According to the United Nations, more than 200 million people are unemployed worldwide. Population of adults looking for work is growing faster than new jobs. This problem could mean big problems in the near and long term U.S. job market. Politicians from both parties are pushing a new trade deal with Asia, The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Many critics think this trade deal would be worse than NAFTA as a catalyst for moving U.S. jobs offshore. If the data from the U.N. is accurate, developing nations will have more people willing to work for pennies on the hour. Our leaders need to promote fair trade that protects American workers, not free trade that only serves the interest of investors and their bankers.
David Cay Johnston, reporting for Aljazeera America, documents that the median wage in the U.S. is at its lowest rate since 1998. The median wage for 2012 was $27, 519. In 1998, that rate was $26, 984. Workers’ wages are going in the wrong direction. Or, as Aljazeera America puts it: “Half of America is being left behind.”
How could this problem be fixed? Raise the minimum wage. Defend the rights of workers to organize. Repeal NAFTA and pass no more international trade schemes that pull jobs out of the U.S. Tax companies that pull jobs out of the U.S. (currently those companies get a tax benefit). These are just a few ways that the federal government could help stressed American workers earn a little more money. Given what we seen out of Washington, don’t hold you breath waiting for solutions.