The Yuppie's dilemma: Economic Insecurity and Downsizing

        Since the 1980s, the creation of a global economy has led to increased profits and stock value for larger corporations, but often at the expense of workers' wages, job security, and work benefits.  Just as workers are being squeezed, so too are states and local communities, who find that they must cut taxes, build factories and infrastructure, reduce environmental and safety regulations, train and educate workers, and reduce city and state services in order to be competitive in this increasingly global economy.  The rules of the game lead to a "survival of the fittest" mentality that pits stock prices against  workers and state and local communities.

   Increasing Wealth & Status
   for Global Corporations
    Declining Wealth & Status
     for Workers
     Declining State & Cities
     Quality of Life

      Corporate Investors
  • Corporate Profits
  • Increased Stock Prices
  • More Competitive in the Market
  • Higher CEO salaries
  • Increased Book value or Sell-off value of Company


     Company Employees
  • Cutting labor costs
  • Cutting work benefits
  • Downsizing labor
  • Outsourcing work
  • Temporary work
  • Break Unions
  • Move Factories overseas to cheaper labor

   State & Local Communities
  • Cut Corporate taxes
  • Build Factories
  • Reduce regulations
  • Train workers
  • Reduce social spending
  • Compete for Scarce jobs
  • Living with less services
  • Declining Quality of Life

    Faced with this dilemma, Yuppies either accepted the predatorial rules of the game or were destroyed by the drive for corporate profits and power.  If you don't play to win, you will be pushed aside in the survival of the fittest. This game made Yuppies very nervous: They wanted to be winners, but were always afraid that they would be losers.  This explains their status anxiety, their obsession with work, their sacrifice of  their marriages and families, and their obsession with living well.  If you weren't careful, you could always lose it all, because someone else was meaner, hungrier, and willing to sacrifice more. Palmer is right when he argues that "Wall Street is the ultimate yuppie nightmare. It portrays the crash of the yuppie ideal of money, power, and status."