Not that the economy isn't in a rough patch but judging by the news and the Democrats you would think that America is currently experiencing the worst economic downturn since the great depression...or at least since the last Republican was in the White House. But there are good things going on in the economy that aren't being reported.
The Heritage Foundation just came out with a research paper titled Getting Better All the Time: Improving Job Quality in the United States that contains a lot of information that most Americans, fed bad news like it was vitamin and mineral enriched manna, probably wouldn't believe. The facts about jobs, their quality, and how much they pay won't be making it into any of Barack Obama's campaign commercials but they're true nonetheless.
And while we're all bemoaning our low pay we might consider this fact:
Many Americans remember the economy of a generation ago as an era where most workers earned good wages that enabled them to provide for their families, had generous benefits, and enjoyed job security. Especially with the current economic weakness, they fear that such jobs are now disappearing. To many, the idea of a lifetime job with an employer-provided pension and health benefits seems a relic of the past.
These fears are unfounded. Opportunities rise and fall with the business cycle, and many good jobs have disappeared since the 1970s – but so too have many undesirable low-wage positions. The economy is constantly in flux, creating new jobs and destroying old ones. Last year employers created 58 million new jobs, but eliminated 55 million existing positions. On balance, however, the quality of jobs available to Americans has increased over the past generation.
Employers today need fewer workers doing mindlessly repetitive or physically demanding tasks. Computer programs and robots now do much of this work. Jobs such as machine operators, assemblers, and material handlers have decreased their share of total employment considerably since 1980.
But computers cannot think for or interact with people, and highly paid jobs that require greater mental skills are an increasingly large part of the economy. Executive and managerial, professional specialty, and technical and sales jobs are the three most highly paid occupations in America. They have expanded their share of employment by 10 percent since 1980.
The increased need for highly skilled and educated workers means expanded opportunities for upward mobility. The average annual incomes of American-born workers rose 27 percent between 1980 and 2000.Jobs today are also more secure than they used to be:
Concerns about decreased job security are also misplaced. Conventional wisdom holds that workers have less job security than in the past. This is not the case. Workers are somewhat more likely to change jobs than in the 1980s, but this is because workers are more likely to voluntarily decide to move between employers. Companies, however, are much less likely to fire or lay off workers than a generation ago. Workers jobs are more secure today than in the 1970s.And while many Americans believe that their children won't have the opportunities that they did (Ah, if only GWB hadn't stolen the election from Al Gore, all would be well!):
Today, the typical American works in a better job than his or her parents did, and his or her children will probably work in a better job still.This is not the kind of story you'll see much of this year as the media attempts to install a Democrat back in the White House. But don't worry, you'll see it as soon as the Lightbringer assumes his rightful place in the Cosmos as President. Oh yeah, and he'll be responsible for it, too. You just watch.