One of the biggest news stories this year is the governments extension on unemployment benefits, which is undoubtedly great for the millions of unemployed citizens in our country. The real question is what is this going to fix? But, is this just a little neosporin on a gushing wound of a problem? America, which is still considered the land of promise around the world, isn’t looking so good internally, and isn’t showing much promise as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That, my friend, is the real problem America is facing. The complete and utter dissoultion of the Middle Class.
Once upon a time the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the world, leading to that image that almost anybody can earn a decent living, and maintain a comfortable lifestyle here. Unfortunately that ideaology is no longer valid, BUT lucky for us and the world the idea of free trade and “globalism” is running rampant. The global economy means that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few employment regulations.
This is the primary reason why the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades making massive amounts of money while, but the American middle class have increasingly found things to be very tough with more and more jobs leaving causing a domino effect the American middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence as U.S. workers are slowly being merged into the new “global” labor pool. In reality American workers can’t compete with individuals who work 10 to 12 hour days at less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world. To add insult to injury, the greed that has been found on wall street that has further caused financial strain on the economy.
What corporation whose primary focus is profit is going to pay an American worker 10 times more (plus benefits) to do the same job? So corporations more and more are moving operations out of the U.S. and not only to expand to international consumers, but more so for international labor. Since the U.S. government does not penalize them, there really is no incentive for them to stay. What has developed because of that is a situation where the people at the top are doing quite well, while most Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to make it. Statistics show that there are now about six unemployed Americans for every new job opening in the United States, and the number of “chronically unemployed” is growing by the day. There simply are not nearly enough jobs for everyone, and those who are able to get jobs, are making less than they were.
Poor spending habits and diminishing income, a recipe for disaster, definitely will not help the economy. Unemployment benefits are a source that barely help the jobless extend their current lifestyles at a bare minimum and most certainly don’t allow for added luxuries. So will extending benefits really help the economy if nothing is being done to keep jobs here? And another question is can we really force companies to break the mold of our capitalistic society and purposely decrease profits to satisfy the need of American citizens? Until something is done the situation will not only remain bleek, but I forsee it’s continuous decline.