I don’t blame anyone who thinks I’m just some frustrated middle-ager going on about my job search efforts. I am frustrated, but not in a rant-and-rave lunatic way. I do know what I’m talking about when I have an opinion about the economy and the unemployment problem millions of people face. Not only have I experienced chronic unemployment over the past few years, I was warning about the coming changes in the employment scene just before the year 2000.
Back in 1997, I ran a section on my Interlog web page called “Take One!”. The section had articles showing how individual rights were being trampled over by the so-called rights special interest groups, corporate lobbyists, and political parties and affiliations felt they had. You could say I was blogging before it became popular. I wrote one article called “Downsizing Companies = Downsizing Individuals” which expressed my fears of what would happen if companies decided to adopt mass layoffs as part of their “business as usual” plan even in the best of economic times. Here is what I wrote back at the very start of 1999:
Back in 1990, I ended up like nearly 2 million Canadians during the recession: I was unemployed. I couldn’t find a job for nearly a year because no one was hiring. The popular buzzword in those days was “downsizing”, or companies having to do more with less.
We believed that once the recession was over, people who were let go would be rewarded for their sacrifices with a job market that was growing again. Well, things are better, according to the economists. Our economy expands at the time of this writing (January 1999) at an average of over 2%. Yet the downsizing continues. If you read the paper, you already know this to be true. If it’s not a mining company closing down, it’s a government department downsizing, or a factory that has gone to Mexico because of the free trade agreement.
So why the layoffs still?
I suspect that Corporate Canada has opted to make more money by cutting expenses rather than raising sales. It is the path of least resistance. It’s much easier for a company to tell an employee to clear out his or her desk than it is to design a better product that is higher in quality and lower in cost for consumers.
But this way of getting a bigger profit has a high cost. It downsizes an individual. There’s not much value left to a man or woman who loses the ability to earn an income, and cannot afford a place to live, food to eat, and clean clothes to wear.
source: The WayBack Machine
This was written at a time when I was gainfully employed and making good money in my I.T. career, yet I was very perceptive of what was going on around me in the working world. I took note of the policies implemented by the company I was working in order for it to keep afloat and they worried me. Every time a friend or family member was let go as a result of downsizing, it angered me. While those feelings prompted me to write this article, I never believed I would experience something as bad as the 2008-2009 economic meltdown that put me in the state I’m in now.
I’m not writing this post to show I’m some smug know-it-all. If you took a look at my remarks on the graphic image about Java, you’ll see I don’t have the right answers all the time. I’m just trying to point out that if job-seekers like myself believe something is working against us in our efforts to find employment, don’t dismiss us so easily. Some of us know what we are talking about.
In fact, some of us saw it coming.
Thanks for reading!