The Opportunity That Comes With Economic Upheavals
The late 18th and early 19th centuries were a time of great upheaval in Western Europe. The long-standing social and political order was being questioned and changes were happening, new ideas were being introduced, and people were moving from farm life to city life.
It was an exciting period of change that gave rise to the Industrial Revolution, which produced faster and more efficient means of manufacturing goods and a bunch of other things. But while the benefits of this revolution are obvious—we can now buy cheap clothes or electronics anywhere in the world—the harms are less clear.
Economic Upheavals Are A Little Bit Like Forest FiresAs terrible as forest fires are, they can be a great occasion to clear dead wood and recharge the soil. This can be a good time to re-evaluate, change careers or even move to another country. You may have been thinking about doing some of these things for a long time but never quite got around to it—now can be your chance if you play it right.
Economic turmoil often leads people to make rash decisions about their lives and career paths; but if you're careful enough in your decision-making process, then you will come out stronger on the other side of any crisis.
We’ve all heard of the saying that hard times create strong men and history is littered with stories about them. In a similar length and breath, economic upheavals are opportunities to lay the foundations that will later catapult you to being wealthy. When the soil has recharged, the seeds you plant become more fruitful. For example, the Rothschilds made most of their ‘fortune building’ during economic upheavals, they lend a ton of money to governments during WW2.
The Industrial Revolution Created New Economic OpportunitiesThe industrial revolution was an era of unprecedented change and innovation. It created new industries, new jobs, and new ways of life for those who lived through it.
For those in the countryside, it meant moving from farms to cities where the jobs were located; people had to learn new skills such as factory work or office work. For those in cities already, there was a lot of social upheaval as people tried to find homes near their workplaces or train stations so they could commute each day (and possibly live with more than four others in a room).
But despite all these changes—and some negative ones—the industrial revolution ultimately led to many positive outcomes for society at large: higher standards of living and better job opportunities among them.
Looking back, this was really a moment of centralization. People moving to cities, working to provide value and putting their minds together to achieve economic growth. The mega cities controlled all the power.
The Social Hierarchy Is Being Shuffled In Favor Of Those With Skills That New Technologies DemandIt's important to keep in mind that economic upheaval is a constant reality. It happens at different rates and in different ways, but it's happening all the time. Some major, some minor.
In today's economy, there are new technologies driving up demand for certain skills while others become less relevant or disappear entirely. This is one way that the social hierarchy is being shuffled in favor of those with skills that new technologies demand—and it means opportunities for people who can provide those services are on the rise too.
Some examples of changing skill demands:
- Skills that were needed in the past but not anymore (for example: horse-drawn carriage drivers)
- Skills that weren't needed before but are now (for example: software developers, programmers)
- Skills that weren't needed before and still aren't needed (for example: data entry clerks)
The current mass layoffs we’re experiencing can be put into category one. Corporations found a better way(s) of getting the job done.
How To Prepare For Upheavals?The more prepared we are for future upheavals, the better. If a financial crisis occurs or some other disaster happens, it will be easier to recover if you've been paying attention and staying ahead of potential problems. Here are some tips:
- Stay informed about your finances.
- Have an emergency fund ready at all times.
- Get rid of any debt (credit card debt especially) that could cause problems during a financial downturn.
- Invest in things that aren't as prone to fluctuations in value like gold or silver coins.
The more we understand how previous upheavals have affected us or the people at that time, the better we will be able to prepare for the next one.
Are you ready for a technological revolution or social upheaval? If we see an increase in technology (currently happening) over time, or if social changes (slowing creeping in) are becoming more common, then these may indicate that a larger change is on its way.
In ConclusionEconomic upheavals are a fact of life. They happen every few decades, and they bring with them new opportunities for the people who know how to take advantage of them.
We can’t stop economic change from happening just like we can't stop the sky from raining, but we can prepare for it by learning and understanding what happened in previous upheavals so we can make better decisions when faced with similar challenges.
Thanks For Reading!
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