There was a time not that long ago when Americans had jobs a plenty, wages were at least decent, and and the United States was the envy of the world in terms of good living.
That’s all changed now. Jobs are harder to come by, they pay less, and if it can be done cheaper elsewhere, it will be. Welcome to the era of outsourcing. On the surface the concept sounded reasonable: Cheaper goods translated into more profit for the outsourcing companies, and affordable goods for Americans. Those things have occurred. Many companies that have outsourced are making record profits, and consumers are getting goods that may have otherwise been, if not too expensive, more costly than they would have liked.
The problem now is that so many jobs have been outsourced, and with the threat of even more outsourcing hanging over American workers’ heads, that even cheap imports can’t entice consumers anymore. How is it that America could keep its jobs at home, pay the workers decent wages, and at the same time, the country grew prosperous? It’s really very simple. If you give Americans money, they will spend it, many times giving some of it back to the same companies they work for. There was a time when that Ford assembly line worker would buy a new Ford every few years. Or that checker at the department store would get his or her clothing at-guess where? Yes, the money flowed, and America prospered. Somehow, these MBA genius, Wall Street crooks either don’t get it, or don’t care. I’m inclined to think that it’s a combination of the two.
Sure, there will be the inevitable argument that outsourcing helps the developing countries raise their standard of living. Technically, that’s true for some, but downside of that, the slave labor, the low wages, is beyond the scope of this post. That’s beside the point. It’s not necessary to feed American jobs to various cheap labor markets in order for them to raise their standards. Most countries have some kind of comparative advantage, and gift wrapping American jobs just stunts the ambition and creativity that every country possesses to some degree. Like the illegal alien breaking their back in the fields, that kind of “good folks who want to work” mentality, stifles innovation. American workers are getting the back end of this beast. Instead of climbing the rungs of success, Americans are now holding on to what they have, not moving up and leaving their former jobs for the next up and comer. This country doesn’t need anymore unemployed, disenfranchised youths.
It is possible for the good times to roll again, and how to do that is another post, but in the meantime there is an economic stimulus package coming down the road. I don’t have much faith that if will help, but at the same time I hope I’m wrong.