Why is unemployment among 18-34 year-olds still so high? We’re making progress on the economy but why aren’t we ordinary folks feeling good about it? Here's why: about 30 years ago, the wealthy people of America (of both political parties, actually) pulled one over on everybody. Whoddathunkit but H. Ross Perot turns out to have been right about globalization and NAFTA - our jobs did go south "with a giant sucking sound."
It isn't so much that global free trade is a bad thing - it's just that it isn't *fair* trade. Think about this for just a moment. Crocheted toppers are all the spring fashion rage at the department stores - all of them imported from places like Cambodia or Bangladesh, where they are made by people who are paid a dollar a day so that you can buy them at Belk for $36.
I crochet and I can make the exact same thing, too. Cost of material - say, $8. My labor to produce the item: approximately 20 hours at federal minimum wage of $7.25 - $145. That's why, when I sell my work at craft shows, it is drastically underpriced. I might only charge $75 for "wearable art."
Back to the chronic economic distress of anyone who isn't in the top 10% of American income distribution: clearly there is little connection between the elites who manipulate electronic money and the rest of us who do actual work. Over the past 20-odd years, the de-regulatory policies, along with the laissez-faire attitude that "the market" will "fix" everything, have come to be owned by the Republican Party.
The remedy is to re-regulate financial markets – updated, of course, to account for how fast and how interconnected they operate, as well as how large a part technology plays in their operation.
Mergers and breakups cycle back and forth: it’s time for de-acquisition in the “too big to fail” corporations. Make them sell off their component parts.
It's time to eliminate corporate welfare and to reward companies that bring jobs "home" from overseas and treat their employees decently.
We all advance together or nobody is going to get very far.