How well are we doing? A temp agency calls in 20 workers to stack pallets to fill an order and that's considered "20 new jobs for the economy."
The next week or month the workers, who have no medical benefits and are building no wealth or pension credits, are let go.
A sign in the local hospital reads that no one can be refused basic medical emergency care if s/he has no money to pay. Maintenance check-ups and preventive dental care? Sorry.
Thousands of blue collar jobs are being eliminated...,there are NO JOBS like there were for people who want to work and need a medical plan and a wage large enough to make a mortgage payment and fuel and finance a reliable vehicle. Workers who had ascended to the middle class via good union jobs are now being evicted from their homes and having their five-year-old trucks repossessed due to the fact they are members of the Great Working Class of the US.
For a generation now the writing's been on the wall: get an education and/or specific trade-training or be condemned to poverty for a lifetime.
I was in the last class of an Indiana rural two-room school before it was abandoned and the farm kids bused to the town school. Then my high school class was the last before massive consolidation plans shuttered the place.
I was in Vietnam as a soldier when ground ops were yielding to an all-out air war.
And I retired as the union plant I worked in was starting to ship machines and contracts to Mexico for cheaper labor. Now the plant in which I toiled for several decades is a shell of it's glory days, awaiting word of permanent closing. My eldest daughter lives a mile from a Ford plant that will close permanently next year, throwing hundreds more out into the wonderful world of "get mine."
Changes, changes, and more changes.
How is this helping the worker who needs a competitive income? It doesn't. My children are all university grads with post-grad degrees and are surviving by working long, stressful hours in the professional medical fields.
They can't complain However, many millions for whatever reason are still in the Great American Working Class. Their status is usually volatile if not downright shaky. When they fall through the cracks , it's all bad.
I'm writing all this to point out that the economy is not really all that strong. It's complicated and the solution varies for each individual .... many certainly have the ability and /or guidance to "pull themselves up..." A good many can't find the door that's open, however, and grow weary and sick knocking on all the doors of rejection.