So after reading Richard Florida's "The Great Reset" I began asking myself what's coming next. What will we, the profans, progeeks, working otaku, and the rest of us face as the economy of the world re-aligns after the Great Recession of the early 21st century? What do I think is next?
So, with credit to the inspiration of Mr. Florida and everyone else I read for advice, here's what I've been thinking.
Places People Live:
- Megaregions will rule, and most places that are good for Progeeks
to live now will remain the same – many are already Megaregions or
forming Megaregions anyway. So there's a good chance if you're in a
geektopia now it'll stay one.
- If people free themselves up from their houses – or more walk away
– the region you live in could experience rapid demographic change.
Keep aware of local issues on such issues – it could affect job
opportunities, companies there, etc.
- Young people starting out will have a tough call if they're in a
Megaregion, which often have higher-paying jobs requiring more
experience and skills.
- Expect all sorts of economic stunts, clever attempts to lure
businesses, and local policies if you live in places wanting to gain or
maintain a good economy. Some may work – some may be utterly insane.
- Goodbye big houses. They're wasteful and they trap people in locations. There's a lot of shadow inventory. Some made in the housing boom have lousy architecture. Apartments and rentals allow more mobility, small houses are cheaper.
- More public transport. Cars can be money sinks, and some megaregions have enough transport you can do without a car. Plus the prices on gas don't seem to be going down.
- Electronics means less space and cheap. Why crowd your apartment with DVDs when you can stream, why have a giant bookshelf of stuff you read once when you can read on iPad, why have a pile of comics when you have e-Manga? Space and money-conscious people will use more electronic media for all its benefits.
- Relocation may become normal for some people. This will also change how people form relationships.
- Because of economic and social change, social media and the internet will be even more important for relationships.
- The future is creative and educated. Jobs of the future will require people to leverage creativity and knowledge. Unfortunately recruiting and placement will not keep up with these changes, making the job search more confusing.
- A job search will need to be more "media savvy" to communicate skills and deal with the fact many people hiring can't keep up with what is needed to find the best people.
- The future career may be more of a portfolio career, where people do several jobs at once or different ones in succession.
- There are people right now who are basically unemployable. They're not going away, and ignoring them will only lead to suffering on their part. They may in fact become a powerful political bloc.
- Even at the best scenario, I see it taking years, probably into 2012 or further, to get to 5% or lower unemployment in the US. I would not be surprised if it took to 2020. Only massive stimulus will prevent this.
- We're going to see many battling theories. Some sanity and understanding may come out of this, but prepare to see many economics, politicians, etc. espousing all sorts of ideas and justifications. Hopefully real-life will show them what's important.
- People will need to take more time to understand economic issues because of the rapid change going on.
- There will likely be age gaps in people's understanding of economics – imagine generation gaps on stimulus and inflationary theory and the like.
- Like it or not, the Federal Government will have to get involved in stimulating the economy, ensuring education, and reshaping transportation in the future, such as high-speed rail.
- Local governments, from state to cities, are best suited to luring in and supporting businesses. Some regions will do better than others because some governments will be better than others at doing this.
- Austerity measures versus stimulus will be a big issue within and between world governments. Frankly in a Recession this bad the current benefits of stimulus seem to outweigh the hope that there might be some market confidence with austerity measures.
- Hot-button politics, serious issues, and utter B.S. will form a complex maelstrom in the politics of many countries. Be ready to sort out truth from lies and sanity from delusion. Some who can't will become very lost.
That's my thoughts. I wonder – what are yours?
– Steven Savage