Who’s Going to Do the Work and At What Price?

Prices are going up. For years, we’ve been told we’re in a deflationary period. Economists have further opined that the retirement of the Baby Boomers would be deflationary. But I’m thinking they’re wrong. 

I recall when I ran a chemical company wondering who was going to replace all the Boomer engineers and other workers on our payroll.  A lot of labor was going to retire from 2015-2025, and it wasn’t clear to me who was going to replace them.

Demographics dictate a lot. Just ask colleges, who are still experiencing a decline in overall enrollment and a steady stream of closures. Just ask most employers, too: they can’t find qualified workers. Sometimes, they can’t even find unqualified workers.

The result is inevitable: escalating costs driven largely by higher wages. This is good news for younger people. It’s not so good for retirees.

From my perspective, it’s nice to see the pendulum swing in favor of labor. Sure, it will impair corporate profits and eventually hit stock prices. But that’s O.K. The winners will be the workers — the people who are trying to make ends meet, to afford medical insurance, to send their kids to college. They need higher wages. They deserve higher wages.

Meanwhile, there are those who say computers and robots, and AI, will displace multitudes of workers. Perhaps. In time. But not yet.

I love the dynamic nature of the economy. It constantly tees up challenges and opportunities.

You have to stay on your toes, Vera. Nothing stays the same for long. Change is constant. New opportunities arise daily.

Stay current. Keep in touch with what’s actually happening.

There is fun to be had.

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