A New Era?
The funny thing about this new administration is that I feel calmer, but I am also feeling more vulnerable. The reality of a post-Covid world is starting to dawn.
During Covid I could sit in my home, surrounded by my family, work, cook, clean, and tend to my children. My world became really small. A big trip was to the supermarket or maybe to Costco.
Now people in my community are being vaccinated; kids are starting to go back to school, AND people I know are reaching the end of their reserves. Yes, the new legislation offers a small amount of money; but, in reality, it is not a lot to tide people over for very long. Yes, the rent subsidies may continue. The reality is we are simply pushing that big, ugly, horrible, frightening day of reckoning a tiny bit further down the road.
What are we really going to do when the small businesses that no longer exist are not there to bring jobs, taxes, and services to their local residents? What are we going to do with all the people who no longer have a place to go, a place to work?
The college graduates of 2008 got displaced during the last economic collapse. The grads of 2009 who took their place got entry-level jobs while the grads of 2008 were left on the outside of things looking in. Will the same thing be said of the graduates of 2020?
After sharing my concerns with a man named Chris Ziomek, I started to feel like we have options. We could turn things around and mostly, what was required was a change of mind coupled with a change in values.
Chris is the CEO at Build With Robots. Build With Robots had created an automation technology platform that it uses to develop new robotic tools and to launch new robotic ventures. These tools will be used by the next generation of workers and can be anything from Amazon’s distribution center robots to a robot whose job is to disinfect bathrooms. Robots and automation are not replacing workers – instead, robots are changing the nature of work. Creativity, problem-solving, and working with your hands are highly valuable skills within this new work environment.
Here’s what I learned:
Which of the following professionals is paid the least?
- Branch Manager for a Bank
- Senior Plumber
- Lifeguard at Newport Beach, CA
The answer, of course, is Branch Manager, at $67,000 per year in salary. They are exempt so they are not paid overtime. Senior Plumbers make about $69,000 per year plus overtime. Welder makes $83,000 plus overtime. Longshoremen make $100,000 per year plus overtime. Lifeguards in Newport Beach earn about $120,000. Which of these jobs requires a college degree? The answer, of course, is only the Branch Manager job requires a degree.
Chris believes the middle class of the future will be made up of people in the trades. Plumbers, Electricians, Technicians, Welders, Repair Specialists all make above the national average income for a family of 4 and all require about 2 years of training/apprenticeship. While everyone is perusing their college degree and racking up debt, the people who will make the real money will be the people with skills.
Transportation cost increases are making building things in America more and more attractive.