The phrase “A chicken in every pot and a car in every backyard” was never actually said by Herbert Hoover, but it was used by the Republican Party in 1928 and has come to epitomize the boundless optimism of the Roaring 20’s.
We all know how that ended.
When I hear Steve Jobs come out and say that Apple has sold 2 million iPads since the launch less than 2 months ago, I am shocked. When I then hear that these $400 non-necessities are selling at the rate of 1 every 3 seconds, I am blown away at how peculiar this recession feels. How this could be occurring against the backdrop of near limitless unemployment – in which trillions of dollars have been spent to create less than half a million non-census jobs – is beyond comprehension to me.
17% underemployment…and the longest lines are outside the Apple Store.
Here in New York, especially in New York City, I don’t know anyone of my generation who is unemployed. Oh sure, plenty of them have no actual jobs to go to, they may even be collecting unemployment checks – but they are not unemployed. They are entrepreneurs.
They have not accepted the fact that they don’t have jobs. Rather, they are in the process of blowing up their big ideas, opening their own companies, working on real estate/internet/media projects, looking for a business to buy or writing a book.
Sure it’s silly, but it’s also optimistic and I like that. 2 months of interviews, 3 months, 4 months – at a certain point you can’t blame someone for deciding that they are not jobless, they are in their own business.
After all, every 3 seconds an iPad is purchased. This in the midst of never-ending night, in the middle of a jobless recovery that seems to have no end. If we’re creating a million entrepreneurs out of a jobless population of 15 million, perhaps all is not lost after all.