A recent report by the United States Conference of Mayors suggests the jobs that were lost in the ’08-’09 recession have been replaced with different jobs paying 23% less. That means higher paid workers were furloughed during the recession and when the companies got busy again they rehired at lower wages to be competitive with the new reality of the marketplace. This is simple economics of supply and demand.
Remember Y2K? Computer programmers were worth upwards of $100k in the years before the feared date change, then afterwards they were worth $60k annually. If the companies tried to maintain the old wage base, they found themselves priced out of the market quickly and a rash of closing ensued. This is where we are today.
Good wages come from manufacturing and the economy is robust when people are buying those manufactured goods. We will not legislate our way out of dismal economic news. $15/hr minimum wage workers at a fast food restaurant add no value to the meal. Some manufacturer will make a robot to replace that overpaid worker and the job loss spiral will continue.
The road out is paved with education. The average salary for 25- to 34-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees is $46,900, according to 2012 data from the National Center for Education Statistics. That education cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and took 4+ years with little or no income earned along the way. An apprentice welder can make $35,000 and a highly skilled one can earn double that! The education is only 6 months and they schools are empty. It makes no sense.
Productive, hard work is what our ancestors used to build this country. That formula hasn’t changed over the years. No matter what anyone says, to succeed you need to work. You might need some training, but then you will find a rewarding job and contribute to our great society. Please help spread the message that entitlement is a nasty word. Go make something, literally, and you will make something of yourself.