Self Employment

There are a lot of “jobs” that an ambitious person can do if you are willing to go out and find them.  For those who are curious, Muskegon (where I live) is in Michigan, a 4 season state. We have about up to four months of winter, which means snow (about 100 inches so far this season).  Go to a residential area and offer to shovel snow to senior citizens. You should be able to earn $10 to $15 an hour, maybe more depending upon your level of physical fitness.  The City of Grand Rapids requires residents to shovel their sidewalks, and since many seniors (as well as the disabled) aren’t capable of doing this, here in another means to earn money for yourself.  Then there is yard cleanup in the spring and soon afterwards the grass will grow, soon needing cutting.  Leaves need to be raked in the fall.  Those who are “handy” no doubt can find work doing minor tasks that aren’t worth hiring a contractor for. Under Michigan law you can do this sort of stuff as long as you stay under $500.  Beyond that you will need a contractor’s license.  Many older seniors have trouble doing grocery shopping and such.  This would be something that someone “between jobs” could do for pay that would be a task women could handle.  If you transport people for hire you will need a chauffeurs’ license. There are also housekeeping tasks that people will pay for.  If you have a home, you might want to look into “dog sitting”.  You need to find out what your locality’s rules are on this. Pet grooming is another possibility.  The idea is to find a service that you can do for people that they will pay for.  My mother, who knew how to sew, made custom clothing from patterns. Along with hats. Unfortunately, some of these skills have pretty much died out today.  Again, ask around.  See what people would like to have done. A lot of this sort of stuff can be done “off the books”, or as a supplement to a regular job.

If you know a fair amount about computers and operating systems (I’m a retired computer technician) and are “up to date” on operating systems and so forth, there is another paying job possibility.  Along with teaching novices how to use their new computer. “Mother Earth News” used to have articles upon how to support yourself doing tasks that people need to have done, but don’t want to pay a high price for these services.  There are also arts and crafts, items that you can make and sell at flea markets. So if you can’t find anyone to employ you, perhaps you can become your own employer…  Depending upon the area where you live, backyard farming is a way to produce food you don’t need to go to the supermarket for.  There are also “farmer’s markets” where produce can be sold for prices below that charged in supermarkets. Again, opportunity for those willing to do the work.

The more “self sufficient” you can become, the less will you have to depend upon the “state” for help.  And the more “skills” you can obtain, the more likely you will be to be able to support yourself during an economic “recession” of the sort we find ourselves in today. Being able to create a job for yourself instead of relying upon an employer to give you one is one way to insure yourself an income during what appears to be more and more likely a repeat of the Great Depression.  The true level of unemployment is much higher than what the administration will admit to.  Nor is President Obama capable of doing what FDR did. One reason being the Republicans, the other being that he isn’t apparently capable of seeing solutions to our economic problems that another might see.  There is also an adverse effect of the mandate to purchase health insurance which reduces the amount of money available for spending on anything else. This means that businesses will not have the sales that they might have otherwise enjoyed. Plus, the way Obamacare is set up does nothing to reduce the cost of health care or reduce its monopolistic effects. So as the US health care system consumes more and more money, approaching perhaps as much as 20% of our GNP, less and less money will be available to do anything else. Employers who are required to pay for health care will have less money available to expand their businesses, invest in better equipment, or grow their businesses.  This means that fewer jobs are going to be produced.  People will need to find means of supporting themselves in different ways than expecting an employer to hire them.  Also, adding the additional burden of health care on to business means that there is a greater incentive to move the business to somewhere outside the US where there is no requirement to now provide increasingly expensive health care to their employees. For this reason alone it makes sense to start considering means of supporting yourself outside of the conventional employment system. Explore the knowledge and talents that you have, consider means of increasing these to the point that you can be self supporting.  No longer dependent upon an employer. Having skills that can be used to support yourself (basic skilled trades) are likely to be of more value than a college education today. There is a shortage of people who can do the skilled trades jobs, while there is a growing surplus of college educated people with student loans to pay, but nothing more available to them than jobs that could be done by a high school drop out!  A skilled tradesman is likely to always have work regardless of economic conditions, while the college educated are more likely to end up like my father did during the Great Depression as a car salesman.  He had an MBA from Harvard, but it didn’t do him any good when there weren’t very many jobs that needed someone with such a degree! Getting the sort of an “education” that can be “useful” in helping you support yourself is much better than having a college degree and clerking in a store somewhere.


About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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