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Casual Argument Esssay "The Biggest Loser Is The American Worker"

Baker

M. Shaw
Casual Argument Essay


"The Biggest Loser Is The American Worker"


A father of four leaves his job in a North Carolina furniture factory for the last time, after 15 years of faithful service. In an automobile factory in Detroit, a mother providing a necessary second income to her family punches out on the clock entering the list of unemployed. The recent college graduate, with a promising career in information technology realizes many potential jobs have been moved overseas. These three hardworking individuals represent a cross section of the American middle class worker. The devastating effects on the job market by globalization (free trade in a world economy) have become their worse enemy. Millions of Americans have either lost their jobs, because they were exported overseas, or were replaced by foreigners with a working visa. The impact of these actions results in a decrease in workers, wages, benefits, and bargaining power, in addition to causing a negative effect on entire communities, due to decreased tax revenues and increased use of public assistance programs. Our government along with private business needs to develop and implement labor policies that protect the economic health of our working middle class. Throughout history the strength of our nation has depended on the economic stability of its middle class citizens.

America has a long history of producing a strong working middle class. Characteristics of workers, which have contributed to our countrys success, are mentioned in an article by Gabor Steingart. He writes that we have a high level of optimism and ability to look outside the box, "America is the country that strives hardest for what is new... unabashed curiosity seems to be hardwired into the nations genetic code." Furthermore, Steingart argues that the high number (44 million since 1980) of new workers provides a fresh influx of this unique American worker. He continues, stating, American workers have come form every country in the world motivated to work hard and find a better way of life (1). After a long history of fighting for high working standards, wages and benefits the American worker is now struggling for its own economic survival.

Globalization is having a negative effect on the U.S. job market, when exporting jobs overseas and importing workers, thus destabilizing the American worker. The future of the middle class is in jeopardy which directly relates to the economic stability of the United States. Steingart argues, that public, private and corporate debt is at historical heights, local companies are failing due to the increase in world trade promoted mostly by the United States, and the dollars worth can be effected by outside circumstances (2). These factors can only have a negative effect when government and companies make policies, that will impact American workers. These policies will result in the instability of the middle class, and greatly out- weighs the benefits of globalization.

The shipping of jobs overseas is a major factor causing the loss of employment by the working middle class. An AFL-CIO (Labor organization) 2007 report stated, that "Since 2001 the nation has lost 2.5 million manufacturing jobs and more than 850.000 professional service and information sector jobs." They believe, that that sending jobs overseas decreases wages and working conditions in America, thus threatening our economy. The report states, That one third of all major financial institutions are already sending work offshore, and that state governments are contracting up to 10 billion dollars of agency work overseas(1). An area hit hard by job losses is the information technology fields in particular software jobs. The AFL-CIO report provides a grim view when predicting future job losses. They predict U.S. employers in the next 8 years will move 3.4 million jobs overseas, and that 40 percent of corporate tech operations will leave the U.S., by next year. They conclude by stating that the top 100 financial institutions in the world will shift billions of dollars and,"two million jobs to low-wage countries over the next five years."(2) The increasing loss of available jobs to the U.S. middle class will greatly lower their purchasing power causing a devastating rippling effect to all areas of the economy.

Foreigners using working visas (H-1B) are coming to the United States in large numbers to replace the American worker. Gary Endelman writes in Immigration Daily that in the last six years two million jobs have been filled by immigrants using H-1B visas. He mentions that the importing of skilled labor is not new, but it is being scrutinized due to the overall loss of U.S. jobs to non-citizens. American companies who control their workers visas prefer these employees, because they work for low wages, and longer hours. Endelman argues, that these workers actually keep companies profitable on American soil, and will prevent the movement of jobs and companies overseas, which can cause a further increased threat to U.S. economy(1). He states, that India (English speaking nation) with 2 million graduates a year is able to provide a relocated American company, skilled workers for one third of the pay of the U.S. worker (3). Endelman recommends that Congress should, "Crack down on the use of the H-1B to hire cheap foreign labor." This approach will discourage companies from lowering wages, while making it difficult for American workers to compete, and maintain a middle class standard of living.

The economic future of America depends on the availability of middle class jobs, which provide a fair wage, benefits, and bargaining power for its citizens. The exporting of these jobs along with the importing of foreign workers will weaken our nation as a whole. The survival of the U.S. middle class worker will be determined by government and corporate policies. The consumer ( that does not lose a job because of outsourcing, and importing of workers) that benefits from lower prices, may not view job loses as a problem, but must realize that the "Great Depression" devastated the working middle class, and had a devastating effect on all Americans. The protection of jobs, wages, benefits, and bargaining power is essential when keeping our country strong enough to compete in todays global economy. The father of four in North Carolina, mother in Detroit, and the recent graduate, all walk the unemployment line. Throughout history the optimism, work ethic, and ability to look beyond the obvious has placed the American worker in high esteem. The current employment policies by the government and business are not the payback the American middle class worker deserves.

Works Cited

Endleman, Gary. The Perils of Pragmatism:Outsourcing ,Not The Cap, Is What America Should Fear.American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM. 18 Feb. 2007 http://www.ilw.com/cgi-shl/pr.pl


Shipping Jobs Overseas: How Real is the Problem? AFL-CIO. 18 Feb. 2007 http://www.aflcio.org/issues/jobseconomy/exportingamerica/outsourcing-
problems.cfm?R

Steingart, Gabor. Americas Middle Class Has Become Globalization loser 24 October, 2006, 03:49 PM
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