COVID and the response thereto may have put a match to the anti-employment kindling.

Mark Patinkin wrote an interesting profile article about Rhode Island restaurants that are struggling to find employees.  Head chefs and owners are washing dishes and tending bars, which is only shocking to people who buy into the progressive/socialist narrative around employment.

Leadership means being the one who takes ultimate responsibility for getting things done.  Progressives should take special note of one executive chef’s statement that he did the dishes himself because he didn’t want to as “lower-level sous chefs” to do it, for fear they’d be frustrated and insulted and leave.  While times are currently extreme, that illustrates the principle that employees inherently have value and power.

For this post, however, focus in on the explanations that Patinkin highlights:

Michael Costantino partly blames the unemployment subsidies, a double-infusion for most recipients with the federal add-on. That was $600 a week at first and still $300, on top of a state check. And that $300 applies even if you’re only getting $50 or so of state unemployment. …

“It baffles me,” said Jessica Wilkin of Saje. “But I do believe there’s a lazy element. My waitresses can make $1,500 a week full time, but people would rather stay home on less if they can get by.” …

Jessica says restaurants got an unfair label as points of virus exposure, and although diners are back, she fears many would-be BOH workers — back of the house — are gun-shy of shifts in a closed, busy kitchen.

One other reason mentioned: many restaurant folks, laid off when everything shut down, found new career interests.

However fair it may be, the mention of “a lazy element” hints at something more fundamental.  Explicitly and implicitly, progressives have long been promoting a worldview that undercuts such central principles as:

  • The inherent dignity of work,
  • A belief that it’s possible to get ahead, and a
  • A sense that the working world is more or less fair and based on merit

This all makes for a deadly combination.  If people feel like working is just an imposition and that the workplace is an unfair field of oppression that lacks opportunity, they’ll take just-enough money from government instead of working.

The tragedy will come in 10-20 years when the young generations now are no longer so young and are faced with the reality of this terrible mistake.  When that happens, regret will mix with copious bitterness, which may be progressives’ endgame, because they believe they’ll be able to exploit it.


Featured image by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash.

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