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CONTEXTS. And then there are investors who live in yet another completely alien context most people have never considered. For example, when a business lays people off, the employee mindset gets scared and ‘hopes these people land on their feet’. Some think the company is evil for doing that. The investors, however, get excited and invest more into the company. It is different contexts.
I see only advantages and no disadvantages for employees to peer into these other contexts. I believe this will not only make a better employee but also have the employee predict the future of the company. If the company is going south, the employee will know it before the shit hits the fan.
How is education and university education done? It teaches people only to become employees. Is this practical in an era where people must invest in order to retire? Young people should realize that their college education won’t be what it takes to get them the big money. Maybe a salary… somewhere. But even then, you will never be in control.
I believe we are in a transition to a new era like from the Agricultural Era to the Industrial Era. The Industrial Era created NEW VALUES. For example, soft land was valuable and hard land was not during the agricultural era because you can make crops in soft land. You cannot make crops in rocky land. But with the Industrial Era, this switched around. Hard land became valuable because it could support the big factories.
The definition of education changed. Academic Education became more valued than ‘field’ education. My grandfather only had a second grade education. He fixed tractors on farms. An academic education would not have helped him in that time period. My other grandfather helped build the railroads by laying down the track (even became a Union leader). An academic education would not have helped him (but he taught himself to learn. He was really into hard science-fiction [his influence got me into science-fiction, etc.]). I grew up in Texas, and the Southern United States was one of the last areas to modernize (the reasons why this is so is a subject for another post. It only truly began after World War II).
Academic Education is losing its value. What is increasing in value is Financial Education. Literacy has a moving definition. Literacy to my grandparents meant more about reading instructions in order to do something or build something outside. Academic education’s literacy means more about how many books you’ve read and wrote. But Financial Education’s literacy revolves around reading the financial statements. Soon in the future, if you cannot read a financial statement, you will be considered illiterate. Maybe not for you, but it will fall upon your children.
Most people don’t stay in poverty long because it is too uncomfortable. But having seen the last gasp of the Agricultural Era, where it was seen as ‘normal’ for everyone to have a farm, to slaughter their own beef, etc., remaining on the waning side will result in people becoming poorer, more frustrated, and having less societal influence. People get stuck on the waning side because of incorrect education. For example, the bitter farmer originates from the same reason as the bitter academic today. After investing your life into an education that is generating less and less life income and notoriety, bitterness is the natural result.
Pretend I have come back in Doc Brown’s flying deLorean to tell you what the future will be. If you wish to make yourself happy and to see your children have a prosperous future, do not trust what people say about the present. What is seemingly of value of 2012 will not be so in 2032 or 2052. We’re at the point now that one’s quality of life now depends on one’s financial education. How are you going to retire? Pensions won’t cut it as companies have no money to pay them. Governments no longer have money to pay for their retirement programs.
Financial education is something people do not want to do. They know it is useful and important, but they don’t want to do it. And poor farmers didn’t want to read books either because reading books isn’t fun. But what is riskier? Having your life depend on that safe, secure job with good benefits (which are becoming less and less scarce as if there is such a thing a ‘secure’ job) or becoming more financially educated where you have more control over your financial destiny? As a salaryman, your financial destiny is controlled entirely by your company. You exchange your labor for your pay. But you are going to get old one day (young people cannot possibly believe this, but it is true. I was young once as well).
Having an interest and learning about financial education is not going to harm you and only has benefits. Best of all, your children will be introduced to it at an early age and become more adept at it than you (because, like the rest of us, your parents didn’t think financial education was very important but boy, they were very concerned about your academic education!).
The shift in these realities, of the Industrial Era to our new era, is the cause of new wealth (companies like Apple, Microsoft, etc.), the decline of old wealth (Detroit becoming a Fourth World Country), the cause as to why the frustrated feel they are getting poorer (Industrial Era people), and the spark of future wars (America’s Civil War was between the Industrial Northern States and the Feudalistic South States. Was the World Trade Center [which is an economic symbol, not a military icon] destroyed by people in our current economic era or of a previous economic mentality?). People ask, “Why does it seem as if political leaders lost their minds?” I ask them, “What is the future of unions?” As an artifact of the Industrial Era, unions have no future. They are dying out. Since they are a component of a political machine, politicians who benefit from that machine are doing everything they can, spending whatever they can, to save them. Apply that example to everything else and notice how it all falls into place. What was a symbol of the Industrial Revolution? Detroit and its car companies. What happened to those car companies in the last few years? There’s your answer.
I wish I could live forever. The transition of these economic epochs is most entertaining and is the sizzle of history. Imagine that a hundred years from now, people will mythologize your daily life into a sort of ideal existence like we have done to independent farmers or factory workers. When I think of that future, I can only laugh.