It is often difficult for us to see the bigger picture because we are accustomed to paying attention to the close and immediate. Are jobs scarce in America? To those who have lost jobs and are having difficulty getting jobs, the answer is an overwhelming yes. The question is, does this experience typify what everyone is going through?
Lost and Gain
It is startling to believe that losses contribute to gains but this has been the experience of American industry. Every successive step towards progress has met with a reduction in the existence of an industry. For example, when Thomas Edison came up with the light bulb, you can be assured that the oil lamp and candle industry was reduced to the size of unimportance. Now, if you had the option today, would you rather live with oil lamps and candles or electricity? The answer is obvious to you but I doubt that those individuals who were in the oil lamp and candle industry felt the same way. But we acknowledge that the discovery of electricity and the creation of the light bulb made us happier and wealthier than lamps and candles ever could. Not to mention, that the invention of lamps and candles meant that those who made torches were fundamentally put out of business. Yes, jobs are lost through innovation and progress, but more opportunities and more jobs are created in the process. Just think how many opportunities opened up because of electricity?
If you ever wonder what it would be like to maintain the status quo, you only need to look at impoverished countries. The number one reason a civilization is poor is because of its lack of adaptation. This principle is universal. If Scranton wants to grow then it will have to adapt.