Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's Avant-Garde Now? Social Innovation

What qualifies as true avant-garde? Degrowth qualifies--and very little else.


In the 20th century, avant-garde was a term primarily reserved for the arts: fine arts, music, performance and literature. Avant garde--literally fore-guard or vanguard-- challenges the conventions of Status Quo measures of beauty and departs from traditional forms and conceptions of value.

In many cases, the departure is designed to shock traditionalists by flaunting accepted norms; by traditional standards, avant-garde art is ugly or disturbing, avant-garde music is atonal and unmelodic, avant-garde theatre flouts conventional narrative structure and avant-garde social movements upend traditional morals and values.

Virtually all design and art fields have been continually disrupted by avant-garde movements, to the point that the conventional consumerist economy now depends on avant-garde (or perhaps quasi-avant-garde) to create "the new" that can be sold at a profit to differentiate the in-crowd from those (sigh--how sad) left behind.

Many forms of avant-garde disrupt "high-brow" conventions of art, music, fashion, interior design, etc. by infusing the medium with low-brow influences. Roy Lichtenstein's appropriation of comic-book art is one example. In effect, "low-brow" becomes hip until it is adopted by the mainstream, at which point high-brow is re-introduced to offer a consumerist means to separate wealthy sophisticates from the lumpen-proletariat and petite-bourgeois masses.

I suspect that this century-long cycle of outraging the conventional has reached marginal returns, and this spells the end of avant-garde in the 20th century modernist sense. Now that every convention has been flouted, there is nothing left to disrupt or shock; "the new" is now simply re-hashed "old."

Since consumerism is based on the insecurity of bourgeois aspirations (i.e. the desire to be identified as belonging to the in-crowd), there must always be something "new" to separate elites from aspirants and aspirants from the masses.

This role is filled by simulacra of avant-garde (i.e. presenting the appearance of "the new" to sell more goods). Fake avant-garde is the ultimate co-option of true innovation, as this quasi-avant-garde serves an entirely conventional purpose: reaping profits from selling consumerist sizzle.

Experience has been commoditized by the tourism industry, and as a result travel only signifies membership in the in-crowd if it is self-directed and leisurely, i.e. a form of consumption that cannot be attained by conventional workers with two weeks vacation.

The only form of travel that separates the in-crowd from the low-brow aspirational masses desperate to put foreign travel on their resume and brag about it on Facebook is travel to exotic locales well off the already-commoditized tourist paths (Oh dahling, Kathmandu is so over-run and boring. Siberia is the place to be.)

These 20th century formulas--breaking the traditional modes to be avant-garde, and using the avant-garde to market new products and experiences--have run out of oxygen. As a result, the arts, music and literature are no longer the source of avant-garde--what is truly disruptive are social innovations that disrupt the consumerist model of constantly marketing faux avant-garde as "the new."

I think this excerpt from the article Information-Commodification offers a succinct summary of how social innovation is the true avant-garde:

"Avant-gardes, on the other hand, are always interesting, but they are not really about art, whatever some silly art school textbooks might say. Avant-gardes are about media, about social relations, about property-forms, but they are only ever incidentally or tactically concerned with art. The most interesting ones around at the moment might be about pharmacology or horticulture or even ‘business models’."

What qualifies as true avant-garde? Degrowth qualifies--the rejection of consumption as a measure of growth, prosperity and advancement. The model of access not ownership is avant-garde, as is the no-middleman movement I have described in the blog.

Any movement that serves to market "the new" in conventional consumerism (and collecting fine art is the ultimate high-brow consumerism) is not avant-garde.

 The real avant-garde disrupts the consumption and ownership as identity model of aspirational capitalism.

Anything that doesn't disrupt the consumption and ownership as identity model of aspirational capitalism is just another marketing campaign exploiting faux avant-garde.

For more on the photos accompanying this essay, please read Global Bellwether: Japan's Social Depression (September 25, 2014).


This essay was drawn from Musings Report 27. The weekly Musings Reports are sent exclusively to subscribers ($5/month) and major contributors ($50+ per year).



Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle editionAre you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.


And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.


You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.


Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.


So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.


It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.


I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.


Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20


"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 



NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.


Thank you, Stace W. ($100), for your outrageously generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your steadfast support and readership.

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What Happens When Cash Is No Longer Trash?

Those who actually create value as opposed to chasing yield with nearly-free money will actually have some traction once the swamp of excess liquidity drains.


When those closest to the money spigots of the Federal Reserve can borrow billions for next to nothing, cash--laboriously saved from years of paychecks--is reduced to trash. What chance does a saver have in a bidding war for a house or other asset against a financier who can borrow essentially unlimited cash?

Answer: none. The saver can leverage his cash at best 4-to-1: a 20% down payment leverages a mortgage of 80% borrowed money. The financier can borrow as much he wants for next to nothing.

The saver will lose every bidding war, thanks to the excess liquidity created by the Fed and other central banks. The reason given for this vast expansion of credit is that if credit is cheap enough, people and businesses will put that nearly-free money to work.

The problem with cheap credit is that it does not flow to productive investments--it flows to safe yields. Launching a new product or service is risky, especially in a stagnant economy, so the safe way to play unlimited credit (i.e. liquidity) is to chase assets that reliably generate returns.

Consider housing as an example. If a saver wants to buy a house to rent out as an investment, he is going to be paying 4.5% or so for the 80% of the money he is borrowing via a mortgage.

The rental income has to exceed his costs--the mortgage, property taxes, maintenance, etc.--by at least 3%. Otherwise he might as well buy a long-term Treasury bond and earn the 3% without the risk of vacancies, unexpected expenses like a new roof, etc.

Since his mortgage costs 4.5%, the yield has to be considerably higher than 5% to make buying the house a good investment. Let's say the rental has to generate a return of 10% to yield a net return (after paying the mortgage, property taxes, etc.) of 3%.

The financier paying less than 1% for his borrowed money has an entirely different calculus. Since the cost of his borrowed money is so cheap, he can bid the asset price up and still earn a return above 3%. Raising the price of the house quickly raises the costs of owning for the saver, as the interest costs of the bigger mortgage eat away at the yield.

The financier can raise his bid by 25% and the additional interest on the nearly-free money is trivial.

The systemic result of excess liquidity (cheap credit) is bubbles in every asset class that yields a low-risk return. Buying low-yield assets is still profitable if you can borrow money for next to nothing.

Though the timing of the collapse of excess liquidity is unknown, we can safely predict excess liquidity will collapse because all extremes eventually revert to the mean. At some point assets reach such heights that even free money isn't earning a real (i.e. adjusted for inflation) return.

At that point, participants lose faith in the easy-money policies that have issued cheap credit as the cure-all for stagnation. The excess liquidity is still gushing out of central banks, but even financiers don't want any more as there's no way left to earn a return even with nearly-free money.

As correspondent Jay F. observed, the collapse of excess liquidity will be a positive development, as it will restore the equilibrium between cash that is saved and the real returns on assets.

"A worthy subject for your attention and treatment is how the collapse of credit liquidity is actually a very helpful thing for individuals who are real creators of real value-- as they now get to compete on a much more level playing field. I see this phenomenon unfolding all around us as overvalued assets and professions go on the chopping block to maintain the status quo. It's actually a very good thing."

Well said, Jay. Those who actually create value as opposed to chasing yield with nearly-free money will actually have some traction once the swamp of excess liquidity drains.



Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle editionAre you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.


And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.
Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 



NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Mark H. ($10), for your most-welcome generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

Read more...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In Uncharted Waters

What I see as extremes that must necessarily end badly, others see as mere extensions of recently successful policies and trends.


A long-time reader recently chastised me for using too many maybe's in my forecasts. The criticism is valid, as "on the other hand" slips all too easily from qualifying a position to rinsing it of meaning.

That said, given that we're in uncharted waters, maybe's become prudent and certainty becomes extremely dangerous. I have long held that the financial policy extremes that are now considered normal are unprecedented in the modern era: extremes in debt, leverage, risk, complexity and willful obfuscation of these extremes.

Consider the extent to which sky-high asset valuations and present-day "prosperity" depend on extremes of leverage: autos purchased with no money down, homes purchased with 3.5% down payments and FHA loans, stocks bought on margin, stock buybacks funded by loans, student loans issued with zero collateral, and so on--an inverted pyramid of "prosperity" resting precariously on a tiny base of actual collateral.

Since we have no guide to the future other than the past, we extrapolate past trends. Human nature hasn't changed over the short time-frames of civilizations (i.e. the past few thousand years), so in terms of human drives, emotions and responses, the past is an excellent guide to the range of human responses to crisis, euphoria, greed, fear, etc.

But extending trends is a shifting foundation for forecasts, as trends end and reverse, generally without telegraphing the end of an era. Few in 1639 China foresaw the collapse of the status quo Ming Dynasty a mere five years hence.

With the hindsight of history, we can discern the cracks in the Ming Dynasty before its collapse, but once we shift to our own era, things become less certain.

In my view, we're drifting in uncharted seas.

I have covered the dangers of certainty before: Certainty, Complex Systems, and Unintended Consequences (February 14, 2014)

What I see as extremes that must necessarily end badly, others see as mere extensions of recently successful policies and trends. Let's review a few of the many extremes that we now accept as ordinary and harmless.

Consider how much new debt is now required to lift GDP ("growth") off the flat line:


The slightest pause in the expansion of credit nearly collapsed the entire global economy:

Extraordinary central state and bank policies have boosted the wealth of those closest to the Federal Reserve's money spigot and left everyone else poorer:


It's not just real income that's declined--so has household wealth.


Incentives to borrow money to obtain a college degree are declining while student loan debt hits astounding extremes:


Feel free to extend this line of Federally funded student debt: where does it end?


The Federal Reserve has pushed astonishingly extreme policies for six years. Now that the Fed owns significant chunks of the Treasury bond and mortgage bond markets, it's being forced to limit these easing programs:


All the Fed money-printing and bond buying has sent money velocity in the real economy into a tailspin: this is good, right? No, actually it's a calamity. Money has slipped into a coma.


Extend the trendlines in these charts, and then ask yourself: where do they end? What will they trigger as they push ever deeper into uncharted waters?



Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle editionAre you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.


And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 



NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Charles B. ($10), for your much-appreciated generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

Read more...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Artists' Road to Serfdom: The Commoditization of Creative Content

This is the net result of commoditization: there's no premium for commoditized capital, labor, goods, services or content.


As I noted in Our New Robot Overlords & The Third Type of Capital, profits flow to whatever inputs are scarce. Unfortunately for musicians, writers, filmmakers and others producing creative content, creative content is no longer scarce: it's been commoditized and is now available in unlimited quantities for $10/month.

The model is simple: unlimited content for a few bucks per month.This is the model of music services such as Spotify and Pandora (which offer advert-supported services for free) and iTunes Radio, Amazon Prime for borrowing Kindle ebooks and various film/video distribution services.

The model effectively commoditizes all creative content. Commoditization makes all inputs interchangeable. Global labor has been commoditized because it no longer matters which workers assemble the goods, global capital has been commoditized because it no longer matters where the capital comes from, and globally produced goods, services and resources have been commoditized because it no longer matters where they come from or who produces them.

Services that offer unlimited streaming/borrowing commoditize all content: the content is interchangeable to the buyer, and the creator of the content earns next to nothing when the content is streamed.

A recent article in the S.F. Chronicle (ITunes is in need of a tune-up to keep up with streaming) explains:

Digital music sales recently fell for the first time ever, with the number of digital songs purchased plummeting 13 percent to 594 million in the first half of 2014, compared with the same period a year ago, according to research firm Nielsen, which has tracked music sales since 1991. Meanwhile, the amount of music streamed online rose 50 percent, the firm said.

While streaming sites have helped big online music spenders save money, they have also cut into the money that musical artists make per song.

ITunes sells songs for 69 cents to $1.29 each. For a song that costs $1.29, Apple takes 30 percent of the sale and the rest goes to the record label and artist, Stewart said. If the artist is on a record label, they would get a royalty of about 20 cents for that track, she said.

That might not seem like a lot, but the money could be even less in streaming music for free with ads. In general, a song must be streamed 75 to 80 times in order for a music label to make the same amount of money as from a single online song purchase, according to MIDiA Research.

The unlimited-streaming/borrowing model is great for consumers and the companies collecting the fees every month, but it's a rocky road to serfdom for content creators. 80 downloads are needed for the musicians to collect a lousy 20 cents for their creative efforts? Let's be generous and note that self-produced/distributed artists could collect as much as 50 cents of an iTunes purchase, and presumably the same from 80 downloads.

So it only takes 8 million downloads to earn a median middle-class income of $50,000 a year. Musicians (those signed to labels) who receive 20 cents from 80 downloads would need 20 million downloads annually to earn $50,000--roughly the median household income in the U.S.

How many musicians get 20 million downloads?

The distribution of creative-content rewards tends to follow a power law, i.e. the Pareto Distribution, where the "vital few" (the very apex of the pyramid) reap most of the rewards.

So a handful of artists, writers and independent filmmakers collect most of the shrinking pool of money paid for creative content, and the vast majority earn chump-change.

As a writer with a number of Kindle ebooks available for purchase or borrowing by Amazon Prime members, I do a little better than the musicians whose songs have been commoditized; I earn about 25% of an ebook sale when someone borrows one of my Kindle ebooks.

Nonetheless, this is a 75% haircut in earnings from the everything's been commoditized model of unlimited access to content. And the sum I earn from borrowed ebooks changes, depending on the funds Amazon places in the pool and how many Prime customers borrowed ebooks.

Numerous articles promote work-arounds for the desertification of earnings wrought by commoditization of content: sell more T-shirts at your gigs, work the loyalty of your fans to encourage them to buy your stuff even though they could stream it for free, etc.

But the reality is the pool of money being distributed to content creators is shrinking. Work-arounds may work for the handful of people who master 24/7 marketing, but this is just another iteration of the power law: a tiny handful of content creators reap most of the profits from the full-court-press of marketing.

My friend Richard Metzger of the excellent Dangerous Minds website and I discussed this trend of artistic serfdom years ago, and the only thing that's changed is the velocity of the decline in creators' incomes.

This is the net result of commoditization: there's no premium for commoditized capital, labor, goods, services or content. Those with the big idea of controlling the distribution of content are collecting an enormous premium for figuring out how to scale up this model, and the vast majority of content creators are left with the nickels and dimes that fall through the commoditizing blades of the distribution machine.

But hey, you might get famous on YouTube, and that might open a trickle of advert revenue.



Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle editionAre you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.


And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.

You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 





NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.


Thank you, Larry M. ($50), for your splendidly generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

Read more...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Our New Robot Overlords & The Third Type of Capital

Fortune will instead favor a third group: those who can innovate and create new products, services, and business models.


A recent issue of Foreign Affairs sported a catchy cover teaser: Our New Robot Overlords. This brings to mind various sci-fi scenarios, but the actual article title is academic to the point of obscurity: Labor, Capital and Ideas in the Power Law Economy.

Rather than rehash the usual failed Keynesian Cargo Cult economics, the authors describe three powerful ideas that resonate very strongly with my own work:

1. Digital technologies (networked software, automation and robotics) are radically reducing the need for human labor and the leverage of traditional capital (land, fixed assets and cash) globally.

2. Premiums flow to whatever inputs are scarce. Labor and traditional capital are no longer scarce; what's scarce is innovative, practical ideas. Ideas (for new models, products, services, processes, etc.) are a third form of capital that will accrue most of the rewards.

3. This distribution of premiums/rewards follows a power law, i.e. the Pareto Distribution where the "vital few" with the 3rd type of capital (good ideas) reap most of the rewards.

This is of course a generalized simplification, and there are plenty of parts of the economy that still depend on labor and conventional capital. But the point here is that thanks to globalization and overcapacity, most inputs are no longer scarce, and so the premium (high wages and/or profit margins) that the owners of labor and capital can charge is trending down in every tradable sector.

This mirrors the analysis of socio-economist Immanuel Wallerstein, which I have covered in some depth:

One systemic source of rising inequality is crony-capitalism/crony socialism: the vast array of insider deals, collusion, winners being picked by the central state, too big to fail banks bailed out with taxpayer money, etc. People are increasingly aware the Status Quo is rigged, and the playing field is tilted to favor the few inside the crony-capitalist castle (what I call the New Nobility in a Neofeudal economy).

The authors of this essay are pointing out that the leverage of digital technologies rewards the most talented to an extreme degree. In an economy where the premium on labor and ordinary capital is falling (i.e. the yield on ordinary capital is near-zero, and wages are declining in real terms), those who can leverage ideas digitally can reap the premium reserved for what's scarce.

"This means that the real winners of the future will not be the providers of cheap labor or the owners of ordinary capital, both of whom will be increasingly squeezed by automation. Fortune will instead favor a third group: those who can innovate and create new products, services, and business models.

The distribution of income for this creative class typically takes the form of a power law, with a small number of winners capturing most of the rewards and a long tail consisting of the rest of the participants. So in the future, ideas will be the real scarce inputs in the world -- scarcer than both labor and capital -- and the few who provide good ideas will reap huge rewards."

Should the digital revolution continue to be as powerful in the future as it has been in recent years, the structure of the modern economy and the role of work itself may need to be rethought."

For individuals, this means being able to solve problems and create value in ways that can't be automated: this is the core message of my book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. The way to leverage one's ideas is to network, network, network and acquire multiple skills that can be applied in innovative, practical ways to a wide spectrum of problems.

As a society, we will have to deal with the reality that the nature of work is fundamentally changing, and wages are no longer an adequate means of distributing the surplus of an economy.

In my view, the answer is to broaden the scope of work beyond the state (i.e. working for the government) or private sector companies which must make a profit or perish, to what I call the community economy. More on that in my next book, which is on this very topic.


This essay was drawn from Musings Report 27. The weekly Musings Reports are sent exclusively to subscribers ($5/month) and major contributors ($50+ per year).



Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
go to Kindle editionAre you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.


And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.
You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.

Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.

So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.

It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.

I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.

Test drive the first section and see for yourself.     Kindle, $9.95     print, $20

"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Laura Y.

Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube) 



NOTE: Contributions/subscriptions are acknowledged in the order received. Your name and email remain confidential and will not be given to any other individual, company or agency.

Thank you, Pierre D. ($50), for your superbly generous contribution to this site-- I am greatly honored by your support and readership.

Read more...

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