Last week I sent out an email on my thoughts about the election from the viewpoint of one private business owner. Many of you spent a lot of time thinking about last week’s post and sending me very thoughtful responses. I thought it might be a good idea to bring a few of them to you so we can continue the thought process our general election started.
The reason I say put our country back together again because I think we are a broken country right now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the United States be as polarized as we are now…..or at least in my lifetime.
My goal with this post is to start a healing conversation…..One where we can think about what’s important for us as individuals and as a society. Why don’t we see if can find some common ground in at least some of these comments?
Here’s a comment from Jim R. that completely captures one of my ongoing themes: What we need are more electricians, plumbers, HVAC technicians, appliance repairmen, etc. In other words, tradesmen. The microchip is not going to replace the guy who comes to your house to fix your furnace or your broken pipes. I have numerous friends who own companies in these fields, and they can’t find nearly enough qualified employees. And as a consumer, it takes days to get someone out to the house.
My comment: The last time I checked there were over 3,000,000 open good blue-collar jobs in the US. We do have a mismatch between job skills and open jobs. That’s something I hope we all agree is an issue.
From Michael Coyle on immigration: You did not touch on immigration and our economy, but we have this all wrong. We let people overstay their visas and others to just walk across the border. On the other hand, we educated droves of engineers, medical professionals, and business professionals who are here on a student visa. When they graduate, we send them home, even if they want to stay. We need their skills to grow our economy, yet we send them away to compete with us. Makes no sense. We need to have an economic plan surrounding immigration and not a social plan.
My comment: I’ve always thought that if you have a graduate degree and want to stay in the US, you should receive a green card. The shortage we have in people trained in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is at a critical shortage. To maintain our competitiveness, we should be welcoming those who have these degrees with open arms.
From Tom Martin on microchips: Mexico didn’t steal our jobs, the micro-chip did is so right. Technology has played a major role in changing our economy and the jobs that people do. Unfortunately faster than many people have been able to adapt. Darwinian theory is at work and it seems this is where the role of government could have a hand. As a person, business owner or employee, as things change around you, you either “adapt or die.” It’s that simple.
My comment: I believe this is one of the major issues we face as a nation. No longer can someone just go to high school and come out with the knowledge that we need for modern factories. We can and should provide education so a much larger group can participate in the new economy. We need it for our businesses and our population in general.
From Cathy Carroll on those of who are left behind: And while all that progress was made, we left people behind. The gift of democracy is that now we know it. We changed too fast. Of course, the system responded the way it did. The system responded exactly as it was meant to respond. Two steps forward, one step back. Our fellow citizens who feel disenfranchised said “Hey now. We’re still here, and you can’t ignore us!” Yup, we cannot. Democracy is hard, and I wouldn’t want any other form of government in the world.
My comment: The new economy has left too many of us behind. Our leaders in Washington on both sides of the aisle have ignored this group as it’s grown to be ever larger. I’m hoping that we find a way to bring those who have been left behind back into our mainstream economy and the middle class. I believe the future of our country depends on it which means the future of our businesses also depends on it.
From Randy Rowland on what he sees coming in the future: After the beast will come generations who were raised in a time that never saw the phenomenon of well-paying factory work and one employer for a lifetime.
My comment: I would rather not refer to what happened as the beast. And yes, there will be a future time where the gig economy and working in seven to fifteen jobs over a lifetime will be something that is normal. In the meantime, we are going through a very painful transition from the old new to the new normal. Those transitions are always very tough.
What I learned from the more than fifty comments I received…… We all are a little scared and worried about what the future will hold. This thought was true from those from all sides of the political spectrum. We’re just going to have to work together to help each other which means looking outside ourselves to our greater society.
Thanks to all of you who responded last week. I read all your comments with interest, and if you didn’t get a response, it was because your email somehow ended up in our spam filter and I missed it.
Why don’t you leave a comment below about your thoughts and how the election affects your business.
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PSS. If you own a business and don’t know when you’re going to leave, it might be a good idea for you to think about having a financial plan done for you. I have a way of doing plans for business owners that include solutions and not just the problems that you could be facing. Click here to set a time for us to talk about what a plan might mean for you.