Things are bad all over, or so I've been hearing. The repercussions of a bad U.S. economy are being felt worldwide and prospects for the future often look rather dismal.
Unemployment is on the rise in most areas of the United States. Some reports have said that the unemployment figures are not accurate because some have been unemployed for so long that they have given up on looking for work. Many of the work force eligible have fallen under the radar because they have not applied for unemployment benefits. There are some indications that this current unemployment trend will continue for quite some time and may never really recover.
The U.S. population is aging. People are living longer and often retiring earlier. Older workers are in competition with the younger workers and there are not enough jobs for all. Retirement funds and social security funds could be threatened into a state of collapse. The increasing numbers of elderly will require more workers in healthcare, but not everyone is suited for this field.
Many industries in the United States have shut down or moved to other countries where labor is cheaper. Union demands for higher wages and more benefits have made manufacturing in the U.S. less attractive and companies continue to seek cheaper ways of operating. Consumer demands for less expensive products and competition from other companies encourage U.S. companies to reconsider producing goods in the U.S and instead move elsewhere. The unions may temporarily benefit U.S. workers but often seal the fate for long term job security. The need for manpower has also been reduced by more mechanization.
Outsourcing is becoming the norm for jobs that involve telephone or computer work. Jobs that could be done by American workers are done much less expensively by workers on the other side of the world. Even India is beginning to outsource phone and computer work to countries where it is cheaper to operate. American jobs have been disappearing like crazy.
The flood of illegal and legal immigrants has also taken a toll on native born American workers. The new arrivals are willing to work for less money and will take the jobs that many Americans deem to be beneath them. But even to the immigrants the potential for finding work in the U.S. is growing dim as the economy declines.
Declining economy, loss of job opportunities, more competition from workers willing to work for lower pay--these are some of the factors that threaten the future of the United States and the world. We have seen this same problem in the past. Is war the answer? Large scale wars have sometimes been a catalyst for economic upsurge. Massive cooperation on communal efforts like space travel or curing disease might be a solution, but where does that money come from and would that really boost the economy?
What is the future of the worker and of work in general?
What are the jobs of tomorrow? Are more government jobs the answer? Should the tax dollars that come from a few wealthy go to support the many? Will the movements related to socialism or Marxism be the saving grace of future generations? Should companies be highly pressured through government intervention to bring all jobs back to U.S. workers? Should immigration--legal and illegal--be tightened? Does the U.S. need a major war commitment to unite citizens and require massive manufacturing and defensive efforts that will provide millions of new jobs?
Please remember that this is a debate topic. I am merely posing questions concerning possible solutions to the current employment problems. I do not necessarily support these measures, but I offer them to fuel the discussion. I would like to hear what you think about this topic.