Q BLOGS – Global sovereign economies are each deeply concerned about employment, non so as in the U.S. under the promises of Donald Trump. Here in Costa Rica we are not too far behind in the need for digital workers as opposed to the blue-collar laborer.
For sure there will always be a home for the manual, minimum wage worker.
That is a given. But that person, or people, will live relatively on the poverty line or below it, creating anxiety and frustration as the newest Mercedes passes the local bus.
Can we expect a backlash?
Probably not since most of the manual labor is provided by poor immigrants who dig the holes, pick the fruits and do the work under the supervision of a Costa Rican. And, the poor Costa Rican has already, for years, bought “peace”, “paternalism” and a sense of democracy. In short, she/he will not hit the streets with any seriousness. After all, we live up to our reputation as a passive society.
On the other hand, Costa Ricans are becoming more and more diverse as the middle class continues to fall into poverty.
This is not only visible in Pura Vida, but more so in developed countries.
Workers being courted by almost every sector of business are those who have some digital knowledge or a lot of it. The cultivation of crops, shipping, manufacturing, and even food services are hiring, training and seeking techies.
Meanwhile, manual labor is losing jobs and will continue to resort to the “informal” business environment, eking out a day-to-day living selling well goods on street corners.
They make enough to live on with a limited diet, but not at all enough to socially advance. Even McDonald’s U.S. is now turning toward digital employees to cook, serve and collect from customers.
In Costa Rica this trend has been minimal but certainly inevitable.
Hotels, the travel business, logistics, food and even some sectors of government have or intend to move toward the cyber world.
The burning question remains, how do young people, especially from the public school system fit into the techie world?
We have a limited amount of computers outside of San Jose, we have a tech center in progress but very much need a tech educational program for young people who live outside of San Jose.
Mayor, Johnny Araya has proposed and is expected to fund a business center. In addition, we need to make this center as a vocational school to teach digitization. Every young person is filled with text messaging eliminating personal dialogue but do they understand digitization, a seemingly simple component unless your only experience is the Internet and games.