Changing Times – 5 Classic Careers That Are Quickly Disappearing

 11 - 18 - 13
Uncategorized News
As a nation moving farther away from the arenas of craftsmanship and direct provision of skilled services, America is witnessing the disappearance of some very traditional professions. While mechanization, broad scale standardization, import of finished, mass produced products, and industrialization of the means of survival may all be signs of prosperity and progress, what do these trends imply about our quality of lived experience? How will it shape generations who never knew there was any other way of doing things? Here are five traditional American professions headed the way of the dodo bird.


A trip to a Grand Rapids barber isn’t just about getting a trim. Barbershops are a part of the context in which America has defined its national identity. The barbershop is a place of community, communication, and comfort. Moreover, the art of professionally barbering the neighborhood requires a specialized skill set and craft knowledge that will be sorely missed if it disappears altogether.

Farmers and Ranchers

Prior to WWII, more than 20 percent of the American population worked the land in these professions. These days, statistics indicate that less than 2 percent take to the fields. Much of the agricultural and ranching endeavors are industrialized and owned by massive corporations. Ask yourself, do you know who grows your food?


Thanks to national businesses, the local florists are struggling. They simply cannot compete with the greater resources and networking capabilities of large corporations. Say goodbye to the sweet lady who arranged your mother’s birthday flowers.

Mail Carriers and Clerks

Due to unprecedented financial difficulties, the United States Postal Service is utilizing fewer and fewer clerks and carriers to handle the same work load. While automation has eased some of the tasks formerly completed by hand and eliminated much of the associated human errors, that’s simply a tradeoff for computer errors that may or may not be caught and rectified in time.

Door-to-Door or On the Corner

The decline of direct sales personnel and salesmen who run corner newsstands is distressing. While many balk at the idea of someone ringing their doorbell to sell them something, it’s a sign of the growing distance between us. We engage less and less with the people who provide goods and services. The corner newsagent is another casualty of Progress. Less frequently can you simply run down to the corner for odds and ends, a newspaper, and familiar contact with a face you’ve seen every Sunday morning for the past eight years, because they’re going out of business.
Guest Post by Tricia Borren
I’m just a mom and a blogger from California, there’s not much more to me than that!

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