r/politics May 19 '21

The Fight for $15 Confronts the ‘Labor Shortage’ Narrative

https://prospect.org/labor/fight-for-15-confronts-the-labor-shortage-narrative/
91 Upvotes

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27

u/Mods_of_pol_suck_ass May 19 '21

There is no labor shortage. It's a bullshit narrative that the media is more than happy to spit out because it gets views. It's called supply and demand. There is no supply of workers at 7.50/hour. You up that pay to 15-20 and you will suddenly start finding supply.

It never ceases to amaze me how in this country, it's ok for companies to raise prices on their product because the price of gas went up, or there is a corn shortage, or literally ANY OTHER reason is used as a justification to raise prices, yet when people say they want more money so they don't starve it's just not an acceptable place to spend more money on.

8

u/RoryCCalhoon May 19 '21

The crazist part is lots of the small buisness owners pay themselves like 250k a year and can't figure out the budget. Or even worse they don't pay themselves and treat the cash register as their piggy bank and cant figure out where the money goes.

1

u/OpenFusili Minnesota May 19 '21

Left a job at DQ. The franchise owner was deleting fulfilled orders to keep from having to pay the 9 cents per dollar she owes to DQ corporate.

That didn't go to paying us more, I can tell you that.

2

u/RoryCCalhoon May 19 '21

Probably out of control personal credit card. Something stupid too like Macy's card or a Target card

1

u/OpenFusili Minnesota May 19 '21

Dang, I even returned something at Macy's for her once. Good call.

2

u/The_Quicktrigger May 19 '21

Exatly this. People who were laid off or let go during the pandemic had time to realize how toxic these shitty jobs were and if they were smart, they took that time to invest in themselves to find better work that wasn't the minimum wage retail mill.

These businesses crying out a lack of employees aren't bringing anything to the table. Shit, you can take a bad call center job, work from home for $12 an hour with no experience, and get full time work with some benefits. There are very few places in the US, that a restaurant or fast food place or even a grocery could provide any of those perks. And rather than readjust their model to be more appealing to workers, they are simply crying foul and hoping things get bad enough that desperate people will go back to the slave wages.

-1

u/pab_guy May 19 '21

Are we all just pretending that the 600/week in unemployment benefits isn't keeping workers at home?

I'm actually all for it, we should offer good unemployment benefits as a way to drive up wages...

20

u/yappledapple May 19 '21

Owners complain about not finding workers for fast food restaurants, but journalists never ask how many hours the owner, spouse and family work. It seems it isn't just workers that want to sit on their asses and collect a paycheck.

17

u/SeeBadd May 19 '21

This. I've never met a restaurant owner or manager that works even half as hard as their underpaid linecooks.

5

u/RoryCCalhoon May 19 '21

Lmfao owners pay themselves 250k a year and can't figure out why they have so much overhead

20

u/ReasonableAd887 May 19 '21

I think the fight for higher wages has a better chance of success by telling people not to go back to work. Business paying shit wages will have to raise them because they need people there and will pay more if there is competition for workers. Instead of mandating a minimum wage, stop working for less than your worth and the wages will follow

22

u/Hoplophilia May 19 '21

This only works while there's a pandemic stipend. People WILL work for shit wages when that's their only option.

16

u/cowboy4life Texas May 19 '21

That and you still need to raise the minimum wage because this temporary rise in offered pay will only last so long before they can resume a race to the bottom. That bottom needs to be lifted much higher

5

u/ReasonableAd887 May 19 '21

People found a lot of new and creative ways to make ends meet during the pandemic and seem to be willing to live with less for a while. People were always worth more but i think it took a bigger weekly check for them to realize it. Why get up early for $50 a day when I can do a bunch of other things outside the traditional workforce on my own and make similar cash in the end

6

u/Hoplophilia May 19 '21 edited May 19 '21

I suspect what we'll see is not so much higher wages as fewer restaurants. It's never been super lucrative in general, and with increased wage demands come higher menu prices and lower customer appeal. The other thing people found was how to cook from home. We're going to see the reality of "if you can't pay a living wage your business model is bad."

1

u/ReasonableAd887 May 19 '21

That’s kind of the point through, right? Businesses being kept afloat by paying shit wages. If you’re not profitable without taking advantage of someone then you don’t have a good business and you should go under. Figure out how to attract human capital or do all the work yourself

1

u/Hoplophilia May 19 '21

No job is better than bad job?

2

u/ReasonableAd887 May 19 '21

From a supply and demand standpoint, yes. Labor markets work much like financial markets on the macro scale. People are holding and aren’t selling their labor low and waiting for price to go up to an acceptable level

2

u/Hoplophilia May 19 '21

I think you overestimate how long people will go hungry, underestimate how strong an effect the temporary moratorium on evictions has, and underappreciate how much better the basic human condition is in the U.S. compared to other parts and other eras.

When the evictions begin late Summer, Fall, we will see who's holding their labor.

1

u/ReasonableAd887 May 19 '21

I hope many find work before the end of summer as places reopen and people are willing to get back out into the world. I def worry about the evictions for a ton of reasons. You’re right, it’s easy to have little income when you aren’t paying your bills. I just hope that the companies can’t wait it out and need to pay more to get people back now

1

u/ElQuicoSabate May 20 '21

This is why it is moral to steal food, moral to squat in/occupy unused buildings and prevent evictions by organising within your community.

underappreciate how much better the basic human condition is in the U.S. compared to other parts and other eras

Yeah, that family of 4 just kicked out of their home really need to appreciate just how good they have it thanks to the wonders of capitalism. Look, they have iPhones!

1

u/Hoplophilia May 20 '21

I don't have a crystal ball, but it sure looks like many if us are going to be truly devastated in the aftermath. We're kicking the can at the moment, but I don't see a way around mass evictions, and a crap ton of American real estate being bought up by foreign investors on the cheap.

11

u/AutumnFan714 May 19 '21

15 bucks an hour is still a pittance.

1

u/esteflo May 19 '21

Fucking crumbs

3

u/RoryCCalhoon May 19 '21

I think the biggest problem is that these owners suck at running a buisness. They pay themselves like 250k a year and can't figure out why they have such high overhead and skimp on labor costs. Even worse, I know some small buisness owners who just treat their buisness like a piggy bank and take whatever profits they have for the day or week.

And don't get me started on shity landlords who don't reinvest into their property or save momey for emergencies and pocket rent payments.

1

u/7788audrey May 20 '21

People with families will begin receiving the tax credit that used to be annual in monthly installments starting in July. That should help the workers in RED states that cowtown only to businesses, not people. We need to remind those families of that as Red states will attempt to screw more low income folks (esp. racial minorities) during Redistricting this fall. Start educating voters on how the GOP is planning to screw them.

1

u/Disastrous-Object-85 May 20 '21

Funny how Republicans rail against market forces when they don't work in favor of the rich.