With the little people in the box banned from my house, everything seems so much quieter. I swear though, it has been almost like withdrawal to not have the Internet in the house and to stop listening to Pandora while I sit, eat, walk whatever. I am already beginning to notice that I sleep better and am a bit more relaxed.
Mind you, I still have Internet access on my phone from the house so I can keep up with things but…if this makes sense, I have returned my home to a place of writing and that is what I have been up since 5:30 today doing.
Then again, I was up until 12:30 throwing a little meece for the mad kitten much to her delight.
I am also becoming an aficionado of WiFi and frown on places with bad coffee and worse connections.
So, I have a puzzle that I have been puzzling about for a few days that I will throw out into the maw to see what all you think. Well, half puzzle and half question.
What is it that we do?
I don’t mean that in some kind of esoteric sense, but I was bombing across the state yesterday on the bus and had time to really look and think and as I passed all these businesses, it occurred to me that I could not identify one that made anything that was not transitory in nature. Rhode Island, according to the latest and greatest thought, has become a state with an economy based primarily in the service industry.
We do food, education, more food, sell things, some more food, coffee….but we don’t have an industry that creates a product really. Unless, of course, that product can either be consumed or is a temporary fad.
The question that was posed to me, and here is where the puzzle part comes in, was – if you could create an industry with a sustainable product to provide employment in your state – what would it be?
I think the odd part was the realization that the majority of the “white collar” jobs that are around are also part of the service industry. And I am beginning to understand that part of the definition of “the service industry” is that the nature of the employees is that they are not specialized, but replaceable.
The question came about in a mix of things that were examining various economic models – everything from free markets to socialism to communism to distributorship. While each of those has a point or two that I think is admirably, and there is one I lean towards more, none of them really address what is needed to live and create a living in this modern day and age.
I mean, co-ops and organic farming are fabu but…it is not realistic that everyone does that. Even self-sustaining communities wind up closing themselves off. Progress and all that is not a bad thing, but just one that is not used well and I truly don’t think the solution is to turn off the light bulbs and start wearing homespun clothes. Too many larger ills need to be addressed to insulate ourselves in that kind of selfishness.
Now, the other part of the puzzle is, what kind of industry could you create that could provide employment, be operational and on its way to self-sustaining in under a year? Oh yes, and think in terms of employing upwards of 12,000 people.
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