Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Ramping Up

The economy is building from the pandemic lows. Several industries, mostly in services, are coming back to life. Bars. Restaurants. Travel transportation and lodging outlets. More are returning to activity that has been moribund for over a year.

During that period, businesses have disappeared, mostly small ones. Entrepreneurs have been busy, however, and are plotting their return to markets. Lenders, consultants, mentors, and others have been at work helping those entrepreneurs jump into new businesses. Just you wait!

Manufacturing has shifted to new methods. Robotics have replaced some processes. Some products are no longer needed, same with some of the laborers. It is a new world that is building. Finding people and processes that will mesh smoothly will take time.

Of course, ideological people will turn their hand to misleading the public about what is happening. They will turn this into politics that destroy not build. More of the same negativity we have lived through for the past 5 years in particular; longer if you count the decline of one party in particular.

No; the truth is the economy is coming back to life but not in the same old way. It will take time for the economy and all of its moving parts to find the right balances, resources and support to find its way to a new equilibrium. Labor is one aspect of this. Skillsets is another. Infrastructure yet another.

Supply chains, distribution networks and customer bases that are willing and able to shift to new standards and behavior. None of this is automatic. None of this is easily changed to smooth operations. It takes time to give birth to the new.

So, a bunch of people thought a million new jobs would jump to life? No; that was not reasonable for many reasons.

First, the unemployed or underemployed are not your usual low wage workers. Instead, they are the managers, technical creators, entrepreneurs, and risk takers that require strong wages and salaries to lure back to work. These are people who once earned $90k to $150k. They will not work for $15/hour, nor should they. An employee jettisoned in the pandemic is not going to adopt a new career greet at Walmart, or restocking shelves at the local grocery chain. It would be a horrible waste. More, it would be a travesty to the person and his/her psyche.

Second, birthing a new normal takes time and planning to get it right. Risk taking is one dimension of this; but risk ‘giving’ by others to make it happen takes time to make it right. Bankers, investors, mentors, coaches, and a host of other collaborators, need time to help in ways that help. Together, they come together to build, to construct.

If low paying jobs are what current employers want to offer, let them embrace a wave of new immigrants to sweeten the labor pool. Just do not count on that remaining the same. Those good folks will create their own jobs, businesses and careers and the low paying jobs will go begging again. Better if we know this and accommodate it now.

America has always been resilient to changing ideas and commerce. And quality of life. Just watch her adjust to the enormous challenge of getting past a pandemic. But first, give her time!

May 12, 2021


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