- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 28, 2002

White males are suffering from long-term deterioration in lifetime income growth and job security, according to a study, "Divergent Paths," just released by the Russell Sage Foundation.

The study by four academic sociologists and statisticians compares the wage growth and job security of young white males who entered the labor market in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the experience of a previous generation of young white males who entered the labor market in the mid-1960s. The study finds that 90 percent of young white male workers can expect to have lower lifetime wage growth than the previous generation.

The study concludes that "upward mobility has deteriorated for young white men who entered the labor market in the 1980s." The change is significant and permanent, comprising "a massive downshift in earning standards" that has hollowed out the middle class and left large numbers of white males stuck in low-wage service jobs that have no future.

The trend is especially adverse for the 66 percent of the work force that never attains a four-year college degree. However, even college graduates are experiencing difficulties. Although better off relative to other young white males, 65 percent of college graduates who began working in 1980 have experienced less income growth than college graduates who began their careers in the mid-1960s.

The researchers have no satisfactory explanation for their worrisome findings. They point fingers at deregulation, corporate downsizing, decline of unionization, and a stagnant minimum wage and wander off into left-wing drivel about "the imbalance of power that is inherent in a capitalist system."

A better explanation of the study's conclusion that the majority of white males "can no longer expect stable careers that lead to a solid, family-sustaining wage" is found in race and gender quotas, massive unskilled immigration, and in the way the U.S. practices "free trade."

The study shows that women "experienced real wage growth during this period" when "earnings for male workers stagnated and even declined." In order to protect against U.S. Department of Justice (sic) lawsuits, every U.S. corporation has had to institutionalize race and gender quotas that discriminate against "over-represented" white males. These quotas have adversely impacted the upward mobility of white males.

Massive unskilled immigration from Third World countries greatly increases the labor supply and undercuts the wages of unskilled and low-skilled white males.

Formerly, the U.S. practiced traditional trade. We imported what others produced best and exported what we produced best. Some traditional trade still takes place, but the U.S. also practices a new kind of trade.

U.S. companies export unfinished and semi-finished materials to their factories in Mexico and China, where Mexican and Chinese workers add value. The goods are then exported back to the U.S. for sale to the American consumer. In this type of trade, the U.S. will always run a deficit because what we "export" has lower value than what we "import."

When goods cross borders they are measured as international trade, but such movements are really intra-firm trade that allows cheaper Mexican and Chinese labor to be substituted for U.S. labor. U.S. companies produce for the American consumer with foreign labor.

The result is a decline in higher-paying jobs in the U.S. as companies move higher value-added operations abroad to take advantage of cheaper labor.

A recent Cornell University study, "The Impact of U.S.-China Trade Relations on Workers, Wages and Employment," concludes that U.S. companies shift their production to China in order to produce for the U.S. market with cheap Chinese labor. The study estimates that a minimum of 760,000 U.S. jobs have been lost to China since 1992.

"An increasing percentage of the jobs leaving the U.S. are in higher-paying industries producing goods such as bicycles, furniture, motors, compressors, generators, fiber optics, clocks, injection molding and computer components." The shift in production is so extensive that the U.S. has run a trade deficit with China in advanced technology goods since 1995.

China requires U.S. firms that want access to China's low cost labor to relocate research and development operations to China along with factories, thus replacing American designers, engineers and scientists with Chinese ones.

White American males face deteriorating career prospects because: U.S. companies substitute foreign labor for U.S. labor, civil rights policy requires discrimination against white males in employment and promotion, and massive immigration drives down wages in construction, services and other employment.

The end result of the job transfers will be a U.S. population too poor to purchase the products produced by cheap Chinese and Mexican labor.

Paul Craig Roberts is a columnist for The Washington Times and is nationally syndicated.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide