http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree … -useconomy
Did you know that Americans work the longest hours in the world? And that one in six working Americans either bring home too little money to live on or money at all (those interns, etc.)?
And did you know that according to the US labor department, unemployment is 15.9% and it's not going to improve anytime soon?
And did you know that the American middle class has been slowly vanishing for the past three or four decades?
And did you know that America is now like many other dual economy countries - where there is a thriving rich and a desperate poor?
The sad truth is that the "New America" is trying to find itself in a race to the bottom. The shipping of jobs overseas to labor pools being paid slave wages is where we find our competition for domestic jobs.. The manufacturers say they would gladly produce here if the wages and benefit packages equaled that of our foreign labor competitors.
The sad thing is that we are doing it to ourselves by wanting cheaper goods to help us save more amid our shrinking wages. A "Catch 22" if ever there was.
Governments answer is education where we will be able to accel in technological jobs the foreign lower wage paying countries don't have.
There are two things wrong in that scenario. One being that these are mostly higher tiered jobs in a short pyramid to the top and that the foreign labor pools are becomming better educated faster to fill these higher wage technological jobs. Not to mention that the US is going overseas to places like India to get cheaper engineering labor. How many college graduates have staggering debt from student loans and can't find a job?
Congress sold us out to the bankers and big business by financing their campaigns.
Remember there is only two things a politician are concerned about, money and votes.
rhamson. I have written two articles on what you cover. One is on the reserve currency and the other is on why manufacturing is real wealth, and why it leads to better skilled people and to new invention. Too much to repeat here, but you're welcome to read the articles I wrote.
To respond to what you wrote, it's not that people in other currencies are prepared to work for less. It's that the American currency is falsely inflated because it's the reserve currency. If one took the power of what those workers in other countries could buy with their currency, they are better paid than American workers. It's the exchange rate that is skewered.
The other thing is that it is as a result of manufacturing that workers become skilled and educated. When the manufacturing goes, there is no more need for those skills. In addition, when one is working in production environment, one is more likely to come up with better ideas for production. In the medium to long term, manufacturing leads to higher education and better creativity. When a country stops manufacturing, it begins to lose it's edge.
I don't think there is much concern about this in America. If one is constantly told that one lives in the greatest country in the world, and that the economy is only down on a temporary basis, it doesn't merit much concern. The issues, as you point out, are systemic.
I seriously don't think it's going to get better anytime soon.
Essentially I agree with what you say but the difference between the US worker and say a Chinese worker is miles apart even accounting for currency swaps and inflation. Comparatively I would say you are right but in actuality there is a large chasm when comparing standards of living.
Skilled workers do provide an important link to manufacturing innovation and education but I think the deeper issue is one that when we can't make things ourselves we loose an important link to its' value as well. The distance grows deeper as time passes by.
I am a self employed tradesman and find that many of the trade secrets are lost to the younger generation tradespeople I see on a regular basis. This happened many years ago when the apprenticeship programs were discontinued. It makes me wonder where we will be culturally what with all the arts programs being cut to fulfill the criteria of the new education standards we are adopting.
rhamson. It is only a matter of time before the standard of living in China outstrips that of Americans. Remember, that America is losing the middle class and the standard of living will quickly disappear as there is less and less money to pay for those standards of living.
You're absolutely right that when one makes something one self, one understands its worth. The reason hedonism has taken such a hold here is because the link between work and meaning has been lost. The same process has taken place in the UK.
I also agree that many trade secrets have been lost. However, it's not only in the trades. It's in language, in ethics, in basic survival skills, and many other areas. This is why I write about the downward slide of civilization. This is particularly so in Africa, the UK and the US.
I agree that it is only a matter of time. As I said, this is a race to the bottom and whoever gets there first will be the loser. It is so sad that it has become the oxymoron it is.
Why is it that we as a society have become so detatched from the indications and opt for the quick band aid cure? And as with a band aid it becomes poisoness when left on too long?
I think it's part of a cycle. Nations become great because individuals are self-disciplined and community conscience. When they arrive at greatness, there doesn't appear to be any reason to be self-disciplined and community conscience anymore. So, people begin to focus on pleasure and pretty soon people are losing sight of the big picture. It's a cycle. Many nations have risen and fallen.
Your insight is good!
We are no longer a manufacturing nation, we are a nation of servers and rapidly becoming "Sheep."
The Federal Reserve and the world banks are in cahoots to create a "New World" order. A "Rothschild Order!"
As human population grows to about 10 billion within the next 2 1/2 generations, I have a feeling that socialism will become a must and from that point, IF we have not experienced a population reducing catastrophe, a one world gov't.
if we succeed in surviving the next 50-75 yrs, there will be a "New World Order" instituted out of necessity.
I am very pessimistic about the future of we humans.
We seem to be, consciously, "bulldozing" a path toward a cataclysmic event.
Qwark, we're quacking together!
Your time line is good. Also what I figure.
I have never really thought about a new world order. Nor do I think socialism is the answer. I think we need to develop a completely new system that takes the over-population, human nature, and our limited resources into consideration.
Yes, I'm equally pessimistic about the survival of our species. I'm often inclined to say to people that it's not about saving the earth. The earth will be here long after we're gone because it will simply adjust. We, on the other hand, cannot breathe too much carbon dioxide and we don't do very well without food.
Well I guess this just represents the similar thinking along the lines of Uncorrectedvision's comment in another thread, with regards to America.
So far, as I can see, both comments posted to this thread, apparently cannot see the path to change, but can only see what is actually happening.
It is always good to know what my purpose is up against. Thank you.
Europe doesn't have these problems to the same degree as US. They are more socialist.
Thus if such is the case, think the US is going to become any more socialist in the next millennium?
I honestly think that we are heading more towards a socialist society when you stop to look at things. Besides, we have the longest running government in world history, and it's been proven that various governments do fade away over time and get restructured in other countries. Therefore, we're long over due for a major change in our political system.
What do you mean you have the longest running government in world history????
America is young! England had Parliament before this country was born. Of course, I may be misunderstanding what you are saying. What do you mean?
I agree that a major change is needed in the political system. I think a new one needs to be created. There's nothing currently around that will take into consideration the advances of a technological society and over population.
You're right in comparison to most other countries, we are still a fairly new country. However, the form of government we currently have is the longest running government system ever conceived, as most other government systems in the world often get changed over time before lasting this long.
Not so, Great Britain has had the present form of government since the Treaty of Union in 1707 which makes it at least 80 years older than the American constitution.
That is not true. England has had its current parliamentary system since long before the US system. In fact, much of the US system is based on the UK system. I'm sure if I did more research, I would find other countries that also have older forms of government than the US.
I don't think that socialism will work in the US because it's culturally very different to Europe.
But we don't really have socialism in Europe, we have a mixed economy which when run properly, runs well.
If Americans weren't lied to about the mixed economy, understood that it wasn't socialism then they might not be so scared about it.
I think the problem Americans have with the idea of socialism is the connotation of a loss of personal freedoms. We always like to think of the independence issue as our birthright and cannot give that up no matter what. With the newly signed extention of the Patriot Act we gave a lot of tose personal freedoms away awhile ago.
With the world banking system as it is there is a more concerted effort to a world economy which flails itself in the face of most Americans. Unfortunately for the US this direction has been pre-ordained for many years and it's affect is really beginning to show.
But what freedoms do I gave up by not having to work for as many hours as I would in the US, or by not having to worry about health care and whether I could afford it or not?
I was struck on my visit to the US by how restricted sales of alcohol were, and how restricted in strength it was.
I think American's ideas of greater freedom are illusory, they are in fact enslaved by their freedom.
I am not defending it I am merely throwing out an observation.
I am an American and my take on most things were taught to me by my parents. My father always said that if you let the government take anything away, you open the door for other things as well. They were very prophetic words indeed.
In an effort to treat all fairly and equally there are freedoms that are surrendered as well. Personal privacy, freedom of religion and the freedom to become rich by whatever means neccessary. We are all closet capitailst in that while we may not be rich now, it may happen and we want to keep as much of it as we can if we get there.
Not all Capitalist are in the closet. Look at the manufacturer that pre prices their merchandise, or holds the retailer hostage by not allowing their product unless you do what they want. The biggest offender I know of is Pepsi Co., they own just about everything, frito lay chips, Pepsi cola, Gatorade, taco bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Tropicana, the list goes on.
My comments weren't directed at you but Americans in general.
I have personal privacy and freedom of religion, the freedom to become rich by whatever means necessary is qualified by having to keep within the law and not to rob.
So your freedom boils down to just not paying taxes then! Funny that unless you are super rich then you pay very much the same as we do.
There are two things you can rely on in life, death and taxes. So no I couldn't possibly think not paying taxes could be a freedom, or for at least very long.
I guess comparatively there is not much difference between our freedoms other than the many choices provided by capitalist based republic.
John Holden, socialism IS a mixed economy. In Socialism, the government takes care of certain aspects of life like education, transport, military, medical, etc., and allows people to run their own businesses for profit.
Many events are leading The Americas to Socio-Capitalism.
Creepy and seemingly unavoidable, based on 'how' they got to this point in their history. Should the UR go up even another 5% the system has no choice but to close the doors to import, lock the bankers hands, dissolve much of the present economic programs and hope the major cities don't implode...
Don't be depressed. It is the human condition. Nature is perfect.
"We are all closet capitailst in that while we may not be rich now, it may happen and we want to keep as much of it as we can if we get there." The poor are never poor and
always vote for the rich, which is why they stay poor.
move to Canada...we have been rated the second best country to live in...despite the frigid temps and frighteningly high taxes we pay
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