An Ominous Glimpse into the Future of Human Labor

Published on Dissident Voice, by Wanda Woodward, August 4th, 2009.

Five percent (5%) of the richest Americans own 95% of corporate stocks. This means that five percent (5%) are reaping excessive and outrageous profits from a forsaking of the American workforce. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans are unemployed or underemployed. Those who are underemployed are being compensated anywhere between 20%-70% less in wages than their prior incomes. Yet, we continue to see very large increases in consumer goods and services from anything as small as vegetables and milk to large ticket items such as cars, homes, and college education expenses. What has occurred over the past three decades in the United States? More skilled jobs that demand higher levels of education and more technical skills have been shipped overseas creating what has been called “the brain drain.” American workers with years of higher level education, greater skills, and more experience are being replaced by either automation or by low income and unemployed foreigners who are glad to work for 1/10 or 1/20 of the pay that an American demands. These leaves mostly semi-skilled and unskilled workers in America such as retail salespeople, waiters and waitresses, health aides, and janitors, all in the lower paying sector. 

In addition to this, American corporations have hired part-time workers and independent contractors in order to avoid having to provide healthcare. Yet the executives in the company have very attractive and robust health and welfare benefits. The majority of U.S. part-time workers are women who earn 69% of what males earn. One projection is that, by the year 2014, there will be around 38 million people who will be job hunting in underdeveloped countries,2 adding to the already one billion plus people across the world who are unemployed and underemployed …

… American workers have been left standing at the curbside for decades holding the proverbial bag. They are paying more for the cost of those products and services which the corporation is producing for an estimated 30%-70% less cost due, in large part, to massive savings in the cost of labor as corporations lay off U.S. workers and hire cheap labor from foreign countries at a rate up to 90% of the cost of labor in the U.S. Meanwhile, the compensation of U.S. executives continues to escalate and skyrocket into the tens and hundreds of millions per executive. In addition, this creates a financial windfall for CEOs, senior executives, and the 5% who own stock in these corporations that are saving 60-90% in labor costs. Corporations have betrayed the American workers and have done so without many people being aware of the enormity of the betrayals. Because multi-nationals own virtually all major and mainstream media outlets, they have, for the most part over the past three decades, hid any news that was unfavorable to corporations and the wealthy elite. Hidden from front page or headline news in these mainstream media sources such as CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, and Fox News was any news that had the potential to incite large groups of people to unite, engage, and oppose their agenda. The media did not inform the public, to any large degree, about the mass drain of labor out of America that began in the late 1980s. It was not until the early 21st century that large numbers of Americans became aware of the scope of the numbers of lost jobs as well as the fact that the hiring of overseas labor had been occurring for well over a decade. Some of this increased awareness was due to internet access which has non-mainstream sources that provides what many consider are far more accurate pictures and data that are representative of contemporary financial, social, cultural and psychological reality. The wealthiest power brokers have been very aware of the threat that the internet plays in the potential to educate and inform tens and hundreds of millions of people across the world. More crucially, they are cognizant of the potential that this creates for a worldwide organization and uniting of people against what has now become, when combined with overpopulation and global warming, the psychosocial pathology of free market capitalism. (full long text).

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