Job, what job?

Why aren’t workers seeking work?

After reviewing dozens of articles, it appears there are many reasons for so many job openings. One of those reasons seems to be attitude about work aligned with the general attitude of I’m a victim, I’m entitled. This was brought home when I read a opinion article saying for decades employers have “abused workers” I guess implying workers are getting even.

Other reasons given were lack of skills for new jobs, mismatch between jobs and location, COVID, too many financial incentives to stay home, wanting to work from home and wanting more money.

The constant drumbeat from Washington hasn’t created any motivation for individuals to take responsibility, to do what may be necessary financially for themselves and their families – even if they don’t like the job. After all, who is immune to being told the system is rigged, unfair and you deserve “more.”

Why pay your loans if you are being told you are a victim and just wait, someone else will pay? Why be responsible for the children you brought into this world when you are told you cannot afford to care for them, but government will.

It must be nice to enjoy the freedom of being so independent. I never had that luxury from the day I graduated high school. I can’t imagine simply quitting a job, without a new one secured, because I didn’t like it or wanted more money. How would I pay my bills, save for the future?🙄

There is a price to pay for what’s happening, it isn’t going to end well. Bonuses, higher pay, generous perks, ultra work flexibility all have consequences.

Lets see, accelerated automation, (they already have a burger flipping/fries maker robot) higher prices/inflation, lower stock prices – yeah, it matters to average Americans – future loss of jobs as the situation changes and higher costs are unsustainable as employers struggle to meet foreign competition.

For every action there is a reaction, right?

6 comments

  1. At some point, Americans will have to pay taxes for all the spending in the past, underway today, and promised for the near term future. We are almost $30 T in debt. We are running $1 – $2 Trillion a year in annual deficits. Our unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare are (depending on why you ask) between $60T and $200+ Trillion. Here’s one report: “… Elected and non-elected officials have made repeated financial decisions that have left the federal government with a debt burden of $123.11 trillion, including unfunded Social Security and Medicare promises. …” See: https://www.truthinaccounting.org/news/detail/financial-state-of-the-union-2021

    Today, the Beltway idiots are targeting the top 1% of income earners – about 143,000 tax returns in 2017. That year, according to the IRS, the top 1% earned $2.3 Trillion and paid $616B in taxes for an effective average income tax rate of 27%. For comparison, the lower 50% of tax filers, 72MM returns, earned $1.6T and paid $50B, so they paid about 3% of all income taxes and had an average effective tax rate of 4%.

    https://www.irs.gov/statistics/soi-tax-stats-individual-statistical-tables-by-tax-rate-and-income-percentile#earlyRelease

    We already have a massively progressive income tax system. It is one of the reasons why Congress keeps kicking the can down the road to tax your children, grandchildren and generations yet unborn (people too young to vote, people who won’t come of age until after our aged members of Congress leave office, themselves).

    And, no, as we all know, Social Security and Medicare taxes we have paid in the past have not properly funded the system, and, because of the bend points and other features, we know that the benefits are dramatically more regressive (valuable) than the taxes paid. Low income Americans with gaps in employment gain proportionately much greater levels of benefit, relative to taxes, while high income Americans without gaps in employment pay proportionately much greater levels of taxes (once adjusted for the time value of money) relative to the benefits they will receive.

    For example, someone who came to America and started paying FICA-Med 10 years ago, need only have paid in about $745 in FICA-Med taxes over that entire ten year period to qualify for non-contributory Medicare Part A. And with that very minimal rate of earnings, they are likely dual-eligible for Medicaid – meaning no Part B nor Part D monthly contributions nor will they have deductibles, copayments or coinsurance – no point of purchase cost sharing. That is, they get access to coverage with a cost of about $1,200 a month ($2,400 a month with a nonworking spouse of the same age) – that’s $14,000+ a year ($28,000+ if they have a non-working spouse of the same age).

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  2. “Lets see, accelerated automation, (they already have a burger flipping/fries maker robot) “

    Who says a burger flipping robot is a bad thing?

    The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs. Jobs for every American is doomed to failure because of modern automation and production. We ought to recognize it and create an income-maintenance system so every single American has the dignity and the wherewithal for shelter, basic food, and medical care. I’m talking about welfare for all. Without it, you’re going to have warfare for all. Without a universal health care like every other civilized country, without a minimum level of income, this country will explode. You can’t blame the guy at the bottom forever. At some point there’s a reaction and we’ll see that the real criminals are those calling the tune, making the rules, and walking to the bank.

    Jerry Brown

    -As automation increases, we should be looking at a shorter workweek and/or earlier retirement.

    “ You can’t blame the guy at the bottom forever. ”

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  3. A lot of it, I think, is that a lot of companies are trying to play the “victim” card themselves by crying about unfilled positions – with zero intent to fill those positions.

    Personal observation: I have an 18-year old son who wants to work (BLUF: He got a job at a fast-food restaurant earning $16 an hour and works 6 days a week, so there is something to the labor shortage). But he applied at a national grocery store chain and a major big-box retailer for entry level jobs (you know, the ones with big signs as you enter the store that are begging for help).

    Crickets. OK, one of them did send him a email to say “the position has been filled” while the sign remained in place.

    So there’s more to it than this. I truly do think that some businesses WANT people to feel sorry for them.

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  4. While I pretty much agree with your comments, from the folks I know the biggest reasons for not going back to work are expensive and hard to find child care and a decision to spend less. I am well beyond the age where I would use child care, but we have several extended family members and friends that do use it. The comments I keep hearing is that the cost is way up and good child care is very hard to find and get your kids into. A number of the folks that I know that used to use it have decided to just keep one of the parents at home and take care of the kids the old fashion way, themselves. They tell me that in some cases child care would cost more then one of the parents used to make, so they are actually ahead by staying home.

    The second comment I hear all the time is from couples where one of the two made quite a bit less than the other. In their case they have often decided to have the one spouse quite work and stay home to keep house. They say that by eating out less, doing their own cooking and cleaning etc, they more than make up for the lost income. Plus, they say they are happier with the lifestyle of spending less and doing more for themselves.

    I do find it interesting that so many folks I know have sort of returned to a lifestyle that was closer to what I grew up with. Less income, but offset by maintaining the home themselves, cooking their own food and eating out way less, reducing vacations and expenses associated with them and cutting spending back to largely need to have items with limited nice to have items.

    It will be interesting to see if this lifestyle holds or if they soon go back to keeping up with the neighbors. If they do maintain this style, I think that business will have to undergo a major shift in thinking to survive.

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  5. The drumbeat of many being told they are victims and entitled to this and that is evidence that we have come a long way from the day when JFK inspired people to “ask not what their country could do for them, but rather what they could do for their country”.

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  6. Everything you wrote has a sense of truth to it. I also think another issue is that people were told by the government that they were non-essential and that your job had no value. Most retail jobs I would consider low wage and unskilled (compared to a tradesman). They put up with people who think they are entitled because the government and media tells that they are entitled if they belong to any group if they are not straight and white.

    There are many empty store fronts in shopping centers where I live. These stores did not sell food and were forced to close for the pandemic. With internet ordering they didn’t survive. Why would you go back to retail if your job is so unsecure? The government made it too easy not to work during the pandemic and I guess people just expect that to continue forever. In fact as a retiree, I got paid to stay home when my income was not affected by the pandemic.

    Local wage offers have jump past $15 /hr. There are many signs offering $22/hr. You better believe that will show up in the prices of goods and services and at some point that will result in layoffs because people will not be able to purchase goods. All the stores in my area are expanding their self check out in response. The store Five Below has no cashiers at all now.

    33 out of my 37 years working, I worked essential jobs 24/7. My positions were required by law to be filled. My uncle headed the state police during the 90’s and during one blizzard while the governor was proposing budget cuts, he told his staff that any employee who calls out for a snow day was to get a pink slip because the state police were essential. So how is it that we have so many non-essential government workers like the DMV and the courts still not fully open? I say fire them. If the workers in a supermarket can be exposed to covid-19 and not get sick, why can’t the DMV be fully open? If it is too “unsafe” for government workers, then why should I go back to work. Pay me to stay home too.

    This is a complex problem created by fear and political agendas well past the point of getting control of the pandemic and now it will take years to unravel.

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