Plight of the American Worker Essay
Plight of the American Worker
Ten years from now, I don’t know how wealthy I will be. I don’t know what kind of job my husband will have, nor do I know what kind of job I will have. What I do know though is the American worker is struggling, and the struggles will most likely get worse. The United States used to pride itself on providing for its families through hard work. Today, most people lacking education beyond high school struggle to maintain a lifestyle they once dreamed of. Not only are high school graduates suffering but many college graduates are as well because so many jobs have been eliminated due to globalization and technology.
Globalization of companies is most likely the main reason American workers are not satisfied with their lifestyles. Companies are starting to outsource their manual labor to third world countries. People from these countries are fighting for their lives and are willing to work for less than a dollar an hour. For an example, “in Bangladesh, a garment worker makes 22 cents an hour” (Snyder). How can companies turn down such low wages for the same quality of work they would receive from employees who must earn at least minimum wage in the United States?
Factories are closing everyday in the United States as new factories are built in third world countries. These factories would provide employment for many people in the U. S. , but companies are better off when they outsource their labor. Labor costs are cut significantly, and top executives are rewarded for their stellar performance. In this case, the top executives’ salaries go up, and the employees’ salaries might change a bit. The most dramatic change occurs for those high on the corporate ladder. Technology is a cause for concern for some individuals. Many jobs are eliminated because of new advancements in technology.
Robots and highly advanced machines have taken the place of once very skilled workers. If jobs do open up, so many people apply for the job. They are either looking to get a job or get a job that is a step up from their previous position. For example, “over one three day period, approximately 10,000 people showed up to apply for 90 jobs making washing machines in Kentucky for $27,000 a year”(Snyder). 27,000 might sound like a lot for a college student trying to pay for rent and a tuition bill but to support a family on this income would be absurd.
* Our world is extremely overpopulated and doesn’t help American’s concern for job security. Not only do individuals need to be concerned with a decrease in jobs from outsourcing and technology, but they also are factoring in how crowded the Earth has become. “Nine percent of the United States is currently unemployed” (“Unemployment rate”). The American worker wouldn’t be as affected by this number if there weren’t so many people available to work.
Finally, as jobs are eliminated, individuals don’t have the resources necessary to start a new life. So many individuals have worked in the same job for long periods of time. Once certain jobs are eliminated, workers are forced to find new jobs. “They typical worker is spending 15. 4 weeks unemployed”(Frauenheim). Most of the time, if they want to earn an income equivalent to what they were making, they might even have to go back to school. Some individuals might not have the time to go back to school, or they might have started a family and have to put their children through school first.
Whatever the case, with so many jobs eliminated, the American worker struggles to successfully start over. I took the side of American workers who have been in the workforce for more than a few years. I have lived a middle class lifestyle, so this is all I really know. As I talked with my mom just the other night, she told me that she wishes she could have changed occupations to make more money but didn’t have the time or the resources. Maybe the definition of hard work has changed in today’s society. Hard work in the past consisted of manual labor and farm work.
Because of how society has progressively advanced, hard work now consists of spending a few additional years in school. To some, hard work might even mean having intelligence and finding a promising place to start a career. Whatever the case, the United States needs to keep its jobs here and eliminate such excessive outsourcing. My mother is a teacher, but before I know it, her job might be cut as schools start transitioning to only online courses. I am concerned for American workers, but if such an event happened to her, I would have even stronger feelings towards protecting the American worker.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 26 December 2016
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