Your Declining Economic Security
It’s a sad but true fact that in the United States, four out of five adults will face economic difficulties at some point in their lives. Some may struggle with unemployment; others may waver on the edge of poverty, while still others may be forced to live on welfare handouts or worse.
The American Dream seems to be crumbling as surely as the economy continues to struggle to recover. While identifying the cause of the economic decline in the US may not be that difficult, figuring out a solution to the problem has not proven to be as easy.
What is clear is that there are three main reasons for the ongoing problems in the economy. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening, many jobs have been lost due to the globalization of the economy, and higher paying manufacturing jobs have decreased. Put all three together and you have a real mess.
Let’s take a closer look at each one.
The Gap Between The Well-off And The Poor
There’s a lot of truth to the expression that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. But not only is the gap widening, the number of people joining the ranks of the poor is increasing at an alarming rate. And it’s not just happening to any one group of people.
People of all ages and from all backgrounds are in the same boat. Perhaps worse is the fact that many have lost hope that things will ever get better for themselves or their families.
In fact, recent statistics have shown that as many as 79% of working age Americans will experience what is referred to as “economic insecurity” by the age of sixty. By 2030, due to the widening inequality in income, this number is expected to jump to a whopping 85%.
Economic insecurity encompasses such things as current or past unemployment, relying on some form of government aid for a year or longer, or an income that is 150% below the poverty line.
The result is a huge disparity between the haves and the have-nots, a disparity which only seems to be worsening over time.
While there are certainly good, high paying jobs to be had especially for those who have access to a good education and/or have connections, the majority of Americans aren’t qualified, or simply can’t find these jobs.
Once you get one of these jobs you pretty much have it made. But for the majority of job seekers, minimum wage is more the norm and so the gap widens.
Globalization of the Economy
This was supposed to be a good thing because it was thought that globalization would stimulate the economy. The idea was that although some jobs would be lost in certain sectors, more new types of jobs would supposedly be created to meet the global demand.
But that’s not what has actually occurred and it’s created an economic decline nationally. It turns out that these new kinds of jobs in general, aren’t as good as the ones that were lost.
And then there’s the fact that things have changed drastically from the way they used to be in the job market, and this is one case where the new way is definitely not the better way from a worker’s point of view.
The days of getting a job and working your way up the ranks until you got to the top are long gone for the most part. So are the days of regular salary increases and company pension plans. That’s a difficult adjustment to make, particularly for those who are nearing retirement age. We can thank the global economy for their role in making these changes happen.
The Decrease in Manufacturing and Higher Paying Jobs
The higher the cost of a finished product, the higher the wages tend to be. So when manufacturing jobs started to dry up, many of the higher paying jobs followed suit.
These were not the kind of new jobs that were being created as a result of the global economy. These were the jobs that were exported to other countries because then companies could get away with paying far less in wages.
While it may be good for the profit margins of these huge corporations and their shareholders, it doesn’t do a thing for the American economy. Is it any wonder that there are fewer and fewer of the type of well-paid manufacturing jobs that don’t require a lot of education and training to do?
But not only are high paying jobs disappearing, minimum wage doesn’t pay nearly enough to support a family. So now there is a new class of workers, referred to as the working poor. These are the people who hold down jobs, but still need some sort of government support in order to be able to pay for shelter and food. How discouraging must that be?
The Visible and the Invisible Poor
There is no real way of knowing how many people are living below the poverty line. We do know that among those who can be counted, the number is in the millions. Among these visible poor there is a wide range of people. Two groups are especially concerning – older adults and children.
There are an alarming number of people who are on the verge of retirement and can’t afford to stop working, if they even have a job. And of course there are far too many children affected by poverty. Many live in single parent families, which makes it even more difficult for that parent to hold down a job and pay for childcare.
And then there are the many who aren’t even being counted; you might call them the invisible poor. These are the unemployed or laid-off workers who are no longer eligible to collect government unemployment assistance. Then there are those who are homeless or staying in shelters, or if they’re lucky, living with a family member or friend.
What Can You Do To Avoid Economic Insecurity?
So if the idea of being among the 79% who experience economic insecurity doesn’t appeal to you, there is a realistic option available to you. And it comes in the form of opening up your own business.
Now before you dismiss the idea as being too hard or too expensive, please realize that the Internet has made it very affordable and very easy to do just that. Here’s why.
With an Internet based business you won’t need to pay rent on a storefront, hire employees, or buy and carry stock. There is usually a small monthly fee involved but it’s an amount that is affordable for virtually anyone.
If you’re concerned about the technical aspects of running a business on the Internet, don’t be. Many programs will even provide you with your own website and provide lots of training and help so you can be successful right from the start.
Thousands of Americans work from home. It makes it possible for those thinking about retiring to be able to afford to do just that. It allows mothers of small children to earn money while staying at home with their families. And if you are unemployed, or not making enough to make ends meet, it can make a huge difference for you and your family.