According to economists, the US economy began recovering from the recession back in 2009. However, last week brought further confirmation that there has been no economic recovery for many Americans. The United States Conference of Mayors released a report showing that the average wage in the sectors of the economy devastated by the last recession, principally manufacturing and construction, was $61,637, while the average wage in the sectors of the economy in which jobs are now being created, principally hospitality, health care, and administrative support, is only $47,131. That represents a 23% decline.
Paul Craig Roberts also co-authored an article on "The De-industrializtion of America" containing more sobering statistics. Between October 2008 and July 2014, the working age population of the United States rose by 13.4 million people. Over the same time, the labor force grew by only 1.1 million. Between 2007 and 2012, real median household income fell 10%. A recent study by the Federal Reserve shows that two thirds of American households would need to sell possessions or borrow from family or friends to raise $400, and the same study showed that nearly 20% of student loans are in collection or behind in payments, with over 30% in deferment.
Of course, this is not what we were told global free trade would bring. Dirty manufacturing jobs that no one wanted to do were going to be replaced by exciting, higher paying high tech jobs, or so the story went. We were also assured that any problem caused by the loss of manufacturing jobs would be solved by education. Instead, what we have are fewer jobs that pay less and college graduates who can't even service their student loans.
None of this has put a dent in the bipartisan coalition favoring globalism. Indeed, at a time when the American economy cannot provide jobs for millions of Americans, we are told that what we need to do is admit millions of foreigners into our country. It is hard to escape the conclusion that those running America do not care about most of us who live here.
Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.