Trend: Jobs will be short-term in the flexible businesses of the future. Employees become independent contractors.
A paper presented by Herb Meyer at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland which was attended by most of the CEOs from all the major international corporations. Meyer served during the Reagan administration as special assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA's National Intelligence Council. In these positions, he managed production of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates and other top-secret projections for the President and his national security advisers. Meyer is widely credited with being the first senior U.S. Government official to forecast the Soviet Union's collapse, for which he later was awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, the intelligence community's highest honor. Formerly an associate editor of FORTUNE, he is also the author of several books.
Restructuring of American Business
The restructuring of American business means we are coming to the end of the age of the employer and employee. With all this fracturing of businesses into different and smaller units, employers can't guarantee jobs anymore because they don't know what their companies will look like next year. Everyone is on their way to becoming an independent contractor.
The new workforce contract will be: Show up at the my office five days a week and do what I want you to do, but you handle your own insurance, benefits, health care and everything else. Husbands and wives are becoming economic units. They take different jobs and work different shifts depending on where they are in their careers and families. They make trade offs to put together a compensation package to take care of the family.
This used to happen only with highly educated professionals with high incomes. Now it is happening at the level of the factory floor worker.
Couples at all levels are designing their compensation packages based on their individual needs. The only way this can work is if everything is portable and flexible, which requires a huge shift in the American economy.
The U.S is in the process of building the world's first 21st century model economy. The only other countries doing this are U.K. and Australia. The model is fast, flexible, highly productive and unstable in that it is always fracturing and re-fracturing. This will increase the economic gap between the U.S. and everybody else, especially Europe and Japan.
At the same time, the military gap is increasing. Other than China, we are the only country that is continuing to put money into their military. Plus, we are the only military getting on-the-ground military experience through our war in Iraq. We know which high-tech weapons are working and which ones aren't. There is almost no one who can take us on economically or militarily.
There has never been a superpower in this position before. On the one hand, this makes the U.S. a magnet for bright and ambitious people. It also makes us a target. We are becoming one of the last holdouts of the traditional Judeo-Christian culture. There is no better place in the world to be in business and raise children. The U.S. is by far the best place to have an idea, form a business and put it into the marketplace.