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Collapse of the american economy

I am not an economist, but I am seeing trends that foretell the fall of the U.S. from the high pinnacle that we have been in for most of the 20th century, and it is our own fault.

The erosion of the middle class has been going on for a while. The middle class are the ones that have been losing jobs due to corporate cutbacks, downsizing, and the farming out of jobs to the world markets.

People can no longer afford to make house payments because they no longer have jobs. They lose their homes, and the ability to purchase items that the companies make.

Education costs have skyrocketed, and having a college degree is nowere near a guarantee that you can get a job. A lot of people are delivering pizzas and working at fast food chains starting out their adult lives with a $30,000-plus debt load.

Corporations are shipping jobs overseas. Manufacturing jobs have been shipped for some time, but now service jobs are becoming more overseas oriented. It has become cheaper for companies to have customer service lines run out of India than keep them domestic. And engineering and technical jobs have become the next export. Corporations feel that they have to export those jobs to stay competitive.

We have a globalization of our economy. And it's being spread too thin.

And then there's greed. Look at Enron. Look at how many people suffered because a handful of corpocrats wanted to line their own pockets.

Social Security is gone. Unless you have an independent retirement plan, you can never retire, because you won't be able to live. And if your retirement plan was based on investments, you may be in deep shit because a lot of those investments have gone down the tubes.

We're going to have a lot of people that have a very poor standard of living. A lot more than we do now.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2003 09:41 am (UTC)
I'm terrified of this too. And I'm a historian, so I have no confidence in the American theory of, "This can't happen to us. Someone will fix it. We're Americans after all!"

Although I'd like to point out that your housing theory seems awry -- more people have been buying houses than ever before, causing the price of houses in some place (cough) -Massachusetts- (cough) to more than double in FIVE YEARS! So obviously lots of people either have enough money or enough access to credit to cause this huge spike in housing prices.

Also, our productivity has shot up in the last 3 years -- meaning that employers don't have to hire as many people to get the same amount of work. Bad for people out of work and a leading cause of the jobless recovery (hey, all you people working 12 hours a day, I'm talking to you!), but the flip side is that standards of living historically rise with productivity.

Um, not that I pay attention to this stuff.
Sep. 25th, 2003 11:55 am (UTC)
While more people have been buying houses, the point remains that these same people have to be paying for them for 30 years, and there are no jobs with that longevity.

Productivity-- I wonder how much of this is driven out of fear? People working longer hours (many without compensation), so any increase of the standard of living goes to the owners and stockholders, not the workers.

This serves to further polarize the society into the rich and the poor. The rich will become the property owners and the poor will become either indentured to them or we will end up with corporate fiefdoms.

Of course, long before then, the Dutch will own majority stock in all of our public companies and decimate them in a ruthless takeover bid where the E.U. will become the world economic power, and the Chinese feeling threatened will launch nuclear bombs and decimate the western world.

Or we could all have punch.
Sep. 25th, 2003 07:32 pm (UTC)
I definitely think that the productivity gains are driven by fear. I know that I work longer hours because I don't want to be laid off -- or at least I think of it every time I only put in 8 1/2 hours.

What I hate about myself is that I loathe the inequity of the situation... while still doing things to ensure that I'm on the "up" side if at all possible.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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