I talked with a trash man the other day. I noticed he was working all alone and asked where his buddy was. He said his company keeps downsizing the crew. His trash crew used to consist of a driver and 2 men to load. Then it was cut back to a driver and a loader. Now he does it all - he drives, gets out and loads the trash then back in and drives on.
I asked if the company was worried about burning him out in the icy winter and humid summers. He said there is a line of guys a mile long waiting to take his place when he can't do it any longer. I guess if the trash company could do it by robots they would cut him out as well.
Another guy I talked with said his company converted a lot of the workforce to part time, so they did not have to offer benefits.
A lady mental health therapist said her firm was trying to encourage the higher paid senior therapists to leave, so they could replace them with younger therapists that are paid much less and can be worked longer hours.
The other day I called up toll free directory to find an 800 number. In the old days a live person answered the phone. then they got rid of most of the people and a computer answered the phone. If the computer didn't work, you had the option to talk with a live operator. Now you just talk with the computer and if the computer fails, they just refer you to their website and have dumped all live help.
I'm sure we have all talked with some workers in India trying to figure out some customer service problem we are having.
And it is not just the low paying jobs heading to India. A radiologist told me that the trend is to send the Xrays to India now via facsimile for the Indian MD's to read. Just takes few seconds to export them...so why not save hundreds of dollars so the healthcare industry can make more profits?
Even the poor parking lot attendants are not secure to make min wage. The trend is computerized self serve and dump the gate attendant.
I guess it all started back in the 70's, when China opened up and the turbo capitalist realized how much more money they could make by dumping the US workers and shipping production overseas. Maybe that was the deal Nixon made? You (China) stop trying to take over the world with communism and we will buy your crap so your people can eat?
...and pretty soon we will all be eating chicken from china.
(Actually you are probably eating Chinese chicken right now. The gov enacted a law that does not mandate country of origin data for ingredients that have been processes. Your fast food chicken parts can come from ANYPLACE!)
I read some town in OH banned trash picking. If your caught digging through the trash you can be fined $500 or jailed for 30 days. People that trash pick generally are not rich. They do it trying to survive. Now the local gov has taken away the unemployed's last hopes for honest work of some sort. What is left for them to do to try and eat?
Seems to be many such trends chipping away at our very survival before the SHTF comes knocking at our door. So even if none of our SHTF scenarios come to fruition, living life itself can be a survival feat nowadays.