Saturday, January 26, 2008

Have Working Class Americans Become a Commodity?

Brunch and PBS go so well together after sleeping in on a cold January Saturday. As I prepped my three-egg spinach, cheddar & onion omelet I watched a pretty interesting discussion on "To the Contrary", a Channel 13 program currently in it 15th season that examines issues from a diverse range of perspectives.

Bonnie Erbe brings an extensive resume of national reporting experience to her role as host of this weekly program; the first of its kind to feature analysis of news and other important issues from an all-female panel.

One of the segments centered on the plight of a young Asian-American woman; one of millions of Americans working two different jobs that offer no benefits, no 401k and no opportunity to build the kind of stability that will offer financial stability and a real future.

What is the fabric of our nation going to look like with so many people working all the time but not saving anything? The stats are pretty grim for those working jobs that pay minimum wage.

The Economic Policy Institute has some fairly alarming statistics about the minimum wage on their Website. Right now the president is talking about a massive economic stimulus package as the government looks to hold off a recession - what will that really mean for those that work jobs that don't allow them to save anything, let alone create equity like stock, bonds or that ultimate image of the American Dream, a home?

Are we really morphing into a nation that offers opportunities for prosperity to some and not all? Is that the mark of a world power?

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