This Is Interesting: ‘The Start-Up of You’

It’s been a while since I dragged Tom Friedman over to, but today’s opinion essay in the NYTimes is worth reading twice, particularly to note how many times the Pandora radio inventor pitched his idea to venture capitalists. I remember reading somewhere about  the dozens of times that William Kennedy had his successful book “Ironweed” turned down by publishers before one of them took it. Friedman’s paints a cold-hearted if not unrealistic working world. Not everyone is equipped to be an entrepreneur, however, most people have the capacity to be creative. Just look at the clever names of hair-cutting businesses as you drive around, e.g., U.S. Hair Force. Friedman can be read as if he’s saying every woman or man is on his or her own. That’s the opposite of a society with strong unions, trade associations, and mutual assistance groups. Is solidarity completely out the window in the new world economic order? Can the notions of labor solidarity or implied social contract between employer and employee be transferred to something community based while the workforce turns into a collection of independent contractors?  That would be called the “safety net,” I guess, which is stressed and stretched tightly on government, church, and philanthropic strings these days. How big are the holes in the net? So, all these thoughts after reading Friedman’s column. See for yourself, and get the NYT if you want more.