This time it really is different, but not in the way the Wall Street shucksters are claiming.
Conventional economists, politicos and pundits are completely clueless about the unraveling that’s gathering momentum beneath the superficial surface of “reflation” because they don’t yet grasp we’re entering an unprecedented new type of recession: a ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ recession which is unlike any previous downturn. …
What the chattering class of apologists, toadies, lackeys, factotums and apparatchiks missed about the pandemic lockdown was the tidal change in perceptions of work and life enabled by a withdrawal from the deranging frenzy of work: once people had time to reflect on their lives, mortality, goals, identity and the soaring costs and dwindling rewards of their efforts to “get ahead” via slaving away in a dead-end job / career, the tune that began to haunt their subconscious ruminations was Johnny Paycheck’s timeless classic, Take This Job And Shove It.
Whether anyone in the halls of power cares to notice or not, a mass withdrawal from the workforce is underway. What’s remarkable about this swelling exodus is that it isn’t confined to one class of workers: low-wage workers are jumping ship en masse, but so are mid-level white-collar workers and well-paid but overworked technocrats in the top 10%.
It’s not like it used to be:
The rewards of the economy have flowed to two classes: the Financial Aristocracy (a.k.a. the New Nobility in our neofeudal economy), the top 0.1% who now own more wealth than the bottom 80% of American households, and speculators, from the scammers on Wall Street to the daytraders gambling their stimmy payments.
The reality that wages have stagnated for the past 50 years is finally sinking in, and people are responding accordingly. By any realistic measure, most workers have lost ground when the purchasing power of their wages in the 1980s is compared to what their earnings buy now in healthcare, childcare, rent, higher education, property taxes, etc. …
The forced pause has led many to reconsider:
The pandemic posed a question few had time to ponder: what’s the point?
What no financial analyst dares confess is the corporate profits they cheer every quarter have come at a cost that many Americans will soon be unable to bear. Millions of highly experienced, essential employees are either planning to quit, retire, cut their hours or switch to lower stress jobs. …
Social Mobility between classes has decayed, and people are finally beginning to grasp this. After you do all the right things — borrow a fortune to get a college degree, build your resume with low-paying jobs working ridiculous hours, etc., you eventually realize you’re a precariat just like everyone else. Maybe a better paid precariat, or maybe a poorly paid precariat, but this is all the Financial Mobility you’re ever going to get.
The Top 0.1% winners in this system are protected by the Federal Reserve, while the losers are stripmined by crushing taxes. Even if they don’t understand the exact mechanisms of the Federal Reserve’s bag of tricks, they now understand the rich get richer and the state protects them from the precariats and serfs doing all the work.
The Federal Reserve can conjure up trillions of dollars out of thin air to further enrich the nation’s parasitic elite, but they can’t print experienced, motivated workers or people with entrepreneurial skills.
The danger to the state is not who rebels but who opts out. Outright rebellion suits the state, as it can turn its monopoly on force on the citizenry. But when those keeping everything glued together have had enough and find a way to quit, the entire system starts unraveling in ways the state is powerless to stop.
In addition, increasing numbers of honest people are leaving the fortress of “corporations and government” because they got cancelled for speaking the truth.
I think that this guy has hit the nail on the head with this observation. There is a silent echo of the ‘drop-out’ 60s and 70s happening. In this instance, the ‘drop-out’ was a forced-out (lockdown) that has morphed into a ‘why bother going back in’?
It hasn’t been worth it anymore for a few decades; the pandemic was a mandatory pause for thought that made it obvious.
It’s Atlas Shrugged but with ordinary people shrugging and leaving the system rather than captains of industry.