On Hacker News, I started to write a reply to the 11 millionth stupid article about how there's no jobs because the older generation won't retire. I started to write about how there's no finite supply of jobs, it's all about being able to create value that people want in excess of cost, and as long as any human need or desire is unmet, then there's a potentially infinite amount of work and jobs available.
Then I gave up and wrote this instead -
At the end of humanity, when the Sun finally burns out, and Earth drifts into a slow freeze in the final sunset - mankind will still not have grasped economics.
Which is probably true. (And can I attribute that to Tara Ploughman?)
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I've pretty much given up on trying to educate people about basics like this. Just like how so many think that raising taxes on people who start businesses and create value promotes economic growth. Another is a lack of understanding that raising unemployment benefits increases unemployment (you get more of what you subsidize).
Basic truths that many people will never understand.
You are exactly right, Sebastian. When the welfare state and paternalism is the air we breathe it may even be a lot to expect of folks to understand economics!
You could perhaps make the argument that the baby boomers aren't moving out of the jobs in established companies as fast as X & Y-genners would like, but that's really more a comment about discomfort with the idea of starting your own enterprises.
A nice email, and good questions -
your blog has helped me really transform my life in a matter of a week or so. I've never had so mcuh motivation, to do even simple things like clean up my workspace. it only seems to be getting better from here and it really is because of you. every morning i read your blog and get fresh insight into myself.
I've started getting books you've recommended, and so far so good. It would be great if you could suggust some more for me, particulary about getting the motivation to take a risk.
I'm having trouble making myself have passion for what i love, although everyday it seems to be getting a small bit easier. I have started to track my time, and so far even the fact that I'm doing it gets me more motivated knowing i cam keep up a system.
Thanks for the kind words. It'd be great if I could suggest some books on taking a risk?
If you paid me fifty times what I make now to work at a regular job, I wouldn't do it.
Over the past few weeks I've informally asked some of my other entrepreneur friends how much they'd have to be paid to work a normal job in their industry. None of them quoted any reasonable figure. Some of them didn't want to answer the question because it was so uncomfortable to think about.
When Justin Frankel, creator of Winamp, quit AOL, he was offered a job by Microsoft. They asked what he needed to work there, and he responded with a written offer. In his list of necessities were things like a private jet, the ability to work remotely 100% of the time, and all boat rental fees to be reimbursed. It was a joke, but he sent it to them anyway. That's how abhorrent the idea of a real job was to him.