Advanced Composition Rasmussen College
Analysis of: Losing Our Country, by Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman shares ideas of how the middle-class is disappearing into poverty mentioning baby boomers, war, and greedy politicians taking on a liberal left perspective; however there is no consideration at all of the middle class disappearance related to population growth, pollution, and dwindling natural resources. In the first sentence, Krugman mentions “Baby boomers like me grew up in a relatively equal society”. What happens when the baby boomers hit adulthood? Extreme adult population growth has hit the workforce. More jobs are needed to be created for the influx of people in the workforce. Krugman mentions the fact that working families have not had progress in income but fails to include that population of workforce has to compete with the same money that a few years back had less people.
This growth of workers in the workforce creates a balance for a time due to more collegiate experts are needed to teach the younger ones new ideas and trades to compete with the ever-growing population.
“Median income doubled between 1947 and 1973……rose only 22 percent from 1973 to 2003” (Rosenwasser, Stephen, 2012, p.687)
Now to cut the pie of money with the baby boomer parents the income levels have to dwindle for the excess amount of people. To do this, the income rates decrease; while the cost of supplies increase. The cost of living (inflation) rises related to natural resources being used exponentially along with exponential population growth. Next the baby boomers are having babies, and the population soars higher. Demand is high for everything at the store. Factories cannot keep up with making products fast enough for the consumers to purchase the goods. When demand is high price goes up.
I worked in a factory in the 1990’s. This era saw collapse of the textile industries in this country. As the pre-stock employee in the inspector department, I was responsible for locating inventory already sold. Our company could not keep up with making the rugs fast enough for the customers’ purchases. We lost customers due to they would go elsewhere where product could be gained faster. This factory closed shop with many others in this country and went to other countries.
All the increased factories, increased fossil fuel usage, and increased consumption related to extreme population growth has now created pollution to the extreme. Health declines, cancer is on the rise along with heart and lung disease. Diabetes and kidney failure is growing exponentially. The healthcare industry is rising exponentially due to all the sickness and extreme population of elderly baby boomers. More and more healthcare workers are needed along with more medications. The demand for medicines is increasing rapidly causing spikes in the price of medications. When demand is high, price is high. The supply can’t keep up with the demand of the flu vaccination. How many times has there been a shortage of vaccinations?
Along with the increased pollution causing healthcare issues, the elderly population has risen. The baby boomers have reached old age. Cost of healthcare for elderly is expensive due to declining health as a person ages. Demand is high for healthcare. When demand is high cost is high. The workers in the healthcare are competing for the same money that was for fewer workers a decade ago. The cost of the supplies is increasing exponentially along with the stagnant wages. All of these things increase anger, frustration, stress, fear, increasing need for psychiatric care.
It is ironic when Krugman mentions in the first sentence that the baby boomer era was the ideal era of equality when the baby boomer(exponential population growth) is the reason behind many problems discussed by him. Inflation, low wages, and increase between poor and rich salaries are all related to population growth, pollution, decreased resources, high demand and decreased supply. If wages were not kept stagnant, there would be a bigger gap between the rich and the poor; because there would not possibly be enough jobs for as many as we have at the moment. An employer has X amount of money and can only hire X amount of employees for X amount of money to keep the business alive. To break even, the employer has to cap the wages. The cost of supplies is increasing rapidly due to demand is increasing. Furthermore, to make a profit the employer must hire more workers to gain incentives set by government (incentives set to keep financial collapse happening in drastic proportion). To hire more employees, it is impossible to give raises = to the cost of inflation, because two employees cost double what one employee cost. I think Krugman looks at the surface but not the whole economic situation. On the surface, it is easy to assume politicians are only greedy and that is driving wages stagnant and inflation higher. In reality, the stagnation stems from increase population growth. This stagnation has kept this country from losing everything. It has prevented a total collapse.
- D. Rosenwasser, J. Stephen.(2012). Writing analytically, second edition. Wadsworth. P. Krugman. “Losing Our Country”. Pages 687-688.