I’m sure you’ve come across many videos like the one above trying to explain why we are in one of the biggest realignments of the economy in history. I like Simon’s analysis and I do think that it is a part of the problem. Too often workers were treated as an afterthought of the company, and we are seeing the results.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a new paradigm upon the economy where workers were given unprecedented amounts of trust and freedom. As well, their worth was revealed in a more transparent way. Front line and minimum wage workers were the backbones of maintaining a trade of goods. What was considered to be menial and skillless jobs, were shown to be much more invaluable to the overall economy than previously thought.
As the severity of COVID-19 waves lessened due to vaccination rates, the powers that be assumed things would return to the way it was before. It appears the vast majority of people think otherwise. The worth of labour has been revealed for all to see. Think of it as everyone seeing each other’s salary, and how that can be used to better bargain for raises or benefits. This has just been ratcheted up to a global level.
This shouldn’t have come as a surprise. The makings of a global revolution in the way work is conducted after the COVID-19 pandemic were all there. I wrote at the beginning of the pandemic how things were going to change, here, here and here for starters. The criticism of COVID-19 benefits was that it made workers lazy and entitled. This attitude alone shows the contempt some employers had for their workers. The free market essentially allowed workers to reinvest their time and efforts into not having to work for companies or bosses that they ultimately had no loyalty to. Instead, many workers are opting to try entrepreneurial ventures, re-educate themselves or simply take the time to find new employment with better pay and benefits.
For the first time possibly in the history of capitalism, you’re seeing an economy-wide worker’s strike. The results of which may find wages and salaries being increased drastically. As well, this could lead to widespread automation for low-wage positions in order to prevent this from happening again. I may write about that in more detail in a later post. In the short term, however, what is happening is nothing short of revolutionary.
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