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We need to rebuild

October 14, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

To the Editor,

The most discussed topic in the current election campaign is the effect the state of the economy has had on the middle class. Prior to World War II, we had three classes of people in our country: the poor, the middle class and the rich.

Immediately after the war, we started manufacturing goods at a record pace. We were producing cars, homes and goods as fast as possible. Workers producing these items were making more money and the workers belonging to unions were given more benefits such as higher wages, extended vacations, fully paid health care and fully paid retirement.

At that time we were in a national economy and the cost could be absorbed by the American public.

During this time, we created another class of people known as the upper-middle class. People in this class could buy homes, two cars, send their children to college without loans, belong to the country club, own vacation homes and enjoy many other luxuries. We enjoyed this for an extended period of time during the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and into the 90s. Once the global economy came about, many of the manufacturing companies started shipping jobs overseas where labor costs were lower and these companies were not faced with legacy costs for the retirees. With our country manufacturing less and less many of these high paying jobs have disappeared.

This upper middle class of people has suffered greatly. They are without work or have had to accept a lower paying job with no fully paid retirement, nor fully paid health care. It has had a devastating effect on their lifestyle. We now have the poor, the lower middle class, middle class and the rich.

Our country needs to regain these manufacturing jobs to revitalize our economy. Should we continue to ship our manufacturing jobs overseas, we will never be able to rebuild our middle class.

Bob Mark


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