We are in a unique period in our history. Forces are at work to destroy America and our way of life. Below are two examples from my own life that illustrate this fact:
In 1994 I worked for GE as Senior software developer. This was before outsourcing jobs became a national subject. GE started using the H1B's available to import programmers from India who worked for TATA. We were told that GE was going to open an office in India and we should help these people learn the business. Since outsourcing wasn't even in our vocabulary, we didn't feel threatened.
So for 2+ years they cycled through our offices, staying from 3-6 months before going home. We had to take cultural acclamation classes to understand their culture. We taught them the business and even complained to management because we found that their salaries were so far below the minimum salary for the technical jobs they were doing.
This went on for 2+ years before the pink slips began. A few here, a few there. At first no one connected these firings to our friends from India and GE’s new office. Eventually, wholesale firings began and it became clear what was happening. I was fired in 1998. No reason given (no union). Just terminated. The office has now closed and over 100 programmers and support staff were fired.
I now work for a (unnamed) company that makes clothes. When I started in 1999 we had manufacturing plants throughout the South East. On a plant tour, of a manufacturing facility 1/2 hour down the road from our headquarters, I commented to our host that this was a beautiful plant and workers seemed happy and productive. He immediately laughed and said "how productive they are is irrelevant because within a year this plant will be closed". When I asked why, he told me that they could get the same clothes made in China, lose 15% on the boat trip during transit, and our company would still make more money on the product than from this plant.
Needless to say, by 2004 ALL of our American manufacturing plants were closed. New plants were built in Mexico to replace them. Other parts of the manufacturing process were moved to places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. Eventually even the Mexican plants were closed because they were to expensive to run. All our goods are now manufactured in Asia.
I am not telling these stories to provoke sympathy. The point is that corporations are moving more and more plants and jobs offshore. They are crying about the lack of IT and skilled workers of all types and want even more HIB visas. Manufacturing jobs are becoming more scarce by the day. Contrary to corporate propaganda, there are plenty of skilled and unskilled workers in America to fill hi-tech jobs, and the ever decreasing number of manufacturing jobs, that are still available. It's just that corporations are not willing to pay American salaries and benifits to get a job done when they can use illegal or foreign labor to do the job for subsistence wages, with no benefits. That's capitalism at its finest.
Most people are under the misconception that a Corporation's business is to make consumer products or provide services. THAT AIN'T TRUE! A corporation's main business is to make money...PERIOD! Their products or services are simply tools to that end. What they are willing to do to make money is only bounded by what they can get away with legally and illegally. Morals and patriotism are not requirements to make money. Employees are expendable tools to be used and discarded, as required. Corporations do not care about the American people or sustaining our way of life.
The American public is still the largest corporate consumer in the world, but as our wages drop and foreign countries take more and more of our jobs, we will become less relevant to their bottom line each year.
Slowly, but surely, our standard of living is dropping. We are slowly spiraling downward to a 3rd world status and could arrive there sometime this century. An old adage goes, "if you want to cook a frog, don't toss him into a pot of boiling water, he'll jump out, BUT if you put him in a pot of cold water and turn the heat up slowly, he'll boil to death before he realizes he's even being cooked". That's us...little frogs, ever so gently getting the heat turned up from all directions by corporations and their paid lobbyist (our legislators) in Washington. Most people, who do not pay attention to politics (the majority of this country), go about their daily lives seeing bad things happening to OTHER people. They think: "not me, never me". They are complacent because the heat is being turned up so slowly that it doesn't hurt yet. By the time the pain becomes unbearable and they realize what is happening, it will be to late.
Corporations care about one thing... PROFIT! They will be patriotic and wave the red, white, and blue only as long as there is a dollar to be made. They will move an entire corporation overseas if they can make two dollars instead of one. Pure Greed. Throwing thousands of people out of work because each middle class American costs a few dollars more and decreases their bottom line. They don't seem to realize (or care) that they are cutting off the hand that feeds them, by firing workers whose middle class salaries allow them to buy their products. They will do anything for more and more profits.
The American people need to wake up soon and join the fight against corporate greed and to preserve our way of life. We're all in this together people. We either help each other get the message out, OR THEY WIN, and just like the little frog...we're all cooked.