french letter(s)

San Francisco

Les nouveaux pauvre, Americain! Welcome to the third world, you have officially arrived. Your Bourgeois delusional dreams of grandeur are finally over, you have succeeded beyond your wildest dreams. This is what happens when you outsource your industries to third world countries, you eventually become a third world country. If Americans were not so brain washed by the Chamber of Commerce that what is good for business is good for America..etc...you have to produce things, all wealth comes from labor, this is basic economic theory. If you can reduce the labor costs by paying someone 50cents an hour then you can reap so much more profit. Short term profits have killed America, and the American middle class. When there is no more middle class, who do you think are going to buy all these products? I don't think China or America has ever really thought about this..thats what is so scary, these people are evil. They don't care about America or our future. This is treason really. They are traitors, these corporate Chamber of Commerce interests sold out America, will Americans ever fight back?

Concerned Citizen
Anywheresville, USA

Over the past 40 years or so technological change, population increases, efficiency increases and the ability to "off shore" many jobs (from manufacturing to white collar) means that there is NOW and for the foreseeable future, FAR MORE PEOPLE who need and want jobs than there are jobs. Period. Education, as we are seeing very bluntly and painfully, is not the solution. We have too many EVERYTHING -- too many stockbrokers and too many ad execs and too many parking lot attendants and too many web designers....EVERYTHING.

We are looking at a future where probably 2 in 10 people will not be able to find any sort of full-time work (with benefits) of ANY kind, never mind if it is Wall Street or the Family Dollar store in Dayton, Ohio. They will be stuck doing the most menial jobs, part-time and temporary, and completely unemployed for much of the year.

We need to start thinking about ways to increase the number of jobs,and to encourage whatever people we can to get out of the work force. This means EARLIER retirement -- not working til 70! -- it means making stay-at-home moms and dads an economically viable proposition, perhaps with extended family leave or tax breaks. It means a shorter work day, such as in France (35 hours a week) and longer European style vacations (mandatory six weeks).

It means limiting overtime harshly -- perhaps with double time pay, and not just time-and-a-half -- as today, one way employers limit the number of people they hire is by forcing overtime (often unpaid) and calling nearly everyone a manager or exempt to enable this.

Some people work almost solely to get affordable group health care, so NATIONAL SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE (which we have stupidly avoided once again) would mean that a fair chunk of current workers could either stay home or be self-employed -- work as artists, writers or musicians -- or live off their trust funds -- and not take a job from another person who possibly needs it far worse.

I'm sure creative and smart folks have even MORE ideas than this. But this is a starting point -- and we need to put our thinking caps on about this. THE JOBS ARE NOT COMING BACK. The jobs have been disappearing for thirty some years now. The handwriting has been on the wall. Telling people pretty lies -- promising things that don't exist -- training people and worse, taking their money for bogus pointless "re-training programs" is inexcusable.

We need to be honest with them and ourselves. If you are out of work today -- if you have been unemployed for over a year, and are not getting interviews -- even worse, if you are over 45 -- it is very likely you will never work again in (fulltime, with benefits) in your life.

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