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Layoffs Cause Self Esteem Problems, Author Finds

With the increase in outsourcing jobs to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy, Americans are facing more frequent layoffs at the workplace. This phenomenon is causing low self esteem and other psychological problems among people losing their jobs.

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    Layoffs — bitter, but necessary medicine to keep us competitive in the global economy. At least, that's become the conventional wisdom over the years, as millions of Americans have been forced from their jobs.

    But, after covering layoffs for the past few decades, New York Times reporter Lou Uchitelle has come to believe the "necessary medicine" story was one of several key myths.

    LOUIS UCHITELLE, Author, "The Disposable American": One myth was that, look, once we get ourselves good and efficient, layoffs — this terrible period of layoffs — will stop. ┬áWe will reach a new equilibrium. ┬áWe will be again at the top of the world.

  • MAN:

    What about taking care of the people? What about people's lives here? People have lives here. What are — what — what are we going to do? Where are we going to go?


    We recorded that laid-off worker back in 1996. And he's one of several blasts from the past in this story — among them, almost a decade later, machinist Ed Landry.

  • ED LANDRY, Laid-Off Machinist:

    We went to lunch, and our jobs went to China.


    Is that — is that literally where your job went?


    That's right. After 38 years in the same shop, I come out of the service, I went to work where I was working, and — and last September, they told us that they have decided to buy the product in China, instead of having it made here in the United States.