The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Monday, October 24, 2005

The problem of the US working poor

I checked out links posted here on the working poor in the US. I think that anything I have to say on this will at first glance seem hard hearted. I don't believe I am hard-hearted at all and while I do have compassion on these people, my comments are limited to pure reasoning. For now I will limit my comments to the working poor in the US. I don't claim to know all the causes of the working poor in the US, but I suspect that the biggest causes in the US are the economic
globalization that has happened in recent decades, massive legal and illegal immigration, failure of the US public education system and failure to resolve urban problems.

Globalization and Immigration
Import tariffs and protectionism used to keep US jobs and manufacturing in a more stable condition. By dropping that protectionism and by failing to keep the southern border sealed, jobs and wages in the US have been adversely affected. Additionally, legal immigration has brought in some very competitive skilled employees which has pushed the outer fringe of this group from the market. Due to the pressures outside the US in the arena of globalization, it may be difficult to put that genie back in the bottle without isolating the rest of the world and cornering ourself out of the markets. Thanks to liberalism (including Bush), any efforts to curb or eliminate illegal immigration brings a charge of racism. I would also add that so many illegal unskilled laborers coming from the southern border over the last 50 years would have a huge impact on the statistics of the working poor in the US. It is hardly fair to have millions coming here illegally, then count them in our poverty statistics. Extract them from the statistics and you will likely see better numbers.

Failure of the Education System
In spite of astronomical amounts of money being poured into the US education system, it is overall a dysmal failure. I have seen numbers claiming that the national average education cost per student is around $8500 per year. (In my post showing New York City it is $14,000) It is very difficult for politicians to refuse raising the funding levels to education because they will be attacked for not caring about our kids. Yet we see the more we spend, the worst the problem gets. On the flip side we see homeschoolers and low cost religious private schools having phenomenal success. While we continue to add billions to education our 'graduates' are less and less prepared for college or real life. I would also add that the illegal immigration problem compounds the problem by sapping the funds we are giving to kids requiring additional buildings, special education, bilingual programs, etc. The failure of our education system has made legal immigration so damaging to our own professionals, because those coming from India and China are better educated.

Failure to address US urban problems
The problems that have plagued the urban areas of the US have had billions of dollars thrown at them over the last 40 years. Once again we see that throwing more money at a problem often makes it worst. What happens is that people become invested in the problem and the flow of money grants them power. If problems are solved, the money and power that comes with it will
end. So basically, the incentive to fix these problems is not there. For the most part attempts to solve urban problems have come from the left side of the isle. When real solutions are prevented by trumped up charges of racism, etc. the problem remains. These areas would be the strongholds of the working poor.

Conclusion of causes
So I have given some of the main causes of the problem of the working poor. The question at hand is what is the right way to correct or alleviate the problem? This will need to be a separate post.

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