pattern language, politics

How To Get The Jobs Back

I have more than once insisted that things are working reasonably well considering. I assume the untold story now is the number of entrepreneurial and visionary sorts who are completely content with the fact that the jobs that are vanishing need not come back.

The first things they think about are values. What in god’s name will people pay for these days? People will pay for comfort and health but these are no longer to be identified with houses and cars. They are identified with new forms of dwelling and new forms of transportation. It will be hit or miss for a while but a transition from ownership to renting is a hint in the right direction.

Values — what people want is a chance to enjoy public space without being placed in an interminable line, subject to mayhem and hassling and feeling lost in a crowd. Where are the visionaries and entrepreneurs who will put this value into practice by advocating for and creating decent new public spaces where people can sit in some security and enjoy the passing scene?

I have pattern language posts here with tons of specific ideas that suggest new products and economies, but all I am hearing is restarting so we can have more of the same — cars and single homes scattered from here to the far reaches of Mongolia. We are not in a credit crisis. We are in an idea crisis.


We get the jobs back by letting go and putting our minds to work. We acknowledge that there are already people working to create a new way of living. We give up cautious capitalism for adventurous investment in real things that are on the ground. We acknowledge that the market is working fine. When we say no, it means that we want something else. People cannot spend for what is not being offered. Where there is no vision people perish.

We give up on the idea that we just need to get credit flowing. What we need to get flowing is ideas and visions. Let’s stop living on credit and live on new values that raise us from lemming status to something a trifle more dignified.

Please read Our Crisis Is Not Economic for context.


2 thoughts on “How To Get The Jobs Back

  1. Jami Baars says:

    For all concerned:

    I (an american) was living in Holland with my husband (who is dutch) and my two children. I moved back here on august 31st of 2008. I have a BA in criminal justice and graduated with honors. Since then, I have networked, applied for jobs daily, called HR people, spoken to people by phone, gone to headhunters/temp agencies, interviewed and still today, I have no job. My husband is in school now which gives us currently 2 student loans to worry about. So, I am sitting here, we have no jobs, two children and a degree. How scary is this? Thankfully, we are staying with my moms sister so we are able to have a roof over our heads. The second issue remains on healthcare. My children and I have currently received medicaid but the medicaid does not cover (for myself) anything at a dental office, other than 1 cleaning a year and 1 set of xrays. I just went to a dental office and was told I needed almost 1,500 dollars (out of pocket) of work done to prevent further cavities and possible root canal. This amount may not be devastating to some people but it is to us, as there has been no income. Any money we had saved is all depleted on kids clothes, shoes, some food and school fees. I sit here so worried and feel there is not a darn thing i can do about these continuous necessities (not desires) without a job that can support 4 of us. I ask myself…would I have paid 35,000 in loans for a BA degree if I knew there was no job at the end of it? I ask myself, how can all this government money, which has been approved to help states get back on their feet, actually help provide more jobs and help healthcare when we already have thousands claiming medicaid and unemployment (which i dont get since i have not worked in usa in 5 years)? Is not all this money going to be depleted in this area before it can even put a dent into helping our society get into jobs again? I am 33 going on 34, and I do not remember a time when it was this hard. I am scared and frustrated and as a parent, where children are totally dependent, feel hopeless, and I cant even afford to get my teeth done even bc there is just no money there. I am not one of those who is buying myself clothes, cars, homes, getting massages, etc….I am one american who is only concerned with the necessities in life….if these cant be meant.. It bothers me a great deal that these CEO’s are getting thousands of dollars, if not millions, from the government for obscene raises and unneccesary items in times such as these. I feel what is preached is jaded and this sort of hypocrisy has to stop.

  2. ding says:

    Please, the shortage is not ideas. The shortage is not credit. The shortage is morality. As long as people continue to serve their self interests, we will continue to suffer. We have not had a failure of capitalism, we have had a failure of morality.

    I am still waiting for change. Change is measured through actions, not rhetoric. As near as I can tell, the actions being considered are based on party interest and agenda; not the People’s best interest. And to make matters worse, they are inefficient, not transparent, and disingenuous. Good luck, we need it.

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