Monday, December 29, 2008

Conspiracy Theory

I had a really devious thought the other night.  It's totally hypothetical, but it fits so well into the conspiracy theory mindset that I had to put it out for kicks.

The rise of outsourcing/offshoring in IT around 2000 caused great concern in the developer population, because we saw our livelihood disappearing.  About 2004, a number of reports surfaced that claimed that IT/Software jobs would return, due to 2 things - the rise of the local job demand in the offshoring nations, and the retirement en masse of the large number of Baby Boomer developers, enjoying their retirement money, bouyed by the growing housing market.  This would drastically cut the number of working developers, forcing the companies that employ them to raise salaries again, like in the dot-com boom.

This year, the housing market collapsed, taking out a large segment of the stock value.  This destroyed the value of a majority of the retirement accounts of all these soon-to-retire developers, making them more likely to stay in the workforce, keeping the numbers high, and salaries low.

The greatly wealthy were not hard hit by this collapse; after all, losing 75% of 4 billion (the amount George Lucas was worth)  still leaves you with 1 billion. [Note - I don't think George was in on it, he's just a well-known individual]

But having your 401k drop from $1M to $250K means you will probably have to keep working, and your best work is that which you've been doing for the past 30 years.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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