Teens, Jobs, and The Economy

More young teens than ever might be looking for jobs this summer as money is tight in many families. Many teens start looking for jobs when they get around the age of 15 or 16 as they enter high school and need money for dating and cars. This year though, many 13 and 14 year olds might be interested in finding some job or way to make money. How old does a child have to be to get a real job?

The US government has a set of laws that lays the groundwork for what kind of jobs teens can get and at what age they can get those jobs. For instance, any job that is considered dangerous or hazardous cannot be performed by anyone younger than 16 years old. Jobs involving heavy machinery and chemicals would fall into this category. Once you are 16 or older, you might be allowed to do some of those jobs or all of them. Additionally, each state has its own set of rules that need to be followed concerning child employment.

Teens that set out to find their first job are often scared and rightly so. It is uncharted territory for them and in many cases it will be their first foray out into the real world. This year might be an especially bad time to be looking for that first job as the economy is horrendous and they might face an unusually high amount of rejection. It is a bad situation for both employers and job seekers.

Very young teens will probably not qualify for many real jobs and most of them will probably be snapped up very quickly. This year, older teens and even adults may be happy to get any job they can and will take jobs that they might ordinarily have turned down in other years. This means younger teens will have to think of other ways to make money by perhaps doing odd jobs around the neighborhood such as pet sitting and weeding.

Summer is already here and those that started their job search early might already have jobs. If you are a teen just beginning to look, you should be aware that the road ahead might be long and frustrating. Patience will be the key as this could turn out to be one of the worst summers to be looking for a job in recent memory.

Health And The Economy

We normally do not think that health is related to economics other than with regard to the costs of medical care. But there is another more fundamental way money impacts our wellbeing. If you could not pay your bills or had to worry about where the next meal would come from, would you be thinking about health, or survival? When we are trying to stay alive moment-to-moment we don’t think about food choices, supplements, organic farming, animal welfare or environmental issues. Those considerations are a “luxury” dependent upon economic capability. But they are a luxury we must have if we are to live a reflective life and survive on planet Earth. Without a robust economy, you can pretty much forget about people being environmental, health conscious, or even civil to one another. In starving nations, war is endemic, disease rampant and the environment is only a raw material to be ravaged to hopefully live to the next day.

The emerging world economy will ultimately place great economic stress on the United States. It already has. Thousands of jobs are being lost to overseas companies employing workers requiring a fraction of the wages demanded here. People in America increasingly try to maintain a standard of living through debt. This is great for all the banks popping up on almost every street corner, but bad for the people. Just in the past year there have been almost two million personal bankruptcies declared.

To compete in the marketplace, companies must keep their costs down. If that means shifting manufacturing elsewhere, that’s what will be done. India, China and other Eastern rim countries are the beneficiaries of this shift in manufacturing and labor pool. While American workers are clamoring for things to return to the way they were with high wages and generous benefits, workers in developing countries are happy as can be having a job for five dollars a day.

This trend will not go away with “buy American” banners or political rhetoric about treaties, minimum wages and outsourcing. The global economy is here to stay and that will mean the American standard of living will retract and the developing world’s will improve. Expect a decline in the standard of living, falling wages and investment insecurity.

Government is not the solution, since it produces nothing but only takes. Government saps an economy, it does not create it. The more that government is hands off, the better the economic vitality. A robust private sector economy (environmentally responsible), on the other hand, is not the enemy as it is so often portrayed, but is critical to financial vitality.

Capitalism is not in itself a demon since it merely provides the mechanism for prosperity and with that the opportunity for a society to focus on matters of health and altruism. It works well if ambition and hard work, not merely greed, are its tools.

The inevitable decline of our standard of living is an inevitable and irreversible trend for the foreseeable future. It should concern us not because we want to see American super abundance continue, but because those who are unaware and get caught as casualties in this economic downturn will suffer in so many ways. The world is no longer business as usual.
Good health is not just about diets, supplements, organic foods and aerobics. It’s also about being safe, like driving carefully, not standing on the top of a stepladder, wearing safety glasses when chipping stone…and working hard, keeping our financial house in order and supporting societal choices that do the same.

Life is not surety, and neither is our economy. Nevertheless, hard work and prudent management will never be replaced and is as close to security as we can ever get. It, not entitlements and guarantees, is what ultimately creates the financial footing we need for good health and a sustainable, better and more peaceful world.

Economic Globalization and the Economy Downturn

Economic globalization has stealthily crept up on us over the last fifty or sixty years. The economy downturn has exploded suddenly by comparison in the last eighteen months (as at March 2009). This article will show you how the two are inextricably connected.

Economic globalization and the economy downturn are almost like two sides of the same coin. But most people are unable to see it that way. How many people can actually say they’ve been aware of a phenomenon that can be described as “globalization”? It exists in the public perception as only a hazy idea, even a good one, for is it not the reason why we can buy all those must-have gadgets in their eye-catching packaging for such low prices?

Here in the UK, and I know in most other western counties as well, we have in our shops and showrooms cars, TVs, electronic gadgets and household goods at prices well below what they once commanded, and this has been the case for many years now. It’s nothing to do with the reduced prices ushered in with the credit crunch as retailers try desperately to boost flagging sales.

No, these manufactured goods are cheap because the labour force that works long hours in far eastern factories is prepared to accept wages that we in the west could never live on. They’re happy to accept the equivalent of $50 or so a week, often less, and the Chinese government is happy to have a healthy trade surplus and comparatively full employment.

But the fact of the matter is that these cheap consumer goods come with a fatal side-effect. Anyone with a couple of brain cells to rub together knows that we really should be making these products ourselves. After all, we in the west for the most part produced the technology and the genius that led to the invention and development of these electronic marvels in the first place. So why is it that we have to import them from the far east?

Another thing is this. How long can we go on doing so before we as a nation run out of money to pay for them?

Certainly in the case of the United Kingdom and the United States, we ran out of money long ago. Both are effectively bankrupt states, unable to repay their foreign loans if repayment were demanded. This is unlikely, perhaps, because if China, for example, being the leading creditor country of both the UK and the USA, demanded repayment of all the pounds and dollars owed to it, both countries would be forced to default.

What would happen next? Either the collapse of trade or a massive devaluation of the pound and the dollar to render them worth only a fraction of their previous value. And each of these outcomes would be disastrous to China, whose economy depends on the present charade continuing ad infinitum.

Already the recession has impacted this arrangement. Spiraling unemployment in the west has led to a collapse in demand for consumer goods, and this in turn has led to a sharp rise in unemployment in the far east including China.

Economic globalization, long held dear by establishment economists and ignorant politicians, is proving to be a disaster for every country. It’s the modern-day equivalent of “free trade”, which caused so much suffering to the working classes of western countries throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It embraces the “free movement of labour” and the “free movement of capital” that are policies enshrined in the treaties of international bodies such as the corrupt, so-called “EuropeanUnion”.

What these fine-sounding slogans really mean is that huge, international manufacturing corporations responsible for producing everything from cars and computers to essential medical and technical equipment, and everything in between, are free to slash their labour costs by moving production to the far east (“free  movement of capital”) and if the poor, wretched working people of the west find they are subsequently out of work, why, they can move around the globe until they find a job (“free movement of labour”), provided they will accept the lowest wages being paid anywhere.

The collapse in manufacturing capacity that this process has brought about in western countries may have benefited the Superclass of David Rothkopf’s book, who undoubtedly own and control most of the world’s wealth, including its productive capacity. But it has been disastrous for individual nations, including the ordinary working folk. The cost is not just financial, but social as well, as unemployed youngsters with no future turn to drugs and crime, encouraged to do this as they are by insanely liberal criminal laws.

Next time you hear some university professor or politician praising globalization / free trade or warning us against “protectionism” you may want to challenge them along the lines set out in this article.