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Myth – Nobody Wants to Work

I’ve been hearing this myth, nobody wants to work, repeated by Qanon nutters and Trump supporters (same thing?) who are too stupid to look anything up for quite some time now. Every now and then you will get a propaganda machine that calls itself a news network (FOX) trotting out phrases like

There are over 9 million open jobs in America.

Propaganda networks

What happens is they take well meaning valid data from the 50,000 foot level and try to slam that into earth. About 8.5 million of those are shit jobs. They are jobs on the slaughterhouse kill floor; waitress jobs wanting someone to work for $2.50/hr + tips; even jobs at CAT and John Deere. Soon, if not already, it will include IT jobs at Disney.

Open job != good job

How This Happened

Rather than regurgitate much of my three part post series The Unemployment Benefits Myth I will provide you the link. We started hearing this kaka from the Maga fools and their clueless minions during COVID when the negative IQ crowd wanted to re-open the country well before we had enough people vaccinated. Hell, many of them wanted to re-open the country before we even had a vaccine. Ah you anti-vaxing nutters. If only you could have been around more COVID patients. You would have been a self eliminating problem like this guy.

Phil Valentine – Vaxman

The claim then was than extended unemployment benefits were encouraging people not to work. This is always a shit claim so it gets echoed a lot. Yes, there is something like under 1% of the U.S. population that will sit around trying to live on unemployment rather than earn more at a job. Those are also people the entire economy is better off keeping at home because they are lousy workers. You just about have to whip them to get the same output from them as you do a Quiet Quitter.

Retraining Happened

Unemployment benefits + Internet connection + extreme boredom cause people to retrain. Not everyone. You can only watch so much porn and so many movies and binge watch so many series’ before you want something completely different. That happened to a lot of people during lock-down. They found out a $300 or less laptop from eBay or a second hand place was all they needed.

JavaScript, HTML, and other low-end Web technologies have tons of free training on-line. The waitress who had been making $2.50/hr + tips learned Web development wasn’t that difficult and it paid $10-$25/hr for the remote entry level gigs. No having to kiss customer behinds or take attitude from hundred of people each day. You would only have to take attitude from the members of your team and you could count them on both hands.

The Great Resignation

People didn’t just go into IT. Many people qualified for on-line training/certification assistance or simply paid for it themselves. Let us not forget that a not insignificant portion of people working as wait staff and kitchen help were college students working their way through school. Unemployment combined with remote learning allowed them to focus on their degrees.

Suddenly working like a dog at a heart attack didn’t seem so desirable. People wanted a work-life balance. People stopped thinking a 45+ minute one way commute to an office was “just a part of life.” According to an average of 20% of all working Americans changed careers during and shortly after the lock-down. It was called The Great Resignation.

No, they didn’t quite their jobs to go on welfare, they quit for better jobs. For some “better” meant taking a pay cut to spend more time with family. For others it meant a massive 4-5 fold income increase without a daily commute. If you don’t believe the size of that increase read back to the waitress working for mostly tips. Don’t think about tips in a high end restaurant, think about that “family” place serving you an $8 lunch or Denny’s Grand Slam. They weren’t getting tipped on a $90 bottle of wine.

The Bottom Moved

Lots of places pushing that $15/hr minimum wage, some already have it. Target lead the charge bumping to $15/hr in 2017 and now starting wage goes up to $24/hr. I’m sure there are other companies upset I didn’t toot their horn here, but you need to understand, Target tried to be “college kid cool” and pay well. If you can start at more than $18/hr with just a high school education, you didn’t do bad. Unless you are willing to go into “the trades” where you do a lot more labor without air conditioning, $24/hr plus some form of health insurance is about the best you can hope for. I’m told they’ve hired from within their store ranks for people to be Web developers and other IT roles at corporate.

The shit companies sit around chanting “Nobody wants to work.” They just don’t finish the phrase “Nobody wants to work for us because we are a shit company paying shit wages.”

I have written about The Minimum Wage Debate many times.

Build That Wall

courtesy of The Week – an excellent magazine

Here is where stupidity made cow-eyes at ignorance and decided to have a child.

Nazi’s and people dumb enough to vote for Trump can’t chant “Build that wall” often enough. They are all the child of the stupidity and ignorance hook up.

We need them to pick crops

Nancy Pelosi

There was nothing racist about that statement. I still live on the family farm I grew up on. I know exactly how much work it is in the fields. Walking beans, bailing hay, shelling corn, scooping bins, I’ve done it all. Thank God we didn’t have fruits and vegetables because that bean walking on steroids.

If you dig through that 9+ million open jobs you will find roughly 6-8 million of them are the shit jobs immigrants took. You can’t get anyone born in America that has an imbecile phone to look up from their phone long enough to do those jobs. They can go through some free tutorials on-line and become low paid Web developers working in air conditioning. That low IT pay is great wealth compared to the wages of the jobs traditionally held by immigrants.

You blocked the labor force at the border idiots!

That’s what Nancy was telling you and it is the truth.

What about the other jobs?

Some of them want an unbelievable amount of skills. The majority of them have the unrealistic expectation workers will come back into the office so management can “manage by walking around.” Not gonna happen. Too many of them want “hybrid” schedules and they haven’t figured out we don’t want to commute.

Millions of Americans fled the cities during the pandemic. They have no intention of coming back. Yes, they used to live in the Chicago Loop and ride a bicycle to work. Now they live in Po Dunk U.S.A. a good two hours one way from “the office.” Nobody is making that commute and they sure aren’t interested in moving again.

Visa Worker Purge

Now we have gotten back to CAT, John Deere, and probably Disney. These companies (and others) threw national security and the American worker under the bus feasting on visa workers they could pay as little as $60K/yr. It was an extreme insult to tech workers who got a degree in this country. Once money was sent back home to “family” there was little to no visibility. It could have funded terrorism. Even if Homeland Security tracked it, they aren’t going to tell the general public.

Today these companies are involved in The Great Visa Worker Purge. You can read the blog post for the details. The Department of Labor set a new minimum salary for H1’s with two years and one day of experience: $220K. There never was an IT worker shortage as was claimed during the pilgrimages to Washington, just a shortage of people willing to work for 1/3 of actual market rate.

Market Rate

I singled out CAT and John Deere because for years now, I get, on average, three phone calls/emails per day about the openings they have. All of them wanting many years of experience looking to pay $50-$55/hr W-2 on-site. On a W-2 you can’t deduct your expenses. I also charge $80/hr on 1099 for 100% remote and $135/hr on-site anywhere in the Midwest.

Given all of the IoT and medical device companies that have sprung up in Chicago and the surrounding area, a fresh college graduate with one C++ class and one embedded Linux class can expect $120-$140K starting salary plus 3-5 weeks vacation and matching 401K contributions. Companies paying that for remote and in some cases hybrid work aren’t having trouble getting qualified candidates with only a degree for skills.

Those looking to pay $50/hr sit around muttering “Nobody wants to work.”

That’s the bulk of those other jobs. Companies looking to pay U.S. citizens half what they would now have to pay the visa workers they once had.

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc.

A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born.

Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy:
Infinite Exposure
Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told
John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars

When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.

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