"Business owners around the country are offering up a lament: 'no one wants to work.' A McDonalds franchise said they had to close because no one wants to work; North Carolina congressman David Rouzer claimed that a too-generous welfare state has turned us all lazy as he circulated photos of a shuttered fast-food restaurant supposedly closed 'due to NO STAFF.'
Most of these complaints seem to be coming from franchised restaurants. Why? Well, it’s not complicated. Service workers didn’t decide one day to stop working — rather huge numbers of them cannot work anymore. Because they’ve died of coronavirus.
A recent study from the University of California–San Francisco looks at increased morbidity rates due to COVID, stratified by profession, from the height of the pandemic last year. They find that food and agricultural workers morbidity rates increased by the widest margins by far, much more so than medical professionals or other occupations generally considered to be on the 'front lines' of the pandemic. Within the food industry, the morbidity rates of line cooks increased by 60 percent, making it the deadliest profession in America under coronavirus pandemic.
Line cooks are especially at risk because of notoriously bad ventilation systems in restaurant kitchens and preparation areas. Anyone who has ever worked a back-of-the-house job knows that it’s hot, smelly, and crowded back there, all of which indicate poor indoor air quality. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency recommended increasing indoor ventilation to fight the virus, but such upgrades are costly and time consuming. There is no data available on how many restaurants chose not to upgrade their ventilation systems, but given how miserly franchise owners are with everything else, one could guess that many, if not most, made no upgrades at all.
Ventilation issues are deadliest for line cooks and other back-of-house jobs, but there are other reasons why food workers’ morbidity rates shot up. Food workers are much more likely to be poor and/or a racial or national minority, and poor people and black and Latino workers are much more likely to die of complications from the coronavirus.
Restaurants are often intentionally short staffed, making it difficult to take time off, so sick workers likely still came to work (and infected others in the process). Bars and restaurants are COVID-19 hotspots, and service workers and customers alike get sick after prolonged restaurant exposure. The difference is that many of those customers have health insurance and other safeguards to prevent them from dying of the illness; 69 percent of restaurants, on the other hand, offer their employees no health benefits at all.
When coronavirus is spread at restaurants, and restaurant workers make little money and rarely earn health benefits, it’s no wonder morbidity rates are so much higher for food service workers. But rather than collectively grieve the deaths of tens of thousands of the people who serve us and keep us fed, and keep such tragedies in mind when considering the state of the food-service industry labor market today, business owners and their political lackeys call these workers 'lazy.'
There are, of course, also living, breathing people who have decided they do not want to risk their lives for $7.25 per hour and no health benefits. That is a perfectly rational decision for the homo economicus to make. Given how dangerous restaurant work is during a viral pandemic, if restaurant owners really wanted more workers, they would offer living wages, health benefits, and adequate personal protective equipment. But all the wage increases in the world won’t bring back the dead.
There aren’t enough people working in the service industry, and service bosses have somehow turned that into our problem, into something we ought to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t fall for it. Profits accumulate because of labor — without workers to exploit, the owning class can’t get richer. Capitalists cannot exploit the labor of the dead, so when large swathes of the working class die, they turn their ire on the living.
This is a barbaric response to mass tragedy. Workers across the country and the globe are dead or grieving. We shouldn’t risk further tragedies for a paltry minimum wage."
- Sandy Barnard, "Service Workers Aren’t Lazy — They Just Don’t Want to Risk Dying for Minimum Wage." Jacobin, 5 May 2021.
56K notes · View notes
Imagine if 1 in 7 rolls of toilet paper were bought by hoarders.
15K notes · View notes
Whatever your views, it is clear that poor women, and particularly woc, are always going to suffer most under these anti abortion laws.
And if she’s a rich white woman? Oh, she is totally fine.
In Texas, for example, you think anyone will kick up a fuss if an unhappily pregnant millionaire’s daughter catches a plane to NYC or California for a couple of days?
No. Of course not.
Let’s think about that.
8K notes · View notes
Everyone deserves a livable wage, because there is no such thing as unskilled labor.
Art by Liberal Jane
44K notes · View notes
People from relatively low socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to have their pain sensitivity dismissed by others, according to a new series of psychological experiments.
Even medical professionals don't seem to take another's suffering as seriously if they are relatively uneducated or poor – they may even prescribe less medication.
The results could partly explain why patients with higher levels of education, income and social status tend to receive better medical care for a variety of painful conditions in the United States. No doubt, there are also structural issues at play, like a sheer lack of access to medical care, but broader cultural stereotypes appear to also play a role.
Pain is an incredibly difficult symptom to both express and interpret. While the experience of suffering is universal, its measurement is necessarily subjective and is open to a slew of human biases.
3K notes · View notes
As Shatner takes a joyride in Bezos’ penis rocket today, it’s hard not to think of how many people here on Earth are hungry and desperate due to Amazon’s wage theft, destruction of sustainable economies, and mistreatment of its workers.
Space privatization isn’t a way forward, for American culture or for our world as a whole. It’s time to vocally disavow publicity stunts like Blue Origin, SpaceX, and the ‘second space race’.
3K notes · View notes
deducting points for submitting late work is some of the most classist, ableist capitalist bullshit ive seen and teachers who do it are the fucking worst
7K notes · View notes
can't believe the supernatural cast wasn't invited to the met gala
2K notes · View notes
"People just don't want to work anymore! That's why I can't find employees!"
65K notes · View notes
Rich person nepotism and poor person nepotism are not the same.
35K notes · View notes
The City of Toronto is asking a court to order a local man to stop building small wooden shelters for the homeless.
The city filed an injunction application on Feb. 12 against Khaleel Seivwright, a carpenter who has been building small structures for those living outside.
The city wants an order that permanently stops Seivwright from placing or relocating structures on city-owned land.
It cites bylaws that prohibit camping and living in city-owned parks.
Tagging: @politicsofcanada @onpoli
6K notes · View notes
AOC IS A QUEEN
27K notes · View notes
💕💗The obvious answer is to eat the rich💗💕
2K notes · View notes
the incompetence of social welfare programs must be by design to kill or remove any people that necessarily need services in hopes the state can get out of supporting its people.
3K notes · View notes
Another thing to remember for these next four to eight years of Biden:
While the capitol rioters were a bunch of youtubers and lawyers and people cozy enough to afford spontaneous plane tickets, a much larger proportion of Trump’s base were radicalized so easily because they were poor and are still poor. Republicans spent years lying to them about the sources of and solutions to their suffering, scamming them with trickle-down policies and scapegoating “illegals” as more and more jobs just get automated or sent overseas, while a lot of Democrats just kind of focused on the coastal cities and let the rest keep deteriorating. Remember Hillary not even fucking CAMPAIGNING in some entire states??! Just completely snubbing the poorest parts of the entire country??????? Yeah???????????????
Even if you believe that huge swathes of America are populated by nothing but dumb, slovenly racists, which isn’t true and makes you kind of a fucker actually, their poverty and lack of education are symptomatic of problems that affect you too, there are minorities there too, there are little kids who didn’t ask for any of this shit and deserve to eat three full meals a day no matter how they’re being brainwashed by their KKK stereotype dad. That could have been you too. You have to want things to be better for everybody.
4K notes · View notes
i’m gonna get so bullied for this but after doing my english language A level, i’m critical of how much the british accent is mocked—specifically the variant of the accent that’s mocked. this variation (with t-glottalisation, so like wa’er instead of water) is also treated badly within the uk for being predominantly associated with the working class.
accent discrimination is a huge, un-talked about issue here, given that there’s a vast variation of accents and dialects in the uk. i wouldnt expect overseas people to know this, but people really do lose out on jobs etc because of this discrimination, or are judged because they don’t sound “upper-class” and “respectable” enough. there have been instances of schools forcing children with “undesirable” accents to speak “properly” (historically this is very pervasive—the standardisation of english in schools sought to eradicate regional dialects. the linguist john honey believes standard english should be mandatory so that working class people could sound smarter and get better jobs).
and you can see it in pop culture: in movies with british bad guy goons, the baddies usually have a working class or cockney accent (the one people find so funny) as a direct reflection of the notion that working class = bad (101 dalmations is a prime example). on the flip side, suave, smart british villains speak in standard english, reflecting the classist notion that upper class accent = smarter (howard giles’ accentism study showed that “upper class” accents are considered intelligent).
colloquialisms like “innit” are features of working class accents (see cockney english, estuary english, multicultural london english) and yes, these are practically demonised in the uk too, by the upper class and mainstream media to maintain the age old presentation of the working class as rough, uncultured and unintelligent.
this is a good article about how accent discrimination affects employability (edit: you may have to take this one to browser to unlock it if you’re on mobile)
this has an infographic about british accents and discrimination
it’s legal for schools to ban specific dialect features
what i’m saying is if you’re gonna make fun of the accent, maybe go for the snobby ones like received pronunciation because these don’t have a history of being used to demonise the working class. boris johnson is literally right there and ready to be bullied
11K notes · View notes