Blue Flower

Dit artikel in het Nederlands

After having worked for years inside a company you are made redundant and have to spend time at home. That is annoying, especially because living from an employment benefit can be a challenge. You have come in the twilight zone where departure can be difficult. How did you come in this situation, and even better, what can you do to get out of it?

Unemployed, looking for a job

This predicament is actually caused by a drop in spending. After a period where you could get money for (almost) nothing everybody collectively got scared that investments made in the past could not be recouped. In the USA mortgages were given to low-income families of which you could wonder whether they would be able to pay it back. Those mortgages were divided up into small parts, mixed and scrambled with other mortgages, combined again, and resold. When those mortgages could not be amortised investors lost their investment. Money for nothing was an illusion. Businesses got problems getting loans for new initiatives. Governments tried to keep the economy running by extra investments, but has to cut its expenses soon. The common people get cautious too and start to spend less. Businesses earn less, and start to spend less by not renewing short-term contracts. The government receives less money, among others less VAT income, has to spend more, due to unemployment benefits, and has to cut harder. The economy is spiralling downwards out of control.

In the mean time hundreds of thousands persons (in the Netherlands 684,000, March 2014) are looking for a job. At the same time there are a hundred thousand jobs (CBS, 97 thousand jobs in December 2013). How big would be your change to get a job?

Personally I can understand the unemployment rate dropping in the USA because people stop applying for jobs. They do not trust that it will ever even get a proper income. Others work several jobs hoping to make ends meet. Applying for jobs does not work. Small jobs either. What are your options?

There are a number of alternatives. You could lend yourself out as self-employed. Doing the same work for the same employer, with the added risk to earn less in the near future, or to lose the contract as soon as the company has to cut costs. The (Dutch) government makes life of a freelancer easier by the self-employed and start-up allowance. But what if these allowances are revoked by a cost-cutting government? You might come into the ranks of the hidden poor?

You could be seduced  by a multi-level marketing initiative from somebody you do not know on LinkedIn. You have to buy the products the multi-level marketing organisation sells for your own use, and buy products to hand out to prospective customers. A portion of the sales that you make is distributed with a formula to the people who introduced you into the organization. You in your turn can make money by introducing new people into the organisation and start them buying products for their own use, and products to hand out to their prospective buyers. Part of their sales will come back to you using that same formula mentioned earlier. Thinking about this concept makes you wonder if this is not a pyramid scheme. Is your position in the pyramid high enough to make an income?

What options do you have? Applying for a job does not work. Being self-employed seems a risky endeavour, and is pyramid marketing something more than a figment of your imagination? Options you might have is finding something no one has thought of before.

Is Blendle the something no one has thought of before? When you previously found an interesting article online changes are you will encounter a pay wall. You could take out a subscription to the online newspaper, or decide not to read the article. With Blendle you can now buy the article for the price of € 0.10 or more. An idea that I think anyone who is online as much as I do has played with.

What will remain is our hunger for energy. Most common is this reflected in our need for transportation. Everyone is addicted to the car that can carry to all directions you want. However, for the car you need increasingly more expensive fuel. Fuel gets expensive due to ever increasing demand, and decreasing supply. Imagine making fuel yourself. And to make fuel yourself you do not have to drill for oil in your garden. You could grow fuel from algae in an bioreactor. Additional advantage is you need carbon dioxide to grow the algae. And growing algae is something you can learn in Wageningen.