Economic disparity, is one of the most interesting topics that can be touched on when it comes to our economy. If you’ve been in tuned with the news lately, rising inflation and minimum wage protest have been in the front of news headlines, and have caused alarming concerns for economist. In the very informative documentary, ” Inequality for All”, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich talks about the pivoting exploits behind stagnant american wages, lack of wealth building in families, and the importance of the middle class to the American economy. Reich goes on to say in the film, ” In 1978, the average male U.S worker earned $48,000, adjusted for inflation, while the average member of the 1 percent earned $390,000, or eight times as much. By 2010 that middle class guy’s wages had declined to $33,000, while the 1 Percenter was making $1.1 million, or 33 times more.” It’s adamant that our economy has been through major crisis events, that have left middle class Americans at tragic ends. Reich goes on in the film, and expands on a few statistical explanations on our nations economic structure.
1. Reich believes that Globalization Impacted American Jobs
Globalization is the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideals and other views of cultures. It also means the impact of outsourcing and integrating on one combined global system that can in turn make and service a product for businesses. According to Reich, increased globalization meant many jobs were outsourced overseas, including those that didn’t require a formal education, such as a college degree. Although, a college degree doesn’t guarantee success in all cases, it is known to make social climbing within the class scale more likely than not obtaining a higher education. Due to stagnant wages for the middle class, obtaining a college degree in the U.S has been made harder for middle class families to afford.
2. The Middle Class American Families Holds Together the Economy
Reich speaks thoroughly on the importance that the middle class families have on our economy. Because it is the largest group of social class in the U.S, consumption, and buying of products by the middle class feeds more money into our economy. With stagnant wages, Americans are now more likely living off credit to afford daily living necessities. It’s been a strain for many families to bounce back after layoffs, and ongoing increase inflation, which is not being matched fairly to yearly earnings.
3. Anti Union Legislation & Deregulation Contributed Negatively to the Economy
Reich states in the film, that taking apart the unions that helped protect middle class workers was a start to the economies stagnant wage crisis. It was in the 1970’s, that these changes came about when there was a decline of unions under Reagan’s presidency. He goes on to explain the “Federal Air Traffic Controller Strike”, when President Reagan fired 12,000 workers, because of a law violation that forbids federal workers from striking. It was something that Reich was very passionate about in the film, and seemed to ignite a fire of discussion.
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