Earlier this week, Sarah Huckabee Sanders apologized for making a claim that Donald Trump created 700,000 jobs while Barack Obama only created 195,000 new positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Trump created 708,000 jobs, Obama created 3 Million positions. What is so outlandish about the numbers is that none of these leaders “created jobs.”
Politicizing the truth about work is driving many Americans into something of a trance waiting and hoping that our leaders will bring us back to a workplace based on predictability and survival. Politicizing the numbers around work represents one of the amoral manipulations of American workers. The only beneficiaries of this trance-like debate are politicians from both parties trying to hold onto their turf. Underemployed Americans are the most visible casualties.
When I get swept away watching the news, it is easy to project that we are in the modern equivalent of the fall of the Roman Empire.
The news industry has absolutely no incentive to tell us to turn off the TV and reinvent our lives. Great revenue is generated from a population glued to the Television worrying about the future, munching and eating. “Ah, let’s spray some sugar on top of that popcorn.” Next, let’s get on Facebook to voice our outrage. When I get swept away watching the news, it is easy to project that we are in the modern equivalent of the fall of the Roman Empire. Isn’t it interesting that every ad offers more medication to prepare us for the end of days? We live next to the Pacific Ocean! Outside of our home, birds are chirping. The weather is beautiful. And Rome? The city is so gorgeous that it moves me to tears.
There are forces at work here that are bigger than all of us. Instead of bragging about untruthful accomplishments, we need leaders with the humility to tell Americans how to change, reinvent and take advantage of the biggest restructuring of work since the Industrial Revolution. Technology isn’t eliminating work. It is eliminating tasks. We are being offered the freedom to do work that is far more interesting, engaging, creative, and yes, impactful.
There is tremendously good news in here! However, the very competition for political “credit” contributes to a perfect storm for many of our brothers and sisters who ponder, “Where is my place in the future?” Yes, it takes a bit of courage to answer this question but an answer is there. Right now, I fear much of our country is caught in a strange pothole by seeking comfort before action.
The last President who gave us the message that we have the power to change the world was John F. Kennedy. Gotcha! Before his message is contemptuously cast aside as the philanderer, simply allow one moment to consider he was the last political leader who didn’t craft a campaign from marketing research. Since then, focus group politics have progressively developed a paternalistic leadership model that is poisonous to self-responsibility and a truthful discourse about the challenges of modern times, especially around issues of work, education and becoming better versions of ourselves.
I am excited about our future and yet I am deeply concerned about the energy consumed with obsessive distraction and the notion that someone is going to fix the future for us.
Kennedy once said,
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
We have the power to make that future bright.