The Biggest Social Issue of 2015 Is Jobs

Richard Cucarese
Rapid Response Coordinator
Local 4889, Fairless Hills, Pa.

Anyone who has been following the news lately cannot help but be drawn to the tragedies of Charleston and the subsequent battle over gun rights and the taking down of a symbol of aggression to many African Americans, the Confederate flag.

While all this has made for emotionally compelling and needed debate, the biggest socio-economic challenge our whole country faces has disappeared into the woodwork once again. It is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.  If TPP passes, and by all accounts its passage may occur in later this year, Americans of all walks will be massively affected.

Millions of Americans have suffered through the loss of good paying manufacturing jobs, especially in the past fifteen years.  The statistic of almost 60 thousand factories being shuttered since 2001 is staggering.  When a factory closes, there is always a heavy price paid by the community in lost tax revenue, eroding infrastructure and a certain loss of physical and mental stability that can only exist when a community is working and thriving.  

Job loss is always a devastating social and economic issue, and it is becoming too prevalent in 21stCentury America. 

The loss of a steady income leads to despair and discontent.  Job loss leads to many social ills such as spousal or child abuse, heavy drug and alcohol use, and the need to blame someone for the economic and emotional losses incurred.  People of different racial, religious or sexual backgrounds may not agree on all the issues being debated in our country at the moment, but we can agree on one thing: the massive loss of jobs through free trade agreements has created dead cities, blighted towns, and unending tales of hardship and misery.

We must all stand together, a movement of Americans from union and non-union groups, blue and white collar workers, to show our government that these agreements are not in our best interests.  

We need to show that this selling out of our livelihoods will no longer be tolerated.  We need to be a movement of not one thousand, but one million, marching on Washington D.C., and airing our grievances in a peaceful but very vocal display.

It would be at least one step towards stemming the tide of some serious social ills that we face. 


Richard Cucarese can be reached on Twitter @stlwrkr4889


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