Saturday, February 18, 2023

nO oNe wAntS tO woRk AnYmOrE! (Virtually unemployable)

If you are going to send out a mailer to find employees, at least use the right URL.

I got this junk mail today from "Richs" which is a food processing and sales company.  What was funny was that the cover exhorted me to apply at when their actual URL is  Interestingly, one of the job openings was for a web developer.  Whoops.

Actually, it seems that no one works there at all.  There were pages and pages of job openings all over he country and in all sorts of different areas - from scale operator, to food processor, to human resources manager, to copilot of their falcon jet.

What was interesting to me, was despite the broad range of skills and job descriptions, I was qualified for none of them.   Most of the factory jobs would require a strong back and weak mind - and both are weak at this point in my life.  I suppose I could spend tens of thousands of dollars and become qualified as a jet co-pilot, but at age 63 that is kind of out of the question.  Even "Human Resources Manager" requires a Master's degree in Human Resources - and a willingness to shit on low-level employees.

As a friend of mine once remarked, "After five years of self-employment, I am virtually unemployable!"

And that, in a nutshell, explains today's economy.   The boomers are all retiring and they have all the money tied up in their 401(k) plans and their paid-for houses.   I see people buying vacation homes here on the island and paying cash for them.  Someone has money - and it ain't the younger generation.  Of course, it never is, is it?  Good news, though, kids - the boomers are dropping like flies and pretty soon, even if you don't get an inheritance, property values may take a hit, as a lot of real estate hits the market all at once.

I saw a comment online from a youngster who was blathering on about "World War II Veterans" and how lucky they have it.  I hate to break it to him, but most of those folks are already dead, as even the youngest veteran of that war (joining in 1945 at age 17) is ninety-five years old.  And not many people live beyond 95 - it pretty much is checkout time, particularly in this era of CoVid.

So the "World War II Veterans" will cease to exist very shortly.  The last veteran of that war will pass away, likely in the next ten years or so - and it will be big news when it happens.

No, it is the baby boomers - the next generation - that are the next to go - their parents are already safely in the grave.  I'm at the tail-end of that generation, and I'm 63.  The oldest Baby Boomers are pushing 80.  Give it a few years and they'll go the way of their parents.

The second prong of this "labor shortage" was entirely manufactured by Republicans.  And in that regard, it makes no sense.  Over the years, more and more laws have been passed, making it harder to hire migrant workers.  In the old days, you could hire an "illegal" to wash dishes at your restaurant or pick melons on your farm.  In many cases, these "illegals" were actually legal as well.

But in a classic example of right-wing outgroup-hating, it was decided, years ago, that immigration would be the centerpiece of the GOP.  I recall listening to a radio show back in the 1990's where a GOP operative was being queried by the host about what the next big political issue would be.  "Immigration" he replied, almost immediately.  "But immigration isn't that big an issue right now!" the host protested.  "Oh, we'll make it an issue," he replied - and they did.

You now need proof of citizenship or permanent residency in order to get a job.  And the employer can be fined out of existence if he hires someone without doing a background check.  And helpfully, the government has a background check system online. We can't do that with gun ownership, of course (ATF records are all on paper!) but boy-howdy we can do it with migrants.

Even landlords can be fined - or even lose their properties in some States - by renting to "illegals."   As a result, fewer people are actually crossing the border these days, and the ones that are, are not the traditional folks from Central America merely seeking jobs, but rather migrants fleeing violence in their home country, claiming asylum.  The stereotype of "Mexicans" crossing the border looking for jobs is largely obsolete - there are more jobs in Mexico these days (thanks to border factories) and the hassles of trying to work in America make it seem less worthwhile to try to cross.

It is ironic to me, as business owners and farmers tend to vote Republican, yet their voices are the loudest heard when it comes to "No one wants to work anymore!"  If they really want to bust the unions and keep the minimum wage down, they should be voting for more open borders, not "build the wall!"

But then again, the whole immigrant-hate thing and "build the wall!" wasn't actually about migrant labor, but rather a convenient out-group to hate (they don't speak English, have darker skin, and different habits and beliefs) in order to rally the very dumb, poor, white trash in rural areas to vote GOP.  Of course, they've added more outgroups to the pile since then!

So we have a perfect storm - about half the population is near or at retirement age, and we've cut off access to a ready-and-willing workforce that wants to come here to work.

It could be that.  Or maybe we all want to work for Rich's foods, but we just can't find the website to apply from, as they put the wrong URL in their promotional materials!

Yea, that explains it.