Sociology

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Orquidia Gomez
SOC 100
9/24/12
Prof. Post

In 2010 the Acme Widget, United States factory, outsourced 80% of the Anytown population due the fact that unionized workers could not operate the factory’s old equipment. The owners, part of the capitalist class, decided to close the factory after forty years of operation. They moved the factory to the foreign country of Mexico in order to obtain cheap labor and no benefits for new prospective workers. In doing so, the company would be able to save more money by not changing to new equipment and paying new workers less money. As a result, workers back home in the USA were left with no jobs for the next two to five years. The workers of Anytown were forced to live out their unemployment funds, savings and welfare benefits as a main source of income. Before the factory's closing, the workers were considered part of the working class, in the socio-economic hierarchy. They worked full time for at least 40 hours a week earning $15 per hour, at a yearly salary of $31,200. After the closing of the factory, the workers experienced a downward social mobility going from employed to unemployed which resulted in them becoming under class and relatively poor. I assume that the workers of Anytown who did receive unemployment benefits or had savings had no choice but to utilize them until they found another job. The unemployment benefits are temporary and welfare benefits are insufficient for families to maintain all the expenses of daily living. In my opinion, these workers weren’t absolutely poor (underclass), but fell into the categories of working poor, stable and some even semi-professional/supervisors. However, I am pretty sure that after the close down of the factory the vast majority of this population became underclass. Due to the social and economic conditions, I believe workers had to downsize in all aspects of their lifestyles. One example of this could have been people being forced to forfeit their homes and...
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