The Rise Of The American 'Precariat': Globalization And Outsourcing Have Created A Combustible Political Culture

March 03, 2016


The effects on the U.S. economy caused by 30 years of offshore outsourcing of production and jobs is starting to drive major changes in the American political system. The rise of a "precariat" class of Americans -- those who are living "precarious" lives -- has created a populist movement that shows no sign of acquiescing to the "establishment" in both the Democratic and Republican parties.

[Richard A. McCormack| February 2016 |Manufacturing & Technology News]

The new precariat comprises a growing class of people who are going nowhere in their jobs, who are insecure and unstable. The group is "experiencing the breaking apart of the American Dream, which is what historically held the country together -- the rise of the middle class, with everyone doing better," notes visiting scholar John Russo of Georgetown University's Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. "It's not working that way any more."

Driving the rise of the precariat is a society that is not generating enough wealth. De-industrialization, the shift of major goods-producing industries to foreign nations, and both the Republican and Democratic establishment's embrace of free trade, are leading to a populist uprising.

The precariat is becoming one of the largest classes of Americans, encompassing far more than blue-collar workers who have been slammed by economic forces outside of their control. It now includes millions of Americans with college degrees who are under compensated or can't find full-time employment with benefits.

To read more of this article: Manufacturing & Technology News

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  • Offshoring our manufacturing jobs to China is NOT free trade, it is labor arbitrage. The U.S. is practicing free trade by allowing everything China produces into our market. China is practicing mercantilism, which is the opposite of free trade. China buys our recycled cardboard, and little else. That is why we have a huge trade deficit with China.

    Communist China is a criminal enterprise. We should not be doing business with them at all, much less allowing them to steal our jobs, our technology and our intellectual property. You can read all about it in “Death by China,” by Peter Navarro and Greg Autry.

    Our greedy incompetent government drove our manufacturing jobs OUT of this country by ratcheting up regulations and by encouraging the greedy labor unions to ratchet up the labor cost. You can read about this in the book “Sand in the Gears,” by Andrew O. Smith.

    Warren Buffett recommended, in 2003, that we gradually reduce Chinese imports to achieve “balanced trade.” You can Google “balanced trade.” This would bring back millions of manufacturing jobs and help restore our middle class.
  • USTR’s view is somewhat different. In President Obama’s annual trade agenda Michael Froman enthusiastically declares ""Trade is one of America’s longest-running bipartisan success stories. This year, we have the opportunity to write the next chapter of that story. What we do together in the coming weeks and months will resonate for decades to come. We must do more than watch the future unfold. We must shape it."
    Or maybe he’s in agreement, but sees the results of previous deals differently. Depends what he means by “success”, I guess.