Saturday, December 31, 2011

After globalization, US can't afford it's wealthy class anymore

Globalization has brought a plethora of inexpensive products to our lives. Things made in other countries, where labor costs are lower, have created a bonanza for American consumers, but consumers are also workers. Outsourcing of jobs has hurt American workers.

Some of those jobs could come back if American worker/consumers worked for lower wages, but the cost of living is too high in USA for that to work very well. Workers can no longer afford to pay for the upper class which continues to go on (without a clue) as if nothing has changed.

The upper class creates much of the cost of living that workers can no longer afford. For instance American workers can no longer afford the cost of our health care system wrought with insurance company executives that rake in millions, star doctors that can command millions and the high price of malpractice insurance with it's associated payouts and all the trial lawyers involved.

Then there's the cost of our military, second to none. We can no longer afford to support that if we compete with workers in other countries.

Education with the likes of high priced college presidents is another thing no longer affordable.

Housing is another. Property values have been too high, but now we are seeing property value adjust downward. Markets do tend to reach an equilibrium eventually.

From our corporate executives to our high level professionals to even most of our politicians; we can't afford the cost that these people are imposing on the provision of services, such as health care in America.

Some people think we can still out compete cheap overseas labor by always doing things better. Using more technology for efficiency and making better products. They call this the American advantage. Problem is, there is no more American advantage. Other countries can do it better as well.

I'm not necessarily suggesting a race to the bottom where we all try to lower our incomes to the level of Chinese sweatshops. Incomes in China are raising anyway. It's just that those at the top of the American system have to do their part to face the new realities of a global economy. If workers are expected to work for low wages, they can't expect to be living in homes costing around a half million dollars or paying health insurance premiums of over $500 per month. The top providers of American services have to adjust their expectations closer to where the workers are headed.

Overall quality of life can still get better. One measure of "better" in quality of life is peace of mind. If workers feel like they can afford to live in their own country, they can have more peace of mind.

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