Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another fearless prediction...  

Since Philip Tetlock has shown that predictions from famous people are essentially...crap, to use the scientific term, my predictions could be right occasionally.

So here goes.

Soon we will have guaranteed health insurability and community rating, which will be the very hardest parts of the ACA to dislodge - not to mention political napalm. While I can't understand how right-wingers who thought up these ideas now justify opposing them - other than their disaffection for Obama - the consequences of these new rules may accelerate a profound change in our workforce.

Already, we are seeing an explosion of self-employed.
But the real drivers of the increase, Camden said, were the massive corporate layoffs that forced many Americans to find a new way to make money — whether they liked it or not.
Vera Pell, 58, has been laid off five times over the past decade. After the last time, the Oklahoma resident said, she simply gave up looking for another job.
“I finally decided that my life would be better if I had more control over it,” Pell said. “No more red tape and politics. No more giving away my skills so I could keep a job.”
Pell started a consulting firm, Evergreen Learning Designs, and began charging three times her former hourly wage. Her first contract was from a company that had laid her off.
She said her former employers think: “What about Vera? Can we get her to come back and do this?”
According to a survey by Staffing Industry Analysts, a research firm, businesses plan to increase the amount of temporary labor they use by 26 percent over the next two years. Jon Osborne, the group’s vice president of research, said the model is about 8 percent cheaper than hiring permanent employees, because most temporary workers do not receive benefits.
Camden said the cost of health care is the main deterrent for workers who would otherwise seek to join the contingent labor force. And it is a major reason that many workers hope temporary employment is just a pit stop on the way to something permanent. [More]
With the dream of a fat company pension dissipating like a fog in the morning sun, there will be fewer benefit monopolies companies can use to tie the rowers to the benches.

Just like we in ag enjoy our employment freedom (once the little woman has a group health-providing job, of course), it is not hard to imagine professionals of all kinds setting up little companies.

This strikes me as a big step forward for both workers and productivity. It also will change the corporate culture significantly as retention of talent becomes more difficult.

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