They thought certainly if people are not getting paid to sit at home, then they’re going to sign right up to schlep 9 to 5 for slave wages. Economists and corporate owners alike swore that receiving unemployment benefits was the reason people were refusing to work and taking those checks away would lead to the recovery of this supposed “labor shortage.”
They were wrong. Dead wrong.
People are *still* refusing to work. Indeed, they’re embracing their laziness and aren’t budging from the couch. The reaction from employers is one of a bit of shock. They’re in complete disbelief right now. They stopped rubbing their hands and instead threw them in the air with a big “OMG why is this happening?”
As an article from Bloomberg put it, employers are standing there quote “baffled” with their mouths wide open as to how removing unemployment benefits didn’t solve this little labor shortage situation they find themselves in.
Gee, how could people not want to work their asses off for payment that barely covers the bills? How is it at all possible that people don’t want just scraps on the table as compensation for their hard work?
These people need a reality check. It ain’t that we don’t want to work. We’re all just sick of schlepping ridiculous hours for measly pay and no benefits. And we ain’t going back to that shit. Not happening. Period.
Yeah, sure, call us lazy because we ain’t gonna tolerate our work being exploited for the profits of the business owners and shareholders.
I guess people figure “Well, I’m gonna be living in poverty anyway, so I might as well make myself comfortable sitting at home than schlepping at a job.” It makes diddly squat sense to work your ass off if you’re only going to be living in poverty after getting your paycheck.
People don’t want to work only to earn enough money to survive. It just ain’t worth the effort, man. What laziness is and what laziness does is minimize effort and maximize results.
Working at one of the low-paying jobs that these companies are offering does quite the opposite -- it maximizes effort and minimizes results. It requires you to break your back and results in barely being able to put crumbs on the table so you don’t starve.
It’s absurd (though really comes at no surprise) that when people say “my work is worth more than that”, business owners reply by saying “stop being so lazy.”
No, we don’t need to stop being lazy. They need to stop being so greedy. You hear? Greed is the cause of this “labor shortage”, not laziness.
As Michael Lastoria, CEO of &pizza said “ There isn't a labor shortage, there is a shortage of business owners willing to pay a living wage.”
That’s the real shortage here in America. Truth is, you have plenty of people willing and able to work. They just don't want to work for shit pay. It’s really that simple. There’s no reason to be baffled by all of this. Seriously.
Anyone that remains perplexed by the flat line of job applications (instead of a rampant increase) after the cut of unemployment benefits is quite simply arrogant
And speaking of Micahel Lastoria, I’m gonna get to a shout out to him along with Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments in a minute because these guys are doing the unthinkable, in the world of business, and that is paying their employees a decent goddamn wage.
Anyway, before we get into the details of all that, I want to just point out how awfully abysmal the current pay structure is designed in corporate America. It has followed the same premise for decades: lower expenses wherever possible in order to maximize profits for the owner and shareholders.
It’s been just about raw numbers. The bottom line. It’s all about cutting costs.
Fuck humanity. Fuck caring about a person as an actual human being. They’re just a cog in the machine. And it certainly feels that way, don’t it? You slave away for hours on end only to receive just enough money to keep yourself alive.
Maximize the return of cheap investments. That’s the theory behind modern capitalism. And the cheap investment in this case is low wages. They want high productivity (and in turn, profits) at the cost of low wage labor.
But people are beginning to wake up and realize “My labor is worth more than that.” Oh you don’t want to pay more? Then you can’t afford me as an employee. Sorry hunny. And so people, by the thousand are up in arms, or down on the couch, more accurately stated
Ultimately, the numbers in “labor cost” don't factor in more important attributes like employee moral and mental wellbeing. It only accounts for how much money is being spent to produce more products.
However, in this world of corporate corruption, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. A couple of CEOs, as I just briefly mentioned, have taken it upon themselves to create companies that actually, for a change, pay well. Could this be the future?
It should be Let’s take a look.
And without further ado, let’s dive...right into it!
A Bold Move
Six years ago, CEO of Gravity Payments Dan Price, made the bold decision to raise all of his 120+ employees annual salary to a minimum of $70k.
Some of his employees were making a measly $35k, so an increase to $70k essentially *doubled* their salary.
That’s not just increasing wages to something livable. That’s enough to help employees start building wealth and escape that eternal poverty in which the typical corporate (low) pay structure traps people in.
In fact, 70% of the employees of Gravity Payments managed to give themselves the ole Dave Ramsey debt-free shout out. They paid off all their debt - student loans, credit card bills, mortgage.You name it. They no longer owe money to somebody else.
They achieved the ever-awesome achievement of earning ZERO net worth. It may sound silly but having zero dollars to your name is a BIG win. I mean, most of us have a negative number next to our name in terms of assets and financial wealth. In fact, an estimated 80% of Americans have some level of debt.
For a company to say “70% of the people that work here have no debt” is absolutely HUGE. I mean, that’s almost as many people debt-free in one company as there are IN debt in the entire freaking country, in terms of percentage anyway, that is. Crazy stuff. Many of them are purchasing their first hom too.
What’s more is that the staff at Gravity have begun having a lot of babies. No seriously. Babies had by staff grew tenfold after the $70k minimum was introduced.
And you may be thinking “what in the hell makes someone want to have a baby after getting a raise?”
Well as one employee put it “we can actually *afford* to start a family.” Babies are expensive. Raising a kid is expensive. The delivery itself sets you back five to eleven grand and then you have clothes to buy, tuition to pay, more food to put on the table, the list goes on and on. Fact of the matter is, at a low wage job, you can barely support yourself, yet alone an entire family.
Meanwhile you have people criticizing millennials for not having kids and for
“Shutting down” industries left and right.
Well, as this little anecdote at Gravity illustrates, people are willing to do what they can afford.
If they can’t afford to have a kid, they won’t have one. If they can’t afford to eat out a restaurant, then they won’t go out. If they can’t afford luxury goods or playing golf or riding motorcycles, then they won’t do any of that shit.
You get the point.
Millennials aren’t “killing” anything. They’re just working with what they got. And they ain’t got much.
Lazy? Maybe. Practical? Definitely.
If you give people more money then they have more money to spend. What’s killing industries is not millenials refusal to buy things, it’s the baby boomer corporate owners’ refusal to pay enough so people *can* buy things.
Like we couldn’t buy nice things if we wanted to because you’re giving us shit pay.
Anyway, back to Gravity Payments. So all this debt payoff, new home purchase, and having babies sounds nice, but how can Price pay for it and is it even sustainable?
Well, to answer the first question, we’re gonna look at what Dan decided to do to assure his workers got paid that lovely $70k a year. And it’s simple: he took a cut to *his own* pay check.
Wow, imagine that! A CEO of a company taking a cut out of their own pay? You thought you’d never hear it, especially nowadays where the average CEO earns 300 times the average worker at their company.
Believe me, the typical CEO won’t hesitate to cut wages, as long as it doesn’t apply to their own salary.
But Price did it. He went and took a $1 million cut. Now, he pays himself the company’s minimum of $70k annually and that’s it. He says he still lives comfortably and that taking that amount as pay has helped him downsize.
Of course, this isn’t a move a modern CEO can make without a huge flux of criticism and backlash. The media tore him apart. You had Fox News calling him a socialist. And basically every other media outlet really pouring into him, basically railing the guy.
In the eyes of the media, Gravity Payments was set to fail. There was no way, in their view, NO WAY that a company could afford to pay employees such high wages and manage to remain sustainable.
My theory though is that the media didn’t necessarily think that it wouldn’t work. They just didn’t WANT it to work.
Because what would happen IF it did work? What would happen if a guy running a business managed to take a cut from his own salary in order to pay his employees fairly and go on to still profit?
Well it would completely crumble the accepted pay system of the current corporate structure. It would just purely and utterly demolish the idea that “wages must be low so that business owners can afford running a business”
And that’s exactly what happened…
See, not only did Price and his company manage to stay alive and away from bankruptcy, through this pandemic no less, after hitting that $70k minimum pay, but profits have more than TRIPLED from what they were over a half decade ago.
In regards to how his company was able to be so successful after what seemed to be quite a risky business decision, Price gives ode to having stronger company loyalty (a whopping 91% employee retention rate, compared to the industry average of 68%). If people are taken care of, they want to stick around. And sticking around means they have more experience with how to work with clients.
Raising wages in short creates a better experience for both the employees and the customers. Employees are taken care of and customers get to see genuinely happy workers, not just people wearing a fake smile for a few hours on the job until they go back home and cry in bed.
I mean you gotta think about the morale that goes on here to. People are less stressed, less tired, less depressed, when they ain’t gotta worry about things like paying bills or affording to eat. They’re more motivated to put in more effort at work because there’s significantly less things distracting them with worry. Thus, increasing productivity.
With a $70k annual wage, they’re definitely happy, or at the very least, a lot less worried about shit. I mean when you ain’t gotta think about “how am I gonna afford this month’s rent? Or “how am I gonna pay for groceries this week?” then you can use that mental and emotional energy for something actually positive or productive.
Dan Price’s Gravity Payments is now a case study at the Harvard Business School. That’s a good sign. One of the nation’s top schools is educating the young people going into business about this practice of fair payment.
Perhaps others will follow his lead and we can all put away the days of exploiting workers for the sake of filling owners’ wallets in the future. We’ll see.
In the mean time, there is actually someone following Dan’s footsteps, or perhaps just taking a similar path on his own, but it’s a guy by the name of Micahel Lastoria. Now he’s the CEO of a restaurant chain called &pizza and what he decided to do is offer a $16 minimum wage.
And guess what? He’s not experiencing this so called “labor shortage” that the media speaks of. As a matter of fact, he received over 100 applicants for each position offered.
Yet, many corporate owners can’t seem to get any applicants at all.
Amazing how people are willing to work when they’re offered a fair wage, isn’t it?
In Lastoria’s own words “
“If you aren't paying your employees enough to cover basic survival costs, what possible incentive could a person have to take that job?"
There is absolutely no incentive to work for shit wages.
The solution to business owners “bafflement” is to begin to pay decent damn wages. That’s really the only thing getting us off our asses at this point.
Keep on being Lazy, my dudes.
Stay on that couch and don’t get up. Not until you’re offered an enticing payment to do so. Don’t fill out those job applications that are offering you a measly $7.25 an hour with an unpredictable schedule and no benefits.
Procrastinate. Wait until there’s a good opportunity for you to make your efforts actually worth it.
Don’t work hard for someone else’s benefit. In fact, don’t work hard at all. Hard work isn’t the path to success.
Again 80% of Americans are drowning in debt and many of them are working their goddamn asses of every damn day.
Laziness is the path to success, knowing the value of your efforts and labor and only giving those things when you’re compensated fairly enough for it.
Choices to Be Made
Now that all said, business owners are going to have to make a choice at this point. They can either take the cue from Dan Price and Michael Lastoria and take a cut to their salary so that they can actually offer a livable wage to their workers...or follow the tried and true method of capitalism at its finest of shrinking wages down as little as possible in order to fat fill their own pockets.
Paying workers more fairly means sharing the wealth of their own dragon horde. Yes, they’re fucking dragons sitting on their hoarded masses of wealth.
Yet, refusing to do so means not getting man *human* workers.
I say human workers because I believe what we’re going to see is a heavy push for AI technology. Fact of the matter is, most CEOs just aren’t generous enough to give up a part of their pay check.
They’re all about cutting costs wherever possible, and the cost of human labor is more than they’re willing to pay. Guys like Price and Lastoria are exceptions. Your average CEO ain’t budging on their pay policy and wage offers (or lack thereof).
So, instead of hiring people, they’re going to invest in AI machines to do the work that people are refusing to do. It’s a simple cost-benefit analysis.
Jeff Bezos, for example, has already begun building AI-run grocery stores. It’s only a matter of time before robots replace our jobs.
Now this could be a good thing. I mean, think about it. No work to do. It’s all done in automation. We could, technically speaking, all live a life of luxury and leisure, where AI supports us and does all the labor for us.
However, that’s assuming that the resources are shared. But given the trend of greed, I’d reckon AI would only be used to benefit the rich, while they sit in their goddamn dragon cave of riches.
Soon, you won’t be able to find a job even if you wanted to. And that’s a scary thing to think about.
I do hope that we can see more CEO heroes see the value in human lives (and human work), who take the initiative to pay what a human is worth.
"Always invest in people" is the philosophy of Dan Price and I hope society can hold that belief along with him.
Take it easy,