Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

People who you probably don't want to go to work for

The Kansas City Star reports, "Get off your butt’ billboard paid for by Missouri business owners sparks controversy," on a billboard campaign by business owners in Springfield, Missouri, imploring people to apply for open jobs.  

Photo: KY3-TV.

Its snide tone echoes Republican moves to reduce unemployment benefits out of the belief that they were "too beneficial" therefore discouraging people from working ("'Ill-informed and cruel': Growing number of GOP-led states move to end Covid unemployment benefits," NBC News).

These aren't the kind of firms I'd want to go work for, as they seem to have little respect for workers.

I wonder how much of the issue with these firms has to do with working conditions, pay, etc. When the labor market is tight and people have their pick of jobs, firms with substandard conditions can't compete.


At 9:01 AM, Anonymous charlie said...

From you precarious framing before, I'd agree. We've talked about this in the context of uber/lyft that the business model is based on a giant pool of underemployed people.

When I talk to small business however, what they are saying is they are losing people mostly to amazon. Again amazon at some point will have hired and fired something like 1/4 of the USA.

Now we can argue that the entire restaurant sector is like uber/lyft and dependent on that. Certainly could not exist without large scale unskilled Latino immigrants. We've also talked about how restaurants have been in a 20 year boom and it's time for a cycle change as people actually learn to cook.

The other aspect is where this is really killing business is small business -- larger ones have some flexibility.

The overall unemployment numbers are showing all groups except black women doing very well and at pre-pandemic numbers.

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

What's amazing too is the impact of automation, which has "freed" people to work in other, usually less well paying, jobs. If we had national health insurance and other benefits, it would be easier for smaller businesses to offer higher wages. Otherwise, their business model and the price expectations of customers might not be compatible.

2. As you say,, I guess the thing about restaurants and other gig work is many did it as supplement are work (second jobs).

I saw an article about a Shipt worker in Grand Rapids who made 100k. A definite outlier. And how the Dick's restaurant chain in Seattle pays 20/hour + health insurance and 401k, so it keeps its workers.

3. Maybe ultimately the Amazon model doesn't work because it's extraordinary demand for labor, "free shipping", and immediate delivery are incongruity?

You know the line: fast, quality, cheap. Pick two.

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous charlie said...

someone off topic:

Yeah, one thing I thought Obamacare would do is free up employees from heath care.

I may have to join the GF's federal plan -- I'd be paying well over 700 a month in DC for a bronze plan. Again same price is not more if we bought the small business insurance. Feds will do it for 150 more.

Very typical for DC bartenders to be pulling in over 100K. They are apex predators, no question that busboys aren't making that.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

You're fortunate that you have this option!

WRT precariousness, the December Marshall Plan post was in response to an op ed in the Post by rust belt mayors, calling on planning for mitigation of job losses as the US moves away from fossil fuels.

It makes sense. There is an op ed in the LA Times about mitigating job losses for oil field workers.

"If our oil jobs are ending, we need safety nets and good replacement work"

(As I wrote before, in the Carter presidency there was an attempt to do this for the steel industry, but once Reagan took office, the program was dropped.)

The thing is that with globalization and neoliberalism, because the job market became much more precarious and insurance and retirement benefits in the US are tied to work, we should have built a system that separated that from work. Which is what the social welfare system does in countries like Germany and in Scandinavia.

Instead, we made it even harder (except, somewhat for Obambacare, and Medicaid expansion, but 30 years after it was needed).

I do intend to write a brief piece about this, but it may not change in our lifetimes (or at least mine), unless there is close to a revolution.

But the thing is that the Republicans have been so good at stoking racism ("'those people' are the ones who benefit from such programs"), individualism over community, and "the market" that so many people argue against programs in their best interest.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

Great doughnuts, bad politics.

Salt Lake Tribune: Banbury Cross Donuts sparks outcry by blaming government 'handouts' for labor shortage.


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