Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Frontline: Two American Families

Another great documentary from PBS, available free online. In Two American Families Bill Moyers and the Frontline crew chronicle two families over 22 years starting with their unemployment in 1991.

The personal struggles of each family is powerful but the underlying cause is much more important. These families had male head of household who got non-college degree jobs at $18.00 an hour back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The head of these companies decided to make a larger profit and either moved thier jobs or reduced the pay to $7.50 an hour.

Throughout the next 22 years more companies hired women at lower pay and offered only part time positions. This made the executives of the companies richer but destroyed the middle class. The mother in one of the families got a job at an armored truck company for $7.50 and hour but she only stayed for 2 years leading me to wonder what guy lost his job at a high pay while the company got a bonus for hiring a woman in a male dominated industry.

Look I am all for equal rights for equal pay but not at $7.50. These women should be making the $18 the husband made 22 years ago but they are so desperate that they always take less. I always remember that college was not needed in America as long as you work hard. Today so many people have degrees that they are almost useless. 

The kids in these family are fairing worse but it mostly to their own mistakes/choices but in the old America you could redeem yourself by getting a 9 to 5 job and support a family or two. Even at their relative success now these families cannot support more than themselves.

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