In the world we have over 3 billion people looking for a descent job to generate income for themselves. In Europe live 60 million people desperately searching for jobs. In some areas governments help them with a small fee, in some there is no help. Poverty is on each corner. Last week a Dutch trend watcher proposed that, due to the loss of jobs caused by the internet, we should introduce a 12 hour work week.
The solution in the 18th, 19th and 20th century after the introduction of the spinning wheel, the steam machine and then the industrial revolution, was to create jobs that were productive in areas that before didn’t exist. That is a completely different approach then work 12 hours per week. Governments organized infrastructure like canals, roads, railroads. Governments started to organize schooling and education.
Governments started to organize health care, started to organize controlling bodies who watched the quality of our food, the implementation of regulations, preventing child labour, and so on. At the beginning of the 20th century all roads were made of sand or clay. 100 years later almost every house is connected with cement or asphalt roads. At the beginning of the 20th century almost no child went to school. At present almost everyone is able to write and read. In 1900 nobody had electricity. At the moment over 90% of the houses in the world has it. Only 20 years ago nobody had internet. Now we have over 10 billion computers and over 5 billion (smart)phones, most of them connected to the internet. So if we want to restructure our society and create new jobs, governments have to play a big role. Who started to solve the crisis in the US during the Great Depression in the thirties of the 20th century? Not the private sector but Roosevelt’s government. I don’t mean that a government has to create the jobs. I mean that a government should try to cause the creation of jobs: create circumstances that help people finding a job that pays them a good income and offers them a descent future. That is only possible if you have a vision.
So what is it that our societies lack nowadays and how can governments create circumstances in such a way that these problems are going to be solved?
- The CO₂ concentration in the air rises daily. We have to bring the concentration back to the pre-industrial level;
- We need food for 10 billion people in 2050. We need 50% extra food production within 35 years;
- Erosion and water shortage. We have created 2 billion hectares of deserts where water hardly penetrates the soil and flows through rivers into the seas. Underground water levels drop everywhere and already over 25% of the people on earth live in areas with water stress;
Treesolution for the 3 problems:
- We can plant two billion hectares of fruit trees. The solution will create 1 job per hectare, that is 2 billion new jobs.
- Within 100 years we have to find an alternative solution for energy production from fossil fuels;
- Oblige each energy user to replace each year 1% of his energy use through sustainable energy. This way in 100 years time we have solved the energy problem. The obligation will create hundreds of millions of new jobs.
- In the year 2100 we will be with 12,5 to15 billion people. At that time over 75% of the world population will live in cities. Our present way of building cities and transport systems is still based on the Middle Age city model. This model is outdated and probably most of our present cities will be demolished before the end of the year 2,200;
- In each country start to experiment to built completely new models of cities where living, working, production, recreation and transporting are sustainable integrated. An obligation to built completely new models of cities will probably create 2 billion or more jobs.
I am sure that we are able to create hundreds of millions of jobs with new ideas. Our world is not ready, on the contrary. We cannot work only 12 hours and for the rest of the week sit at home. On the contrary. The challenge of creating jobs, a descent living and wealth for the 12.5 to 15 billion people who are with us at the end of this century, is unimaginable big and we cannot rest before we have tried to give a job, income and wealth to everyone. We can do it!