We all want to be rich and famous living on a beach, working four hour work weeks collecting checks from our passive businesses. Most of the developed world is convinced that it is every individual’s right to earn insane money from doing virtually no work. Why work hard and save money when you can have the good life now. We all have blogs and we are all disciples of social media. Everyone is branding themselves as the next guru, expert, consultant or god. We love watching American Idol because we all feel that it could be us up there winning first place and wowing the world. We are all celebrities, or at least we think so.
The flip side to this equation is that if everyone is rich and famous, who is left to do the work. When Indians or Filipinos can set up niche sites collecting Google Adsense revenues, the same as any person anywhere in the world, the rules of the game have to change. Sure it is possible for anyone to make a few thousand dollars a month in passive income, but what happens when larger numbers of people start doing the same things? More competition in any industry brings prices and profits down. On the Internet, with costs almost next to nothing as it is, everything starts to become free, profits disappear and the world is back to where it started. Only a minuscule fraction of the top, most talented, interesting and unique people get virtually all of the rewards. Leaving all the other wannabes waiting tables and hoping for their big break.
It is not all bad, of course. There are and always will be ways to make big money if you work hard, have good ideas and a little old-fashioned luck doesn’t hurt either. In fact, society as a whole is already reaping benefits with lower costs and increased choices in all areas of our life. There aren’t too many days when I am not astounded at our increasing access to information and our ability to connect with others all over the globe. These are amazing times.
The main problem is that there is still a lot of real work that has to be done and few want to do that work. Who is going to grow our food, build our houses, and clean our schools as more and more young people refuse to work a regular job? Societies are in a panic over immigrants stealing employment while at the same time there is a dearth of young workers to do the real work that keeps our economies moving.
Low investment business opportunities like setting up web sites and blogs to earn advertising or affiliate commissions are going to have decreasing profits over time as more and more people around the globe chase after the easy cash. More difficult and less glamorous work like farming, garbage collecting, waiting tables, and other labor intensive positions will invariably require higher salaries to attract employees. The people making the easy money will have to pay a disproportionate amount of their incomes towards people doing real work. Don’t be surprised if the price of food in restaurants increases faster then your own salary. Expect all manual work to cost much more in the future. People willing to do the work deserve to be richly compensated. Those sitting on a beach, collecting checks from passive income sources are going to start to notice that their money isn’t buying as much as it used to. Call it Real Work Inflation.
If it is easy for you to make money, it is easy for the whole world to make money. Luckily we are still in a transition period and most don’t know the rules of the game. They are learning fast though. Every niche and every business is going to get a lot more competitive at much faster rates. There will be a time when anything easy to do will essentially be free and offer zero profits. The current generation of children will be the first to experience a decline in the quality of their lives. One thing is certain, they won’t be the last.