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Why this is America's Future: Lower Wages, Fewer Hours, and Less Benefits

Updated on October 22, 2012

The job situation in the United States is not only tragic, but this tragedy is gaining in epic proportions . The reason is simple. Big business are making record profits which are not trickling down to the grunts, the rank and file that allow these businesses to make those record profits.

Those profits are not only not trickling down to the workers but in many cases wages, benefits, and hours are being slashed. I want to focus on three large companies to make my point but first I want to say I consider myself to be a republican.

Of course as a Republican I want a more business friendly environment so jobs are created but the question has to be asked, what will those new jobs pay?

Right now it doesn’t matter if Mitt Romney or Obama wins. The way big business operates will not reverse anytime soon. What scares me about Romney (and this view of mine may not be correct) is he seems to represent everything bad about big business. His polices may very well help businesses but that doesn’t mean workers will profit from these new polices.. I also have some first hand personal experience of the so called “rank and file” I previously mentioned.

I also don't see Obama as being much better. His ideas to pass stimulus packages to artificially pump up the economy are just driving us deeper into debt.

Let's look at the first of the three companies I want to present to drive home my points on the greed of big business. I wrote this hub on why unions are still relevant by featuring Caterpillar. This company made 1.7 BILLION profit in just one quarter.

The company made the workers take concessions such as a wage freezes and having new employees hired put on a on a lower pay scale. They also made them pay more for insurance and had them switched to a 401k plan rather then a pension plan.

The companies excuse was they had to do these actions to stay competitive? Competitive? How much more competitive do you want to get after you just made 1.78 billion in profit during just one quarter?

The second company I would like to talk about is Walmart. USA today did an excellent article on the working conditions employees have to put up with. Here is the article from USA today. Some of the practices of Walmart are almost unbelievable. I would advise everyone to read this article. To sum it up , it discusses low wages, works schedules that fluctuate week to week from middle of the night to middle of the afternoon and Insurance that takes a huge bite out of employees paychecks.

Walmart is by no means hurting for money and it's stock is doing very well. Walmart has also put a cap on what employees can earn.

The last company is the Nationwide web of 7-11's. Driving to work I stop at my local 7-11 every night to get a paper and coffee. At one time I could see five different clerks in one week.

Businesses such as Walmart and 7-11 will do everything in their power to make sure workers don't get full time hours so they don't have to pay full benefits. How can anyone earn a living wage working 24 hours a week at a 7-11? You can't, so most people have to work two or three jobs that don't pay benefits just so they can pay their rent.

The problem is you can't make companies pay their workers a decent wage with benefits even though they are making record profits.

Romney and Obama have yet to address this issue. Because of the high unemployment rates people are just glad to have a job, any job at all.

I will be losing my job of 24 years soon and I can tell you there is nothing out there that pays a decent wage. The jobs out there now have many people lined up for each job so companies can afford to pay low wages and be very, very selective. I have seen factory jobs on a night shift paying $8.00 an hour.

While the people working the factory lines and producing product for the company are seeing their wages being diminished by wage freezes and cost of living increases corporate management salaries continue to rise.

A case in point is where I work. After we were bought out by another company a grand plan was put in place to reorganize my company, no matter that we were making a healthy profit. Their plan not only failed, but they took us through a bankruptcy. The senior management were let go after this but they all made out quite well. The people suffering now are the workers on the bottom rung of the ladder.

Caterpillar, Walmart, and 7-11 are companies that are not the exception but the rule in how employees are treated today. If these companies would spend more money on wages, decent hours, and benefits none of these companies would lose money, they just wouldn't make as much money.

I would like either candidate to directly address the wage issue. They both talk about creating new businesses and jobs. My question, are these jobs that will give the worker full time hours with full time benefits with a decent wage? They talk about friendly business environments. Why not friendly employee environments?

Of course some blame must be put on us who vote. People don't take the time to read the news and see what exactly the government is doing with our dollars that we pay in taxes. How many taxpayers know that one F-35 fighter jet costs $90 million dollars? It's our money the government is spending on those fighters.

Romney said 47% don't pay taxes. What he meant was 47% don't pay federal taxes. Almost everyone pays sales tax, gasoline tax, taxes on tobacco and alcohol, etc. Romney has a point though. Can't 47% at least pay some kind of federal tax? Does that mean 47% of Americans are below the poverty line? Of course not.

My point is that we need to be informed of the different issues so we can get this country back on track. You have the far right and the far left calling the shots right now. They remind me of two bullies that want to meet at the playground after school to have a throw down match.

They don't really care about anyone else except themselves and their own agendas. They act like who want's to be king of the hil,l even if that means stepping on the people that put them in office.


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    • redwhiskeypete profile image

      redwhiskeypete 5 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks Max I welcome different viewpoints and criticism. That's the beauty when you write a political hub page. What I don't like is when someone makes a broad comment without being specific what they don't like or disagree with. I do research when I write a piece to make sure I have my facts straight. If you disagree with me then fine. As your previous comment to me you backed up your points by facts. I respect that.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 5 years ago from USA

      Good answer redwhiskeypete!

    • redwhiskeypete profile image

      redwhiskeypete 5 years ago from Indiana

      Hi authorx. I don't mind people being critical of my writing and your free to do so. All I ask is after reading my article tell me where I'm factually wrong? You should also point out why you disagree with me how I am wrong. Also maybe I do need some background in economics. Could you please tell me your background in economics and help out and educate me? Thanks.

    • profile image

      authorx 5 years ago from Louisiana

      Not to be a critic, but really some background in economics would do you some good.

    • maxoxam41 profile image

      Deforest 5 years ago from USA

      The poverty rate is 15,1%. The unemployment rate is 7,8%. Why did the unemployment rate made the headlines and not poverty? 25% of the Americans belong to the lower class!

      2,67% of all US households make more than $200,000 a year, 17,8% make more than $118,200, 34% make more than $65,000.

      A recent census stated that the US counted 110 million households, it means that 55 million households live on $46,000 or less a year!

      Being a democrat I agree with your statement as for the future of America. As China increases its salary, the US decreases it. As Romney represents Big companies, Obama is influenced by the lobbies.

      For me, it is a matter of, who is the lesser evil. Obama is. It is not a choice!