This was on KPAX today:
“When we checked out montanaworks.gov, we found 1,188 job openings in Missoula County alone and at least 10% of those job openings fall under the foodservice [sic].”
The article goes on to explain that local restaurants and fast food joints are very short of workers here in the Garden City.
Why is that?
Hell, most of these places are now offering $15 an hour, sometimes more. That’s a lot better than our $8.75 minimum wage...isn’t it?
Well, let’s see.
If you’re working 40 hours a week making minimum wage, you’d take home $350 a week, or $1,400 a month.
After you pay rent, what...you have maybe $300 or $400 left over? Helluva life.
Let's not forget - no healthcare, no retirement, no sick leave, no vacation time. If you actually have the audacity to call out sick, you're looked down upon.
Now consider $15 an hour. If you worked 40 hours a week you’d make $600 a week, or $2,400 a month.
In that case, you might have $1,400 or so left over after you pay rent. But then you have to pay internet, cable, phone, gas, utilities, food...you get the idea. God forbid you have to pay for childcare on top of it.
That last one is probably why so many are staying home.
I’ve spent nearly 20 years in the service industry off and on, since I first started working in 1997, so I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about.
The bosses know, too. Here’s how the owner of a fast food joint in Missoula put it:
“The industry has always been difficult. It's a tough job and a lot of times people don't get paid, you know, what they deserve for how hard of work it is.”
I think that says it all.
A tough job...and you don’t get paid what you deserve. Um...then why do it?
And that’s what millions around the country have realized.
This is because of what we value in society, and what we don’t. How we reward certain people, and alienate others.
If you’re a fancy suit on Wall Street trading stocks all day, you’ll be rewarded handsomely. If you’re a lowly cook in a restaurant, you won’t.
It’s because in America, we know who’s important and who’s not.
Here’s a good analysis of why people don’t want to participate in the rate race anymore, Now That The American Dream Is Reserved For The Wealthy, The Smart Crowd Is Opting Out.
Now, let’s take a turn.
We all know there’s a worker shortage. We see the ‘help wanted’ signs everywhere.
Let’s ask a very simple question...where did all the workers go?
Because unemployment ended weeks ago. In Montana, it ended months ago. Are these non-workers living on their savings?
I highly doubt it.
One of my favorite blog writers is Michael Snyder. On September 14 he put up a post called Where Did All the People Go?
A few days later he put up another, called Why Is There Suddenly An Extreme Shortage of Workers All Over The World?
He mentioned that last year, 70 million Americans were filing for unemployment. And yet today, we can’t find a handful of these folks to help out our struggling small businesses.
Why is that?
I encourage you to read those articles.
Something is going on in this world right now. I can’t quite put my thumb on what it is, but I know it’s happening.
Foreboding, that’s the overwhelming sense I get. Something’s on the horizon, and it ain’t good.