Wednesday, March 10, 2010

At Least I Have a Job...

Those are the words I have been saying and others have been saying to me and themselves. For over a year we have been hearing this time and time again. That is around the time the economy went south. It was the largest recession we have seen in our life times. And yes, I am very happy to have a job. There are many people out there who can't find work and have lost everything. But why?

Is it because the American people were stupid with their money? Is it because banks did things or were forced to do things that shouldn't have been done? Is it because Americans have a dream of owning their own house and living comfortably?

American people have been stupid with their money since we gained our independence in 1776. Not every American but some Americans. Its a given. But, its your money and you earned the right to do with that money as you wish. Not to mention the fact that if you are blowing your money on stupid things or purchasing the things you need, you are still putting it into the economy. So, I don't find that to be the root of the problem.

Depending on which side you see it from the banks lent out trillions and trillions of dollars for people to be able to buy a home. Some say government regulations forced them to do so and others say it was just the banks stupidity for lending hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who couldn't afford to pay it back. Either way this did cause a bit of a problem. But, was this the kicker?

We have all been raised with the idea of the "American Dream". To own a nice house with a white picket fence, a dog, and 2.5 children. And, if you didn't have these things by a certain age then there must be something wrong with you. But, even before this economic crisis there were people who couldn't get these things. It just wasn't in the cards for them. Once the banks started handing out loans left and right everyone wanted their piece of the American pie. But, I can't blame it all on this. There are plenty of banks out there who joined in on the loan extravaganza and didn't have down sizing, need a bailout, or have to jack up their customers rates. Believe it or not some of these banks grew. Still not the root of the problem.

What is then? What's the root of this economical crisis? Greed. Yes greed. And, no this isn't a Sunday school lesson.

In the 1960's and 1970's a CEO in a large company would make 20 to 30 times that of a typical worker. Today that number is astonishing. A CEO of a large company makes 270 times that of a typical worker. Inflation is a guarantee but wage raising isn't. Not anymore. Between 2002 and 2007 the average wage for a college graduate or a high school graduate went up zero. When the economy went south just over a year ago millions of hard working Americans lost their jobs. Trillions of tax dollars and borrowed money were given to the large companies and their CEO's because "we couldn't let them fail". These same CEO's have the power to kick start this economy again.

How? Ask anyone that is "lucky to have a job" when they will get another raise. Or, even better, when they will be making what they were making before the economic crisis. Some of us have kept a job, and yes I am very thankful for that, with the stipulation of less benefits and less wages to save the company from going under. Sounds noble right? We also know people who we used to work with who weren't so lucky. They lost a job from the same place we work and now have to find something to help support them and their family. Mean while someone else gets hired into their place for less money, or someone who already works there takes on their responsibilities while getting paid the same or less because they feel "lucky to have a job".

Meanwhile the CEO's and big wigs are raking in the extra money meant to save the company and the lively hood of all its workers so they can keep up their life styles. Private jets still there. Mansion still there. 3 vacation houses still there. Yacht still there. These CEO's and company heads alone have the power to kick start this economy. They have the power to raise wages, to open new jobs, to offer amazing benefits. But, they can't live like movie stars while doing so. Maybe they have to live like really wealthy individuals instead. I know. It's hard to live like that.

The middle class is slowly dwindling. 2% of the population controls 89.97% of the country's wealth. That leaves 10.03% for the remaining 98% to fight over. This slowly takes the people in the middle class and forces them to the lower class. Now that 2% of the population can pay you whatever they want for you to do a job. Why? Because you will at least have a job and you may reach yourself into the Upper Lower Class.

Its already started. How many job interviews do you conduct or go to and are able to negotiate benefits and wages? On the other hand how many job interviews do you conduct or go to where you care about that right now? 99% chance the answer is zero. Why? Because regardless the pay or benefits, at least you have a job. There are millions of Americans who don't. And, its sad that we feel happy to just have a job.

2% of our countries population is living large, and if they would live just a little less large and pay decent wages and open up jobs... Then the other 98% would be able to live a little.

1 comment:

  1. You're teetering eerily on the edge of a Socialist mindset there ;)

    I wholeheartedly agree, though. I laughed at the VP of my company the other day because he questioned someone's dedication to the company. He looked at me like I was mad and I explained that I find it funny that he would wonder why his employees would work 1.5 times more hours, and then some more at home, than he does with less benefits when he makes 13 times more than all of us. He didn't like that comment, but it's the truth.