Belated happy labor day to Location Independent nomads everywhere ! And apologies for a late post due to a really crappy weekend that saw:
a) The wife undergo a medical operation,
b) Mr. Boxy, my beloved Jeep, suffer a water pump failure that almost left us stranded.
Thank God, everything came out OK with her procedure. I now get to play Mr. Mom while she recuperates for a month. I’ll tell you all about my experiences with medical care overseas at a later date.
As for the Jeep… well… instead of leaving the repair procedure to professionals, I decided that this one I could take care of. Took a little over half-a-day to finally get it all sorted out and in working order. That’ll be yet another tale to tell that had a few twists and turns.
The above is a long way of saying I barely had time to do anything web-related pretty much since Friday, except to check Twitter and Facebook. As always, I did manage to send out our newsletter to my wonderful subscribers 8-)
In all the chaos going on around me, I did have a chance to notice (don’t remember when or how), that this past Monday was “Labor Day”, a pretty huge holiday in the USA. It’s the last chance for families to have one last outdoor family get-together before the chilly air of fall starts making inroads from the North.
Labor Day May Be The Most Ironic Holiday In The US Today
I don’t like to really touch on politics on this site, as I find the topic fairly polarizing. Often, feelings get hurt and rarely does any position get changed.
However, on some topics it’ll be very hard to avoid. It’s almost impossible not to compare the various political systems and the effects of each country’s foreign policy when one travels abroad.
Suffice it to say that no one country has the perfect system. However, there are systems that clearly work better than others for the overall population of said country.
Thinking about Labor Day, certain topics came to mind, which are relevant to what we discuss here, namely Location Independence. Labor Day has it’s roots, and was created, due to struggles between labor unions and the US government.
Before I left the US, the big item on the news was the struggle between labor unions and the Republican Party, with the battle being waged in the state of Wisconsin. In the end, the Republican Governor won, in spite of the public outcry of those supporting labor unions.
This greatly rejoiced many, who view unions as evil and badly want them to be broken up. In fact, this is a view shared by many, which shows how the pro-business agenda efforts have greatly influenced Americans and their way of thinking over the years.
Most Americans don’t know that thanks to unions, they get:
– A 40-hour workweek (mandatory overime pay if not an “exempt” employee)
– A minimum wage
– Improved safety standards in the workplace
– No more child labor
– Equal pay for females
– Employee-based health-care coverage
– Family Leave for workers to care of ill family members and newborns
– An end to age-discrimination
… and many more benefits.
The last two on the list above are usually taken for granted in the US. It was pretty shocking for me to see employment ads here in Guatemala explicitly state that the person must be “presentable (code word for ‘not ugly’)” and that no-one under 30 need apply.
Women are routinely fired after having a baby, as owners deem that they will now be “less dependable” and therefore likely to miss work when their newborn gets sick. Women can also forget about equal pay here.
Yet… the pro-business political party in the US not only wants to destroy unions, but do away with many of the protections fought for by unions. By doing away with unions, businesses effectively take away the tool that allows employees to band together and ask for better wages and concessions from management.
Now, unions are not perfect and they have become highly politicized, as expected, if one of the two parties is out to destroy them. Union leaders are often involved in corruption and have a long history of ties to organized crime. The same can be said for those in the business side of the agenda.
As with most issues, not everything is black and white, though once one gets away from the TV soundbites and pre-canned rhetoric, it’s easier to say which side falls more to the wrong side of the argument.
What Does This Mean To You If You’re Not Location Independent?
If you’re an employee working in the US, things are NOT looking up for you, regardless who’s in office, or will be next year. Wage inequality has grown almost proportionally to how union membership has gone down, as executive pay rises and worker pay continues to decrease. Benefits like health-coverage and pension plans are being wiped away.
And everyone knows that job security isn’t what it used to be.
And these are the issues you’re facing if you’re actually employed.
It is very likely that a significant number of people reading this site will be unemployed and have been looking for a long time. This is specially hitting young people hard, as the 20 to 24 age group has a 61.7% unemployment rate. Yup, that is correct.
A whopping 61.7% unemployment rate.
And don’t think this is a strictly-American issue. European job seekers are undergoing the same unemployment issues too.
Despite what politicians from either side tell you, things will get WORSE, not BETTER.
Whether you’re currently employed or not, it is in your best interest to start NOW looking for a way to establish a source of income derived from your own business. You need to become location independent and have the ability to move to any part of the world, wherever conditions happen to be more favorable to you and your family.
Sticking to a location because that’s where your job is located is setting yourself up for potential dissapointment in the future.
It’s akin to being a dinosaur. Trapped and slow to move as conditions deteriorate. The species that survived were the ones who could move to where conditions were more favorable and had time to adapt to their new surroundings.
Work on your Location Independence plan because you can,
not because you have to.
Sign up for the UnwireMe newsletter above, or below, and start working on your Location Independence plan now, before it’s too late.