We need to take back responsibility for our lives

Global economies and global leaders are failing the people. The current turmoil happening in the markets has shown this to be sadly true.

During times of economic growth the problems were hidden or mostly ignored. Now that the depression has led to millions of people joining the unemployed ranks, economists need to sit up and take note. This present model is not working.

During the industrial revolution the ordinary working person traded the anxieties and ups and downs of having ones own small business for the security of full time employment. For that deal to work, it seems, the worker had to give up all rights.

Sure the trade unions have won some rights back. But during the present economic times the trade unions are back-pedaling rapidly and many of those rights are being eroded again.

The original deal went something like this. You can kick me around, mistreat me, pay me a slave wage as long as you employ me for the duration of my work life and then pay me a below cost of living pension.

A few people managed to start at the slave level and work their way up, but not that many. Mostly the top positions have gone to the previous ruling class. Those are the ones who can afford the right education and to pay for the favours required to reach the top. How do you think George W Bush got his MBA from Harvard Business School?

This system is still in place. The ruling class, now no longer royalty but represented by wealth, continues to pick up the good bits leaving the scraps for ordinary people. And even the scraps can disappear leaving the people without anything.

What in fact has happened is that the worker has lost his job. First he lost all his rights, now he has even lost his job and this while the ruling class are still retaining their jobs and receiving enormous bonuses.

But that’s not all. As economies grew the hunt for profits has increasingly become the main reason for businesses to exist.  To maximise profits the overheads had to be cut. Guess who fell into overheads. You got it. The workers. I always want to vomit when some self-important CEO proclaims that his staff are their biggest asset.

As GDP grew and countries became wealthier, no such growth and wealth distribution happened in the lower ranks of the people with other words the large base of the pyramid.

A prime example of this is South Africa. During recent years economic growth hovered around the 5% and unemployment at the same time at about 40%.  All this economic growth has done is hugely enrich a small band of people who managed to be the first in the queue when the tap got turned on.

Not only is the global economy not serving the people of the world but education is failing the people. Before the industrial revolution the ordinary people learned their trades and professions while working. They learnt everything about it, the skills as well as how to manage the money.

Nothing about the education system nowadays teaches young people how to survive in the modern world. All preparation goes into ensuring the school leaver can enter a college or university or to become a worker in a factory.

Not much effort is put into equipping the school leaver with skills to earn a living on their own. With other words the education system produces drones that the global economy can use to further enrich the few leaders pulling the economic strings.

Yet the modern economy has moved away from providing large scale employment. In the USA the unemployed numbers are nearing 10 million. But none of these people are able or have the skills to make a living on their own. They have never been taught or encouraged to be independent.

It’s broke. In more ways than one. One thing is for certain though, the ordinary people out there will have to take back responsibility for their lives and start making things happen for themselves again.

We know one thing for sure. The leaders of the global economy are not going to do it for the workers. They haven’t for the last few hundred or so years and they are certainly not going to do it now. They haven’t even bothered to reduce their huge bonuses while scores of people lose their jobs.

We all need to wake up to the realities and start doing it for ourselves again.