Young people and work

Publish date 22-03-2021

by Fabrizio Floris

The conflict between young and old returns cyclically in the debate on work, a bit as if you were faced with a zero-sum game: away an old man inside a young man. However, if I look at Romeo, my elderly neighbor who has a small shop to repair sofas, I know that his place will not be taken by anyone, his work like that of many other small artisans will go away with him .

It has always happened with what economists call creative destruction: the shop disappears, but at the same time other jobs, other professions are born. This process has been interrupted for some time: there are more jobs that disappear than those that are born, it is not a question of generations, but of an economic system that is enriched without generating jobs and does not even guarantee public restitution that the old capitalism gave to the community through taxes (work was a possibility of freedom).

To realize this it is enough to see how laughable are the earnings attributable to the taxman compared to the total wealth produced by the giants of the web. This, however, is not the only change that exists between the generation born in the 50s-60s and the one that followed, because in addition to the economy, society has also changed: made up more of individuals than of groups aware of having a common destiny (they once called them masses).

All that remains is the loneliness of trying to get out of problems "alone" because your problem is yours alone (even if it is the same as a thousand others) so "away him inside me". In general terms it can shift employment levels by 0.00001%, but on a personal level that's all, it does 100%, it is the transition from a condition of permanent precariousness to some stability: in short, the job takes you from liquid modernity to the solid one.

I am 49 years and 10 months, a degree in economics and commerce, a research doctorate in socioology and the longest full-time employment contract I had was a doctorate when they paid me consecutively for three years in a row. . Over the years, you don't just miss a job, you miss being recognized as a person. A process of inclusion would be desirable where not only do you struggle to divide the cake better, but also to widen it: like a boat where the more people get on, the bigger it gets, the more it gets bigger, the more there is room for others.

Like Szymborska, in a dream I live on an island where there is room for everyone, there is no distinction between old and young, work is a right, newspapers sell millions of copies and this guarantees more freedom of opinion and greater democracy: you do not arrive before (or in place) of others, but far away. I know it's just a dream but if someone else joins in maybe it could be something more.

Fabrizio Floris

NP gennaio 2021

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