Downsizing The Middle Class Essay

1857 words - 8 pages

Downsizing the Middle ClassIn the essay by Rhonda Burns, "Downsizing the Middle Class," there seems to be one clear message. The gap between the middle and upper class is growing because the rich are lobbying government officials to change the rules and regulations that protect the middle class from the rich. She says that companies that had created jobs in the past are now downsizing in order to gain more total revenue and do not care whom they destroy in the process. Another argument she uses is that businesses are the idea of "survival of the fittest," and that newer management is firing good employees who have helped build the company. The essay closes by stating that during the Cold War ...view middle of the document...

Education is becoming a necessity in obtaining a good paying job because the jobs are becoming more complex that require special skills. Burns does not bring up how important education's role is in today's workforce. In this age of technology there are many positions with in a corporation that require additional education beyond high school. A college degree is becoming almost a requirement to obtain a good paying job. Due to the fact that these jobs do come with a higher responsibility, employees are usually paid more. Education is crucial because without it the lower classes will continue to grow faster that the upper class, making them more poor. If the middle class is not educated it will continue to fall behind making it smaller and the gap between the middle and upper classes would grow larger. If the middle or lower classes fail to continue to educate themselves further, small businesses owners and blue-collar workers will not advance their lifestyle. Amartya Sen, a Nobel Prize winning economist makes the point that as learning is increased it will drive economic growth. Sen also said, "Educate part of the community and the whole of its benefits and results will show" (C & W Backgrounders). As a result, this will reduce the size of the middle class as well as increase the quality of living.Burns also gives no support for why the middle class is getting smaller and why many jobs are being downsized. The reason why the workforce is being downsized is not because employees are being, as Burns puts it "sold down the river" (125), but because of advances in technology. In the past, large families were necessary because they were needed to work on farms and most jobs involved manual labor. Families are becoming smaller because technology has made this way of life obsolete. Most jobs are now becoming highly automated with little human interaction, which reduces the cost of products as well as makes the workplace environment safer for employees. Jobs are not the only facets of our life affected by automation. Many machines such as ATM's, personal computers, and electronic scanners in supermarkets are a few processes that have eliminated jobs due to automation and; Burns never acknowledged these. The chances of being killed on the job are one-third of what they were fifty years ago because of these improvements (Goetsch 2). These processes make our lives easier and also save lives, we should not do away with them.Burns also fails to state that while the gap between the middle class and the wealthy is growing, the income of the middle class has raised by nine percent in the last two years (Murphy 252). These increases show that while the wealthy are becoming wealthier, the middle class earning are also rising, but not as fast as the wealthy. The middle class is making some progress and not just regressing like Burns makes it sound. A rough estimate of middle class annual incomes is between thirty and seventy-five thousand dollars, which accounts...

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