Sixteen tons, whatdya get?
: Glenn Reynolds has a followup column looking at the impact on politics, crime, and family of the new cottage-industry, self-employed economy emerging from the never-ending restructuring of American industry. There’s one more thing: It has an impact on mood.
Last weekend, I was talking with two local friends, one who was laid off about six months ago, the other who was laid off two weeks ago. They were comparing notes about what to do next; that’s a conversation I hear often these days, in many different quarters and it often sounds the same: These people don’t want to go back to work at the big company; they’re younger than I am but they’re burned-out (“disillusioned,” is their word); they’re not looking forward to working for the next boss; they’re fed up. There’s a chicken-and-egg question in this: What causes this mood — the reality of the job situation these days or age? There’s a followup chicken-and-egg question: What impact will this have on the work ethic of this and the next generation? Will work for companies continue to become less appealing? Will our children see that in us? Will we work harder for ourselves? Will be work more sanely for ourselves?