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6594Re: [rootsradicals] Re: kwikfile's flicker page!

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  • Mark Garvey
    Sep 6, 2008

      On Fri, Sep 5, 2008 at 10:40 AM, MH <hoagy@...> wrote:
      in part...
      Most Americans are working
      harder for less and falling behind or struggling to keep up
      with inflation...

      OK, something that I have been thinking about here.  First, though I have been a union member in the past, I am not particularly enamored with them in their current state of being....but!

      The largest economic boom this country has ever seen took place in the 1940s thru 1960's...the time of the rise of unions.  The union itself is not entirely necessary, BUT the fact that the "average working man (or woman)" was experiencing ever increasing wages meant that they could AFFORD to purchase a house, a car, and all that food!  They in turn supported more and more businesses.

      Most companies today apparently believe that by  reducing pay and benefits for short term profits that they are making their company more successful. It is the EXACT opposite.  When you Move an industrial plant to someplace for cheaper labor, you lose a large number of consumers for your  (and other people's )product line in your intended market.  This MIGHT be worthwhile for a very few companies, but if you move your entire industrial base offshore, leaving your home country with no jobs, who will buy your product at home?

      The remaining corporations see the economy going down (high unemployment, low profits) and decide that they MUST reduce wages to continue to make a profit and then THEIR employees are no longer able to purchase as many goods and services as before, leading to a further loss of business, profits and ultimately, jobs.

      This is the situation we find ourselves in today.  People are not making as much as they were 50 years ago.  A friend mentioned that his father worked in a packing plant (now shut down) for about $4 an hour back in the 1960's.  His mother did not work outside the home, they had a nice house and two cars.  A "typical" 1960's family.    Today at $20 an hour (If you can find a job for that much!) a single worker can barely make ends meet.  Most traditional families have TWO people working full time to support a similar lifestyle to that supported by a single worker in 1960.

      I don't know.   I can see that I personally am working an average of 50 hours a week (often 53-55) PLUS working a small business on weekends to pay the bills.  My wife does not work outside the home (OUR choice, not mine! and partly due to a medical condition) We are  not living a lavish lifestyle, or even particularly upper middle class.

      I would submit that inflation is not the problem so much as the ever decreasing wages and benefits.   Our insurance at work has been rising in cost every year and we have not gotten a pay increase for 3 years, partially due to this.  the company has absorbed the $100 to $200 a month INCREASE in our medical benefits for the last few years and not bumped our pay.  So inflation, even at the low rate it has been moving, is making my dollar "worth" less.

      I really don;'t know where it will go.

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