Monday, 19 December 2011

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza and a Happy New Year!

If you think this December is like any other, a time where people shop for gifts and go mad with holiday craziness, then you are sadly mistaken.

No, this December is actually very important and this coming New Year will be a significant mark in our history. Why you may ask? Well, as we close the year off and look toward the rising sun of 2012, we end a year that has ushered in countless examples of change going on in our society and more importantly our world.

Let me list a few: Osama Bin Laden's death, the Pakistan surprise, countless natural disasters, 3 consecutive elections in Canada, the death of a sitting MP (Jack Layton),the Arab spring, occupy Wall Street, the end of the Iraqi war, the declaration of the end for the mission in Afghanistan and most recently the death of Kim Jong Il. 

What we have here folks is a significant turning point in our history and this is no insignifcant thing. Be proud that you are alive and well and able to say that you witnessed the world go into crazy mode(2001) and were able to see it begin it's self healing (2011).

Now if only those Mayans are wrong, then we can move forward even more and see where this change will take us. Maybe things will work out for the better and we will continue moving away from the madness. Maybe more madness is headed our way? Who knows!?

How do these monumental events affect you? Did I leave anything out?

Monday, 12 December 2011

Why starting your own business is hard, how the Government won't help you and why we will still be ok!

So, I was cleaning up my basement just now and thought I would partake in some customary vacumming to seal the deal and leave the joint in tip top shape. While I was doing this traditional practice however, I asked myself...I wonder if I could hire someone to do this for me? BAM! Reality set in and I was taken back by the reality of what I had just asked myself! Cleaning my basement, an act that I have done many many many many times before, has now been challenged and pretty much pushed to the edge of extinction by a single mundane question. How could a thought like this even enter my mind!?

The answer...It is 2011, we live in a world of ever changing politics and finance and to top it all off we have become more influenced today by "The Market" then probably ever before!

You might say, oh are just over thinking this, if anything we are freer today then ever and due to a more educated population have the greatest ability to flourish, right? True, our population has become more educated, our financial and political traditions more grounded, but among these important factors within our society, we have allowed "The Market" to flourish as well.

When you put these factors together and rub a little brain grease on it, you will come to realize what my topic for today is....self employment, the market and why our government isn't helping us, but why we are still going to be alright.

The next time you enter a mall or some place of commerce, I want you to look around and really open your eyes. See where the items you can purchase are coming from, talk to the individuals selling it to you and more importantly study the prices you are paying for these items. You may come to realize that great social and economic changes have collided within our generation (Generation being those born between 1980 to present). We now live in a world, where the majority of our consumable items come from Asia and many third world countries. This change has become to grande in fact that searching for a sustainable and good job can be quite the challenge. Which is why many people including myself are looking around for answers and these answers along with the main problems come from one thing..."The Market."

In a world where jobs can be scarce and people are relying more on education, competitiveness among the work force becomes increasingly cut throat, more so then years ago. Which is why many people will probably have to rely upon self employment in order to not only get by, but attempt to flourish.

The market economy is an amazing tool when it comes to the word "self-employment," because it allows a person to take an idea, add in some hard work and see if the consumer will bite thus allowing the creation of income through the trade of a service or item for money. Let's go back to my starting example, I was vacuuming and wondered how if I could hire someone to do it for me. Could this be because I am lazy or because I am thinking along the lines that "The Market" and consumer culture has taught me to do?

There are many people out there who perform cleaning services for money and they are most likely high in demand. When you have a society that has to work tooth and nail just to "try" and make a living at a job or scrape by via self employment, everyday things like cleaning or cooking become a hassle and simply an expense that cannot continue. This is why you see many mega corporations like McDonalds and Wal Mart sweeping the floor of their competition. They market their items and provide a cost effective solution to the modern hard working citizen, who simply cannot keep up with an ever changing financial environment. Don't start clapping for these guys though, because they are the exact reason why our market is failing us horribly, mainly because they enact a race to the bottom in their business practicum and as a result add a lot of pressure to their work force in an attempt to extract more profit. Also, they make it almost impossible for any new businesses to actually compete and maybe one day get to their level of profit.

I understand the market as an arena, where everyone has an equal chance of becoming successful,but also where they have an equal chance of failing. Today, all I see around me are Monopolies by giant organizations that do whatever they can to hook us on their products and make us reliant on their services. So much so that our health is at risk, our income diminished and our future very uncertain compared to those of our grandparents.

The government does not make it any easier either. Aside from small grants available to ideas that can become important contributions to society, the government really does not support the little guy trying to start up a gig like they do the big guys already dominating the place. Sure, tax breaks exist if you start a business, but even larger ones exist and are complimented by tax loopholes for the bigger guys who do the most damage.

Although this may seem doom and gloom though, I have no doubt in my mind that great change will come soon and restructure our current system of life. Show a child in a developing country a picture of a factory city and a picture of a forest and often times they will choose the city over the forest and label it good. Ask a child in the west the same question and they will probably choose the forest. We in the west have been given the ability to partake in education and often take it for granted. On top of this, we abuse the market and the developing world in order to maintain our quality of life, but a day will come when the people there will realize that their own lifestyle and pain is not sustainable for them and something has to change. This, I believe is when our system will reboot itself and some form of equality will enter again into the negative peace we call modern living.

I know it is hard right now to find a job, but I cannot stress more then ever that you stay strong and continue to read between the lines. Right now is the most important time of your life to maintain your education and keep asking questions regarding our government, our companies and where our products are coming from. The world has become more integrated today then ever before and as a result, what happens somewhere else really does affect us here to.

Until next time!