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How America’s low-wage workers are struggling to join the middle class
Financial Post ^ | March 15, 2014 | Josh Boak

Posted on 03/16/2014 12:50:18 PM PDT by rickmichaels

WASHINGTON — For years, many Americans followed a simple career path: Land an entry-level job. Accept a modest wage. Gain skills. Leave eventually for a better-paying job.

The workers benefited, and so did lower-wage retailers such as Wal-Mart: When its staffers left for better-paying jobs, they could spend more at its stores. And the U.S. economy gained, too, because more consumer spending fueled growth.

Not so much anymore. Since the Great Recession began in 2007, that path has narrowed because many of the next-tier jobs no longer exist. That means more lower-wage workers have to stay put. The resulting bottleneck is helping widen a gap between the richest Americans and everyone else.

“Some people took those jobs because they were the only ones available and haven’t been able to figure out how to move out of that,” Bill Simon, CEO of Wal-Mart U.S., acknowledged in an interview with The Associated Press.

If Wal-Mart employees “can go to another company and another job and make more money and develop, they’ll be better,” Simon explained. “It’ll be better for the economy. It’ll be better for us as a business, to be quite honest, because they’ll continue to advance in their economic life.”

Yet for now, the lower-wage jobs once seen as stepping stones are increasingly being held for longer periods by older, better-educated, more experienced workers.

(Excerpt) Read more at business.financialpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 03/16/2014 12:50:18 PM PDT by rickmichaels
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To: rickmichaels

Higher taxes and government policies made it impossible. O and Michelle railed against the American dream in 2008, they called it middle class-ism and told people to stop trying to earn more and become volunteers, work at non-profits and stuff.


2 posted on 03/16/2014 12:55:50 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: rickmichaels

Remember when Pelosi hectored Bush because his 5% unemployment rate was only because Bush was creating “McJobs”?

In the Era of Baraq, McJobs are the new middle class standard.


3 posted on 03/16/2014 1:00:06 PM PDT by nascarnation (I'm hiring Jack Palladino to investigate Baraq's golf scores.)
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To: rickmichaels

Just raise the minimum wage to $15.
Then we can all struggle harder yet.


4 posted on 03/16/2014 1:00:42 PM PDT by right way right (America has embraced the suck of Freedumb.)
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To: rickmichaels
The Elephant in the room is our trade deficit.

Here are our jobs;


5 posted on 03/16/2014 1:02:46 PM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: rickmichaels

the socialism of obama and democrats doesn’t work


6 posted on 03/16/2014 1:04:38 PM PDT by Democrat_media (Obama ordered IRS to rig 2012 election and must resign)
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To: Last Dakotan

I am in complete agreement with your post.

We currently run (as of last year) a larger than 300 billion trade deficit with China.

We export approximately 122 billion to China.

We import on the other hand, approximately 440 billion from China.

That is a massive, and growing trade deficit.

We need to make, and to export, far more.

Bring back American jobs.


7 posted on 03/16/2014 1:08:12 PM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network ( http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: rickmichaels

Wait till they start screaming about middle class taxes!


8 posted on 03/16/2014 1:09:15 PM PDT by Bibman (Tea Party since 1976)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

What an amazing statement from the ChinaMart pig.

He’s happy to see his people leave, and has no intention of trying to reward them for skills and longevity.

Nope. He and the richest family in America will still take advantage of the absence of trade barriers against the great Slave Nation known as Communist China.

The little people? A few pittances, some scraps from the Walton’s table while they luxuriate in Jackson Hole on land protected by the sons and daughters of people they have nothing but contempt for.

What nauseating filth.


9 posted on 03/16/2014 1:12:43 PM PDT by Regulator
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To: rickmichaels

This is how a nation declines. It’s slow. And normal keeps shifting. After ten years people just sorta say, “what happened”. If they even notice.

I remember in 2006 I commented on Seattlebubble.com that real estate could go down as much as 20%. It sounded, even to me, like crazy talk and I was ridiculed for it. But it went down ~50% in many areas and people just shrugged it off.

I swear humans are even more adaptable than cockroaches.


10 posted on 03/16/2014 1:19:53 PM PDT by cuban leaf
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To: rickmichaels

Translation: That’s why the Left wants $15 per hour minimum wage pay so all the illegal aliens can join the “middle class” of slave laborers.


11 posted on 03/16/2014 1:23:47 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: rickmichaels

Translation: That’s why the Left wants $15 per hour minimum wage pay so all the illegal aliens can join the “middle class” of slave laborers.


12 posted on 03/16/2014 1:23:49 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: rickmichaels

I saw this article in the local Sunday newspaper. Sad but true. It affects a lot of fields, too; it’s pretty hard to find full-time work as a librarian around here, too.


13 posted on 03/16/2014 1:25:30 PM PDT by The Grammarian
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To: rickmichaels

Good luck middle class. Your current government, the Obama regime, is seeing to it you will never achieve anything other than what they allow.

Thing is, they got you all fooled into thinking that government can make the impossible, possible. LOL


14 posted on 03/16/2014 1:30:10 PM PDT by dforest
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To: rickmichaels

Globalization, illegal immigration and automation destroyed jobs in the US. Globalization killed off many high paying blue collar jobs while illegal immigration destroyed many low paying blue collar jobs. Now with the push for H-1B guest tech/skilled workers, corporate America will finish off upper middle class white collar jobs. Big business has played a role that many freepers ignorantly ignore and choose to concentrate only on big gov. Both big business and big gov have been the enemies of middle America. WTO, NAFTA, MFN etc etc has been equally devestating as EPA, ACA taxes and regs.


15 posted on 03/16/2014 1:47:42 PM PDT by Fee ( Big Gov and Big Business are Enemies of America)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network
We need to make, and to export, far more. Bring back American jobs.

I hear that a lot. Just how do you propose we go about it? The reality is that Americans won't (and can't afford to) work for Chinese wages. So with American high labor costs figured into the cost of goods, who's going to buy American-made products when the Chinese sell the same thing at half price or less?

Maybe we can export more commodities like natural gas and timber products but unless we're willing to take manufacturing jobs at minimum wage or less I don't see how we can compete. There are American high-tech jobs available but the sad truth is American workers aren't trained to do them. Worse, many American workers are unfit to take existing middle class jobs because they're functionally illiterate, undisciplined, very badly educated and unwilling to take direction.

16 posted on 03/16/2014 1:50:00 PM PDT by Bernard Marx
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To: rickmichaels

It’s been going on for over 40 years. Some of Nixon’s favorite constituents were pushing to shift manufacturing overseas long before plans were put into actions. There was no real recovery from any of those “recessions” since the late 1970s. For now, those with lower incomes in government positions are being laid off (mostly clerks in regulatory offices, with administrators requiring engineer stamps on everything and simply collecting fees for their larger incomes). Building, producing and saving money on energy continue to be illegal for common Americans in many ways.


17 posted on 03/16/2014 1:52:46 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: Bernard Marx

I hear people on FR demanding a Smoot-Hawley style tariff to fix everything, almost every day. I’ll bet this post generates one or two.


18 posted on 03/16/2014 1:56:06 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: rickmichaels
Oh, here's the final solution! We won't be needing our natural resources. As our domestic demand for oil, refined oil products, wood and other resources declines, let's ship them to the nations more friendly to our business, political and academic leaders (Russia, China, Iran, all)! Great plan for business after the bond and dollar crash and repudiation of debt! The political class can turn to NGOs and grants from VIPs for great incomes.

Oh. They already thought of that and have been doing it for years. Anyway, the unsightly, unstylish, scary overpopulation problem that concerns the political class is being solved! Isn't it wonderful?

[Sadly, most of the remainder of the middle class will join us soon, and they won't just be slummin' for a short visit.]


19 posted on 03/16/2014 2:06:58 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: Cyber Liberty
"I hear people on FR demanding a Smoot-Hawley style tariff to fix everything, almost every day. I’ll bet this post generates one or two."

"I'll buy that for a quarter!" Oh...look at 1934! That can't be right!

Republican President Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Bill in June of 1930, BTW.

Compensation from before World War I through the Great Depression

by Robert VanGiezen and Albert E. Schwenk
Bureau of Labor Statistics

John T. Dunlop and Walter Galenson, eds., Labor in the Twentieth Century (New York, Academic Press, 1978), p. 30.

Dunlop and Galenson, p. 27.

Year Unemployment rate

1923-29

3.3

1930

8.9

1931

15.9

1932

23.6

1933

24.9

1934

21.7

1935

20.1

1936

17.0

1937

14.3

1938

19.0

1939

17.2

1940

14.6

1941

9.9

1942

4.7





Gross Domestic Product (ref. 1929 dollars in millions)

Year    GDP

1929   101,444
1930    91,513
1931    84,300
1932    70,682
1933    68,337
1934    74,609
1935    85,806
1936    95,798
1937   103,917
1938    96,670
1939   103,736
1940   112,961
1941   126,237

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Series 08166.




20 posted on 03/16/2014 2:17:19 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: Fee

true. This has been ongoing for decades. The R’s and D’s have been pushing this. the results are predictable.


21 posted on 03/16/2014 2:22:51 PM PDT by Theoria (End Socialism : No more GOP and Dem candidates)
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To: familyop

I’m not sure I understand your point. Are you arguing that S-H was neutral in its effect? I think that’s about the best that can be said for it....

(I don’t care it was a Republican that signed it. Hoover was as bad a statist as ol’ Rubberlegs.)


22 posted on 03/16/2014 2:28:41 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: rickmichaels

***“Some people took those jobs because they were the only ones available and haven’t been able to figure out how to move out of that,” Bill Simon, CEO of Wal-Mart U.S.***

Why not do like I did to escape agricultural starvation minimum wages forty four years ago and LOOK IN THE WANT ADDS FOR BETTER PAYING JOBS!

Or stick with WALMART and take advantage of internal promotional programs.

Her is how DOUG McMILLON, CEO of WALMART INTERNATIONAL got his start.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/11/25/wal-mart-ceo/3696819/

“Originally from Jonesboro, Ark., McMillon started his career in 1984 as a summer associate at a Wal-Mart distribution center. He got a B.S. in business administration from the University of Arkansas and an MBA from the University of Tulsa. While pursuing the MBA, he rejoined the company in a Tulsa Walmart store.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2013/11/25/walmart-names-doug-mcmillon-new-ceo-to-succeed-mike-duke/

“Walmart’s new CEO is the current head of Walmart International, overseeing the company’s growing interests in 26 countries outside the US.

McMillon has a long history with the store chain, having started out as summer employee in a distribution center in 1984 before heading to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, one town over from the retailer’s corporate headquarters.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/things-walmarts-ceo/story?id=21003287
2.
Deep Roots

McMillon began his career at Wal-Mart as a summer associate in a Walmart Distribution Center in 1984, loading and unloading trucks. As a 22-year veteran of the company, McMillon has lived in Bentonville, Ark., as Walmart International CEO. Before then, he was president and CEO of Sam’s Club from 2006 to 2009.

McMillon also worked at a Walmart store while earning his MBA from the University of Tulsa.

A SUMMER ASSOCIATE! A SUMMER EMPLOYEE. LOADING AND UNLOADING TRUCKS!


23 posted on 03/16/2014 2:34:57 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need 7+ more ammo. LOTS MORE.)
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To: rickmichaels

Welcome to the Obama Economy........


24 posted on 03/16/2014 2:38:07 PM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I go to sign up for the American Revolution 2014 and the Crusades 2014?)
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To: Cyber Liberty

Although China has some ugly tariffs against U.S. products, I agree that tariffs alone won’t do enough to get us going.

Repeal local laws and regulations in local governments against owner-builder projects, property rights in general and new, small manufacturing shops. Then, we’ll see what we can do. But we’re not buying more from this regime of recirculating debt. We’ll buy less and less.

We won’t need stinking energy from local energy companies (with investors being mostly bureaucrats and retired bureaucrats), so go ahead. Ship all of the refined products to the new “partners” of VIPs. And before long, we won’t need to buy food from big ag. We’ll work for ourselves. People descended from hundreds of years of Americans (not much in business or politics these days) are adapting and learning aptitudes toward ingenuity again.

We don’t care what the political class does with its bipartisan EPA or its favorite, global business interests. The regulations against fresh, new inventions are at the local levels and were established by both political parties preaching “property values.” The property values scam is done for, and so are the commie NIMBYs. We refuse contemporary politics. We laugh at popular political speech (all from socialism).


25 posted on 03/16/2014 2:48:30 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: rickmichaels

And Obama is struggling even harder against ‘em.


26 posted on 03/16/2014 2:56:14 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: GeronL

+


27 posted on 03/16/2014 3:00:29 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Had Enough Yet ? ........................ Enforce the Bill of Rights ......... It's the LAW !!!)
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To: Cyber Liberty; et al

I hear people on FR demanding a Smoot-Hawley style tariff to fix everything, almost every day. I’ll bet this post generates one or two.
-=O=-
Better to return government (at all levels) to beneath the rock we provided for it.......

HUMAN Beings need neither ‘keepers’ nor ‘trainers’ and can well deal with the feral and psychotic.


28 posted on 03/16/2014 3:08:46 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (Had Enough Yet ? ........................ Enforce the Bill of Rights ......... It's the LAW !!!)
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To: S.O.S121.500

Agreed.


29 posted on 03/16/2014 3:15:58 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: rickmichaels

“that path has narrowed because many of the next-tier jobs no longer exist. That means more lower-wage workers have to stay put.”

A condition completely engineered by the current occupant of the Whitehouse. Its called destroying the American middle class and creating the new Proletariat.


30 posted on 03/16/2014 5:34:26 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network; Last Dakotan; rickmichaels
We currently run (as of last year) a larger than 300 billion trade deficit with China.

Bring back American jobs.

How about our out sourcing of manual labor and building trades?

Illegal aliens swarm across our boarders and take low skilled and construction labor jobs that otherwise go to Legal immigrants or American citizens.

They then send much of their wages back home to their relatives. This is US currency that otherwise would remain in this country and stimulate the economy of this country.

It is often said that these illegals are doing jobs that Americans don’t want to do. If this is true why don’t Americans want these jobs?

Part of the reason maybe because overly generous social welfare systems make it easier and more pleasant to not work than to do hard work for low pay. Another reason maybe those illegal aliens will word for lower pay than American Citizens will because they do not pay the income and SS taxes that citizens do (working of the books).

Maybe we should stem the tide of exporting (importing illegal) labor before we should resort to protectionism.

31 posted on 03/17/2014 2:23:28 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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