Have you noticed a change in the world in the recent decade? I think a lot of us have, but we still keep on living as in the 20th century. Here are some myths that still exist from the 20th century (in no particular order).
Myth 1 – It is possible to get an adequate and truthful picture of the world through media. Many of us would agree to this statement, but still consume mainstream newscasts.
Myth 2 – There will be enough money in the system for my pension. I will be able to and can afford to retire. The terms and conditions for pension packages in the western world are unsustainable. Too generous terms, too many old people in relation to the young people. Too few babies as future taxpayers, labor or investors.
Myth 3 – The institutions around me are benevolent. Many governmental as well as private institutions were created post-WW2. This was a different time with different resources and do not function optimally in today’s world. Many of the institutions have become giant behemoths operating on their own inertia, responding slowly to change. They live a life of their own; they are hard to steer and perhaps even immune to the changes in political plane. Governments and ideologies come and go, leaving only a superficial impact on the institutions.
Myth 4 – The young people will have at least as good a standard of living as their parents did, or perhaps better. Increasing housing prices has created a barrier of entrance in the housing market for the young people. Many young people carry unsustainable housing debts. This compared with the next variable makes the ‘western model’ difficult to achieve for the young people.
Myth 5 – Rising youth unemployment does not matter to me. The youngsters can blame themselves if they can’t find jobs. (They’re just lazy anyway.) A person’s identity is well established by the age of 30. When young people (here meaning under 30 years) have no jobs, they’ll stay outside society. The social contract between them and the surrounding environment will be broken, with implications on society as a whole, possibly even leading to a larger scale disarmament of institutions over time. (For instance, it is already harder to find young people to stand up as witnesses in court or to get them to vote in elections.)
Myth 6 – It is possible to have a society with full employment. What do we in the post-industrial west are going to live off of? The factories have already moved to China. How about the ‘know-how’, engineering, design and mid-level management? These positions can be moved to China as well. Maybe the innovation and creativity-type jobs stay in Silicon Valley or Milan, but all the rest can go to China. What will replace this?
Myth 7 – The power is with the voters. The ‘institutions’ are massive, and profound policy changes hard to achieve. Changing the institutions takes longer time than governments or councils sit. The true power politicians have over the institutions is limited and superficial. The bureaucrats often have employment security lasting their whole working life, and it is often the same bureaucrats run the systems regardless of which parties hold the political ‘power’.
What will the future hold if the statements above actually are myths? Maybe Hanba’s wrong and all the ‘myths’ above will hold true. What do you think?
Have you seen a show called the wire? Hanba recommends!