Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 Here We Come

When I talk negatively about 2010 understand that I am not mad about the personal relationships I had in 2010. The connections I made with people in 2010 were the highlights of the year. That being said, I am an engineer and 2010 was pretty terrible as far as engineering. I spent a whole year of job searching without landing even an internship or a technician job. 2% of my career, hopefully it will last another 49 years, is gone and I have gone nowhere.

I have a feeling that 2011 will be different for me. I will find something.

On the other hand, the United States economy is recovering so slowly that I think this recession is pointing out some flaws in our current business model. Among those flaws is the the way we perceive competition. Taking cars as an example, where are the best cars made? Europe and Japan, or at least the best cars are designed by European and Japanese companies. Where are budget cars made? India and probably China as well as Europe but I am most familiar with Tata in India. What kind of cars are made or at least designed in the United States? The lower upper class or cheap luxury style of cars. That happened because we experienced our bargain phase before the second world war and have since grown to have greater safety standards and more expensive standards of living that was available for large amounts of people. The problem is, most of the world can not afford a $27,000 car, $7,000 is far more reasonable. So while companies in the United States were trying to win most of the American share of automobiles Toyota was selling 80% of the vehicles in rural Pakistan.

Why is that important? That example is important because growth in a developed country for an established product will be close to the rates of growth for the population and economy. Growth in a developing country on the other hand, like China, could be huge! Remember Ford's growth during the 1920s and 1930s.

What does any of this mean? While Europe went high class and quality, in part due to the fact that they had to after WW2 and the Cold War, Asia has gone bargain. That leaves the United States without an international market for our bread and butter products, like Ford. Which means that finding a job in this country will not be drastically easier in the near future because most of what we make will only grow at the rate of our growth. Which would be fine is we could all learn to appreciate life and relationships instead of placing so much value on working.

That's what I learned in 2010, to appreciate my life and relationships more. I hope that 2011 is just as fulfilling, with bigger paychecks.

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