Wednesday, September 7, 2011
We are all Al Bundy...
Sorry to break this to you, but the future for most Americans is going to be pretty crappy. Unless you are independently wealthy, the chances are good that you will have a low paying job, that you will be drowning in a sea of bad debts and that you will have to go on government assistance at some point. Most American families are completely dependent on their jobs for income, and right now good jobs are disappearing at a frightening pace. Over the last couple of decades, millions of high paying manufacturing jobs have been shipped out of the country and they are being replaced by low paying service jobs. Small business creation is being absolutely crushed by the federal government, and millions of illegal immigrants have been allowed in to the country and they are now competing for the limited number of jobs that are still available. The vast majority of the money and the vast majority of the power in this country are now in the hands of either the big corporations or the government. Together, the big corporations and the government are absolutely crushing everyone else. If you are not part of the "privileged class", there is a good chance that your job is serving them. Perhaps you are bringing them lunch or cutting their hair or stocking shelves for them. Once upon a time, America was "the land of opportunity", but now that has all changed. Tomorrow morning, millions of Americans will get up and go to pathetic, low paying jobs and millions of others will wonder why they can't find anyone to hire them. Sadly, if nothing is done to reverse the long-term trends that are destroying our economy, the number of "working poor" is going to continue to increase.
Our founding fathers never intended for this to happen. Our founding fathers intended to set up a capitalist system in which the power of the central government and the power of corporations was greatly limited. The idea was that individuals and small businesses should be given the chance to grow and thrive in a free market system.
But that is not what we have today. Instead of capitalism, what we have today is much more aptly described as "corporatism". There are very few areas of the economy where the corporations and the government do not totally dominate.
For a while things worked fairly well because the big corporations were providing millions and millions of good jobs for American workers. But now the big corporations have figured out that they don't really need expensive American workers and they are shipping millions of our jobs out of the country.
But the mainstream media keeps insisting that everything is going to be okay if we all just have a positive attitude.
I had to laugh when I read the following line in an article posted on USA Today recently....
Chances are your negative state of mind has a lot to do with the double-dip crowd's Weather Channel-like warnings of another catastrophic economic storm bearing down on the USA.
Look, chanting positive affirmations over and over is not going to zap good jobs into existence out of thin air.
Right now there is intense competition for any good jobs that happen to become available. For example, last month approximately 17,000 people applied for 600 jobs that came open at Ford's Louisville Assembly Plant. So those that applied were facing 27 to 1 odds.
The sad thing is that those jobs only paid 15 dollars an hour. Back in the old days, a job at a Ford plant could easily support an entire family. One of my grandfathers worked at a Ford plant for years. Now, such a job will barely get you out of poverty.
But those Ford jobs are far better alternatives than working at Wal-Mart or flipping burgers down at the local Dairy Queen.
When I was growing up, they told us in school that we were becoming a "service economy". At the time I had only a vague idea what that meant.
Now I know that it means lots of crappy, low paying jobs for everyone...