The big shift

There is a local first nations leader, Chief Clarence Louis. He leads the Osoyoos nation and he’s a business man, he’s funny, and he’s a hard ass.

The Osoyoos band though, has shifted remarkably into capitalizing on the resources of the reservation in a modern fashion, adapting to the tourism industry that the Okanagan is known for, and employing it’s people in the process.

The industries they chose are reasonably sustainable, and aren’t founded on mining, logging or removal of the resources There, and as tourism in the Okanagan goes, the industries are adaptable and are open to complimentary business.

Back to Chief Louis though.

As I said before, he’s a hard ass, he’s pushing for all first nations people to work. And for the young men to pull up their boot straps. And I think that he has many lessons to offer society in general.

For all of the hard working men and women out there, regardless of whether they are on a traditional career path, blazing trails, or at home rearing children (quite often with part time work), there are many people of all ages that aren’t working.

There are a myriad of reasons people don’t or can’t work, and I’m not writing to pass judgement, but to question how we view work in an economy that is changing rapidly.

If the estimates are remotely accurate, 25 percent of the workforce by 2025 will be replaced via automation. Add to that, the baby boomers that are marching towards retirement – a whopping 29 percent of the population of Canada alone, we are looking at almost 50 percent of the nation’s adult population unemployed and or unemployable at the same time.

That means government income tax revenue is going to take an incredible hit, yet will still be expected to provide the same level of social welfare programs.

The people working for the federal government have known about the pension shortfall coming with the baby boomers retiring en masse for at least 25 years, and yet are still ill prepared for it, and with the addition of the wild card that is automation, we are staring point blank at a very real fiscal crisis.

Not to mention the social implications of having half of the population with little to do to fill their lives and give them a sense of purpose and belonging.

Most himans thrive on feeling needed and wanted in their community on some level. They wish to contribute and derive dignity, purpose and varying types of relationships through work, and community service, and a livable income.

How do we ensure that people aren’t going to be left behind in this futuristic world that we’re building?

Shanty towns of impoverished people build along side the most advanced technological society that humanity can conceive at the moment seems like an absolutely ridiculous notion.

The concept has been explored for more than half a century, with varying outcomes in many fictional universes, it’s a reality in some cities around the world already.

As a person that sees the value in humanity, and the potential in individuals, I wonder what kind of solution could be created to move all of civilization forward, not just a select few (That will all likely become obsolete once full automation becomes a reality)

The Venus Project is a great concept, and as we begin to merge ourselves with technology, it could be better adapted to al people’s needs.

But the construct of money needs to be looked at, consumerism in itself is going to be a thing of the past if so many people aren’t going to be working.

A basic income is a great stop gap and it’s being tested, a town in Albert a has guaranteed housing for all people, and on a socioeconomic level it’s apparently going well.

But it all goes back to human contributions to this new society that is emerging. We need to do stuff, have something to wake up for, or we degrade.

Chief Louis is right, people need to work, we need to adapt, and have purpose. We also need a kick in the rear, because we are sitting on the pot with our pants down, and the door is unlocked.

It’s just a matter of time before inevitability strolls through the door and has a good laugh at our expense.

It’s time for the movers and shakers to pull up their boot straps, for the average Joe to prepare for a starkly different reality.


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