Each day most of us live one tragic event away from economic disaster. Living pay-check to pay-check providing for our families and hopefully having some left for savings. We are the worker ant’s that provide profits for businesses, shareholders, yes the Top 1%. You would think that the Top 1% would be more appreciative of our efforts wouldn’t you?
This reality again was slapped across my face by a recent article I read. In the Dec 16, 2013 publication of The Nation an article titled Holiday Crush. The article written by Gabriel Thompson was about his brief work in a distribution warehouse in California. Thompson’s experience, fast-paced work (unsafe conditions), very low pay ($9 an hour) and the expendable worker (most employees supplied by temporary companies).
The stand-out piece of information, the erosion of Middle-America, the third-party trend, the temporary workers. In 1986 manufacturing jobs that were temporary positions, 1 in 43. By 2006 this number has become 1 in 11. This is a staggering loss of good middle-class jobs. The culprit is the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA). Business has responded to free-trade and this competition not only by the elimination of jobs, but also by shedding benefits, wages and pensions. We have been sold a bag of lies and continue to be. President Obama has also sold-out the Middle-Class, continuing on with “free-trade” signing on most recently with Columbia.
If we are to believe that change is not over we are fooling ourselves. Profits are the driving force behind the American Middle-Class decline? This is not true. The policies and trade-agreements of our government is at the top of the list. (naturally bank-rolled by business.) And aided by the lies of Right-Wing media. You know the lies don’t you? Entitlements such as pensions, social security, unemployment insurance, welfare, food stamps, etc. are killing our competitiveness. Regulations by the government are making it impossible for the U.S. to compete. The question that should be asked is, “how can we compete?” How can we compete in a global economy when nations pay far-less? How is it possible for the U.S. to compete with nations that have no regard for their environment?
The answer to any and all these questions, we cannot compete. So in order to compete, wages and benefits must be cut and eliminated. Work (esp. manufacturing) must leave to cheaper and less environmentally friendly nations. And it has! What we are left with is what we are experiencing today, lower wage jobs, the near extinction of defined benefit pensions, millions living in poverty. Not one action will correct this trend down. This is our economy and don’t get too comfortable with it. It will change for the worse at the hands of Washington, Republican and Democrat. You may protest the Democrat inclusion, but who signed NAFTA? That would be former President Clinton. And who continues to expand “free-trade?”, President Obama.
So we have two choices. One to accept our fate and do nothing. Or the second option, engage our enemies, who are all who reside in Washington. Time is running out on the United States. If we stand by and do nothing the majority of our jobs will be low paying, temporary positions. Americans will be working multiple jobs for less and spending less, resulting in lower wages. Engage our enemies, getting active in politics and holding everyone accountable. Where do we start? At the very beginning, by educating ourselves on what really is the reason behind our decline, NAFTA.