As the country began to reopen after the pandemic, new varieties of signs began to pop up in store windows and at restaurants. These are largely divided into two types. The first is pleading for applications, offering incentives to applicants including iPhones or better pay packages. The second kind is disparaging, and complains that the establishment doesn’t have employees, blaming this on public laziness and Federal benefits extended during the pandemic. This particular brand of propaganda earned a response from President Joe Biden.
Numerous think pieces have been published and experts have opined, noting that businesses offering a living wage don’t seem to be so affected by this apparent ‘labor shortage’ as those that are paying minimum wage, or tipped minimum wage, and the widespread conclusion is that there isn’t a shortage of labor — just a shortage of cheap labor.
When asked about so-called employee shortages, Biden appeared to agree, mocking the question and the entire propaganda narrative as he leaned forward and whispered a solution.
“Pay them more.”
— President Biden whispers in response to questions about worker shortages. pic.twitter.com/8OtMvzizFT
— The Recount (@therecount) June 24, 2021
“Asking me, ‘Guess what? Employers can’t find workers.’ I said, ‘Yeah. Pay them more.”
The Washington Post has suggested this isn’t so much a worker shortage as a reassessment of how paid labor works, with multiple driving forces, including people who are still taking care because of the pandemic, and those who can’t return to in-person work until their children can safely return to daycare and in-person school, as well as those who just aren’t willing to return to their pre-pandemic routines and want a change.
What's Your Reaction?
Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com