Earlier this year I went to pick up an order I’d placed at one of my favorite local restaurants. On the door was a sign imploring people to “be kind to those that bothered to show up to work” and including the “nobody wants to work” tag line. The place has good food, the staff has always been friendly and pleasant, and I had never had a bad experience with either.
That was also the last time I will ever get food from there. (If I hadn’t already paid for it, I wouldn’t have gotten food from there then.) No, Owner Dude, no one wants to work for you for what you’re offering them or to put up with the way you’re treating them – that sign tells me exactly how you treat your employees.
Which will never end, as the Quants have figured out that they can just buy houses that meet certain criteria, lease them out at high rates, and sit back and collect rents like the good little rentiers their employers pay them to be. They may well keep it up until almost everyone else is broke and homeless, while most of the housing stock sits empty, because they can make money just trading the houses amongst themselves. Two such companies are PropertyQuants and TwoSigma, both using the same methodologies that have worked so well in the stock market and mortgage monification, at least for them. To oversimplify, buy 100 properties and group them together as a single investment with a mandated minimum rent per square foot, break it into a million small shares, then start microtrading the shares between investment houses using algorithmic trading systems on dedicated servers, automatically raising share value regardless of whether someone is trying to actually rent one.
Win/win/win, except of course for the people looking to buy or rent a house to live in, and they’re obviously not rich so they don’t count. It’s the same thing done to turn commercial properties in large cities into unrented but still quite valuable investment properties – while the official figure for NYC is only 48% occupancy (52% empty), others put it at closer to 10% (90% empty) in the post-Covid world if you only count offices actually being used. It is strongly believed that as the 10 year, 20 year, and of course shorter term contracts expire, they will not be renewed by their current holders.
In good news, the current NYC Mayor Eric Adams has said he’ll push to convert this unused office space into as many as 20,000 housing units, but since most of these are tied into investments with minimum rent agreements they’ll mostly just be yet more “investment-grade” luxury units, sitting empty and unused at $100-150/sq. foot/month.
I don’t have an answer. I have a friend who tried to buy a 200-acre property to turn it into low income housing in the DC area. His proposal and bid was rejected for a lower bid that ended up building a golf course and a set of identical McMansions on quarter acre lots. As long as that keeps happening, there is no end in sight.
Can I tell you something?
Got to tell you one thing.
If you expect the freedom
That you say is yours,
Prove that you deserve it.
Help us to preserve it,
Or being free will just be
Words and nothing more.
Well, except it had the “nobody wants to work” tagline.
IME that has become something of, if not quite a dog-whistle, an indication of the person’s mindset, in this case, the manager.
They’re pointing the finger outwards and blaming others for being lazy, or the “system” for providing too many benefits, instead of asking why no one wants to work for them.
It’s on my mind because just today our paper had a story about local restaurants getting back up to pre-pandemic hours of operation and mentioned that they’ve been able to staff back up…but noted that it was the businesses who treated their employees well who were able to do that.
you’re right that most phrase is most generally a complaint about “lazy workers”; but depending on the context it can also be a complaint about capitalism and the need for people to earn a living.
i feel like most jobs suck, and they keep us from the real work people would rather be doing.
the daily ins and outs of working at a grocery store during the pandemic was painful to say the least. everyone recognized that we were doing an essential service and that was a good thing. simultaneously, absolutely no one wanted to be there.
we showed up every day because we needed the job. ( so in that context, nobody wanted to work. )
Seriously, for the past two years, the media stories have amounted to “well, there’s no recession yet—but there could be!” What do they think is going to cause a recession? Inflation? Inflation is going down. Unemployment? Unemployment is low and businesses are still having trouble finding employees! Yet the media are just positively sweaty for there to be a recession to the point that they always caveat these numbers with statements suggesting a recession could be looming right around the corner! (Why? Who knows! Sounds scary, though!)
Then, in the same breath, the media says, “Why do people think the economy is doing badly when all the objective indicators say it’s doing well?”
As @ClutchLinkey mentioned - I could certainly go with “be nice to our employees” if it wasn’t for the additions. The phrases “those that bothered to show up” and “No one wants to work anymore” says to me that this wasn’t about customer’s interaction with the staff. The food is pretty good there, but hardly unique, and I hope the staff all find better jobs elsewhere.