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NEVERENDING ♾️ The NEVERENDING Political Discussion Thread

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
19,425
Points
71
It is bigger that that. Almost every restaurant, and most of the stores in our area have a staffing shortage because the Government is now subsidizing people to stay home.
I get your frustration. Still, if you're outraged because "lazy" folks would rather sit at home for $15/hour instead of working at the first shitty job that comes along for $10/hour (and paying for daycare, if they have kids), some in states where vaccination rates are low and the Delta variant is spreading quickly, I hope you're equally outraged that the wealthiest 1% of American households controlled about $41.52 trillion of the nation's wealth, and the bottom 50% -- that's middle-middle class and below -- controlled only $2.62 trillion, or 1/16th of the amount of the top 1%. Or that billionaires have gotten $1.2 trillion richer during the pandemic. But, hey, let's point fingers at Jayden because she's making a rational decision to spend some meaningful time at home with her kid, rather than getting Karen's kids more fries at Red Robin.

If there's a labor shortage, employers have two choices; (1) raise wages, offer benefits, and/or improve working conditions to the point where working at a certain job becomes a rational economic decision, or (2) deal with a labor shortage, and complain about lazy, ungrateful workers. If you're the kind of employer who proclaims that anyone who doesn't want to wash dishes, stand up all day over a hot grill, or wipe shit off of patients in a memory care unit for minimum wage is "lazy" or "leeching off the system", why should anyone want to work for you to begin with?

From the Mercury-News "rational decision" link above: "As Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at the left leaning Economic Policy Institute, wrote, “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."

(And, IMHO, if you want to get more off the dole and into the workforce, the Feds and state governments need to address the benefits cliff, instead of just commissioning reports about it like they have for the past God-knows-how-many decades.)
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,358
Points
52
So, there are more child care establishments with less employees? Is that because of less demand or less staff willing to work, which reduces possible capacity and still meet state child to employee ratios? Are they making more due to less staff or raised prices, or both?

I haven't looked into the numbers deeply but I would imagine that the increase in establishments while there has been a decrease in workers is likely because many larger child care providers closed their doors early in the pandemic and then some child care workers who initially lost their jobs quickly opened up their own facilities. But if 1000 facilities that employ between 5 and 9 workers are replaced by 2000 facilities that employ fewer than 5 workers, we're still going to have a net decrease in capacity (unfortunately, recent establishment by size of employment figures aren't available yet).

I imagine demand for child care services absolutely plummeted in March - May of 2020, which according to the national monthly employment numbers in that industry, is when that industry really shed their jobs. Again, these are really low paid jobs so if those workers wanted another job, they probably haven't had much trouble finding a new one where they are likely making more than they were previously, especially starting around in the fall. Now that demand for child care services is likely returning, these small employers are struggling to re-hire because a) many of those they let go have moved on to other occupations, b) they still offer low wages making the industry not very attractive, and c) these are small employers without the time/capacity to dedicate to HR in order to staff up quickly.

I think the labor market is going to continue to be crazy in so many of these low paying hospitality, service, and retail jobs until the early fall when schools are hopefully back full time and parents, who would otherwise be working parents, have some semblance of normal life again and things should really improve once vaccines are available for the under-12 set and many parents are more comfortable putting their children back into child care.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,962
Points
58
I get your frustration. Still, if you're outraged because "lazy" folks would rather sit at home for $15/hour instead of working at the first shitty job that comes along for $10/hour (and paying for daycare, if they have kids), some in states where vaccination rates are low and the Delta variant is spreading quickly, I hope you're equally outraged that the wealthiest 1% of American households controlled about $41.52 trillion of the nation's wealth, and the bottom 50% -- that's middle-middle class and below -- controlled only $2.62 trillion, or 1/16th of the amount of the top 1%. Or that billionaires have gotten $1.2 trillion richer during the pandemic? But, hey, let's point fingers at Jayden because she's making a rational decision to spend some meaningful time at home with her kid, rather than getting Karen's kids more fries at Red Robin.

If there's a labor shortage, employers have two choices -- raise wages, offer benefits, and/or improve working conditions to the point where working at a certain job becomes a rational economic choice, or deal with a labor shortage, and complain about lazy, ungrateful workers. And, if you're the kind of employer who proclaims that anyone who desn't want to get paid minimum wage (with no benefits) to wash dishes, stand up all day over a hot grill, or wipe shit off of patients in a memory care unit, is "lazy" or "leeching off the system", why should anyone want to work for you to begin with?

From the Mercury-News "rational decision" link: "As Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at the left leaning Economic Policy Institute, wrote, “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."

(And, IMHO, if you want to get more off the dole and into the workforce, the Feds and state governments need to address the benefits cliff, instead of just commissioning reports about it like they have for the past God-knows-how-many decades.)
I am not sure I would say that these folks are lazy because in most cases I don't think they are. They are just capitalizing on the system that the government provided. I was talking to a coworker about this and he said that the neighbor kid who was laid off of a starter job makes quite a bit more now from the unemployment and odd jobs such as yard work and such than he would have if he went back when they called him. I would not be surprised if there are some people living in their parents basement playing video games, but I think that most of those who are using it see an opportunity available to them and they are capitalizing on it.

As for the wealthy and this big corporations, hey, it pisses me off too. That is why whenever possible I try to keep my money local. But it is also the local people that are the most effected by all of this. They run super tight margins as it is and now the labor shortage is also progressing into a supply shortage. This morning a restaurant owner indicated that his price of beef and chicken is almost double what it was pre-pandemic. At the moment he is running even in hopes that the price

I haven't looked into the numbers deeply but I would imagine that the increase in establishments while there has been a decrease in workers is likely because many larger child care providers closed their doors early in the pandemic and then some child care workers who initially lost their jobs quickly opened up their own facilities. But if 1000 facilities that employ between 5 and 9 workers are replaced by 2000 facilities that employ fewer than 5 workers, we're still going to have a net decrease in capacity (unfortunately, recent establishment by size of employment figures aren't available yet).

I imagine demand for child care services absolutely plummeted in March - May of 2020, which according to the national monthly employment numbers in that industry, is when that industry really shed their jobs. Again, these are really low paid jobs so if those workers wanted another job, they probably haven't had much trouble finding a new one where they are likely making more than they were previously, especially starting around in the fall. Now that demand for child care services is likely returning, these small employers are struggling to re-hire because a) many of those they let go have moved on to other occupations, b) they still offer low wages making the industry not very attractive, and c) these are small employers without the time/capacity to dedicate to HR in order to staff up quickly.

I think the labor market is going to continue to be crazy in so many of these low paying hospitality, service, and retail jobs until the early fall when schools are hopefully back full time and parents, who would otherwise be working parents, have some semblance of normal life again and things should really improve once vaccines are available for the under-12 set and many parents are more comfortable putting their children back into child care.
I would think that the net decrease would need to be offset with higher costs to accommodate the amount of non-staff related overhead.

Someone must be reading our posts...
 
Last edited:

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
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19,425
Points
71
A lot of these customer service jobs suck; I wouldn't want to go back myself.
And that's why, when we go out, we try to be patient -- not the easiest thing to do with my ADHD -- and we tip big.

I get why @michaelskis is frustrated. Thing is, there's no constitutional right to speedy service at a restaurant. I'm going to get all crotchety old man here; when I was a kid, parents seldom took their younger children out to table service restaurants. It was the occasional stop at McDonald's, Burger King, or a hot dog stand (or Henry's Hamburgers, Red Barn, or Carroll's, with my being at the older side of Generation X), maybe a "special dinner" out at a local diner chain like Your Host, and that was it.

During peak COVID-19, we ordered a lot of takeout from local restaurants. Now that restaurants around here are seating at full capacity, most of them are busy as hell; especially now that tourists are back, along with parents and kids visiting colleges and universities. If a place is crowded, or it seems like there will be a long wait, we go somewhere else. If we want to guarantee a table and decent service (by pre-COVID-19 standards), we go out early; like 4:30 PM, or even earlier for "linner" on weekends.
 

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,597
Points
21
And that's why, when we go out, we try to be patient -- not the easiest thing to do with my ADHD -- and we tip big.

I get why @michaelskis is frustrated. Thing is, there's no constitutional right to speedy service at a restaurant. I'm going to get all crotchety old man here; when I was a kid, parents seldom took their younger children out to table service restaurants. It was the occasional stop at McDonald's, Burger King, or a hot dog stand (or Henry's Hamburgers, Red Barn, or Carroll's, with my being at the older side of Generation X), maybe a "special dinner" out at a local diner chain like Your Host, and that was it.

During peak COVID-19, we ordered a lot of takeout from local restaurants. Now that restaurants around here are seating at full capacity, most of them are busy as hell; especially now that tourists are back, along with parents and kids visiting colleges and universities. If a place is crowded, or it seems like there will be a long wait, we go somewhere else. If we want to guarantee a table and decent service (by pre-COVID-19 standards), we go out early; like 4:30 PM, or even earlier for "linner" on weekends.

We typically do takeout vs. eating in a restaurant, but try and be patient when we do. We will also take our toddler, but will typically ask for something easy and fast to come out earlier to help get her occupied - but that would be the case regardless.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,962
Points
58
And that's why, when we go out, we try to be patient -- not the easiest thing to do with my ADHD -- and we tip big.

I get why @michaelskis is frustrated. Thing is, there's no constitutional right to speedy service at a restaurant. I'm going to get all crotchety old man here; when I was a kid, parents seldom took their younger children out to table service restaurants. It was the occasional stop at McDonald's, Burger King, or a hot dog stand (or Henry's Hamburgers, Red Barn, or Carroll's, with my being at the older side of Generation X), maybe a "special dinner" out at a local diner chain like Your Host, and that was it.

During peak COVID-19, we ordered a lot of takeout from local restaurants. Now that restaurants around here are seating at full capacity, most of them are busy as hell; especially now that tourists are back, along with parents and kids visiting colleges and universities. If a place is crowded, or it seems like there will be a long wait, we go somewhere else. If we want to guarantee a table and decent service (by pre-COVID-19 standards), we go out early; like 4:30 PM, or even earlier for "linner" on weekends.
I think the speedy service was just the straw that broke the camels back for me. Yes, I was furious because we were only going out once a week and we lasted 5 minutes at the table and the wife decided to take our middle son out to the truck and wait there. It was a 25 minute drive from home, so she told the rest of us to take our time and eat. (We ate as fast as we could and as soon as the food arrived, my oldest ran her food out to the truck. As we were there we also realized that I feel bad for the wait staff that was there because I realized that under normal conditions, the tables would have turned over 2, maybe 3 times, so that is lost tips for them and lost sales for the businesses.

The other side of the coin that is deeper for us is we are working hard to revitalize our downtown and to lose two businesses because of the staffing shortages just hit really hard, especially given that both of them were retail.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,760
Points
71
Officials in Michigan county used COVID-19 funds for $65K in bonuses

The money, described as "hazard pay," included $25,000 for Jeremy Root, chairman of the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners.

Commissioner Marlene Webster said she was "mortified" when money appeared in her bank account. She said she didn't know she voted to reward herself.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,358
Points
52
Officials in Michigan county used COVID-19 funds for $65K in bonuses

I was floored by this one.

I can agree with a bit of a bonus for employees, even electeds, during this time since so many were likely doing things way out of the norm for their job description or typical duties but an extra $25k for the head of the BOC and $5k to $10k for some of the others, while the cleaning crew got a grand. :r:

We authorized hazard pay for folks who had to work during the initial few months of the lockdown here, but it was only for folks who were physically in an office where social distancing was not possible or were working with the public and HR/Payroll was very strict about verifying that people were actually in those roles. Elected officials were not eligible and I don't think appointees were either.

Among those in the county that received the bonus, the average total payout was about $3,500. There were 25 people in our department that were eligible and $33,723 was paid in total. So, on average, those employees received about $1,348 (I imagine a huge chunk of that went to two particular guys: one who is responsible for our IT and was here most days making sure things were running smoothly and one who is an audio/visual guy and had to be here for daily press conferences and other events that needed documenting).

Even the eligible folks in Public Health and the Sheriff's Department who were likely working long hours only received about $3,200 on average.
 
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