Help Wanted signs are everywhere in America. Most of our lives we’ve been taught that a low unemployment rate is good, but that was contingent on a society with a high workforce participation rate. In the Biden Covid era, however, that participation rate has plummeted, while the demand for workers has held steady. Restaurant, retail, and other service industries are seeing the biggest shortages, while a huge gap of highly skilled workers in such areas as health care and technology has also taken hold. Let’s examine 10 reasons for the labor shortage along with some possible solutions.
Causes of Labor Shortage
- Government Incentivizes Unemployment and Underemployment. EBT, Covid stimulus payments, extended unemployment, Earned Income Credit, the college financial aid system…the list goes on and on of government incentives to keep your earned income low or zero.
- The Tax System Punishes Work. Tax rates increase as income increases, while tax deductions & credits are phased out. Biden policies promise to punish hard work even more.
- Government & Businesses Are Requiring Masks. They’re uncomfortable, dehumanizing, often come with negative health side effects, and decrease work enjoyment. And the jobs most likely to require them are usually low-paying ones.
- Government & Businesses Are Mandating Vaccines. You will never convince 20-25% of the country to get a Covid vaccine, and even more oppose mandates simply on medical freedom grounds.
- The State of Public Schools Is Motivating Parents to Home School. Parents see their kids muzzled 40 hours per week while being brainwashed on socialism, CRT, and other negative curriculum. With the high cost of daycare and other disincentives to work, parents are choosing to Home School. This takes a large chunk of working parents out of the labor force.
- The Baby Boom Generation is Hitting Retirement Age The number of older workers retiring is exceeding the number of young people entering the work force.
- School Counselors and the Financial Aid System Are Focused More on 4-Year Colleges Rather Than Tech/Trade Schools Grants and scholarships are largely geared towards liberal art 4-year colleges rather than trades & tech jobs more matched to what is in demand in the job world. And most of high school curriculum is focused on college prep rather than practical job skills. It’s been that way for decades, and it’s created a glut of unskilled workers with large debt loads rather than plumbers, nurses, programmers, welders, mechanics, and other professions in need.
- The Public Education System Has Created an Entitlement Generation Where Younger Americans Think Certain Jobs are “Beneath Them.” Young adults with college degrees have been conditioned to expect high starting salaries without having to work their way up in companies. Many snobbishly consider retail, restaurant, and other in-demand jobs to be unworthy of their education level. Granted, some have simply ran up too much college debt to work jobs that pay below a certain level.
- Real Estate, Stock, and Other Investment Gains Have Allowed Many Americans the Financial Freedom to Not Work. Stocks & Real Estate investments more than doubled over the Trump era and have continued going up the first year of Biden’s presidency. Those who own a homes and have been disciplined with saving & investing can now live off their success.
- The Government & Media Have Created Irrational Covid Fear. Two years of non-reality based fear mongering has convinced a third of the population that Covid is as deadly as Ebola or Smallpox. Consequently, some are simply staying on the sidelines in the hope the plandemic will eventually subside.
Solutions to Labor Shortage
- Make All Government Benefits Time Limited. Any government benefits should be limited to 3-6 months. We all incur tough times in our lives, but government benefits should be nothing more than a temporary bridge to self-sufficiency. We have way too many able-bodied Americans simply living off the system.
- Remove All Government Vaccine & Mask Mandates. Businesses can choose their own policies. Employees can freely choose to work or not to work for an employer if they don’t like the policies. Customers can choose whether or not to buy.
- Give Employees a Choice on Vaccine & Mask Mandates, Asking Them to Sign a Waiver If They Abstain. The biggest reason businesses continue to enforce ridiculous, anti-freedom CDC guidelines is liability. That goes away if the employee signs an assumption-of risk waiver.
- Lower Tax Rates Across the Board on Employment Income. Wealthy individuals can earn a ton of money on passive income sources such as dividends, interest, and rents. However, it’s difficult to earn a lot strictly through job employment. You either need to put in more work hours or acquire advanced skills, such as in medicine or technology. We should structure the tax system as much as possible to reward hard work and reward putting in the effort to learn a sought-after skill.
- Focus More Scholarships and High-School Training/Guidance to Trade & Tech Schools Students can be guided towards learning practical job skills without taking on the crippling debt of a 4-year university.
- Change the Social Security System to Stop Punishing Work. Many don’t realize that social security benefits are taxed once you hit ridiculously low levels of earned income ($25K for individuals, $34k for couples). Consequently, older Americans with decades of valuable experience choose not to work as their marginal incomes are so low after taxes. Raising these income thresholds would likely motivate more young retirees to rejoin the work force.
- Increase Legal Immigration Levels. It seems pretty simple to me–if you have a ton of jobs Americans don’t want, bring in ambitious, hard-working individuals looking for a better life. Again, I’m talking about legal immigrants, since most reputable companies won’t hire illegals, in addition to the fact illegal immigrants are outside the American tax & justice systems.
- Remove All School Mask Mandates and Give Parents More Say in School Curriculum. To transform home-schooling parents back into labor force participants, give them solid reasons to once again trust putting their kids in the public education system.
- Stop the Covid Propaganda and Fear-Mongering Simply telling the truth, the whole truth, including honest statistics on Covid, will alleviate fears and launch us back to normalcy. Most people can see through the bullshit nowadays, but those who live in the CNN/MSNBC fear cocoon need to be brought back to reality. It likely will take prominent voices at a national level to do so.