Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sons & Daughters of the Greatest Generation Struggle

Why are you only 50 years old and unemployed in 2012, especially when you live in the richest and mightiest nation on Earth? On the other hand, I could ask a 22-year college graduate that same question.

Why do the Republicans want American workers to work for less and work for longer before they can finally retire, especially if they have been doing labor intensive work for the past 40 or 50 years? Is that what they call  progress?

With the advent of new technologies, shouldn't we all be working less, earning more and living a better life in a more modern society? Or did computers over the last 20 years only make corporations richer, while their employees became poorer. These companies will hire robots before they hire you.

When U.S. companies aren't outsourcing jobs and moving factories overseas to other parts of the world (to further increase excessive company profits in exchange for exorbitant and obscenely high CEO pay) they're hiring foreign "guest workers" to work for much less, displacing American workers and overall lowering the domestic wage base.

When these U.S. companies were confronted about this, they have been claiming that Americans "lack the necessary job skills". (On-the-job training is also cheaper in China.)

This hiring practice has contributed significantly to the very high unemployment rate in America, with a U-6 rate of over 20%. And this is the biggest reason why America now has so few good-paying jobs for college graduates, and that's also why there's such fierce competition for low-paying jobs in the service industry at places such as Wal-Mart, Staples, Dominos, and McDonalds. These jobs can't be outsourced and these companies (so far) have successfully fought off unions that could have bargained for higher wages and healthcare benefits.

High-tech companies, such as Microsoft and Apple, are prime examples of misusing the guest worker program. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, has a pay package approaching $500 million; and Apple is on target to be the first company in the entire world to ever break the $1 trillion market cap, and they do this by using slave Chinese labor at Taiwanese companies like Foxconn, who has a million workers earning an average of $1 an hour.

The "Greatest Generation" were the people who had enabled these larger corporations of today; and like the Republicans, these corporate giants have been feeding the sons and daughters of the "Greatest Generation" (the "Baby Boomers") to the wolves. Yet at the same time, they claim to be so concerned about future of "our children and their grandchildren" when it comes to the national debt.

Those children and their grandchildren, the younger generation of Americans today and tomorrow, might not ever know and enjoy the once-middle-class America that people 50 years and older today once knew. That generation, the Baby Boomers, saw the rise and fall of the middle-class during their life-times.

I find it odd that the GOP is trying so hard to cut Social Security and Medicare (and Medicaid and food stamps to the unemployed) for the Baby Boomers, just to give more tax breaks to the rich, while showing little-to-no concern for the well-being of THAT generation (the Greatest Generation's children and grandchildren --- someone else's children and grandchildren).

The CEOs who are earning millions of dollars a year, year after year, aren't very concerned about the hypothetical children and their grandchildren, because THEIR children and THEIR grandchildren will
be well provided for in their inheritances.

The next time someone feeds you that line "America's best days are ahead", if you are in the top 1%, this might be true. But the Baby Boomers have already seen America's best days come and go. They were there, the day the music died.

READ: 50 and Unemployed: A Rock and a Hard Place

Must-See Video Below: Dan Rather Reports on Foreign Workers

1 comment:

  1. I watched the video with horror but I'm not surprised. We have the same kind of thing happening in Canada. Employers' groups are constantly whining about how they can't fill vacancies and we need more skilled immigrants. Meanwhile, the unemployed, especially older workers and the younger, unskilled workers, struggle to find work. No employer is willing to offer training to our unemployed and expects a new hire to come fully trained. We are all in a race to the bottom.