Trade deals erased many full-time jobs
Food and retail employees used to be mainly students and people who wanted to make additional money to afford some extras (eating out, vacations, new couch). Most were not trying to support a family on these part-time wages. Families were supported by full-time work positions, such as factory workers, teachers, nurses, accountants and civil servants.
Low-margin retail and food industries cannot fill the financial void created by a reduction in the availability of good-paying jobs. NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement seem counterintuitive to making a livable wage in our country.
On-the-job, apprenticeship-styled training teaches lifetime skills. Farmers, factory workers, teachers, bookkeepers, plumbers, electricians, masons, etc., are all noble professions. These are teachable skills our country will always need.
Everyone needs a livable wage. Period. Juggling multiple part-time jobs to earn a steady livable income is not the answer. Satisfaction, self-respect and respect of other people and things can be byproducts of a steady, livable income. Henry Ford paid his employees a livable wage. They could afford to buy the cars they made. Makes sense to me.