Middle Class Becomes the New Working Poor

Submitted by Political Taxidermist on 11/8/04 at 9:49 PM. ( )

America's Middle Class Becomes the New Working Poor
By Frosty Wooldridge
Washington Dispatch.com

In the past ten years, American jobs screamed out of the United States at an ever-accelerating rate of speed. While American workers stood in unemployment lines, major corporations insourced, outsourced and offshored jobs to Third World countries. Why? They could obtain labor for $1.00 an hour and sometimes less. Capitalism knows no loyalty to man, beast or country.

At the high end, Congress offered hundreds of thousands of H-1B and L-1 visas that displaced 890,000 American high tech workers out of jobs while importing cheap labor from overseas.

To add insult to injury while displacing American workers--meatpacking, chicken processing, paving, construction, hotel, roofing, landscaping and other trade jobs were insourced to millions of illegal alien workers.

America's manufacturing base and ability to sell products to the world diminished with the rising power of corporations to control taxes, tariffs and commodities markets. These huge corporations, run by American CEOs, took advantage of their American roots and benefits enjoyed in a First World country - while giving millions of jobs to people in other countries. For what? Obscene profits! It's why you hear of their $125 million annual paychecks. They are the Ken Lays of Enron crowd who don't get caught. Why not? Because what they do is legal, but then again, they paid enough money into Political Action Committees and other organizations to make sure they gained tax breaks and other benefits from Congress.

It's a hell of a rich man's club, but it's turning America's Middle Class into the Working Poor Class.

Who are these giants? You'd be surprised. They are some of our most time-honored companies who built their empires on the backs of America's working class heroes.

According to Arianna Online, "Bank of America shouldn't be allowed to have 'America' in the name of the company." One of America's largest banks eliminated 5,000 jobs while outsourcing 1,250 jobs to India. It announced it would cut another 12,000 jobs in the next two years. Employees were given severance pay on condition they train their replacements.

Affiliated Computer Services offers business processing technology--outsourced 1,300 jobs to India in the past three years. They multiplied their profits by paying half the wage rate in a Third World country of 1.1 billion eager workers.

According to Arianna, "The company chairman is known as Darwin 'Survival of the Richest' Deason."

General Electric built its empire on American soil. However, it is known as the father of outsourcing. It outsourced 12,000 jobs to people in India who perform at phones answering credit card inquires and give IT technical assistance while handling network security. The three leading executives of GE make untold millions in salaries while American citizens stand in unemployment lines.

Halliburton, formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney as its CEO, enjoys 45 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. Halliburton is helping reconstruct Iraq with $73 million in equipment and services. The only caveat stems from working as a civilian employee with Halliburton in Iraq might find you with your head on a platter. However, stockholders make millions.

The Bank of New York, run by Thomas 'Pioneering the Loss of American Jobs' Reny, in March 2003, sent 250 computer software jobs to Mumbai where it already employed 670 workers. It plans to open a software development center in the Philippines.

American Telephone and Telegraph, or what we used to call Ma Bell - which is about as ALL-AMERICAN a company you could ever find - outsourced 500 customer service jobs to India in 2003 in addition to another 3,000 jobs outsourced before that date.

Dell Computers employs 3,000 Indians in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India. Sprint cut 21,000 American jobs in 2001 through 2003 and sent those jobs to Third World countries. American Flyer, the makers of the little red wagon we all pulled as kids, outsourced to China this year. Maytag in Pennsylvania shut its plant while displacing 1,500 workers and set up shop in Mexico.

"Congress, the President and journalists sit around like outsourcing is some incurable disease and they cannot fix it," said Paul Streitz, an industry watchdog. "It is not. They say outsourcing is driven by the need for firms to stay 'competitive.' But to stay competitive means lowering costs and raising profits for stockholders and key executives. The additional savings are not passed on to customers. No study has ever shown that those companies using outsourcing are charging lower prices. A chief justification for this abomination."

If this trend is any indication, and it is, the best days of America's working class fade in the rearview mirror. Americans compete with 1.3 billion Chinese and 1.1 billion Indians whose medium income teeters at $2,000 a year. They will work for $5.00 a day whereas Americans must make at least $15.00 an hour to maintain a decent standard of living.

You have to ask who will have enough money to buy the goods and services those companies market when the American Middle Class slides down the tubes? What's in store for Americans?

It means America's Middle Class races to the bottom of the 'standard of living' barrel as its jobs outsource, insource and offshore. It means millions work from paycheck to paycheck with few benefits and no job security. It means the American Dream drops from achievable for the vast majority in the past to a pipe dream for the new Working Poor Class.


Frosty Wooldridge is a teacher and author who has bicycled 100,000 miles on six continents to see overpopulation up close and ugly.

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95% have jobs...

This response submitted by Drew on 11/8/04 at 10:31 PM. ( )

Funny, each year there are a thousands of high school and college grads, our population grows exponentially, yet somehow we manage to create enough jobs to keep 95% of those eligible to work (let alone illegals) working! Out of that 5%, 2% can be considered transitional between the jobs, and the other 3% are either not good workers, or not wanting a job!

AND...our "poor" people all manage to have cell phones, color tv's, automobiles, tobacco, booze, DVD's, more children and cable. The truth is, there are very few really poor people in this country.

Drew, you are right on

This response submitted by Ron on 11/8/04 at 11:09 PM. ( )

poor people in this country have it made. You notice that they are all fat too. Go figure.
For what I make at taxidermy my family of seven is rated as being below the "poverty" level, yet we own two suburbans (used but nice) I go on hunting trips every year, if we want to take a family trip somewhere we go. When we want to eat out we eat out. We don't live fancy but we are certainly not "poverty". If this is poverty, hell it is just not that bad, in fact I would recommend it.

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