Lou Dobbs is Right
Lou Dobbs has been arguing for awhile now about the fact that there has been a war declared on the working class in America. Consider what has happened within just the last few days:
Headline from Wednesday's Boston Globe: FIDELITY INVESTMENTS TO END PENSION PROGRAM. Isn't Fidelity the company that advertises (or used to) "Let Us Manage Your Retirement." 401K Plans are fine, up to a point, if some little old lady wants to spend her retirement years poring over investment portfolios and mutual fund brochures, but a 401K Plan is no subsitute for a fixed pension plan. The fact is, a 401K is similar to gambling in a Keno Hall in Las Vegas, hoping against all kinds of odds that the 'right' combinations of funds come up. Pension plans provide a certain stability and piece of mind knowing just how much money you'll have coming in on any given month, which allows you TO MAKE PLANS on how to spend or save the money.
The middle class is being asked, yet again, to manage their own investment risks, and when a compamy like Fidelity offers around 3000 mutual fund plans, that's like asking people to go out and get a degree in Finance before they retire.
The other news item from a few days ago concerns Circuit City. They've announced that they will be laying off all their 'high-paying' employees (25K of more?) and replacing them with new hires, to save money. So the next time you go to Circuit City, you'll be greeted by a store full of newbies who haven't a clue what they are doing or where anything is, or even if the store carries that item. But the more important question is - if you take a job there, are you supposed to 'give it your best' so you can get a 'decent' raise and if you get one, is your job now at risk because you make 'too much' money?
The third item comes from NBC News that reported the other day about the skyrocketing foreclosure rate in the Cleveland, Ohio area due to 'high-risk' mortgage holders, like ARMS are going under. On the one hand, ot os easy to say 'caveat emptor' to anyone who would sign onto one of these loans without reading the fine print, but let's be realistic here as well. With the 'average' home price in the US running around $300K, it is extremely difficult for any middle class family to scrape up $60K for the 20% downpayment on a traditional mortgage and many lenders know this, of course, and thus they came up with the 'no money down', 'no interest', ARMs, to turn lower income people into homeowners. But one slight problem like LOSS or CHANGE in income can mean keeping a hosue or losing it.
Its a well known fact that the GOP has had it out for unions, a raise in the minimum wage and a proponent of 'globalization', which in today's terms means, "My job has gone to India, now I have none". But if they really were proponents of 'family values' as they seem to ahve been when they welcome in all the illegal aliens, then surely they must understand that a stable future, a stable family life and a stable homeownership, starts with a stable, decent paying job. And if employers want dedicated workers, they had better start offering their workers incentives. to do a decent job.
And in yet another, bone headed outsourcing scandal that puts the country's defenses at risk, is the fining of $10B to ITT selling defense secrets to the Chinese and other countries, because they outsourced workers to 'save money'.
And one last item - I am working with a 'well known' temp agency, who keeps providing ME with contact numbers and expecting ME to do their work. And if *I* get the job, I'll get paid $10/hr while they will get paid $50/hr. One office contacts me, the others CLAIM they can't reach me. If one can, they all can, the same number is in their database.