Mark Barnes Columnist

It used to be that it was okay to start a conversation with a stranger by asking, "So, what do you do?", because everyone had a job. That simply is no longer the case. It used to be that you were after looks or personality in a prospective relationship. Now you want a partner who has a job. Unemployment used to be so pervasive, it defied universal definition. The back-in-the-day definition of being employed was all-inclusive. You worked at a known place, earned a predictable salary and had a pension plan, medical aid, company car, whatever, the package. You had security and there were enough jobs to go around. Often, you just did what your father had done before you, it was your right. This predictable economic life brought with it peaceful coexistence and equilibrium. Those days are well gone, no matter where you live. Permeable membranes have replaced sovereign borders. There are no reserved places anymore. The idea of a job for life may be over. Or are we just at some point in a ...

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