Comment 75955

By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:53:00


Please read this:

It is a lengthy article but well worth the effort. Here is an excerpt:

" ... On the charts they show up as service jobs, which economists instinctively treat as superior to jobs that involve making things. Much like the shift from farming to manufacturing a century ago, America is now climbing up the value-added chain to the more cerebral world of service industries. Brain power is America’s future.

It doesn’t always appear too cerebral in practice. Too large a share of the new service jobs are dead-end and enforced part-time positions that enable the employer to wriggle out of providing healthcare insurance. In the past decade, the number of Americans insured by their employers has fallen from two-thirds to barely half. Only the senior managerial slots offer any real security and they are mostly taken by outsiders. Much the same could be said of the armies of food preparers, domestic carers and data-entry workers who account for so many of the new service jobs America is creating."

Today, in Canada, the largest industrial sector employer is retail. Retail is part of a service economy.

When we speak of knowledge economies, information economies, creative cities, and now learning cities, we are really speaking of the same thing: service economies. Whether the service is providing education and skills, or innovative solutions, or transportation, or office cleaning, they are all services.

What gets left out of the equation in almost every breathless endorsement of the latest incarnation of the service economy is that a service economy by its definition must be in service to something. And what is that? A productive economy--in Hamilton, that former manufacturing base that employed so many and now is so easily dismissed as a rusting relic of a by-gone era.

Knowledge, innovation, information, skills, etc ... are only valuable when they can be applied to something and the only something to which they can be applied and provide added value is the production of useful things in an economy that needs or can benefit from them.

A service economy without a productive economy is ultimately a failed economy.

Comment edited by ViennaCafe on 2012-04-15 11:54:41

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