Much has been written about our current high unemployment, but there is a strange reluctance by both liberal and conservative commentators to assess blame for the dramatic loss of well-paying American jobs. The causes are not only the general recession and the collapse of the housing market, but bad decisions by government and business that deserve finger-pointing.
Since the year 2000, the U.S. has lost millions of jobs due to outsourcing and insourcing. Those are euphemisms for exporting high-paying jobs to low-wage foreign countries, while importing uneducated people who are willing to work for lower-than-U.S. wages without any benefits.
The winners in this game include the corporate executives and stockholders who benefit by cheap labor, but the losers are the U.S. middle class. In addition to unemployment for those whose jobs were eliminated, the real wages (adjusted for inflation) for the remaining jobs have steadily declined. Since 2000, the U.S. manufacturing sector has lost nearly one-fourth of our total manufacturing workforce. Many of those jobs have gone to Communist China, where toys for the U.S. market are made in sweatshops by workers paid as little as 36 cents per hour. White-collar jobs are being outsourced, too, as corporations search for cheaper labor. Telephone operators paid $12.57 an hour in the United States can be hired in India for $1 an hour.
Free trade is turning America into a two-tiered country like many foreign countries, with a few of the very rich and a lot of the very poor, while the middle class loses big-time. Only the private sector can create useful jobs that offer hope for the future. Small business, which has the capacity of creating good jobs, hasn't been hiring since Obama was elected because he is threatening them with tax increases plus a mandate to provide health insurance for their workers that employers know they cannot afford.
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