Unemployment is our own fault

Vicki - Cincinnati, Ohio
Entered on January 4, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65
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This I Believe

Unemployment in the United States is our own fault. It stems from our upper class American elitism. Americans believe they aren’t successful unless they own a big fancy, gas guzzling automobile. They believe they aren’t successful unless they can park their big fancy car in their own driveway in front of their big fancy home in the suburbs.

They don’t like to commute from their new suburb to their company which is located in the heart of the city. The same city that made them successful enough to buy their big fancy car and new home in their suburb, to begin with, is now thirty miles away. So then they decide their company can’t possibly be elite if it is located in what they believe is a shabby, old building the heart of the city. So of course they can kill two birds with one stone by moving their company to the outskirts of the city near their new suburb. Now they have this big fancy, elite company building outside the circle freeway of their city alongside their new suburb. All is well in the world right?

Wrong! Now the company finds it harder to find people to work for their big fancy, elite company in the suburb. Why? Their employees certainly can’t afford big fancy homes in the suburbs, so they still live in the heart of the city. The company wants to pay the same wages they paid while they were still in the city. The company won’t increase employee wages enough for them to work thirty miles away from their homes. They have forgotten that their employees can’t afford big fancy cars or the gasoline to travel sixty miles a day in their ten or fifteen year old cars, and still feed their families.

Now the company says that American workers don’t want to work. Their solution is to ship the work overseas to India, Mexico or China. What the heck, it’s cheaper to manufacture overseas anyway, isn’t it? Or they hire illegal immigrants because they’re cheaper than American workers. So now the city that made them successful to begin with is without any manufacturing resources whatsoever. The people who used to work for them are without work or stuck with the lowest paying service jobs in the fast food or retail industries in the heart of the city.

Well, what do you know? The retail and fast food industries in the heart of the city are now in trouble because no one can afford their services anymore. They move to the suburbs also. Now fast food and retail stores have trouble hiring people to work. Now the American workers left inside the circle freeway are really in trouble. Now they must take two low paying jobs instead of the one they used to have. But of course taking two jobs is another obstacle because the two must be close enough to juggle the work schedules successfully. If they are thirty miles apart, what good does it do to try to work? Unemployment compensation would pay better, at least long enough for someone to open a manufacturing facility in the city again, right?