I read an article earlier today stating that Wal-mart and other stores are recording lackluster sales. Is anyone really surprised when the only hiring signs are for ‘part-time’ positions with no benefits? We are told that the national unemployment rate stands at 7.4%. I say to that, “bullshit!” When determining who is ’employed’ the government includes part-time workers and also temp agency workers. Part-time jobs and temporary jobs are NOT gainful employment. Those types of jobs would barely keep a roof over a squirrel’s head. But to make the national unemployment figures look good, let’s count them anyway.
It seems to be a fact, full-time jobs with benefits that pay a living wage are fast becoming a thing of the past as so many Americans are employed in a limited capacity and then when statistics show that people are even cutting back at the so-called ‘low end’ stores, we wonder about it? Really? Part-time jobs and temporary jobs do not instill an awful lot of confidence in people when they look at their take home pay and what the bills amount to and figure out that there is no way to stretch their poverty wages to cover even the basic necessities. The sad truth is that things are only going to get worse. The times when people could walk into a company and literally start to work that day earning a decent salary, are gone. The steel mills have shuttered their doors. Those great jobs in manufacturing are gone and unfortunately, it is not as if we can re-open those old buildings and rev up our manufacturing base. We are hard pressed to find anything ‘American made’ anymore. That is the problem. When we got excited over how cheaply we could purchase junk made in sweat shops overseas, we did not realize that we were digging ourselves into a jobless hole from which we cannot escape. Unfair trade agreements also played a part in the annihilation of good paying full-time jobs.
And now the reality is that part-time, temporary, low wage jobs are the new norm. Unfortunately, it is not just fast food companies that are guilty of this. Many grocery store chains and retail chains are also guilty. Hell…everywhere you look, there are the same signs posted. “Help Wanted, Part-time!” It is too bad that decades ago, we did not see the clear signs of what led to the ‘signs’ we see today. I certainly hope that no one is expecting an epiphany from the corporate executives that the reason why people are not lining up with unlimited purchasing power is due to their unmitigated greed which in turn is causing ‘lackluster’ sales. Trickle down never did work, but it just might be that the inability to spend will eventually cause a ‘trickle up effect because when ‘consumers’ can’t ‘consume’, just what did the corporate executives at Wal-Mart and other companies think would happen? Exactly what is happening, a reduction in consuming which could eventually adversely impact the corporate bottom line.