Low wage workers have made the rational decision to take a break. Why shouldn’t they? They have no safety net, no guarantee of housing or health care or child care or transportation. The combination of unemployment and additional stimulus support has made staying home a better economic decision than working for peanuts under stressful conditions.
One would think that employers in retail and restaurants are the victims. The corporate media repeat endlessly that they can’t find workers but don’t tell us why this situation has taken place. The opportunity to hear why workers make a logical choice is never heard. The result is more right wing propaganda masquerading as news.
Even worse, workers are now being punished because they refuse to knuckle under. Montana and South Carolina have chosen to forgo federal unemployment support in an effort to force people back into low wage jobs. Montana’s governor said, “We need to incentivize Montanans to reenter the workforce.” His brilliant plan is to give up the additional $300 per week and instead give $1,200 just once. South Carolina’s governor is competing in the cruelty olympics, complaining about “dangerous federal entitlements” and cutting off money to people who need it the most.”
These servants of corporate interests have reason to worry. There are signs that workers have had enough. Employees in a Maine Dollar General store walked out and explained that the low pay and business model of being overworked was no longer worth it to them.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction