The race to the bottom is more stark than ever before in the United States.
A new research paper by two eminently mainstream economists, Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger, finally confirmed what has been clear to anyone who goes out to look for a job: Virtually all of the net jobs created in the past decade are “non-standard” — temp, part-time, contract work, or something other than a traditional job with a normal paycheck. This is the economic recovery, and this result strongly suggests that the next recession, which the nation is already on a crash course with, is going to be worse than the last one. Click the following link for Katz and Krueger’s research paper. http://krueger.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/akrueger/files/katz_krueger_cws_-_march_29_20165.pdf.
Katz and Krueger discovered that the number of Americans working in non-standard jobs increased by 9.4 million between 2005 and 2015 — or more than the total number of jobs created during is period.
Where did all the traditional jobs go? They’ve been exported to China, Vietnam, Pakistan, and other nations. Over thirty million have been exported since 1994. If those jobs had remained in the United States, this economy would be humming, and wages would be going up. The stock market bubbles wouldn’t exist because the difference between the old higher US pay and the new lower foreign pay goes straight into rising corporate profits, surging dividends, and explosive stock growth.
At a recent conference on substandard work sponsored by the Russell Sage Foundation, other researchers made clear that even the work of Katz and Krueger may well understate what’s been occurring. In principle, a key distinction is between payroll jobs and casual jobs. But in fact, a lot of people who collect paychecks are working for labor contractors, think Uber — and face much the same deterioration in job quality and job stability as temps and on-demand workers.
Looking at the history of employment stability, the period that we thought of as normal — the years between the New Deal and the 1970s — was exceptional because the government worked for all the people, not just the rich ones. The current US government is as corrupt as the US government was prior to the New Deal, when many workers were casual, as increasing numbers are today.
But in the 1930s and 1940s, work got regularized — not because of changes in technology but because of changes in power. Strong unions and government regulation blocked entire categories of exploitation. With weaker unions and weakened regulation, employers are once again taking advantage, and doing whatever they can get away with.
This is the year that the mass degradation of the terms of work finally got acknowledged by the experts, and belatedly became politicized. Yet the political fallout is up for grabs — between Sanders on the left, Trump on the right, and Hillary Clinton in the center, who is frantically endeavoring to catch up with public opinion and worker frustration — and serve as a credible spokesperson for something better.
In the 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton’s adviser James Carville famously put up a sign that read, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Today, the economy is serving the rich. That’s because income is being redistributed to the rich via trade scams, such as giving China most favored nation status, NAFTA, CAFTA and the South Korea Free Trade Agreement.
If you think things are bad now, the Trans Pacific Partnership will make it even worse. for more information of that, see The Op-Ed the Liberal and Conservative Press Doesn’t Want You To See