To the Editor:
Is having a pessimistic view becoming the new norm in our society? With income inequality growing, public education struggling, jobs becoming ever increasingly hard to find, and fears of uncertainty with our economy, it seems that people are starting to develop a negative outlook.
Recent articles in the paper have prompted a concern in regards to the current state of our nation. One such article, written in the Los Angeles Times and reprinted in the Watertown Daily Times Sunday, Jan. 12, reported that a study done by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality revealed that “our economy is failing to deliver the jobs, a failure that then generates much poverty, that exposes the safety net to demands well beyond its capacity to meet them, that produces too many children poorly prepared for school and that places equally harsh demands on our health care, penal, and retirement systems.” This is a clear indication of a system that is not sustainable.
Reasons for lack of job creation in America are complex and are not easily understood. Another article written in the Los Angeles Times and reprinted in the Watertown Daily Times touched on the economic realities of our nation. The article elaborated on how many “American companies have embraced the changes of global competition and are happy to make profits off underpaid foreign workers while allowing huge swaths of American industries to die.”
Globalization and outsourcing are nothing new and are part of the reality of the global capital market, but does this structure benefit most Americans? In the article written by Jeff Danziger, he writes that “it’s hard to explain all this to younger Americans, who are generally a hopeful and cheerful lot. It means hinting that a great deal, maybe all, of what they have been taught so far in school is wrong, or at best useless. It means offering a full explanation of human nature, including its awful and miserable characteristics, its meanness and its fearful avarice. That kind of information is no fun to deliver.”
The common theme that appears to be reverberating is related to people’s perceptions. Americans are becoming confused and disheartened by the current state of our nation. It seems to be a combination of a growing populace that is uncertain about its country’s future and a hopeless attitude that tends to warrant a sense of pessimism.