When the Candidates talk about trade agreements they’re really talking about the loss of blue collar jobs and the income stagnation of low and medium skill workers.
Changing our trade deals isn’t going to solve problems for the working class. Paying reasonable wages, and sharing in corporate success and profit will. We can’t delude ourselves that our country can survive without low level service and blue collar jobs. Not everyone can retrain or go to college and join the knowledge economy. Not everyone can transition from blue to white collar. Even if they could it’s not what the country needs. We need well paying jobs for those with low skills. Not handouts, but a fair share of the corporate profit they drive.
The staff here often talks about the inability of a large part of the workforce to contribute to the knowledge economy. Most US workers are not capable of holding high skill jobs. It’s not about the lack of opportunity or education. We just refuse to accept that most people aren’t capable of much more than manual labor or service jobs.
We need to stop dreaming that everyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. We have to realize that very few people are meant to be entrepreneurs. Very few people will ever start a business and fewer still will be a business that does anything meaningful.
Until we change the conversation and recognise that not everyone is meant for or capable of big, meaningful, fulfilling work, we’re always going to be stuck on what to do with those folks who just punch a clock.
NobodyisFlyingthePlane isn’t about doom and gloom and squashing the hopes and dreams of the working class. Of course many many people will rise above the circumstances they were born into. But if we don’t stop deluding ourselves about just what percent is capable of this we will be stuck having the same conversation about the stagnation of the lower and working classes.
There is always going to be a lower class. For the foreseeable future there will be a need for a working class. Let’s have the conversation about adequately compensating them for their contribution to the nation’s economic success. Let’s stop hoarding the profits at the top and let wages rise so that even the lowest person on the totem pole can afford a decent life.
This much is clear: While trade with other countries benefits the economy over all, it creates winners and losers. In recent decades, the winners have included consumers who are able to buy cheaper clothes, electronics and other imported goods, and companies like Boeing and General Electric that have been able to sell more of their products overseas.
The losers have primarily been businesses and workers who face greater competition from foreign factories that can produce similar goods at lower prices. Economists and political leaders have long argued that if the winners compensate the losers, everybody should be better off. But in practice, American policy has allowed the winners to keep most of the spoils of trade and has given the losers crumbs. This has exacerbated income inequality by raising the profits of big corporations and the salaries of executives and other white-collar professionals while leaving blue-collar and lower-skilled workers poorer, as Mr. Sanders has correctly pointed out.
Jobs and Trade on the Campaign Trail http://nyti.ms/1pUzRnp