Future home of? (photo by tomsaint11)
The elections are over and it really doesn't matter who has won. The Democratic operatives warn that when the Republicans take control it will be a calamity. The Republicans will take control of the House but not much will change provided Obama can play defense at least as well as he plays offense. It is important to remember however that when you hire an actor to play Hamlet you have hired an actor, not Hamlet.
The ship of state is going down by the bow and the real issues are not being addressed by either party. These problems are deep seated and systemic they cannot be cured with a dash of frosting or a spoonful of sugar. The government is in deep, deep denial, they will not even acknowledge the problems let alone address them.
We have today over twenty six million Americans who are unemployed or under employed. We have uncounted millions more, who either didn't have a job to lose in the first place, or have been unemployed for so long as to no longer be counted. What does your government say is the official unemployment rate? The government says unemployment stands at 9.6 percent. The U-6 government unemployment figure is 17.1 percent but the government chooses to discount their own figure. If you include those entering the job market for the first time the number is close to 22 percent.
In California the official unemployment rate is near 25 percent yet government and media pundits all insist the "Great Recession" is over. I loath that term "Great Recession", it is a filthy lie used for the purposes of deception. To ignore and to discount the sufferings of million of Americans, not just so politicians can protect their own political standing, but to allow them to abrogate their duty to do something about it.
You see, to do something about these problems they would be forced to address issues that they would rather not discuss. In 1980 industrial workers made up almost 21 percent of the American labor force. They were heavily unionized and earned good wages with benefits and they paid taxes to their government. Today only 9 percent of Americans have industrial jobs and just more than half of those are unionized.
In France the minimum wage is $12.75 per hour and in El Salvador it is $1.20. In Germany, Norway, Sweden and Italy the minimum wage is set by contract between labor unions and industries. In the US the minimum is $7.25 per hour that's lower than Great Britain, New Zealand, Netherlands, Monaco and Luxembourg,
The highest minimum wage, the very highest minimum wage in China is .88 cents per hour. In Mexico the highest minimum wage is $4.64 per day or .58 cents per hour for an eight hour day. You! The American worker have been told and continue to be told that free trade is good for you. That these lower wages mean lower costs for consumer goods. So if Chevrolet builds a truck in Mexico how much cheaper is it than that same truck truck built in Michigan? It's not cheaper, any benefit goes in GM's pocket not yours!
So when Whirlpool closes its plant in Indiana and moves it to Mexico how much does the price of the washing machine go down? Even if the price did go down it does not go down enough to cover the cost of dislocation. Suddenly these 1,100 workers cease to be tax payers, they no longer pay into the system but instead take out of the system. They no longer have any purchasing power, they no longer go out to eat at local restaurants. They don't go to the movies, or shop at the mall, they live on unemployment and food stamps.
These seven million industrail workers are forced into lower wage service jobs where they earn less, spend less and pay less in taxes. Since our Capitalist system works under the laws of supply and demand a consistent over supply of workers creates further downward pressure on wages.
From the CIA Factbook - "In this market-oriented economy, private individuals and business firms make most of the decisions, and the federal and state governments buy needed goods and services predominantly in the private marketplace. US business firms enjoy greater flexibility than their counterparts in Western Europe and Japan in decisions to expand capital plant, to lay off surplus workers, and to develop new products. At the same time, they face higher barriers to enter their rivals' home markets than foreign firms face entering US markets.
US firms are at or near the forefront in technological advances, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment; their advantage has narrowed since the end of World War II. The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits. Since 1975, practically all the gains in household income have gone to the top 20% of households."
You thought the government was in charge, didn't you? No, according to your government it is "private individuals and business firms" that are in charge.
Computer manufacturing in the United States has fallen below 1975 levels, that production has long since moved to Asia. The government blames the onrush of technology for the "two tier labor market." Don't blame us, we didn't do it! But yes, they did do it and both parties are fully responsible for it.
Today in Silicon Valley the industry that gave it it's name is gone leaving behind enough empty space to fill two Empire State buildings. It wasn't the onrush of technology that emptied them, but the onrush of greed and the allure of easy profits. Now the same bankers who once yelled "Yippee Skippy" in favor of free trade find themselves hoisted on their own petard of defaulting commercial Real Estate loans.
Your government has yet to address this issue, because to address it means they would have to do something about it and they don't want to.