While there are many direct causes of unemployment, such as technology which increases productivity coinciding with fewer employment opportunities, the major cause in America in the late twentieth century is Corporate America's search for lower and lower labor costs and less environmental and health and worker safety laws, with the only motivation being larger profits.
This destruction of the American Dream is never motivated by a search for an improved product nor a gain in efficiency nor even an effort to improve the American economy. Rather, the idea is solely to increase the wealth of those who own either the company or those who own stock in that company.
We have discussed the pure greed which Corporate America has displayed in their vile disregard for what brought America the near greatness it has achieved. What we have not examined, though, is the debilitating effects that this lust for money by the already wealthy causes to the American psyche.
When Corporate America moves jobs to countries with lower costs, a trade is made which leaves America the poorer. The jobs become America's export and the resulting products produced in the other country becomes an import. The problem, of course, is that the jobs which are exported return absolutely no capital to our nation and the products which are imported provide no benefits for anyone but the company's owners.
Even prices are negatively affected in this atmosphere. Where once prices were set by the competition of many companies and the law of supply and demand, we now have a situation of Corporate America producing products in low-wage countries for minimal cost and then importing them into America and selling them at obscene mark-ups. Those few reputable businesses which try to remain in America cannot compete because the importers take less profit for awhile in order to either force the decent American based business into attacking the wages of their workers or moving production into a low wage nation like their greedy competitors.
The very best example of this statement is Nike, Inc. Their shoes are made by women and children in horrible conditions in Asia for a cost of less than $4.00 a pair. These shoes are then sold in America for $100.00 to $200.00. Nowhere in this nation is that profit beneficial but in Nike's boardroom and on Wall Street. No income taxes are generated, no Social Security payments are created, no health or dental insurance premiums paid, no real estate bought for the manufacturing plants, no investment in American manufacturing equipment, nothing is brought into our economy which benefits anyone but the already wealthy. Try to find a tennis shoe (and Nike is nothing but a glorified tennis shoe) made in America by well paid Americans. They no longer exist.
What is the end result of this exodus of high paying jobs to other countries and the introduction of low paying service jobs into our economy?
We are currently witnessing those results in the huge increases in drug and alcohol abuse and suicides and domestic brutality and gang violence and homelessness and mental illness and poverty and, finally, the next generation of workers entering the job market with little or no full-time employment history or future. The only employment areas America is seeing increased are police forces and prison construction and prison management and the judicial system and hamburger flippers and lots and lots of low paying service sector positions.
According to the conservative political movement in America and their wealthy masters, of course, all of these horrors are not caused by Corporate America's continuous destruction of the American Dream but, rather, are a direct result of the failure of America to follow, in lock- step, their narrow-minded myth of "Family Values". This manipulative distraction away from the truth seems to be working, though, if the amazing subservience to Corporate America's scheme among America's passive voting population is any indication.
Incredibly, many Americans will shout their deepest hatred at anyone who points out to them that they are simply being manipulated by the very corporations who are using the average American's inability to differentiate harsh reality from soothing advertising campaigns and prevaricated political speeches in order to distract them from this abusive behavior towards all Americans in the ugly pursuit of profits. Well, begin shouting, folks, because anyone who accepts the proposition that Corporate America is in any way more important than the least of all Americans is abetting the destruction of everyone's hopes for the American Dream. You are doing nothing but assisting in the increase of the vast majority of the evils we, as a nation, find ourselves facing. If you vote for anyone who supports the lie that Corporate America's rights are greater in any way at all over this nation's citizens, then you must accept the responsibility for what you have caused. The business of America is the ideal of all its citizens and we must never debase ourselves to the mere level of Corporate America. Anything less is a surrender of America's future. Most of you can get out your white flags, now, though.
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