Men of authority have employed all the destructive agents around them to promote their own personal interests at the sacrifice of every just, honorable and lawful consideration.
John White Geary
Brother, can you spare a job?
Since the 1980’s we have been bleeding jobs in this nation. With every recession, recovery is slower, unemployment numbers stagnate and US Citizens sit on the sidelines as their opportunities to pursue the elusive American Dream are shattered.
Since 2001, we have lost 42,400 factories, 75% of them employed over 500 people when they were still in business. Overall, we have lost 5.5 million jobs, forever since 2001.
There were 2.8 Billion cell phones sold worldwide, can you guess how many were manufactured in the US? If you guessed zero, you would have been right.
We have 15.1% of our citizens, 46.2 million people in this nation living in poverty, the highest level since 1993. Without jobs, they don’t stand a chance of lifting themselves out either.
Now before you get all weepy, just think all those closed factories are sitting there just waiting for the Job Creators to open them back up, create jobs and fill them with production equipment so Americans can go back to work! All we need to do is cut them some slack, stop punishing their success and give them more tax breaks so they can ‘invest’ in America. Of course, there are a few additional items on the agenda, lest we get ahead of ourselves;
- Stop being so damned greedy you out of work Americans let those corporations pay you what your worth! How does $1.30 an hour sound? That would make you just a little bit cheaper than your competition over in China that is a whole .06¢. This is what manufacturing labor pay in China costs; the Philippines and India lag slightly behind but I am betting if you agreed to less than a living wage you could be back at work in a heartbeat. 
- But hold on there, all those nasty Communist – Socialist countries way over there (China, Vietnam, Philippines, India) they have one up on us and those Global Industrialists sure do love them for it, can you guess what
it is? Out of guesses yet? Let me help you, the Government invests in Infrastructure! This investment includes building beautiful state of the art factories chalk full of the latest and greatest cost saving technologies, as well as, housing nearby for workers (primarily a Chinese production). All of this paid for by the government!
- Finally, all those wonderful Socialist – Communist nations offer something we don’t, want to try guessing one more time, no? Tax breaks, that’s right those nations are acting as tax havens for the American based multinational companies. They take advantage of the infrastructure your hard work, the backbreaking efforts of generations of Americans put into this nation and the taxes we all continue to pay but have sent all the jobs offshore. In fact from 1999-2008, employment in American foreign affiliates rose 30%, creating a total of just over 10 million new jobs, while during the same time we bled 21 million jobs.
- All of the numbers above are from 2010; these were the most current I could find. They are nonetheless an accurate assessment of our situation.
- Finally we have the drone attacks on Unions, most especially on Public Sector; Teachers, Police, Firefighters in particular. These days it seems the public sector employee (except the elected official who seems to see him or herself as above the fray) is a figure to be vilified and abused, the enemy and a person to be held in greatest contempt. The meme is these public servants, protectors, educators, first responders and guardians are not valued members of our community but instead are leeches, sucking at the public teat. This of course is an inaccurate depiction of all our public service resources; police, firefighters, teachers, animal control officers all of them play a vital role in our communities for some reason though there has been a shift away from the respect we once held for them, now we want them to provide their services free of charge.
What does this all mean? Poverty is on the rise though our unemployment numbers are slowly going down. The recession that began in December of 2007 isn’t ending as quickly as we want or need to rebuild a robust and vibrant economy. Austerity is the name of the game; though this strategy has decimated other nations many would have us walk this path insisting it is the fault of the unemployed, underemployed and the poor themselves for their situation.
Don’t have a job? It is your fault; you are lazy according to State Representative Josh Byrnes (R) of Iowa who had this to say in late 2011; There are jobs out there and I think the problem is that some people think some of these jobs are beneath them. When you are unemployed I don’t think there should be any job “below” you. In truth it’s probably more of an ego or perception issue than being lazy. Thank goodness our immigrating ancestors to the United States didn’t have that attitude. According to a study by Deloitte there is a skills gap in the US, this study performed late last year found 600,000open positions in manufacturing with no talent to fill the openings. Really? None, at all nowhere in the US, hard to believe isn’t it? There are no skilled workers anywhere in the US. Could this be the fault of the US worker or is it our education system is failing our children, not preparing them for trades. So here we are the first post-industrial nation and on the cliff of disaster. Our American Dreams, the idea each generation could do better than their parents a thing of the past, most certainly they cannot in this economy or with the future outlook not to change soon. Public schools have cut out all those frivolous programs, trades, shop and the arts. College isn’t for everyone and these days the cost of a college education is staggering, but
wait if college isn’t the answer what is? According to Deloitte and employers we have a skills gap, is the answer Vocational or even Apprenticeship in a skilled trade? Well, shockingly, there is little to be found on either but what limited information there is, VoTech training can run into the Tens of Thousands. I found tuitions for Machine Operators at $11,999 for 950 instruction hours including books, the jobs one could hope for after completing this training? Nationally is $41,000, if you took out a subsidized student loan at 6.8% interest you will pay $28,160 for your training which includes $16,161 in interest payments.
The above is just one example, there are others but the real issue is we have no recourse. We are behind the eight ball. We have lost entire industries; we have permanently lost jobs that will never come back. We are not prepared for the new post-industrial America. We have not adapted to the future we have created through runaway greed and unrestrained Capitalism. Our children are not educated or trained and there is an entire swath of our population convinced we don’t owe them a future.
Are you one of them?
Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the for the greatest good of everyone.
John Maynard Keynes