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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat May 8, 2021, 08:17 PM

13. Michael Hiltzick, econ & govt policy writer for the Los Angeles Times, references this today...

Last edited Sat May 8, 2021, 09:00 PM - Edit history (1)

(Darn, the screen jumped and I hit the “post” button. Will try to finish shortly. // update: Done)

Recommend the whole thing. He references Dollar General, where people are sometimes required to work off the clock in “wretched” conditions.

Southern governors in particular think the federal assistance is a “dangerous entitlement” and are stopping people from getting it. They seriously believe workers should be driven back to work by starvation for 1/2 of what it takes to live — because, reasons. Maybe they should be under the lash, like the olden days? Maybe their little children should sleep under the looms at the textile mills? Whistle while they work?

He uses words like “demeaning” and “insulting” and “threatening” for the ways that employers and politicians talk about workers.

On a salient note, he writes of a woman who was unable to find enough workers for her ice cream parlor to be open 7 days a week all summer, until she advertised wages of $15/hour, at which point she had “thousands” of applications.


Can’t find workers? Don’t blame federal aid

The notion that unemployment benefits are keeping able-bodied workers home has become an article of faith among employers and their lobbyists, despite a lack of any evidence that this phenomenon is endemic.
In some places, the business community hasn’t been shy about demeaning workers who aren’t clamoring to join their staffs. Typically they portray the workforce as an army of layabouts.
Here’s the insulting way that John Kabateck, California state director for the small business lobby group the National Federation of Independent Business, put it: “The federal government’s extra $300 it added to state unemployment benefits comes to an end in early September, so it will be a matter of time before showing up for work is a better-paying proposition than remaining on the couch watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island.”
NFIB, by the way, has sued to overturn California regulations requiring employers to maintain safe workplaces during the pandemic. That hints at one reason why people might feel uncomfortable about taking jobs with its member companies. The lawsuit is pending in state court in San Francisco.


The question is not whether employers are scratching for staff, but why.
“Employers simply don’t want to raise wages high enough to attract workers,” observes Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist for the Department of Labor who is now policy director at the labor-affiliated Economic Policy Institute. “I often suggest that whenever anyone says, ‘I can’t find the workers I need,’ she should really add, ‘at the wages I want to pay.’”
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell referred to the wage question during a news conference on April 28. “We don’t see wages moving up yet,” he said. “And presumably we would see that in a really tight labor market.”

Powell listed numerous other factors that might produce a temporary labor shortage in some sectors.
“One big factor would be schools aren’t open yet, so there’s still people who are at home taking care of their children, and would like to be back in the workforce, but can’t be yet,” he said. “There are virus fears that are weighing on people, so some people don’t want to go back to work.”


For some employers, the intuitive conclusion that workers are just waiting out their unemployment benefit trumps its empirical falsity. For others, too, it’s far easier, and even cheaper, to complain about lazy workers than to entice them into work with a living wage.
As has been the case in other economic recoveries, the pace of rehiring is almost entirely in employers’ hands. Their tools are workplace conditions and wages. They just have to use them.

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Nevilledog May 8 OP
jimfields33 May 8 #1
leftieNanner May 8 #2
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Hortensis May 8 #6
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70sEraVet May 8 #9
liberal N proud May 8 #10
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Claire Oh Nette May 9 #14
BobTheSubgenius May 8 #12
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Hekate May 8 #13
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