To the People

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

What Do These Five "Recession-Proof" Industries Have In Common?

I found an article on CNN.com entitled "Is your job recession-proof?" that starts by reassuring that, despite the slowing economy and housing markets, employers are generally still hiring. At first, it seemed to be just another commentary on the economy.

However, something really caught my attention in the second half of the article, in which a consulting firm notes five industries "expected to offer the best opportunities for job seekers during the predicted slump." The five "recession-proof" industries listed in the article are education, energy, environmental sector, health care and security.

Why are these five industries doing so well these days, while "retail, manufacturing, finance and technology, are vulnerable during recessions?" What is it that these industries have in common? Well, their success is either directly or indirectly driven by government.

Education is almost completely a government monopoly. Government pays for about half of Americans' health care and heavily interferes with and regulates the entire system. Security, especially airport security, is booming due to the "War on Terror." Energy and environment go hand in hand to an extent, and government is either acting or about to act on both. Energy is largely controlled (see: public utilities) or subsidized (see: ethanol) by government.

The article does not explicitly note the involvement (intrusion) of government into the noted five industries. But a critical reader can read between the lines and catch the hints.

Hmm, do you think the extensive government involvement in these booming industries might play at least some role in the plight of the rest of the economy?

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