ROBOTS, OTHER COUNTRIES KILLING U.S. JOBS?

#robots #AmericanJobs #efficiencies #CreativeDestruction
Do you believe robots, or manufacturing in other countries, are killing American jobs?
A recent article in The Guardian carries the headline, “Robots will destroy our jobs – and we’re not ready for it.”
Economist Joseph Schumpeter describes technological change as “creative destruction.” Actually, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the U.S. labor force in 1950 was 62 million. By 2000 it was 79 million and it’s projected to reach 192 million by 2050.
These bits of information come from an article by Walter E. Williams of Creators Syndicate. It was published Feb. 21, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Though the ‘creative destruction’ process works hardships on some people who lose their jobs and are forced to take lower-paying jobs, any attempt to impede the process would make us all worse off,” Williams writes.
It’s tough to understand the value of technological progress if you’ve been shown the curb from your job. Many people have lost relatively good-paying jobs, and been forced to take lower-paying jobs, if they were lucky enough to find a new job at all. The recession of 2008 has taken a toll on many.
The Williams article tells of the 62 million in the work force in 1950. Back then, progress was definitely slower. People could count on the jobs they had to be around for as long as they wanted to work. Some of those jobs were hard, either on the body, mind or both.
Back then, many workers were represented by unions, which helped impede some process innovations and efficiencies to keep more people working.
Today, fewer workers have that kind of representation, and the number keeps decreasing. Workers are essentially on their own to plan their careers.
As a result, in many cases, careers come to a premature end, and workers are left figuring out what to do next.
But just as technology has been, by and large, a good thing for the U.S. and the world, having workers determine their own destinies can also be a good thing, if you want to look at it differently.
It’s been said in several different ways that hardship creates opportunity. Though the opportunity may be difficult to see if circumstances have dealt you a difficult blow, they are out there for those willing to look for them.
If you have lost what appears to be a good job, and are not yet ready to retire, there are many ways out there to make money other than through a traditional W-2 job. To check out one of the best, message me. You might even see a great way to help your friends overcome difficult circumstances.
The U.S. has moved over the centuries from a primarily agricultural economy, to a primarily manufacturing economy, and is continuing to move into a more technologically based economy. You, as perhaps a temporarily displaced worker, can’t do anything to fight that. In fact, no governmental entity can do anything to fight that. If we try to impede innovation here, someone else somewhere will innovate, leaving the U.S. in the dust.
So the next time you try to blame robots, cheaper overseas labor or other advances on your circumstances, remember that you can’t stop those things. You can only look for ways to help yourself to a better life.
That may require a change of mind-set, or departing your comfort zone, but ANYONE can do it. If you don’t find a solution immediately, keep looking. You just might meet the person who will show you how YOU can change your life for the better.
Peter

OVERSTATING PROBLEMS

#OverstatingProblems #optimists #pessimists #poverty
“Can’t overstating problem energize us in terms of solving them?”
So asked Philip Galanes, during lunch with Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard University and author of 10 books.
Galanes wrote about his conversation with the two for The New York Times. The article was also published in the Feb. 11, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“There’s a paradox in letting yourself be very, very upset about what remains to be done (for the common good),” Gates said. “There are still parts of the world that are still like 40 years ago. But to read (Pinker’s) book and think it says, ‘don’t worry, be happy’ (borrowing from a Bobby McFerrin title), is to misread it. Because seeing the world through the eyes of that poor kid ideally wants to make you give some money, even though there are many fewer such kids than 50 years ago,” Gates said.
“Extreme global poverty has been reduced from 90 percent 200 years ago to 10 percent today. That’s great! Or you can say: more than 700 million people in the world live in extreme poverty today. They’re the same fact, and you have to be able to describe them to yourself in both ways,” Pinker says.
This snippet of a long conversation illustrates that there is more than one way to look at the world.
Some of the information we hear would lead us to believe that the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and perhaps we need to straighten it out. Or, others would have us believe that past efforts to solve problems have had a great effect, and that, though the problems are not completely solved, the situation is much better than it was years ago.
It’s perhaps the classic difference between an optimist and a pessimist. The old adage talks about viewing a glass of water as either half empty or half full. But it is more than that.
It starts with how you feel about yourself each time you wake up in the morning, or later in the day if you work at night. Is every day you do so a good day? Or, is it just another day?
Do you long for weekends, and dread the weekdays? Do you feel as if you are on a treadmill during the week, and finally get a break from it on weekends (or whatever your regular days off might be)?
Experts say you can change how you think. You can take stock of what’s good in your life, and be thankful, rather than think of what’s not so good and be resentful, or sad, or feel doomed.
You can think about what you really want in life, or you can presume you’ll never get what you really want, and settle for something OK, or tolerable.
You can see retirement as a goal to allow you to do what you want, or you can do what you want sooner, rather than later. Or, worse yet, you can see yourself as working at a job you hate until you die.
So, are you thankful, or dreadful (meaning full of dread, as opposed to an awful person)? Give yourself a break. Always – and you can pull this off – look at yourself as blessed and grateful.
If you need a vehicle to help you turn your life around, there are several such vehicles out there for those willing to look for them. To check out one of the best, message me.
Meanwhile, if you are on that treadmill of dread, stay on it only as long as you need to. Start looking for things that will help get you off it.
Your thoughts have the power to improve your life. Be an optimist, for there are very few, if any, successful pessimists. Take stock of the good in your life and build on it. It could start you on a path that will allow you to achieve your dreams sooner rather than later.
Peter

PENSIONS, RETIREMENT AND DECUMULATION?

#pensions #retirement #decumulation #MoneyandTime
The news stories appeared next to each other on the same day.
One headline read, “As pension plans fade, workers find retirement more elusive.” The story, written by Peter Whorisky for The Washington Post, talks about how pension plans are on the decline and workers are increasingly dependent on their own savings for retirement.
The second headline read, “Why you should resolve to spend more money.” The story, written by Suzanne Woolley for Bloomberg News, talks about how retirees who have diligently saved and invested for their retirement, should consciously decide to spend down some of those savings after years of frugality.
Both stories were published Jan. 28, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The obvious question here: what retirement position are you in, and is it the right place for you?
Many can relate to the former. Perhaps they were promised a pension by their employer when they were hired, but that pension is no longer offered. Or, perhaps the pension benefit disappeared.
Perhaps not nearly as many can relate to the latter. If you are fortunate enough to have a good retirement nest egg, by all means, enjoy it. Do what you like to do. But, as any financial adviser would tell you, it’s best to take out the dividends, interest and other earnings your money produces first. A good rule: if you never touch your principal, you will never outlive your money. So, spend, but spend with some care.
Retirement didn’t used to be this complicated. In decades past, one was hired for a job and, if they stayed out of trouble, showed up every day and did what was expected of them for many years, they could count on retirement benefits.
They would get whatever pension their employers gave, combined it with Social Security and, perhaps, some savings and/or a no-stress, part-time job that provided some pocket money.
To live in such a retirement, one had to spend carefully. Perhaps they had enough to enjoy some hobbies, travel, spoil grandchildren etc. But most had to watch how they spent their money. You may have heard the pleas of, “we’re on a fixed income, you know.”
Hopefully, by this time, their mortgages were paid off and there were very few other debts.
Contrast that with today. Job security is non-existent. Pensions, as the article says, are not offered to as many people. Many don’t have a great deal of savings for retirement, and perhaps have vowed to work until they die – or until their employer forces them to leave.
The “fixed incomes” of many fortunate retirees is greater than those of many of the younger, working cohort that’s helping to fund their parents’ Social Security payments.
The part-time “retirement” jobs many are forced to take involve longer-than-desired hours, much stress and take away whatever fun retirement might offer.
There is some good news in all this. There are many ways people can earn potentially good incomes by spending a few hours a week – and have some fun doing it. The good news: it doesn’t involve taking a second, or “retirement,” part-time job. To check out one of the best, message me.
If you are young, you can think about doing this using some time when you aren’t working at your traditional job. If you are diligent, you could be in the position of having a comfortable, spendable nest egg when you retire, and have the kind of decision the second article features.
If you are retired, either by choice or force, time is on your side, and you may find a less stressful way to earn an income.
So think about your retirement position today, and bear in mind that what you were promised, or what you thought you might get, may not be there. Build enough of a nest egg, however you choose to, so you won’t have to “work until you die.”
Peter

ECONOMY AFFECTS MILLENNIALS’ HOMEOWNERSHIP

#HomeBuying #homeownership #millennials #RealEstate
Contrary to what one might think, millennials actually want to buy houses.
But, the economy is stopping them from doing so, in significant numbers.
As with previous generations, they believe owning is better than renting.
“We’re wasting money where we are right now,” said Chris Eidam, 27, who lives with his girlfriend near Bridgeport, Conn. “We just take our rent and we throw it away. That money doesn’t go to anything,” said Eidam, who was quoted in an article on the subject buy Agnel Philip for Bloomberg News. It was also published in the Jan. 1, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The article points out that stagnating wages, rising housing costs and lack of supply are hindering first-time home buyers.
Still, the article says, for two straight quarters, homeownership rate among those 35 and younger has increased.
But, these are not their parents’ times. Decades ago, a lender would look at a young person that had a steady job, figure out what payments they could afford and determine whether they could buy a certain house. The lenders actually bet on a person’s good name and reputation and loaned them the money.
Today, lending restrictions are stricter. Buyers, sellers and real estate agents, too, have to hope that the agreed upon price meets the lender’s appraisal. Often, the appraisal comes in less than the agreed-upon price, prompting sellers to back out of the deal. Lenders have encouraged appraisers to be strict, to come in less than the fair market value.
Secondly, today’s young folks don’t have the job security that their parents often did. If their parents worked at, say, the local phone company, and had a decent wage, the lender could look at that as an income unlikely to go away. Today, no job is “secure,” and paychecks could dry up just like that. Lenders don’t really want to own real estate and, during the recession, that real estate often came back to lenders worth less than the money owed. Some of that can be blamed on homeowners playing fast and loose with home equity, but that’s another story.
In the overall scheme of life, stricter lending standards may be a good thing. But to those wanting to buy their first home, they are a detriment.
Lending standards have relaxed some in recent times, the article says, but younger folks are carrying record levels of student debt and can struggle to qualify, according to the article.
Home building today is also geared more toward high-end homes, and away from so-called starter homes, the article says.
Still, the experts, according to the article, believe the home-buying market among millennials will equal, or come close to, that of their parents decades ago, the article quotes Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia.
So what is a young person, or young couple, that wants to buy a home, to do? First, figure out what you can afford. Don’t expect your first house to be perfect, especially, as the article points out, if you expect to change jobs, or move away from your location. You can always trade up, or remodel, later.
If your income, debt load etc. is making home buying difficult, look for a vehicle that can augment your income by devoting a few, part-time, off-work hours a week. There are many, non W-2 vehicles out there to do that. To check out one of the best, message me.
Finally, if you see a house you can afford, and you are reasonably happy with the location, overlook any cosmetic deficiencies. You can fix those eventually with time, patience and elbow grease. Remember, too, that perfect houses, like perfect people, don’t exist. Every house will have something about it you don’t like. Don’t dismiss good deals out of hand over something you can ultimately fix.
Remember, too, that homeownership is not for everyone. It may have been part of the American Dream, but it’s no sin not to own. Owning your own home comes with great responsibility. If you don’t want or need that, rent, and invest in other things. In short, do the math, figure out the kind of life you want and proceed accordingly.
Peter

WEARY TRUCKERS HAVE FEW PLACES TO REST

#truckers #trucking #RestForTruckers
Truck drivers are expected to rest after so many hours behind the wheel.
And in and around some big cities, where a big chunk of their deliveries and pickups take place, there are few places to park and take a break.
This causes drivers to waste time behind the wheel looking for a stopping place.
David Wickert, a reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussed this issue as it pertains to Atlanta in the Sept. 18, 2017, edition.
Driving a truck can be grueling. So, any wasted time behind the wheel exacerbates the problem.
“That’s trucks that are driving more than an hour for essentially no reason (looking for a place to rest),” Wickert quotes Daniel Studdard, the Atlanta Regional Commission’s freight planner.
So why not build more private truck stops? Local residents may balk, objecting to the noise and other nuisances linked to truck stops, Wickert writes.
Freight traffic in Atlanta is expected to rise 76 percent in coming decades, Wickert writes, so a solution to the problem is a necessity.
Or is it? Let’s examine the problem. As long as humans are driving trucks, rest periods will be required. But what if the trucks become driverless in the coming decades?
Anyone who drives for a living, be it a truck, bus, cab, ride-sharing vehicle etc., has to be concerned that their jobs could disappear over time.
The driverless vehicles have yet to be perfected – a fatal accident involving a driverless vehicle occurred recently — but there are lots of companies, Google among them, working on them.
First, it will be driverless cars. Then, who knows what vehicles will become driverless.
Remember, it’s the human drivers who have to rest, not the vehicles.
Who knows how long it will take for driverless trucks to be the most common delivery vehicles?
If you drive for a living now, and want to prepare for the day when your truck, or whatever you drive, will be driven by a computer, you should consider a Plan B – something that will give you an income when your windshield time goes away. There are many such income-producing vehicles out there. To check out one of the best, message me.
Meanwhile, there will be a temporary problem for human drivers around big cities. In Atlanta, Wickert quotes an ARC survey, eight counties around Atlanta have no private parking for truckers. Parking along the side of the highway is prohibited, not to mention unsafe. Some truckers have resorted to that, Wickert writes. Or, they park on private property without permission.
When Willy Seals, 70, parked his rig at a Home Depot parking lot, it was booted, Wickert writes. It cost Seals $250 to get the boot removed.
So Atlanta, and undoubtedly other metropolitan areas, is struggling with this problem. How temporary it will be will depend on the technology.
Meanwhile, not only will there be little rest for the weary, but also a lot of wasted road time and fuel, not to mention the increased possibility of accidents etc.
The drive to make driverless trucks, therefore, becomes a potential nightmare for all those fatigued drivers.
Peter

‘GIGGERS’ AND THE YOU ECONOMY

#giggers #SelfEmployed #SoloPractitioners #NonEmployerEstablishments
South Florida is loaded with “giggers.”
Atlanta, Dallas, Washington and Boston have also seen a surge.
What are “giggers?” They are one-person shops or, in bureaucratic parlance, “non-employer establishments.”
“Between 1997 and 2015, the number of non-employer establishments – that is, self-employed, freelance workers and independent contractors that aren’t often counted in traditional government measures of job growth – in the Miami area rose 142 percent,” writes Nancy Dahlberg in an article for the Miami Herald. The article was also published Dec. 25, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
That growth is more than twice the national average of 58.6 percent, Dahlberg writes. The other metro areas showing growth behind Miami include Atlanta (126 percent), Dallas (95 percent), Washington, D.C. (78 percent) and Boston (31 percent), according to the article.
This trend shows that people with imagination and a marketable skill who want to work, but don’t want to be employed or are having trouble finding a traditional W-2 job, are using their skill and imagination to help others, while earning money.
The article also quotes a 2016 McKinsey Global Institute report that found about 27 percent of working-age people in the U.S. and Europe engage at least partially in independent work. It also quotes a 2016 study by the Minneapolis Fed that found the engagement at 37 percent in the U.S. alone, and government estimates show that rate could rise to 40 percent by 2020.
The 2008 recession has had lots of effects on lots of people. Some chose to continue to look for new jobs, with varied success. One should consider himself or herself incredibly fortunate if he or she had lost a good job, but subsequently found a better one. For many, if they have found new work at all, it pays less than they were making before. Therefore, a lifestyle adjustment became necessary.
But suppose you have some imagination, but don’t have a really marketable skill that you can peddle on your own? Or, what if the skills that you have are difficult, if not impossible, to ply in an independent setting?
Fortunately, there are many ways out there that you can earn a potentially significant income – perhaps even more than you’d ever earned before – without having a W-2 job or any specific skill or background. To check out one of the best, message me.
Most of us dream of working until a certain age, then perhaps concentrating on a favorite hobby or hobbies to occupy our time after working. For some, retirement came before they wanted, or were ready, and they are using their hobbies or skills as a solo practitioner.
For some, a lifestyle adjustment was required. Many of us dream of the time when we make a lifestyle adjustment only for the better.
We are moving toward a more “you economy,” in which you call your own shots, you solve your own economic problems and you advance your lifestyle.
What if you could do all those things, and help others do the same?
What if the “you economy” were not forced upon you by necessity, but presented to you as a gift?
What if that bad situation – a job loss – became the best thing that ever happened to you?
To borrow from John Lennon, you may say you’re a dreamer, but you’re not the only one.
Peter

HOUSING MYTHS

#housing #LowIncomeHousing #poverty #gentrification
There are three myths in the housing market.
First, gentrification has as much to do with morals as with economics. Second, there is more poverty in cities than suburbs. Third, having low-income housing in one’s community reduces property values.
Darcel Rockett discussed these myths in an article for the Chicago Tribune, that was also published Dec. 18, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Since the term gentrification has many connotations, we won’t spend a lot of time discussing it. Suffice it to say, “We need to take the depth of ethical and moral disgust out of the name gentrifier, so that we can get people together and say this is something that we are a part of, but it’s also something bigger than us …. So how do we move forward?” Rockett quotes John Joe Schlichtman, an associate professor of sociology at DePaul University.
But let’s dive deeper into the other two. Poverty exists everywhere. It’s not an urban problem, suburban problem or a rural problem. Especially since the 2008 recession, you have many people who were once considered “middle class” suddenly without a job, or, suddenly losing their homes.
For some, one or both of those events can create instant poverty, regardless of where one lives.
Secondly, there are many people moving from the suburbs to the cities, essentially gentrifying some urban neighborhoods.
“The number of poor persons in suburban Chicago eclipsed the number in the City of Chicago in the last decade, and there are no signs of this trend reversing anytime soon,” Rockett quotes Scott Allard, a professor at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington.
That brings us to low-income housing’s effect on housing prices. Rockett quotes a 2016 Stanford Graduate School of Business analysis that reviewed low-income developments nationwide, funded by the low-income housing tax credit program. The impact of that housing on surrounding property values varied based on neighborhoods’ economic state and the number of minority residents, Rockett quotes the study.
“What the study finds is that the effects of putting one of these (low-income housing developments) in a neighborhood depends on the pre-existing conditions in that neighborhood,” Rockett quotes Anthony DeFusco, assistant professor of finance at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
What all of this tells us is that housing – just one segment of the overall economy – cannot be stereotyped. “Instead of building housing and targeting it” to people with income below a certain level, “if you just build more housing, and housing was more plentiful overall, prices in general would be lower and would be more affordable for everyone,” Rockett quotes DeFusco.
Are you living where you want to be living? If not, is it because of finances? Perhaps you need to look at ways to make more money that doesn’t involve a second W-2 job. There are many ways out there to earn extra money – perhaps even surpass the income from your primary job – by spending a few part-time, off-work hours a week. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
As the article intimates, it doesn’t matter how you label housing. Housing comes in all types and price ranges. You should be able to choose the housing, and location, that’s right for you. The more housing options available, the more affordable all housing becomes.
So, here’s hoping you are living where you want, in a place just right for you. Remember, too, that a house is a house. A home is created by the people living in it.
Peter

WORK UNTIL YOU ARE 70? REALLY?

#SuzeOrman #WorkUntilAge70 #retirement
Suze Orman has made a fine career of giving retirement and other financial advice.
But when she advises people to work until age 70, Wes Moss, who writes the Money Matters column in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and also has a radio show of the same name on WSB AM, begs to differ.
Moss discussed the matter in a Nov. 7, 2017, column.
Certainly, medical advances and the like have made living longer possible. Some folks may even enjoy their work to the point of never thinking about giving it up. Others may believe that the longer they are able to keep working, the better off they will be financially.
Moss points out that the latter is pretty much Orman’s philosophy. He quotes an old joke in financial circles: “How do you never run out of money for retirement? Work until you die,” Moss writes.
In Moss’ mind, perhaps the most important reason for not setting 70 as a retirement age is that “you may lose the sweet spot of your retirement – the years when you are healthy and active enough to live out your post-career dreams to the fullest,” he writes.
Certainly, the Social Security Administration has inched up the “full retirement” age to 67 from 65, where it was for decades. But Moss points to a Bloomberg News article that says Americans are retiring later, dying sooner and are sicker in between.
Here’s something else Moss points out: companies largely do not want older workers around. Younger workers are generally cheaper. So, even as workers approach middle age, they become vulnerable to being forced out of their jobs for one reason or another.
If you are among those who are nearing retirement, and don’t have lots of money saved, take heart. There are many ways out there you can make money in your spare time, say, a couple hours a week, without taking a second W-2 job, or working overtime (if available) in your first job. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
In short, unless you really love your job, think about retiring as soon as you are able. If you can foresee your job going away before you want it to, take measures to soften the blow when it comes. If you do the right things – spend less without depriving yourself, save more money, invest well etc. – you might even be able to walk out of your job with a smile.
As Moss says, you shouldn’t make it a goal to sacrifice the best years of your retirement by working those extra years. And, once you do retire, you shouldn’t waste time sitting at home, and not venturing out of your comfort zone. Have dreams. Fulfill them. Retire with no prejudices, no pretenses and no burdensome obligations.
That isn’t to say that there are some jobs that are so great, you don’t want to give them up unless you have to. But, chances are, no matter how good you are at what you do, eventually your employer is going to want you gone.
If you’re lucky, when your employer wants you gone, he or she will offer you a package to leave. If you get an offer like that, remember that few people who take them ultimately regret that decision. If you are being paid to leave, the message you should hear is that the employer want you out.
So, if you are a Suze Orman devotee, remember that not everyone agrees that one should work until he or she is 70. A better philosophy might be this: when is the SOONEST I can retire? Once you’ve determined that, think about not only how you are going to pull it off financially, but also what you will do with your new-found time.
Work, dream, save and retire.
Peter

PREPARE FOR COSTLY REPAIRS

#HomeRepairs #MoneyForHomeRepairs #RainyDayFund
It’s been said that if your (pick one: car, refrigerator, heating system) breaks down, you’ll always find the money to fix it.
That is true as long as you are prepared financially.
Erica Lamberg discussed preparing for costly home repairs in an article for GOBanking.com. It was also published in the Nov. 13, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Some people have a rainy day fund for such things. Others, who are not prepared, have to do without until they can come up with a way to pay for the repair.
As one can attest, it’s tough to live more than a few hours without your car, refrigerator or heating system.
Lamberg also talks about unexpected roof repairs. As she advises, though a roof is supposed to last 30 years, don’t wait that long to take preventative action. “A new roof, for an average-sized home – using medium-priced asphalt shingles – can cost at least $5,000 in most parts of the country, assuming that the sheathing is still sound,” Lamberg quotes Timothy G. Wiedman, a retired professor of management from Doane University in Nebraska.
She writes that Wiedman, who has bought, maintained, upgraded and sold several homes, said homeowners would be wise to start putting $600 to $700 a year into a roof replacement fund.
As for your heating system, Lamberg advises regular maintenance by a good local HVAC contractor. Twice a year, at the beginning of the heating and the beginning of the cooling seasons, is recommended.
“The proactive approach of being ready for the eventual changing of your equipment will save you money,: Lamberg quotes Gene Amick, with Climate Control Heating near Kansas City, Mo.
There are a number of things around your home that wear out over time. Sometimes, just regular maintenance helps prolong the life of those things. Other times, as in the case of your roof, or perhaps, your refrigerator, it’s best to have a fund that you can tap when replacement time comes.
Sometimes, having an income source that can help you pay for those things is warranted. There are a number of ways out there to earn extra money without having to get another traditional job, or begging your boss for raises. To check out one of the best – and you may find ways to save on new appliances and cars, too – message me.
Avoiding unexpected breakdowns is not just a money issue. It involves paying attention to things. The easiest way to get financially hammered by an unexpected repair is to ignore things. If you have a storm, particularly a hail storm, have your roof inspected. If you are lucky enough to have a good homeowner’s insurance policy, you might be able to get that new roof paid for.
Have your car regularly maintained. Regular oil changes over several years are cheaper than buying a new car. A good rule of thumb for vehicles is not only to get regular maintenance, but also to do the math on repairs. If the repairs become too frequent and expensive, a new car may be in order.
Most people do save for new cars, and plan their new-car purchases. But for those unexpected breakdowns, make sure you have a fund to cover the repairs.
Don’t let unexpected household repairs or purchases break you. Plan ahead. Have a source of funds readily available so you don’t have to do without for too long.
Peter

RURAL AREAS NEED ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, BUT …

#RuralAmerica #EconomicDevelopment #jobs #employment
Rural areas want to boost their economy.
They want to attract companies/employers who can employ lots of people who are now out of work for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is where they live.
Kyle Wingfield, a columnist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, took on this issue, as it applies to rural Georgia, in an Aug. 27, 2017, column.
“There are a lot of different factors that affect the quality (of the workforce),” Wingfield quotes Amy Lancaster, director of workforce development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. “The education system is a big piece of that … but the opioids (epidemic), criminal justice reform – all those things have a big impact, so it’s hard to limit or confine it to one issue or agency,” the quote continued.
Regarding the education system, Wingfield discussed the community college system with Lancaster. “The course offerings may not be aligned with local demand, at least not from the employer side,” Wingfield quotes her. In other words, what the employers want the students to learn is not what the students themselves want to take.
She told Wingfield that there are no incentives for colleges, either two-year or four-year, to offer what the employers really need students to learn.
Let’s break this down further. Rural areas, be they in Georgia or any other state, have a distinct disadvantage to urban areas in terms of attracting employers. It’s difficult to attract the type of talent employers seek because the workers they want to attract, usually young and fairly educated, don’t want to move to a rural area. They look for the multitude of life options urban areas provide in abundance. And those workers already living in rural areas may not be the type of workers Company X needs.
Secondly, though there is relatively high unemployment in rural areas, it doesn’t appear that people are willing to do what it takes to become more employable. In other words, if a company needs, say, welders, and people are not willing to take the necessary training to become a welder, there’s a mismatch between the supply of employable people and the demand for the needed skills.
From the worker’s perspective, he may think, “is it worth my time to get the extra training that Company X wants me to have, only to find that a year or two later, the employer demands something else – or needs to reduce staff — and I’m no longer needed?”
Many workers who thought they had secure jobs have lost them, so it’s easy to figure out why they would ask whether the extra training and effort would be worth it in the long run.
An example might be truck driving. Would a prospective new truck driver want to go through all the training that it might take, only to discover a few years later that his company will be going to driverless vehicles?
Welders may be in demand now, but will they be replaced by robots later?
It’s a tough position all around. But, if you are a prospective worker who is examining what to do with your life, you might want to think outside the box. There are plenty of ways out there to make a potentially sizeable income, without a W-2 job, if you are open to checking them out. To learn about one of the best, message me.
If you are an employer, consider that workers willing to be retrained for the skills you need now will want some assurance that they will be able to adapt as your technology changes. And, in fact, that they will still be welcome as needs change. So, it’s not only the educational institutions that need incentives to offer courses in skills employers need, the workers, too, need incentives that a decent future awaits them, if they make the effort to be retrained.
It’s not just technical skills that employers look for. The so-called soft skills – being able to work as a team, being friendly and attentive to customers etc. – can be just as important to employers.
It’s a tough world. Good things come to those willing to adapt. How you adapt – and how you think about the future – could make all the difference in your success.
Peter