The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

The Labor Shortage

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In the media, their is a growing voice that the Covid-19 benefits are causing workers to be lazy. That is certainly one view - but Anne Helen Petersen makes a great point:

Refusing to prostrate yourself on the wheel of work is not a failure. Nor is it self-care — at least not in the narrow, individualistic way we conceive of it. It can be a means of advocating for yourself, but also your peers, your family, even your children. But here’s the thing about a reshuffle: you’re still playing with the same deck of cards, and the game of American capitalism is still rigged against the worker. Which is why business models in everything from tourism to early childhood care need to be fundamentally reconceived — and built in a way that doesn’t hinge on workers making poverty-level wages.

We should ask ourselves, our communities, and our government: if a business can’t pay a living wage, should it be a business? If it’s too expensive for businesses to provide healthcare for their workers, maybe we need to decouple it from employment? If childcare is a market failure, but we need childcare for the economy to work, how can the government build that infrastructure? If the pay you provide workers doesn’t allow them to live in the community, what needs to change? Collectively, we should be thinking of different funding models, different ownership scenarios, and different growth imperatives. Failure to do so is simply resigning ourselves to another round of this rigged game.

If you can’t find a way to pay your employees a living wage and provide them a dignified work environment - why should you be allowed to exist as a business? This perverse attitude in America of profits over Americans needs to be stop. And the only way that is going to happen is by the citizenry demanding laws that enforce those changes.