As Congress debates and seek to approve bailing-out our private businesses with taxpayer dollars, they are failing to mention one of the core reasons for our sorry economic condition; as long as they continue to debate an issue without discussing the underlying factors that led to our economic crisis, all efforts are doomed to fail, and will only make matters worse by saddling average taxpayers with the debt of the wealthy and corporations who caused this mess through their own greed and, at times, criminal complicity.
The White House and Wall Street have carefully side-stepped all of the key issues that are adding to our economic collapse, the most significant of which is that the economic landscape within the United States has changed – probably forever- and unless Congress realizes their folly and acknowledges and corrects why our economy is failing, they are only throwing good money after bad, and in this case, it’s our money, and again Americans face the most obvious case of Taxation without Representation since we declared our independence from England.
There are no hard figures that show exactly how many prime American jobs were outsourced to boost corporate profits, but estimates indicate that the number is in excess of one million – a staggering blow to our economy and the Middle-class. Outsourceoutrage.com estimates the figure is well over a million jobs, and when you consider that figure, remember that each job outsourced impacts, in many cases, an entire family unit. For the sake of this article, if we assign three (3) individuals to each family unit, that makes at least three million Americans that have had their lives irrevocably changed, and those who once enjoyed the American Dream are now struggling to make ends meet. In many cases, Mom and Dad are each working more than one job, and even though they are working hard, the harder they work, each and every day seems to bring them further down the rabbit hole of financial insolvency.
Hundreds of thousands of those who lost their jobs because of outsourcing also had mortgages, paying for homes they bought when they could afford their monthly payments, but now all of that has changed, and for the first time in my memory, many Americans are paying 50% of their total income on housing costs! I was once a Finance Manager with Ford, and back when credit and finance were based on sound economic policy. Anyone paying over 30 -33% of their gross income for housing was deemed as a credit risk, and the computerized system that Ford uses to approve/disapprove of loans took away from much needed points that control the interest rate they are willing to loan on. Those who paid above 33% on housing costs were deemed to be a credit risk, depending on how much more than 33% they were paying.
Now, millions of Americans are paying more and more of their gross income on housing, and that figure alone is indicative of how bad our economy really is, and this extends to people who, before outsourcing began, were largely prosperous and were active citizens within America’s Middle-Class.
Millions spend half of income on housing
By ADRIAN SAINZ and ALAN ZIBEL, AP Business Writers Tue Sep 23, 1:29 PM ET
MIAMI - Al Ray is so strapped for cash, the only time he eats out is on Wednesday or Sunday, when the local McDonald’s sells hamburgers for 49 cents.
Ray lost his engineering job last November and has been working as high school tutor, scratching out about $1,000 a month — if he’s lucky. He struggled to make his $1,400 monthly mortgage payment and $330 monthly homeowners’ association fee until May, when he stopped paying.
Ray, 44, is looking for work and renting out a room in his two-bedroom condo in Davie, Fla., for $500, but his monthly income doesn’t match his expenses and he’s facing foreclosure.
“I barely have money to survive,” he said.
Ray is one of more than 7.5 million people — almost 15 percent of American homeowners with a mortgage — who are spending half of their income or more on housing costs (Emphasis added), according to 2007 data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. That is up from nearly 7.1 million the year before. MUCH MORE
This situation is getting worse, and as Americans' incomes plunge or remain stagnant, even more outsourcing faces us and thousands are losing their jobs because of our financial implosion and the countless mergers we have witnessed; every day even more Americans find themselves in this trap where the only exit appears to be financial disaster. Our Middle-class is being destroyed, and in their wake, we are faced with the average price of of a home in the United States as $185,250.00. Furthermore, since up to date information is hard to find, this date is representative of figures from 2004. The price today is likely a few thousand dollars below that figure because of recent drops in real estate valuation, but the “drop in pricing” is minuscule as it pertains to America’s “real” average American attempting to find and live in a home that isn’t located in the Ghetto or a poverty-stricken area for a reasonable price - a task many find impossible in this screwed-up housing market.
Now that The United States is basically a service-based economy, very few of those ‘Average Americans” can now afford a home whose medium price is upward of $175,000.00. How can any of us who used to be Middle-class, but now find ourselves in poverty, possibly afford a home that houses our family(s) without causing massive depression throughout the family unit as they watch themselves falling into the nightmare of poverty. This crisis was sparked by Wal-Mart in their unmitigated greed to dominate all aspects of retailing in the United States, and the flood of outsourcing as other American industries attempted to compete was staggering. As the rest of the corporate world noted their inflated balance sheets, they too opted for outsourcing to foreign countries, effectively destroying our own economy while making economic giants of countries, some who ARE NOT friendly to the United States.
Congress must address this issue, and the only way to provide real economic stability to our nation is to bring back our industry. As a matter of national security, it is insane that much of our heavy manufacturing has been outsourced to foreign nations. We import hundreds of thousands of tons of food products from China, and they cannot insure the safety of their own products at home, never mind the products they ship to other countries. Our food supply is also a matter of national security, and for generations we have been capable of growing our own food. That hasn’t changed, but greed and politics have made us dependent on other countries, which, I believe, is a severe risk to our national security. Corporate America has forgotten national pride and replaced it with greed, so deeply embedded in their corporate business philosophies that hurting our own country matters not when it enhances their own bottom-line.
The economy has also lost the trickle-down effect of millions of formerly prosperous people who once lived the American Dream, purchased the newest electronic devices, and paid taxes commensurate to their earnings. The overall impact to the economy hasn’t been calculated, as honestly investigating this issue would reveal the insanity for dismantling our own economy to beef-up corporate profits, perhaps the most un-American actions that America’s corporations have taken against the people.