Dropout Economy

Time magazine article a few weeks ago really struck a nerve. The premise put forward was kind of a new underground economy populated by dropouts.

As conventional high schools and colleges prepare the next generation for jobs that won't exist, we're on the cusp of a dropout revolution...

As industrial agriculture sputters under the strain of the spiraling costs of water, gasoline and fertilizer, networks of farmers using sophisticated techniques that combine cutting-edge green technologies with ancient Mayan know-how build an alternative food-distribution system. Faced with the burden of financing the decades-long retirement of aging boomers, many of the young embrace a new underground economy, a largely untaxed archipelago of communes, co-ops, and kibbutzim that passively resist the power of the granny state while building their own little utopias.
So I looked up the author - Reihan Salam, like I usually do and was surprised to find he is a conservative. Not that that's a bad thing, just that this little ball-gazing effort was quite liberal - in the strict sense of the adjective:
Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; 

The dropouts he pointed to were of the young version but the underground economy he imagined could be one I'd fit right into. Today there are a large number of people who've been out of work for a long time, many are indeed blue collar and a large portion are also 50+ undergraduates. Salam thinks unemployment is so cushy and attractive nowadays many freeloaders would rather draw unemployment than find a job. I'd have thought perhaps his vision is more of a conservative's nightmare of the return of long-haired hippy types until this:
The cultural battle lines of our time, with red America pitted against blue, will be scrambled as Buddhist vegan militia members and evangelical anarchist squatters trade tips on how to build self-sufficient vertical farms from scrap-heap materials.
Wow. What a mouthful from anyone even sort-of aligned with any political party.

Anyway, it's a great idea starter for anyone thinking about slipping out of the fast lane...