America's Middle Class
Becomes the New
Working Poor

By Frosty Wooldridge
In the past ten years, American jobs screamed out of the United States at an ever-accelerating rate of speed. While American workers stood in unemployment lines, major corporations insourced, outsourced and offshored jobs to Third World countries. Why? They could obtain labor for $1.00 an hour and sometimes less. Capitalism knows no loyalty to man, beast or country.

At the high end, Congress offered hundreds of thousands of H-1B and L-1 visas that displaced 890,000 American high tech workers out of jobs while importing cheap labor from overseas.

To add insult to injury while displacing American workers--meatpacking, chicken processing, paving, construction, hotel, roofing, landscaping and other trade jobs were insourced to millions of illegal alien workers.

America's manufacturing base and ability to sell products to the world diminished with the rising power of corporations to control taxes, tariffs and commodities markets. These huge corporations, run by American CEOs, took advantage of their American roots and benefits enjoyed in a First World country - while giving millions of jobs to people in other countries. For what? Obscene profits! It's why you hear of their $125 million annual paychecks. They are the Ken Lays of Enron crowd who don't get caught. Why not? Because what they do is legal, but then again, they paid enough money into Political Action Committees and other organizations to make sure they gained tax breaks and other benefits from Congress.

It's a hell of a rich man's club, but it's turning America's Middle Class into the Working Poor Class.

Who are these giants? You'd be surprised. They are some of our most time-honored companies who built their empires on the backs of America's working class heroes.

According to Arianna Online, "Bank of America shouldn't be allowed to have 'America' in the name of the company." One of America's largest banks eliminated 5,000 jobs while outsourcing 1,250 jobs to India. It announced it would cut another 12,000 jobs in the next two years. Employees were given severance pay on condition they train their replacements.

Affiliated Computer Services offers business processing technology--outsourced 1,300 jobs to India in the past three years. They multiplied their profits by paying half the wage rate in a Third World country of 1.1 billion eager workers.
According to Arianna, "The company chairman is known as Darwin 'Survival of the Richest' Deason."
General Electric built its empire on American soil. However, it is known as the father of outsourcing. It outsourced 12,000 jobs to people in India who perform at phones answering credit card inquires and give IT technical assistance while handling network security. The three leading executives of GE make untold millions in salaries while American citizens stand in unemployment lines.

Halliburton, formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney as its CEO, enjoys 45 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. Halliburton is helping reconstruct Iraq with $73 million in equipment and services. The only caveat stems from working as a civilian employee with Halliburton in Iraq might find you with your head on a platter. However, stockholders make millions.

The Bank of New York, run by Thomas 'Pioneering the Loss of American Jobs' Reny, in March 2003, sent 250 computer software jobs to Mumbai where it already employed 670 workers. It plans to open a software development center in the Philippines.

American Telephone and Telegraph, or what we used to call Ma Bell - which is about as ALL-AMERICAN a company you could ever find - outsourced 500 customer service jobs to India in 2003 in addition to another 3,000 jobs outsourced before that date.

Dell Computers employs 3,000 Indians in Bangalore and Hyderabad, India. Sprint cut 21,000 American jobs in 2001 through 2003 and sent those jobs to Third World countries. American Flyer, the makers of the little red wagon we all pulled as kids, outsourced to China this year. Maytag in Pennsylvania shut its plant while displacing 1,500 workers and set up shop in Mexico.

"Congress, the President and journalists sit around like outsourcing is some incurable disease and they cannot fix it," said Paul Streitz, an industry watchdog. "It is not. They say outsourcing is driven by the need for firms to stay 'competitive.' But to stay competitive means lowering costs and raising profits for stockholders and key executives. The additional savings are not passed on to customers. No study has ever shown that those companies using outsourcing are charging lower prices. A chief justification for this abomination."

If this trend is any indication, and it is, the best days of America's working class fade in the rearview mirror. Americans compete with 1.3 billion Chinese and 1.1 billion Indians whose medium income teeters at $2,000 a year. They will work for $5.00 a day whereas Americans must make at least $15.00 an hour to maintain a decent standard of living.

You have to ask who will have enough money to buy the goods and services those companies market when the American Middle Class slides down the tubes? What's in store for Americans?

It means America's Middle Class races to the bottom of the 'standard of living' barrel as its jobs outsource, insource and offshore. It means millions work from paycheck to paycheck with few benefits and no job security. It means the American Dream drops from achievable for the vast majority in the past to a pipe dream for the new Working Poor Class.
Frosty Wooldridge is a teacher and author who has bicycled 100,000 miles on six continents to see overpopulation up close and ugly. His explosive new book is: IMMIGRATION'S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES. Copies may be obtained: 1 888 280 7715 <>
© Copyright 2004 The Washington Dispatch
From The Fox
Dear Mr. Wooldridge,
I can't understand how exporting jobs to third world countries is in and of itself a bad thing. In this economy, of course, such trimming of excess job-fat has indeed lost us jobs. There is no doubt about that. However, imagine a job market protected by the government where it didn't matter if we spent more to get a product or service to the market. Certainly, without attendant import tariffs to protect the marketing of those products to their sole buyers (Americans) it would be us, average Americans, putting ourselves out of business.
Either way, the results are the same. Without being able to take advantage of cheap offshore labor, consumer goods would rise to levels far beyond our ability to purchase them. Are we in agreement?
At the same time, we have to ask ourselves if this is really a bad thing. What costs of living are never affected by third world labor savings? The answer is this: Grain, meat, dairy, land, housing, most medical costs, legal costs, and government taxes and fees. I would include fuel as a potential cost, because if we didn't import any fuel whatsoever, we would certainly gain in self-sufficiency through both non-polluting alternate energy sources and national security.
I don't know about you, but those above-listed items seem to be rather basic. It's not as if, for example, we couldn't feed ourselves or build our homes or treat our sick. In fact, one fact stands clear. The jobs so far exported are not really a problem in theory. This is where it gets interesting. As the American people strive desperately to get our leaders to legislate protectionist reforms, they continue to play the politition's game.
That game neglects long term socio-economic gains in favor of jobs for the sake of jobs alone.
If, instead, our economy were based on the true cost of living, our basic needs would not only be met, but having starved superfluous markets such as consumer electronics, clothing,and bank services, etc., our control of our destinies would be much more locally based.
However, the control of corporate giants (Wal-Mart comes to mind) over the American economy would disappear along with Wal-Mart itself. After all, aren't Wal-Marts products mostly made in China?
This brings up an issue that lies uncomfortably in the heart of hearts of many Americans. The truth is, we have sold ourselves out. Those of us who had the advantage of disposible cash income have spent that money to support the very corporate monster we now must contend with. The dynamics are those of a pyramid scheme.
Our own greed, our want of more stuff, more belongings, more upgrades, and more freedom to take for ourselves a bigger piece of the pie than we rightfully deserve in the form of natural resources and advantages has ultimately disinfranchised and taxed those less fortunate--- our fellow countrymen--- even our own children and their children, and has led to the current corporate mega-problem and environmental problems as well. It's our own fault.
Orm should I say, it's the fault of average relatively well-to-do Americans, and a forgivable lack of insight by those who scrabble for a living in the midst of them--a number that increases daily as the better-off squirm uncomfortably in guilt and consternation, knowing the truth of the consequences of the leveraging of the economy through advantage, and their own ever-increasing proximity to the economic fate of the bottom-dwellers.
We then elected leaders who reflect precisely those selfish motivations and attitudes. The bottom dwellers are tantilized by a false hope that they aren't in fact the last names on the pyramid scheme roster.
Is it any wonder that nothing has been done to de-centralize our economy? You can bet, too, in a country where money drives the media, the best interests of those in cushy media jobs are not going to be served by exposing their own personal guilty complicity.
Some are perhaps squirming uncomfortably as they read this. Good! They should be!
Many, however, look forward to the day when the corporate economy of this country collapses in such a way as to engender a system based not on centralized control of the economy, but localized real economies that are relatively self-sufficient and self-serving.
Jobs will be lost, and many will suffer in real physical terms and financially as well.
If we open up our eyes, however, and realize that such an economy is our only real solution to survival as a people and a nation, and force our government to back off in their support of the greedy few, then we might make it. Key to this scenario suceeding is an intuitive sense of mistrust of government, an understanding of the dynamics of how a love of money and rampant consumerism for its own sake is a disease we must conquer by ourselves, and a return to basic (NOT evangelical, moralistic, or jingoistic), but community values.
The Fox




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