“Double dip” and recovery are the buzzwords of today. We keep hearing how are we going to recover, is it more stimulus? is reducing our rational debt? cutting and slashing. But I have this stong sense in my gut that despite the little recovery we have seen in the previous month our fundamental economic infrastructure is still broken and we are just postponing some big change that needs to happen.
I read an article in the Harvard Business Review written by Umair Haque “ Seven Problems a Recovery won’t fix” where he makes the case that it not recovery that we need but a real transformation. Recovery means "a return to a normal state of strength." He gives us seven things that recovery won’t fix which are not really our strength :
1) Stagnation Median income has stagnated for decades so recovery will not help as it means going back to doing exactly the same stuff we were doing prior to this recession
2) Disemployment We are creating jobs but jobs at McDonalds, recovery will not detail this trend as rise of McJobs has causes such as lack of education, skills & training and offshoring.
3) Insecurity Nearly 50% of Americans are financially fragile — as in they probably couldn't raise $2000 within 30 days to meet an unexpected expense. Recovery will not help as “fragility is a consequence of hypercompetitive, globalized, winner-take-all labor markets: in other words, it's a feature, not a bug.”
4) Toxicity Industrial economy focused on growth it's more often than not got to trample on people, nature, or society causing harm.
5) Pointlessness 50 to 75% of "employees" are "disengaged” from work they do. "If it wasn't for the accursed paycheck, would I really let imprison myself in this dungeon of the human soul?" doing jobs like designing a new bottle for an energy drink etc
6) Dumbification a sapping and draining of the human thirst for great, world-changing achievement.
7) Dehumanization Our economy's been dehumanized, and mere recovery in the arid, sterile terms of GDP just isn't good enough to rehumanize it.
Some of these statics that the author shares gives the impression that even if we go back to pre – 2008 and 2009 level of recovery it is still not good enough to humanize us, achieve and change our world. We need new way to measure our economic success and create new systems to channel our human creativity and energy. What we have today is zapping 75% of us.