February 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
“Che monotonia il posto fisso: I giovani si abituino a cambiare”
“How monotonous a stable employment: young adults should get used to change [jobs]”. Augusto Monti, the Italian Prime Minister, invited a few hours ago the younger generation to enjoy not having the safety of a stable employment position.
What is the relation with a possibly precarious employment and living alone in older age? Well, the connections are many. First, those that are not able to have stable employment are likely to end up with meager (or zero) retirement funds. In the US they might even had poorer health outcomes as the absence of a stable position often means not having health insurance or having a plan that allows to see a physician only a few times a year (like the Aetna plan I got in between the end of the PhD and the beginning of a teaching position). Second, Monti’s words indicate that the idea of precariousness is gradually becoming the norm, as Zigmunt Bauman has been writing in the last two decades. During our adult years we hold precarious employment positions and in older age we scramble to make ends meet. If we live alone in older age the odds of struggling increase because we have to deal with all the expenses on our own. Plus, we might be reluctant to ask for help since we want to avoid the label of “depent.” So I would reply to Monti, “Augusto: I love my monotony much more than your type of change: your work is to provide security.”