Thoughts on Jobs: Jobs for Everyone!

September 30, 2008

Well, that’s the idea.

We’ve been talking about this passage from Acts recently. How does a group go about fulfilling everyone’s needs? It does seem difficult to coordinate, especially as the size of the group increases – even a family of four or five sometimes leaves a member out at times, how could 100 or 30,706 possibly accomplish this?

The problem of meeting everyone’s needs parallels the problem of finding jobs for everyone. Everyone has something to contribute to society (1 Corinthians 12:7). As we work together, our overall wealth as a society increases (called comparative advantage). But, how do you possibly find a place for everyone?

Here are two opposing forces I see in this problem:

Innovation: As we develop new technologies or processes, make things or perform services more efficiently, we increase the average standard of living. Unfortunately, we also reduce the number of jobs in a given industry (I’ll get to this in a second).

Imagination: As we have more and more people unemployed due to innovation, we need to be creative as to how they can contribute to society. This creates jobs.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: once upon a time we were hunters and homemakers. Someone innovated; “farming” was born. Now a few farmers could feed many people. That innovation put a lot of hunters out of business. So, they became cooks and builders and sheriffs…and actresses and novelists.

So, how do you find a place for everyone in this machine we call an economy? I have no clue. I think we need to be imaginative and find the things that are worth paying for (and not reducing them to commodities).

How do we coordinate the large number of people with their talents and resources to fulfill each other’s needs? For the math geeks, it seems like an NP problem. For the non-geeks, it’s freakin hard. Near impossible, I’d say.

Unless we can somehow get over ourselves and selflessly give our talents and resources. Yeah, selfishness seems to find prices points on supply-demand charts, and it seems to distribute resources well enough now. But surely we can do better.

Thoughts? (sorry for the long one, folks)


6 Responses to “Thoughts on Jobs: Jobs for Everyone!”

  1. […] does anyone read this blog anymore? (If so, go comment on this post – Thanks! …I guess it’s pretty lame to beg for comments….well, we all already […]

  2. michaelbreza Says:

    I say that I feel the burden with you. Tonight I went to a migrant worker camp and participated in a worship service. It’s incredibly sad how people must work just to earn a few dollars.

  3. Jon Smock Says:

    I was thinking about this today in the car again. Is it possible to build a better CareerLink/

  4. Jon Smock Says:

    What do you think the #1 hindrance is for the unemployed to not find a job? (weird wording)

  5. jacqueline horning Says:

    mmm, the fact that they have more than one #1 hindrance.

  6. […] It says Japans agricultural population is shrinking, and I think that’s to be expected. […]

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