Looking at the Future of American Jobs
The society of America is a balancing act that is in danger of toppling over. In the beginning of our Nation, our forefathers built a system that balanced the Executive Officer's powers with the representation of the ideas of the Congressional districts and the consistency of the courts. Meanwhile, they struggled to find balance between State powers and Federal powers, which was ultimately solved with the aid of the Civil War. With the later advent of the Fourteenth Amendment, freedoms and protections previously granted to the States were extended to the people.
As our history has progressed, the Nation did not form a pure democracy that dictates capitalism and limited regulation. Instead, this country is a balance of capitalism and socialism that aims to respect the will of the majority while defending minorities from those who would exploit them. Beyond our government, our Nation as a society has a need for balance; after all, we are the government and, for a balanced government to exist, the people must live balanced lives.
Our parents and grandparents' generations have accomplished many great things for which we should be grateful, but many of those accomplishments were produced without considering the consequences to our society as a whole. There is a pendulum that swings back and forth between extreme conservatism, which would block out progressive views, and extreme liberalism, which would show no respect for established social institutes and standards. Like the economy, society does not react as it overreacts, never quite hitting a point of equilibrium.
The predecessor generations have shown us to act impulsively engaging in behavior that gives us immediate satisfaction, thus limiting our focus to the short-term. Justifying this behavior are the evolutionary processes which, in general, reward behaviors that immediately allow for survival; that is, they support selfish behavior. The danger is that the human organism lives in a society and selfish behavior is very destructive to such an arrangement.
The result of two generations, both liberals and conservatives, behaving selfishly is a wealth distribution problem, a damaged environment that is harmfully shifting away from our needs, and a world that less and less believes in America's ability to affect positive change in the world. This nation, quite frankly, over consumes and looks at economic success as the continued growth that in many respects is about to physically reach limits imposed by the environment and available resources. In personal aspects, divorce rates are outrageously high as people almost treat those they supposedly love as disposable, thereby devaluing human life to that of a living object. There are countless examples of economic, environmental, social, and personal shortcomings that plague the people of America.
The good news about fixing our society is that society is almost entirely intangible, which means as a group we can decide how our society is shaped. We can either decide to create a society where we uplift the lowest social economic classes to higher standards or we reward the rich and hope enough wealth trickles down to satiate the disenfranchised in order to prevent an explosive outcry. We can decide to no longer support selfish behavior and over consumption by focusing on the growth of knowledge and the human race instead of the growth of wealth and production as we soon will be forced to change how our world functions due to the poor decisions made by an elite few. Like theoretical models, the only limitations that we have on our society are the rules which we establish and their consequences along with the current baggage that comes from previous generations.
The economy is one example of the intangible nature of society. Some would like a free market economy and others would support a protectionist economy, but somewhere in between is a non-isolationist protectionist economy that engages in focused free-trade for the benefit of Americans. Meanwhile, the environment is a physical limitation that the economy in the past has refused to deal with, but as we are forced to create an industry that synergistically works with the environment instead of against it, America, along with other nations, will be forced to reshape society.
In the next few decades, the human race will have to decide how to rebuild our society and that rebuilding needs to start with individuals. This will be difficult as our parents and grandparents have failed us in many respects. We must learn on the individual level what allows a person to positively affect our society, so as our society is reshaped everyone can benefit from the necessary restructuring, thus enabling us to create a strong society that is both balanced and maintainable.