Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Become A Plumber ~ Satyajit Das

The Australian Dream Is Over
(Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2013)
In his inimitable manner and donned in his uncompromising black attire, financial markets author Satyajit Das outlines why he thinks the three legs to wealth in Australia (and the West generally): a good well paying job, a nice house, and a pension plan ("Superannuation" in Australia is synonymous with a 401K in the United States, or RRSP in Canada) are a thing of the past.

A well paying job is becoming harder to come by thanks to the forces of globalization and technology that effectively makes much work redundant. (Hence the title "Become A Plumber" as Das cheekily exhorts future generations to learn a trade lest they be left behind as future precariat.

A nice house, especially one that is close to work and not a burden in terms of a work commute, is out of the reach in terms of affordability for future generations.

A pension savings vehicle is increasingly sensitive to the vagaries of stock market corrections and global capital flows.

Whether you agree with him or think him overly pessimistic, Das put forward his case for adjusting expectations for future workers and pensioners.

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China won't save the world
The precarious nature of employment today means more "losers" and fewer "winners" tomorrow
Robert J. Gordon (The End of Growth) vs. Erik Brynjolfsson (The Key to Growth)
Have Canadian Households Embraced Riskier Activity by Choice or Necessity?
Why Does Financial Sector Growth Crowd Out Real Economic Growth?