The Biggest Waste of Natural Resources: the Human Resource | AccountingWEB

The Biggest Waste of Natural Resources: the Human Resource

I wonder why there is not more attention paid to the greatest waste of natural resources:  the waste of human resources.

I know of so many who want a job, to do anything, to make a contribution to society; yet these individuals cannot find work.  With all of the many unresolved problems in the world, isn't it a shame to waste so much of a precious resource.

How much human resource do we waste?  Unemployment figures under-report the actual unemployment.  Typically individuals fall off the radar screen after a certain period of time.  Many who are unemployed do not qualify for unemployment and are never reported.  And many employed are underemployed, desiring more hours and work.

Also not included in those unemployment numbers are those in self-employment seeking work.  How much downtime do they incur in their businesses?  One cannot even imagine.

Yes, I am an idealist.  I believe everyone who wants to work, give them a job.  It's the best social program for the money:  it's productive; adds to the GNP; bestows self-respect upon people; creates far-reaching synergies elsewhere; allows families to survive with dignity.

In our constitution certain unalienable rights are stated:  life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Without a job, without an income, without something meaningful to do in life, without the opportunity to pay back society for all that it has done for each and everyone of us, there is no life, liberty, nor happiness.

How can we create jobs?  We have governments that can do so, if private industry fails.  And we can provide very strong incentives for private industry to create jobs, if we wish.  In the long run, is it really cheaper to pay unemployment and welfare and subsistence?  Some tend to think so; I disagree.

William Brighenti, Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

The Barefoot Accountant

Accountants CPA Hartford, LLC

Paul Scholes's picture

In an ideal world yes but

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

Hi William.  I agree with what you say, for example, in the UK at the moment we have a swelling population of young people leaving university with nothing to do.  We also have the sad situation that the majority of people look in the commercial sector for employment when there is a lack of "Human Resource" within the "not for profit" sector but, of course, salary levels there have never been able to match the commercial sector.

To my mind therefore, even in a time of belt tightening, governments should be looking to fund this alternative and under powered sector as an investment for the future.

The "but" in my headline relates to the fact that we, ie Humans, are at the root of the wasted resources issue.  When I was born the world population was about 2.8 billion and today it's 6.8 billion and we are now in the scary position where there are more people alive today than have ever died. 

Over the same timescale, in Britain, the population has "only" increased from say 51 M to 62 M but with the loss of our manufacturing industries the plain fact is we just have too many people and this is set to get worse as we are predicted to be the most populous nation in Western Europe by 2050.

To put it another way, unlike fossil fuels and practically anything else we lay our hand on, we are far from a scarce resource.  As a planet we (and the animals we "need" to support us) consume 1.4 times what the planet can replenish and in some individual countries that figure is perhaps 2 or even 3.

Ultimately therefore unless we find ways to better use the unrenewable resources and develop renewable resources, population control will be taken out of our hands.  Then of course there will be more for those that remain to do, but there's no guarantee it will be paid employment.

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