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Old 09-05-2009, 08:33 PM   #1
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An age of billionaires and lost children

Intellectuals reacted strongly against the hierarchical British culture of the early 20th Century, but it seemed to produce a large number of hardworking and well-balanced adults. Before and after the Second World War, Britain would have expected to be in the top quarter of any table on the welfare of children.
In common with the other industrial powers, Britain had a strong demand for labour in the post-war period, with well-paid, skilled workers operating modern plants. A skilled worker in a car factory could then expect a job for life at a satisfactory level of pay.

By the end of the Fifties, pioneers of automation, such as Sir Leon Bagrit, were warning that many of these lifelong jobs would cease to exist - they were proved right.

Many middle-managers had an equal degree of job security, with pay at a professional level. This solid basis of employment created a sense of social security.

This world has finished. The lifetime job is now a rarity. Very few families expect to live on the pay of a single family member for 40 years or more. Some lifetime jobs survive in the public sector, but even they are not as common as they were. Nor, once lost, are they likely to return.

Today's British children are growing up in the 'information age'. Rather to people's surprise, the information age has also proved to be the age of billionaires. This was not intended or foreseen, but it is what the global market has produced.

The most important theoretical discovery of Karl Marx was that changes in the technology of production create changes of culture. In the past 20 years, electronic systems have revolutionised global systems of communication and, therefore, global trade.
The information age has accelerated the process of change.

It has liquidated unsuccessful competitors in the corporate world, and is continuing to do so. It has also liquidated the security of the worker and the family. This has left people with a feeling that they can only rely on themselves because there are few institutions left which will protect them.

This is not how it was meant to happen. The information age was supposed to create wealth rather than destroy it. In terms of jobs and profit, the new age has been better at cutting out competitors than at creating models that will produce stable wealth.

We shall need to create a new business model if we are to restore the stability of the family to children's lives.

WILLIAM REES-MOGG: This is the age of billionaires - and feral children | Mail Online

At 80, William Ress-Mogg is still one of the most thought-provoking commentators out there.

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Old 09-06-2009, 06:51 AM   #2
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sounds a bit like a continuation of Friedman's The World Is Flat

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.”
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:08 PM   #3
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To me sounds a bit more like Richard Florida's claim that globalization has made the world spiky.
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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And globalization has made the billionaires even wealthier.
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