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America Divided Essay

1335 words - 6 pages

America Divided
One would expect that social equality would just be the norm in society today. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Three similar stories of how inequality and the hard reality of how America’s society and workforce is ran shows a bigger picture of the problems American’s have trying to make an honest living in today’s world. When someone thinks about the American dream, is this the way they pictured it? Is this what was envisioned for American’s when thinking about what the future held? The three authors in these articles don’t believe so, and they are pretty sure American’s didn’t either. Bob Herbert in his article “Hiding from Reality” probably makes the most honest and ...view middle of the document...

Another good point that Herbert makes in his article is that the children are suffering in the schools. Education should be a number one priority for Americans. In order for the United States to stay competitive in the world, we need to educate our youth. While we are cutting teaching staff and programs to help the younger generation, how are we going to be helping them? It seems that the government and all the politicians say that they want to create jobs, fund education, and turn the recession around; no one seems to have an answer on how to do this. Americans don’t seem to have a fighting chance at their American dreams if there are not some changes coming soon. It doesn’t seem to help when businesses are not doing their part to help Americans get ahead. Employees at companies just trying to make an honest living are feeling the brunt of the problems too. In the article “Up Against Wal-Mart”, Karen Olsson explains how employees at Wal-Mart have been struggling for years to just make an honest living for their families.
Karen Olsson is a senior editor with the Texas Monthly and interviewed many people who are employees with Wal-Mart. It is disturbing how after all of these years, and the billions of dollars that Wal-Mart makes annually, how they are treating their employees. Wal-Mart is anti-union. In fact, it has been proven in court that if employees try to join a union, they are either fired or punished for doing so. The make such a low wage they are unable to support their families. They are not offered any benefits, especially health care benefits, which makes it impossible at times to even go to the doctor. Wal-Mart is also accused of not promoting female employees to managers as often as men are. In fact, Olsson states that Wal-Mart today has the same percentage of women in management that the average company had in 1975 (614). For a single mother it is almost impossible to raise a family on what they make at Wal-Mart. There are also lawsuits ongoing because they are accused of forcing their employees to work overtime and not paying them for it. They are forcing these employees to stay, and there are strict ramifications to them if they do not. This is why employees want to join unions. Yet every time the employees turn around, Wal-Mart is hiring union busters, or spying on their employees to make sure that they are not talking to one another trying to form a union. Without a union, the employees really don’t have someone looking out for their best interests and protecting their rights as employees. Olsson states that with the company so determined to ward off unions, the prospects of employees in towns like Paris, Texas, winning significant improvements in wages and working...

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