Baby Boomers, Bigger Picture, Economics, Financial Planning, Millennials

WSJ: The Challenge of Our Disruptive Era

“We are entering an era in which we’re going to have to create a society of life long learners”

-Ben Sasse

Ben Sasse’s commentary in the Wall Street Journal addresses a very important topic, one I’m not sure the majority of the public is thinking about. We are experiencing a fundamental change in our economy, and this type of transition does not occur often. In fact, this will only be the fourth type of economy we have experienced–hunter-gatherers, agriculture, industrial, and now technology. With each of these transitions society experienced dramatic disruption, and if the old saying “history does not repeat, but it often rhymes” is true, we need to prepare for disruption in our lives.

Disruption is not always a bad thing, although it has a negative connotation. A transitional economy will not be without lost jobs, decreased wages, and other losses due to the impact of technology. However, there will also be job creation, new industries created, opportunities for growth, and improvements in quality of life. Change is not always bad, but the transition is also not without a little discomfort.

As individuals, we really have two choices on how to respond to the transition.

  1. Complain, do nothing, and be left behind.
  2. Adapt, develop new skills, and find your opportunities in the new technology economy.

Opportunity to prosper in the new economy will be there, but it is going to require us to change our ways.  Education and developing new skills are going to be critical to thriving in a technology economy because technology is always changing and improving. The only way to keep up is to continue to learn.

I fear the majority of the public is unaware of the change, or is at least unaware of the impact of the change. I know Wall Street and investors are aware–they are always looking for an opportunity to capitalize on future change, but off the Street, individuals are focusing on day-to-day living, not thinking down the road. It is my hope that commentaries like this one in the Wall Street Journal circulates and sparks conversation about what the future holds.

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The Wall Street Journal: The Challenge of Our Disruptive Era

“And if your breath to you is worth saving, then you better start swimming, or you’ll sink like a stone. For the times are a changin.” -Bob Dylan

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.