Living the American Ream

John Dir

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Every so often, there comes a pulse in the innovation cycle of American business when it seems logical and necessary for free enterprise to assess the condition of middle class workers, and conclude it is time to shuffle them back through the ranks of the poor or overworked. This type of manipulation has taken place repeatedly in the past, is happening in the present, and will happen again in the future as part of the normal devolution of prosperity in the United States.

Particularly hard hit in the current cycle are large numbers of workers in major technical fields. To enhance the bottom line, larger organizations are willing to brave the confusion, lack of accomplishment, poor communication, and substandard results they achieve with outsourcing, for a temporary boost to their balance sheets. For companies that cannot join in on outsourcing, competitive actions include reducing the labor force, combining functions, and trolling the sea of displaced workers to find new employees at significantly lower pay rates, with a higher acuity of specific skills.

For middle class workers that are caught in the lurch, and unable to reorient to the shift in corporate thinking, entry into sudden poverty level income brackets goes unnoticed for the most part, because these people are not as vocal or dependent on government assistance as other members of lower class groups. Ex-middle class people keep their mouths shut, persist in trying to break out of the box they have been dropped into, and some become the innovators of the next big thing. The new wave of middle class diminishment has also caught a number of powerful technology companies off guard, as well as many sectors of the retail establishment.

Consumer markets for electronics, high end software, equipment, and other types of businesses that are still suffering amidst the promise of the present economic recovery are feeling the direct impact of the current damage that has been done by the latest reduction in middle class incomes. When the middle class group is significantly reduced, the tax base and consumption habits that bolster so many sectors of the economy also evaporate. When the country cycles between ultra rich, and ultra poor classes, some companies prosper greatly, while others find themselves rifling through executives to find ways to stop the downward spiral, and keep businesses from closing their doors.

Business profits without benefit to people are not healthy for the long term growth of the country. A land filled only with beggars and executives does not maintain a balanced foundation for growing an economy. With textiles, manufacturing, technical, consumer goods, and other significant industries once produced in America, leaving our shores for foreign interests, what is left for middle class workers to rebound with in the next wave? What are the mysterious and elusive jobs for the 21st Century? According to some politicians, the people who find themselves displaced from 30 year careers can start their own innovative company, (with no money, ) or head back to the Junior College on a government assistance program to get the training they need.

We already know the joys of being dependent on foreign interests for our energy needs, as seen by the current oil price gouging that government appears unable to control. Now we can start happily throwing in all aspects of our technology into the same bucket. Sounds like the American Ream to me.

Director of Software Concepts BHO Technologists - LittleTek Center HTTP:// Please provide a rating for the article to help us determine future content choices.


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