Labor is under the shadow of the Great Recession. What happens to people when confronted with job loss? Can they pick themselves up and go on with their lives? Some do. Many who have lived in a company town survive and survive poorly at best. If you’re lucky, you live in a supportive community like Janesville. However, the standard of living after the GM Plant closed never returned. While people are not homeless , they are the working poor, dependent on charities that were set up by the retired GM pensioners.
Are they happy with their lot in life? No. Accepting charity for many is a poor excuse for work. Were there local job training centers? yes. However, there were no jobs available and the training became a costly waste. Many of the Union workers became working GM gypsies commuting to the nearest GM Plant almost 300 miles away while their families remained in Janesville. Generational roots have been put down there. So they remain rooted to the town and commuted from Monday to Friday for years. For those not as lucky, there was work at the local Walmart or gas station or food pantry.
Opioids have claimed the souls of some. It’s not an epidemic in Janesville. Emotional distress took its toll and continues to cripple many. The once thriving Middle Class exists for the older pensioners only. Their children have become the working poor. Those 30 to 60 are the most vulnerable. Yet, their kids, though brought up in poverty, had loving families and many are destined for college. Will that solve their economic and emotional problems? Not in this America.
There are a limited number of jobs available and the competition is fierce. You are not only competing against your neighbors, you are competing against prison labor too. The folks in prison get very little to no remuneration for their labor making it impossible for small businesses to compete.
The only way to jump start our Economy and help resurrect the Middle Class is to levy taxes on Big Business and give them relief from Taxation when and if they train People for real well paying jobs, commit to R&D and start investing in America instead of themselves, their shareholders and political PACS.
America can no longer afford to ignore or deny the pain we’ve caused citizens. The time to rebuild is now!
See you Friday and we’ll chat.
“the Heart and pulse of the Middle Class”