Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 104

If you looked through some of my old journal entries from the ad agency days, it would appear that I did nothing but decide where to have lunch and who to meet for happy hour. Now, I spend my time writing about what I'm working on and telling people how tired I feel. Jeez, what has happened to me. Truthfully, I don't think I've changed all that much. I think the world has changed.

Before globalization and the Internet, even supposedly stress filled industries like advertising moved at a much more leisurely pace. I can recall that a busy day for me used to be scribbling an idea for a 30 second television commercial on a yellow pad and handing it to a typing secretary. That was it. By the time the finished copy came back from proofreading and legal, it was usually a week later. Everyone had an assistant back then. Even the assistants had their own assistants.

I'm amused when I listen to all the pundits on TV talking about the employment crisis and wondering why more people don't have jobs. I can tell you why not enough people have jobs these days. It's a no-brainer. The people who are still working are doing the work of five people. Companies stay competitive by figuring out how to use fewer people to do more stuff. That's the "productivity" we keep hearing about. If we went back to the days when everyone had an assistant, we could be at full employment in no time. Of course, whatever we were making or selling would be so expensive that nobody would buy it.

The combination of a global economy where there is always somebody out there who thinks two dollars a day is a living wage, and the Internet, where all desires are gratified instantly, has killed the goose that laid the golden egg. The only way I even have a prayer of staying competitive is to continually look for new ways to do things faster and cheaper. It's not fun. Like it or not, we're in a downward spiral that won't end until wages have equalized around the world. I don't think my parent's generation realized just how good they had it. Sure, they didn't have computers and iPhones, but they didn't need them either.

Dalmatian of the Day

    Watch of the Day

1 comment:

  1. There are governments debating whether internet access in the modern age is a "utility" like power and water, so that it becomes eligible for subsidies for low income families. I feel that it should be, because the internet has so much useful information on it. Iphones, on the other hand, I do not think are necessary at all.
    If we're in a spiral of wage equalization, I think it will take longer than our lifetimes. We would need translating programs that worked in real time, more communications and transportation infrastructure, and a generation or two of skilled workers worldwide.