Labor Shortages Worsen, Companies Poach Workers from Each Other amid Massive Churn

Job arbitrage in a labor market where workers have a lot more power than before.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Total Job Openings in October rose again, to 11.03 million (seasonally adjusted), up by 50% or by 3.7 million from October two years ago, after slightly dipping in September and August, to nearly match the blistering record set in June, a testimony to the massive labor shortages still dogging many industries across the US.

These job openings are not based on job postings, but on a survey of 21,000 nonfarm business establishments and government entities by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, released today in its JOLTS report.

Hiring was also very strong – by far the best October ever – as companies filled job openings by poaching each other’s employees, offering higher pay, bonuses, and better benefits, leading to both, a large number of “hires” and a large number of “quits,” as people quit their old jobs to take up those better job offers, creating large-scale churn – a form of job arbitrage in a labor market where labor has a lot more power than before.

In Manufacturing, job openings spiked to a record 1.01 million (seasonally adjusted). Compared to October two years ago (2019), job openings were up by 153%, as manufacturers struggled with labor shortages, as much as they struggled with materials and components shortages, such as the semiconductor shortage that has slammed automakers and heavy-truck and equipment manufacturers.

In the Wholesale Trade, job openings rose to a record 329,000 openings (not seasonally adjusted), up by 29% from October 2019:

In Construction, job openings spiked to 410,000, up by 27% from October 2019, and matched the one-month miracle of April 2019:

In Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities, job openings dipped to 614,000 openings, the second highest ever, and up 79% from two years ago. These sectors include many of the workers that move the merchandise coming down the tangled-up supply chains, such as truck drivers, delivery drivers, and warehouse workers.

In Education and Health Services, job openings jumped to a record 2.0 million, up by 54% from two years ago:

In Professional and Business Services, job openings rose to 1.82 million openings, the third-highest ever, behind July and August, and up 51% from October 2019:

In Healthcare and Social Assistance, job openings jumped to a record 1.82 million, up 55% from October 2019:

In Leisure and Hospitality – includes restaurants of all kinds, bars, hotels, casinos, art & entertainment – job openings jumped to 1.78 million, the second highest ever, and up by 80% from two years ago.

Low wages combined with difficult working conditions, including split shifts, night shifts, and weekend shifts, along with higher risks of infection have made hiring and retaining employees very challenging. Employers have raised wages in response, and they have tried to improve shifts and hours. The industry has always had a lot of turnover, and has even more turnover now.

In October, 887,000 workers quit these jobs, the third-highest after the records in August and September, as workers tried to get better jobs either in the industry or in another industry.

But companies in the sector were able to hire 1.25 million people in October, many of them poached from other businesses in this industry, where these workers are then reported as quits.

In Retail Trade, job openings declined on a seasonally adjusted basis by 18,000 openings to 1.05 million. October and November are the two months when retailers staff up for the holiday selling season. This happens every year, and seasonal adjustments smoothen out those seasonal job openings.

Not seasonally adjusted, job openings in retail rose by 59,000 to 1.24 million, but that increase was smaller than the typical seasonal increase in Octobers, and so the seasonal adjustments reduced that increase to a decline.

Hires: By far the best October ever.

Hiring is very seasonal, driven by large categories such as retail and education that are very seasonal. Despite the labor shortages and the difficulties in hiring people, both seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted hires set big records for October.

Not seasonally adjusted, employers hired 6.86 million people, up by 237,000 from September’s hires, and up by 639,000 from October 2019 (red in the chart below). This was the biggest October ever, easily surpassing the prior record of October 2020 (6.03 million). Employers did this in part by poaching each other’s employees. These poached employees then also show up as “quits” at their old employer.

Seasonally adjusted, employers hired 6.46 million people, also the highest October ever (green line), up by 7.1% from October 2020 and by 11.5% from October 2019. The seasonal adjustments saw to it that the unadjusted 237,000 month-to-month increase became an 82,000 month-to-month decrease (seasonally adjusted).

Job arbitrage: Lots of quits, but not to not work.

The number of people who quit jobs voluntarily either to work for another company, or to do something else, such as starting up their own business, or staying home to take care of the kids, or whatever, dipped by 92,000 in October from the huge September record, to 4.16 million. October quits were the third-highest ever, and were up by 26% from October 2019:

Private sector employers accounted for 95% of these quits, government entities for the rest.

This huge number of quits is a sign of the power of labor, of jobs arbitrage, and of aggressive hiring and staff-poaching amid widespread and large-scale labor shortages that force employers to offer higher wages and other inducements to hire people – often people that already have jobs.

All this boils down to a red-hot labor market, with millions of people having left the labor force for a variety of reasons, and with stimulus driven demand that companies are struggling to meet.


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  221 comments for “Labor Shortages Worsen, Companies Poach Workers from Each Other amid Massive Churn

  1. historicus says:

    Yet Powell says the reason to keep Fed Funds at near zero is the employment situation.
    The Fed is responsible for this. They skew all they touch and they touch a lot.

    Many years ago, the Treasury had language in their mission statement regarding the defense of the value of the Dollar. Not there any more. Removed.

    Now, the Fed has done the exact same thing with the “promote moderate long term interest rates” mandate that is clearly in the Federal Reserve Act, as revised in the 1970s.

    There is no mention of “promote moderate long term interest rates” anywhere on the Federal Reserve web site!!

    In August of this year, the 11th edition of “The Fed Explained” makes no mention of this directive, which they have ignored since 2009. We only get the “dual mandate” game language. But in all likliehood the next mandate to be carved out will be the “stable prices” one, for they clearly ignore that one as well.

    • Fed heads are serial bubble blowers. Then when they get worried they lower interest rates.

      • DawnsEarlyLight says:

        They are not worried. CPI four times the 10yr rate is their way of handing our heads on a platter, or simply for many, ‘the last supper’.

    • Nacho Bigly Libre says:

      “Many years ago, the Treasury had language in their mission statement regarding the defense of the value of the Dollar. Not there any more. Removed.”

      A lot of government agencies used to publish their reports as pdf documents. Easy to save and archive; harder to silently change.

      Now they are published as html – easy to change without any notice or trace. Memory holing doesn’t need expensive machinary or skilled people like Winston (from 1984). Ministry of truth already around us.

      • historicus says:

        Which is why Obama’s presidential library will have no books it will be all digital

      • Tony22 says:

        Forward the URL and text to,
        the unchanged version is there for electronic eternity.

    • Lol says:

      Out of curiosity, what is the value of defending the dollar for the US or other countries? I mean, the USD is insanely strong and likely overvalued, thereby constraining growth worldwide and encouraging further outsourcing. I don’t see why anyone would defend that.

      • Jake W says:

        an insanely strong dollar would not have lost 20% of its purchasing power in the past year.

      • Augustus Frost says:

        So, you are claiming that Americans on the whole would be better off if the USD loses even more of its value versus other currencies?

        The idea the USD is insanely strong is ridiculous. No country should intentionally (attempt to) depreciate its currency, whether measured in domestic or foreign purchasing power. It’s incredibly dishonest and called theft. Doesn’t matter if it supposedly benefits the country, as the country isn’t an individual whose property is being stolen.

        Back in the 1960’s when the USD was actually strong, it was worth about four D-Marks and CHF. it was also worth about 360 Yen.

        You do know those exchange rates now, don’t you?

        No, Americans aren’t wealthier or better off because of this change.

        • Jake W says:

          not to mention that most americans aren’t concerned with the value of the dollar against other currencies that are also being devalued, but against the things it can actually buy. real inflation is around 15-20%. most americans are concerned with this.

        • Augustus Frost says:

          Jake W,

          Yes, but part of the domestic price increase is also the result of a depreciating USD (over time) since the exporter only cares how many Euro, Yen, etc. they get for their product or service.

          As for Americans, those that do not care are indifferent out of ignorance to their detriment.

          I have always cared because I don’t only measure the value of my savings in USD. I also consider it in foreign currencies especially somewhere I might live one day or where one of my beneficiaries lives now.

          More choices are always better than fewer. A depreciating or crashing domestic currency means the person may be stuck and can’t leave.

        • Swamp Creature says:

          Jake W

          I agree. Inflation is 15 to 20% for most people, although I’m one of the lucky ones that was able to adjust my lifestyle to the point where I’m largely unaffected. My inflation rate is about 3%.

        • drifterprof says:

          From my understanding so far, the foreign exchange value of the dollar has been all about extending the American oligarchy’s power and wealth, whether or not it benefits average Americans.

          I’ve been reading about the Bretton Woods agreement, in which the U.S., as the last country standing after World War II, bullied the other nations into allowing the U.S. to be the sole reserve currency (only currency backed by gold, with all other currencies pegged to the dollar).

          The other countries, whose economies were destroyed by the war, and needed a stable system to provide loans, had no choice but to agree. Basically it allowed the American oligarchs to get windfall profits from managing a large part of the world economy (making loans etc.).

          After that, the U.S. was able to print more money (to fund future wars and other national debt, etc.) which devalued the dollar, but which ripped off the other countries whose exchange rates in the reserve currency system remained fixed. When this wasn’t working for the oligarchs (U.S. got too overextended without having the gold to back it up), Nixon suddenly foisted his weird surprise that the U.S. would no longer exchange gold for U.S. currency. What? That was the crux of the Bretton Woods agreement. Seems like there would have been some consultation on that.

          It is a confusing issue, because the American dollar is able to be very strong, even while the nation being bled of industry and selling off real estate, which makes it weak. And at the same time the United States has been bled of economic vitality (by its own oligarchy), the strong dollar makes goods and foreign travel etc. cheaper.

          So it seems to me, with my limited knowledge so far, that a strong dollar is not related to the general welfare of Americans.

        • eg says:

          Michael Hudson’s “Superimperialism” I presume? I’m halfway through it and it’s shocking.

          What isn’t shocking is how many commenters hereabouts have distorted perceptions about fiat currency (including the purpose and implications of floating exchange rates) carrying about in their heads as they do a gold standard/“hard money” paradigm that ceased to be meaningful almost 50 years ago with the Nixon shock and the abandonment of Bretton Woods. Their vulgar Monetarism is gibberish, really, but these ideas only die one funeral at a time …

        • Old school says:

          Inflation is caused by government. When real interest rates are negative the government is stealth defaulting on it’s debt.

        • drifterprof says:

          @Old school

          It’s overly simplistic to claim that inflation is caused by government, as if nothing else is a factor.

          Increasing wages, people’s expectations for the future, Fed policies (repressing interest rates), etc. etc. The Fed is not the government.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          not just ”American” oligarchs drifty!!
          If it were possible to see who owns what, one could see the ancient families that have ruled at least what is referred to as the western world own most of the wealth, as they have since the middle ages…
          Most such wealth, measured as always in gold and RE, formerly in serfs/slaves was originally acquired by overt violence in those days, and maintained by more subtle means most of the times since, albeit with reversion to using WE the Peons as foot soldiers to do the dirty work in all the extensive wars and ”police actions” since.
          Current battles are to decide which group — of oligarchs — will prevail, such as the battle to take back most of the SW USA that was stolen in the wars of 1848 era, as well as other areas of our world similarly ”captured” in colonial wars…
          May we all live in interesting times,,, at least until we don’t (live) !!

        • Old school says:


          A haircut takes the same amount of time and the same equipment as it did in 1960, but it only cost $1.00 then. Why?

    • Marcus Aurelius says:

      The FED was not created for any of the reasons stated.

      It is a Private Corporation. A Stock ownership corporation whereas the Stock is owned by “member” Banks, who, in turn, are owned by other private stock holders.

      No Government owns nor controls it.

      None of it’s creation was for the benefit of the people. Or, employment. Or stable prices. Or inflation.

      • Sierra7 says:

        Old School/Drifter (and others):
        “Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits!”
        My haircuts as a child: 10c
        Adults 25c (“Two Bits”)
        And, yes. I’m older than dirt.
        (And, when I pass on a whole library of knowledge will be lost)

    • Swamp Creature says:

      Their new mandate will include mitigating Climate Change and promoting Social Justice.

      • historicus says:

        here might be what the Fed is following

        Orwellian Monetary Theory (OMT)

        Debt is good.
        Lender is slave to the borrower.
        Saving is Punished.
        “Stable” now means increasing (prices) at a stable rate of increase. (2nd Fed mandate)
        Extremely low interest rates are moderate, even though at immoderate record lows. (3rd mandate)
        The future funds the present. (It is no longer incumbent on each generation to pay their debts.)
        Free market economy is arranged by unbridled unelected power. (central bankers)
        Democracy is ruled by these monetary dictators.
        Ignorance is strength.
        Inflation is good.
        Freedom is slavery.
        We can not raise rates because there is too much debt, so we must allow the current condition of zero cost debt creation to continue.
        Tax unrealized gains.
        Rates must stay low to solve the employment situation, even though there are record job openings
        The Federal Reserve, once the buyer of last resort for banks, is now buyer of last resort for Wall Street.
        Central banks, once bound to only deal in federally backed securities will now set up dummy operations, Special Purchase Vehicles to circumvent this restriction.
        Central Banks that are in place to prevent inflation, promote inflation and let it run hot.
        Central banking now includes addressing climate change, racial and gender equity and “financial inclusion”

        • Nathan Dumbrowski says:

          Comment for your input historicus. What if the Democrats bill that would allow the Senate to increase the debt ceiling one time with a simple majority vote “take liberties”? For example most would expect them to push for $2T going up to $32T. What if they sneak attack and figure they are going to be railroaded anyways so they go for some absurd figure say $40T??

        • sam says:

          You forget a fourth tenant (updated to ’84 trio):
          “Censorship is journalism.”

        • Sit23 says:

          Wall St Debtors are more equal than non Wall St debtors.

        • Winston says:

          GREAT list, historicus. One major addition: the primary recipients of the Fed’s largesse OWN the political process.

          Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens [Princeton University, 2014]


          A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.

          Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

          In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes.

          When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system [that describes the overwhelming influence of the administrative state and lobbyists – W], even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.

          To be sure, this does not mean that ordinary citizens always lose out; they fairly often get the policies they favor, but only because those policies happen also to be preferred by the economically-elite citizens who wield the actual influence.

      • roddy6667 says:

        The FED will also be in charge of pronouns.

    • Billybob says:

      Fed: Moving the goalposts for theft and profit.

  2. Red says:

    Kellogg may look back at their decision to fire everyone as a whoopsy do.

    • WES says:

      They are going against the grain by hiring for less!
      They must be counting on joe to supply new workers.
      They obviously don’t read Wolf Street!

    • Ron says:

      Boycott there products money talks

    • sunny129 says:

      2 Red & WES

      …’Kellogg said in a statement Tuesday: “The prolonged work stoppage has left us no choice but to hire permanent replacement employees in positions vacated by striking workers.{..]
      ..’Kellogg spokesperson Kris Bahner told Reuters that interest in the permanent replacement roles “has been strong at all four plants, as expected. We expect some of the new hires to start with the company very soon.”

      Kellogg said that it had scheduled no further bargaining and the company had no plans to meet with the union.
      h/t businessinsider

      Guess we have to wait & see!

      • WES says:

        I guess joe delivered new cheaper strike breaking labor!

        Union rank and file gotta be wondering who’s side joe and their union leaders are on.

        • Suzie Alcatrez says:

          After a 12 hour days and few 80 hour weeks, those new employees may join the picket line as well.

  3. DawnsEarlyLight says:

    10 year T’s @ 1.54%. A yo-yo has more action. The Fed Explained = To Infinity, and Beyond! Where is Zurg when you need him. We can stop ‘churning’, we are already ‘cooked’.

  4. Red says:

    Here is what’s going to happen. People that have to renew their rent and see a 10% rental increase. If the job has not already provided a substantial increase, they obviously will have to quit and move to a cheaper cost of living area or a new job. The crap jobs will require the biggest increase in pay. I foresee half of the directors of Kellogg’s resigning.

    • KGC says:

      It costs an average of $10,000 to move a family a short distance. Across country can more than double that if the family has anything of value that needs to be moved. (just the transport of a 40′ container is currently around $17,000.) Most families can’t afford that just for a couple dollars an hour more, and most people looking for work are not getting offered 10% more to do the job they already have. So, unless they have transferable skills, or work in an industry that pays six figures a year, it’s hard to justify moving away from family, friends, schools, etc. And remember all of those have hidden costs that need to be borne also.

      What’s going to happen is either the gov’t is going to keep handing out money with no strings attached or they are going to turn off the faucet. The first scenario will lead to further destruction of the economy and bankrupt the nation. The second will create a depression the likes of which few still alive have seen.

      The really sad part is this is not going to be a national problem; it will be an international one.

      • Suzie Alcatrez says:

        Many people take only what can fit in their car.

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        Re “It costs an average of $10,000 to move a family a short distance. ”

        No, it doesn’t. Not if you’re renting and haven’t accumulated a lot of stuff… not if you have a few friends with strong backs… not if you rent yourself a U-haul and do it yourself. If you’re moving because of high rental costs and an income gap, you’re not going to pay $10K.

        Someone offering full-service moving might want to sell you on that high cost, but that’s not an average cost … except for their customer base. Corporate-funded moves (where they have a strong financial incentive not to disrupt the life of the employee too much) and the like, maybe…

        • Eastwind says:

          I moved a mid-sized penske truck worth of stuff half way across the country last September, the truck rental was around $2500, plus gas and some tolls on top of that. It’s a lot more costly than it used to be – my previous penske rental was for about the same distance and same sized truck in 2015 and that only cost $700.

      • josap says:

        Friends with pick-up trucks and/or rent a uhaul.

        It’s done thousands of times a day.

      • Swamp Creature says:


        I moved in 1999 from one house to another (same price of the house) 3 1/2 miles away to get in a better school district. The total cost of the move was $10,000 to $15,000 which included RE commissions, transfer taxes, moving coats etc. The move was well worth, as the new neighborhood was way underpriced at the time.

        • Red says:

          I moved 20 hours away 12 years ago. I rented a uhaul and was towing a car the cost was $800.

        • Lynn says:

          If you’re renting and have a crap job then it can easily just cost the cost of gas, one or 2 campsites (or free on BLM land), and a few sandwiches at gas stations. The yard sale you have before you move can pay all that.

      • makruger says:

        To pour a little salt on that wound, the Trump tax cuts eliminated the moving deduction for individual tax payers.

      • Old school says:

        I read that a large hedge fund, Citadel I believe, was leveraged 7:1. You can understand why the playbook is to drop some crumbs to the peasants to keep the party going.

      • Seneca's Cliff says:

        Back before the pandemic, you could do a Cargo Bike move if you were moving within the inner part of Portland. Just post your move on a non-profit calendar and 50 people would show up with all shapes and sizes of cargo bikes and trailers and move everything. Only cost was donuts (Voodoo of course) at the front end and pizza and beer at the back end.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Did more or less the same at our last move SC,,, had to rent a budget truck for the 700 miles part, but friends and family at both ends actually did most of the grunt work,,, God Bless them all !!!
          OTOH, last job change, the new co paid the movers to move all of our ”stuff” and pack a lot of it, cause the new co wanted me on premises ASAP.
          Even so, with a full of furniture 3 n 2 at both ends, the tab to the co was in the $3K range, maybe because I had done some favors for the boss of the move co at the origin.
          What goes around comes around, AKA ”Karma” ,, goes both ways…

  5. sam says:

    I’m willing to wager that “K’s” mgmt will be rewarded for cost control and stk price will increase .
    AND the employees union will relinquish their stance.

    Of course, I’m frequently mistaken & wrong.

    • Sierra7 says:

      RE: Kellogg’s labor dispute:
      Kellogg’s attempt to dismantle their organized labor force thru….”Death by a Thousand Cuts” (source Wikipedia).
      Since WW2 many businesses have taken advantage of their economic power over labor to slice away small portions of good middle class labor contracts. And they have been assisted by major political parties of both aisles.
      There are numerous good articles about this particular labor dispute that are not uncommon to so many others that describe corporations/businesses that are working hart to destroy any organized labor across the globe. (A serious investigation/reading of our despicable foreign policy labor opposition to any organized labor in any part of the world except under full….”American Dominance” also assisted by the AIFLD {American Institute of Foreign Labor Development} led by the major top tier organized labor leaders of this country. Colluding with other very shadowy US foreign service/intelligence organizations. This is all well documented.)
      Many have and are succeeding sometimes to their great surprise.
      Historical lack of labor history in this country weighs heavily on organized labor activity. Without organized labor there cannot be a “middle class”. Period.
      “We’re Sick of Giving Away Our Futures” source: Labor Notes. Just insert “Kellogg’s Strike” Labor Notes into browser. (I have subscribed to LN for more than 30 years and have been labor activist during my 31 years in business; owning also two small businesses pre and post)
      Globalization has changed the labor world completely. It was intended. “American labor must be crushed to a world level playing field for US business can be competitive in the future”. (Reagan years policy declaration)

  6. Ron says:

    My how times have changed.

    Do any recruiters who came on less than 10 years ago even know how to return calls and not ghost people?

    • Truckman says:

      In my experience, No.
      That would be at least 5 employers. In one case the HR department rejected me because I couldn’t make the original interview date due to a medical appointment. Since I’d already been told I was the only applicant with the quals and experience, and therefore the only interviewee, by my prospective boss, this seemed pretty stupid. I called him. Three days later, HR contacted me again with “We’ve decided to hold a second round of interviews”. It was, of course, a first round of interview (singular), but HR never admit mistakes or lies. Once got the job, HR spent 3 days trying to redefine the contract terms and reduce the salary. I resigned on the fourth day. The project I was supposed to be running ended up 9 months behind schedule after only 12 months, and the delays cost them nearly a million bucks. But of course, none of that came off HR’s salaries. And my prospective boss resigned in disgust.

      • TimTN says:

        I work for a large corporation and this is how our HR works as well. It’s pretty amazing the people running HR departments for companies. Having losers in control really hurts the rest of the company but for some reason these people face the consequences on bad actions.

        • TimTN says:

          *Never face

        • Truckman says:

          Thanks for the corroboration.
          I am reasonably convinced that HR in most firms exists as a hit squad to protect the C-suite primarily, and minimize the wage bill secondarily. The primary is by far the most important.

      • Beardawg says:

        Classic. I have a similar story, but the $$$ effect to the company was only about $100K. Pretty much the same story though. HR is a worthless industry.

  7. Michael Engel says:

    1) Tomorrow, SPX might enter Nov 22 fractal zone and turn around.
    2) If NDX weekly close under Nov 8 close it’s will be only a temp
    decline. Next week NDX is likely to move higher.
    3) Next week, cancel your dishwashers secured order, before a possible larger decline and 40% – 50% discount.

    • Anthony A. says:

      M.E – “Dishwasher Secured!” (and installed)

    • sunny129 says:

      Inflation # coming on Friday morning! Will it be 8 or more than that!?

      Fed’s decision and Press conf Dec 15th after noon

      Expect a lot volatility depending upon inflation #!

  8. Marcus Aurelius says:

    I have this odd feeling there is a national State of Depression.

    It could be me. I have suffered Depression my entire life, sometimes in horrific fashion.

    But, I sense it in others. A morose, defeated aura about others.

    I could list numerous reasons, but one could be the concept, new to most people, that if “money” can be manufactured by the Gov (we know it’s the FED) and given to you, why has that person worked their life away? Money has no value and neither does a life of work? What is the point?

    They may not be able to conceptualize this, or even define it, but they FEEL it.

    They have tasted what it is like to get of the rat race tread mill. For most of human existence, we could not BE on the tread mill, since there was none. We followed the seasons and the days at natures pace.

    Today, now, with cars, iPhones, etc. life and work is a constant “go”. For printed paper. “Money” has no value, therefore what about work and life?


    Perhaps, being able to move slower has let many experience the way life should be. They are probably depressed knowing all this technology has only turned them into hyper-slaves, with no benefit to them.

    They may not be Depressed. They may just be Exhausted and want out of this modern hell.

    • Lol says:

      Marcus, I would suggest practicing gratitude and meditation. You attract a certain kind of person, because you are a certain kind of person.

    • COWG says:


      You may be the proverbial square peg trying to fit in a round hole…

      Go find your square hole….

      It’s out there, I promise…

    • NoPrep says:

      Yes. People generally are tired with low energy, depressed, anxious, and many remain divided in thinking about all the Covid stuff with others nearby. Although many are saying “I’m over it”. There’s a lot of psychic warfare, in the office and within families. Washington D.C. IS psychic warfare, full-on. VP Kamala is reported to be wearing out staff in a matter of months, not years, because of her ways and means of operating.

      I experienced a psychic warzone at the large bank office space, a couple of years before Covid – really exhausting. I was 13 months – that 13 months seemed almost like 13 years. I had long hours, wasn’t sleeping well, and I was seldom hungry. When I left the contract, healthy sleep returned within a month, and my appetite for eating more returned.

    • Swamp Creature says:


      I left my job with one of the 3 digit Intel Agencies several years ago. I was in the IT Department. The last year there I was a total basket case. The whole Agency (unnamed) was run by a criminal cabal worse than the mafia. Nearly 3/4th the contractors and government oversight workers were dishonest and were mentally ill. I became depressed where I could not get any sleep.

      What worked to get me out of this sorry situation was to keep a diary of all the horrors that were happening every day. Also, I took long walks and light jogging on my lunch break to some remote paths where there was some wildlife and birds. What really worked the best was to retire.

      • Dan Romig says:

        Swamp Creature,
        Glad to hear you are free and never sold and/or lost your soul.

        If you could have slept well at night, that which you witnessed would not have troubled you. But it did. Sleep well, and may you continue to abide by your moral compass good sir.

      • Old school says:

        I think most large enterprises become sick organizations with employees mostly unhappy.

    • georgist says:

      Americans are realizing that a system where each person pursues their individual best outcome does not produce the best outcome.

      You can see it dawning on them one by one: “we are not the best country”, it was all a big lie.

      • COWG says:

        Oh posh, g….

        If I wanted to be homogenized, I’d move to Canada…

        • eg says:

          It’s great up here — feel free to stay out if you prefer dysfunction, because we’re not interested, thanks.

      • drifterprof says:

        georgist –

        I’m not sure if it was someone here, or my opinionated self-absorbed older sister, who suggested watching the documentary “Plutocracy” (Metanoia Films, free to watch online). I’ve watched the first two hours, which are gritty truth-telling history of how Labor (wage earners) were violently and brutally suppressed by power-mongering oligarchs that controlled the United States economy.

        For example, in the late 1800s, and a little into the 1900s, there were about 35,000 on-the-job deaths each year. Company towns were common, where a company ran everything: police, store, schools, etc. In those days people were real wage slaves with no options.

        I don’t know when people really started to believe America is the best, a shining light on the hill, an exceptional people and country, chosen by God! It would be interesting to trace the evolution of that idea.

        • Old school says:

          It was a different day. A lot of people were religious and oppressed in Europe for not conforming to majority religious beliefs. Coming to a place with less religious oppression was a big driver.

        • Tony22 says:

          The importance of the Second Amendment is in the forefront of every battle for workmen’s rights.

          You can see why the powers that be want to get rid of that.

        • Sierra7 says:

          Too many Americans are bought off with a few dollars of “shining trinkets”.
          And, are too preoccupied by those “trinkets” to acquire and historical knowledge on how the middle class was building.
          I don’t feel sorry for any of them.
          Stand by for a great “economic reset” for the American workforce.
          They will all reap what they are sowing (grabbing).

      • historicus says:

        The “channeling” via central bank and government dictates and interference is the problem.
        Americans are not realizing what you claim.
        Americans ARE realizing, at least this American, that to know the Fed would not stand to their duties, to know they would inflate and not raise a finger to fight that inflation, was the key to the last 12 years of “investing”.
        And to inflate and keep rates essentially zero is ARRANGED THEFT.

      • Billybob says:

        Greed is NOT good?


        • Sierra7 says:

          “Because its wreak-able, that’s why!”
          Gordon Gekko to Bud Fox:
          Referring to why a company is to be dismantled and sold off making huge profits and laying off the organized labor force.
          (Original “Wall Street” movie 1987)
          My point is nobody in the higher world gives a tinker’s damn about common labor except to exploit it until it really rebels violently and then point the finger at all of them and demean them to death, blaming them for all or our economic ills. Where in reality it is the power of money, owned by the oligarchy that has done so much damage to everyone.

    • Rowen says:

      Lost Decade/Generation.

      Hit Japan in the 90s.
      Hit Southern Europe and South Korea after the Great American Financial Crisis.
      Hitting the rest of the developed world now.

      A nice, settled future is out of the reach of most, no matter how hard they grind; meanwhile, people born to the right parents or got into Crypto really early are living their best lives for the world to see.

      • historicus says:

        OR, those who blindly invested in stocks and real estate, perhaps borrowing all they could to “play the game”….while others were prudent……they are the winners.
        To be prudent is lose in the manipulated game of the central bankers.

      • Old school says:

        Crypto. At some point in time we will enter the point of the cycle that most people get scared and don’t want anything that can go down in price. It will come, we just don’t know when.

    • Caveman says:

      I get depressed every time I compare house prices to my paycheck.

  9. Truckman says:

    Every company in sight of a main highway with more than 50 employees within 50 miles of me has “We’re Hiring” signs out. None of them are posting those jobs on any hiring website, government or otherwise. Some of them were posting there 4 months ago.
    The simple explanation is that they aren’t getting responses from websites, and physical signs are cheaper.
    Any other guesses welcome.

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      Yes, what are the elephants in the room? Obviously, not all obvious factors are allowed to be obvious.

    • Marcus Aurelius says:

      They want to SEE the person. They want to know, (without telling anyone), if they can fire the person, if need be.

      Try to fire somebody today.

      Using on-line services leaves a track record. Do you want an employment attorney, representing the poor, poor, person you fired, to look into the data on your search? Was it fair? Equitable? Representative of all applicants? Biased? Heavy in one Demographic and not another?

      Leave no record of those you invited for a follow up or interview. When they have to physically walk into your place of business, you can have yourself, and your most trusted crew, size them up and get an impression.

      This can’t be done on line. On line, you can’t ask certain questions, but in a face-to-ace, real life, meeting, you can use indirect ways to learn what you must learn about the person, before you hire.

      You will be spending more time with that person than your Spouse…and children….and best friend(s). One wrong word, or glance from you, and they can make your life difficult.

      Perhaps many businesses are being very, very picky and would rather be understaffed than hire back the kinds of people they had before the shut-downs. The shut-downs had the benefit of getting rid of people they were afraid to fire. Perhaps a lesson learned.

      • Suzie Alcatrez says:

        Hmmm…I wonder why an employer would need to see an applicant.

        Is it to make sure they don’t hire one of ‘those’ people?

      • Truckman says:

        It’s perfectly possible to do the indirect assessment during a formal procedure. When I hired, I used to get one of my colleagues to take candidates on a walking tour of the site, with assorted ‘casual’ questions. I remember one coming back and he simply said “NO!”. I didn’t even ask for a justification ;)

      • Sierra7 says:

        Marcus Aurelius:
        Worked for one global company that always cried: “Wah, Wah, Wahhhhhh”!
        I can’t fire anybody.
        The union won’t let me!
        Most of the time total BS!
        Too many managers were unwilling to do the documentation of infractions to get those they considered to fire. And, so many of manager’s favorite workers were useless and protected by management.
        We had more bad managers than fire-able workers.
        There is a reason we have labor laws.

    • SnotFroth says:

      Decent guess; hiring wise, we don’t get much out of the paid-for employment websites. Our last two this year have been from Craigslist.

  10. SocalJim says:

    Part of patriotims is working hard. Up until recently, people were proud of what America stood for and worked hard to keep it that way.

    No more. The country is on the wrong track so severly that people have given up on hard work. Why work hard to support the wide scale political corruption now taking place?

    Many of the country’s best and brightest have thrown the towel in and have quit. This is the opposite of patriotism and it is tearing this country down.

    My opinion: The only fix is a transparent and fair Nov 2022. If that happens, people will start working hard again. But, if we see a replay of Nov 2020, then high inflation will be the least of our problems.

    • DawnsEarlyLight says:

      I’ll vote for that!

    • Marcus Aurelius says:

      Gone Galt, perhaps?

      • SocalJim says:

        Gone Galt sums it up.

        Instead of working hard to for the benefit of the country, people now do the minimum work to survive.

        The effect on the country’s economic is stunning and it is another indicator that a large swath of the country was not OK with Nov 2020.

        • RockyCreek says:

          But it’s not for the benefit of the country. It’s for the benefit of the families who own the Fed. A good portion of the taxes on our hard work goes to these people so they can keep their insatiable trillionaire lifestyle. There’s nothing patriotic about that. Same with all wars. It’s not fighting for our country; it’s fighting to support a racket that the Fed gorges itself on.

          It’s exactly as Marcus Aurelius said in his 4:38pm post above. No wonder he’s depressed.

          Maybe we should all quit. Maybe that would cause the Fed to shrivel up and die.

        • Truckman says:

          I went Galt 13 years ago.
          Until about about 4 years ago, I had a lot of friends and relatives trying to persuade me to return to work – benefit of the Nation, etc, as I was very good at what I did.
          Then they started agreeing with me that benefiting the Nation should benefit me also, which it didn’t, and didn’t for them any more either.
          Since Covid started, coincidentally (NOT) no deaths where I am, they are wishing they’d gone Galt sooner.

        • 8_mile_road says:

          //Instead of working hard to for the benefit of the country, people now do the minimum work to survive.//

          Exactly! That’s why we should work SMART, not work hard. Our society today punishes diligence and reward cunning.

          By the way, I don’t know how readers feel about Donald Trump, but here is one thing I agree with: “Donald Trump said he’s “smart” by not paying income taxes”.

          Yes, tax cheating is illegal, but I think it’s one of the way to keep many people afloat in the sea. Ask any individual business owner. If they honestly pay all of their taxes, their businesses may be gone. I heard this from one of the Peter Schiff’s podcasts.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          “If they honestly pay all of their taxes, their businesses may be gone.” I hope Schiff didn’t actually say this because it’s total nonsense.

          The tax code is incredibly unfair. Regular W-2 employees pay out of their nose. Business owners, real estate investors, and others with complex economic activities have a million ways to benefit from the tax law that was written for them. I see that every day with my own little corporation. And SocalJim, who is in real estate, knows this as well as anyone.

        • Bobber says:

          8 mile, i find it stunning you promote a freeloader mentality by recommending businesses not pay taxes. Not acceptable. Man up!

        • Winston says:

          “I went Galt 13 years ago.”

          Who is John Galt?

          For me, 20 years ago.

        • Sierra7 says:

          And, another greater part was satisfied with 2020 if u are referring to the 2020 stolen election scam. It was close I admit and does point to a large portion of the electorate is not too happy with either major political party.

    • Jake W says:

      we have no shared culture anymore, largely because of mass immigration of people who either can’t or won’t assimilate. that is the reason for this.

      • DawnsEarlyLight says:

        The melting pot has lost its flame?

        • Marcus Aurelius says:

          It was never a melting pot, outside the “melting” of Europeans (who differed by Language, and little else).

          Even then, Little Italy was Little Italy, and German Town was German Town…..The melting pot is just another “socialist” term to fool us into a bigger disaster.

        • Jake W says:

          it has. but as marcus alluded to, the melting worked better when we were multiethnic, but not multicultural. german lutherans are much more similar to english episcopalians than somali muslims are.

      • Augustus Frost says:

        It’s a big reason but not the only one.

        As one example, it doesn’t explain the collapse of the family unit in some segments of society.

        • Whatsthepoint says:

          The collapse of the family has, I think, been engineered by government on multiple social and economic fronts….primarily from offshoring single wage earner jobs, forcing more women into the workforce, the burgeoning welfare state (which is rather stingy compared to some other countries), fostering the more extreme manifestations of feminism and gender bending culture….I could go on.

          As a society we’ve been atomised, divided (and maybe conquered) into little more than individual units of production and consumption…maybe that, too, is the source of some of the anxiety and depression referenced by Marcus Aurelius and others above…

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        Entirely disagree.

        The US has never had a single shared culture, other than the unifying principles of the Constitution.

        That has always been a problem, and frequently far worse than today – slavery era, civil war, early 1900s, even 1960s all had far more social strife than today.

        Keep in mind that today’s media hype minor differences. “Folks are basically decent, conventional wisdom would say, but we read about the exceptions in the papers everyday” – Rush.

        As for assimilation, if you want different results then change the incentives. Immigrants never assimilate fast on average, but when survival depends on hard work, and success depends on assimilation, it happens a lot faster.

        Assimilation has always been a 2-way street, and thank goodness the mainstream has been willing to adopt the best of so many immigrant cultures! The food you ate today, the clothes you’re wearing right now – I bet less than 10% of content & style were in the hypothetical “shared culture” of any prior historical period.

        • RobertM700 says:

          Thanks Wisdom seeker. I agree with your comments

        • Jake W says:

          i don’t agree. for most of american history, while america was multiethnic, the culture was unabashedly that of the protestant work ethic, and the culture was derived from that. the fact that people brought their own ethnic cuisine doesn’t change that. we had a common language, a common culture, and a common value system. the importance of the nuclear family and self reliance was key.

      • Winston says:

        “we have no shared culture anymore, largely because of mass immigration of people who either can’t or won’t assimilate.”

        Nah, mostly its because of a pseudointellectual, internally self-contradictory, word salad obfuscation something that has been taught at universities since the 60s. It has absolute neo-Marxist origins because those who developed it were Marxists.

        When the worker/boss conflict failed to produce the revolt necessary to bring about the utopian communist system because capitalism “lifts all boats,” after the centrally planned, state-controlled economic system proved it was vastly inferior, after Stalin was revealed as the sinister tyrant he was, and after Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn revealed the sinister roots of that entire system, a new approach was needed.

        Enter the INCREDIBLY divisive, national unity destroying, -GENERIC- victim/victimizer conflicts of Postmodernism.

        This video isn’t close to the best and most detailed explanation, but it’s only 12 minutes long and first comes to mind. On YouTube: 2017/02/25: Jordan Peterson: Postmodernism: How and why it must be fought

        • GSH says:

          We are well on our way to all become victims/oppressed minorities of one. Endless identity politics driving the balkanization of the population. I blame divisive media, cheap politics, and a high-jacked education system. Regardless, how do we move forward?

          No simple answers I fear. We need to re-kindle the “can-do”, self-made vibe so pervasive in the US decades ago. We need to rescue our quickly decaying inner cities from misguided policies.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          U nailed it bro!
          Best by far succinct summary of fundamental foundation and beginning of the current malaise of USA, IMHO after studying all of that for the last 5 or so decades.
          Fortunate to have had several ”mentors” and couple of ”femtors” of the generations born both before 1900 and after WW1 who had seen both the absolutely terrible destruction of their generation from that war and WW2,,, but were very very clear about the thrust of marx’s theory(s) and what that would mean sooner and later to USA…
          And BTW, both of those groups of ”tors” included ethnic African Americans and ethnic of various sorts European Americans, with the knowledge of the AAs being the most helpful in ”real life.”

        • phoenix says:

          Peterson is a schmuck and was intellectually demolished by Zizek.

        • Sierra7 says:

          So, it’s always,”….somebody else’s fault?”
          So American!

    • historicus says:

      People used to work then save seeking self sufficiency. But now if you save you go backwards at about 6% clip per annum. Never has this happen before and it is by intentional design

      • Wisdom Seeker says:

        Nonsense. Savers went backwards in the 1970s too. And in 1929-1933 when the banks failed. The Golden Age of Savers from 1982-2010 was the historical anomaly, not the other way round.

        Savers are usually better off than non-savers during hard times, but never in history are people automatically entitled to a good living just because they’ve saved some money.

        Savings must be safely stored, intelligently invested, and actively shepherded. Too often your country gets invaded, or has a revolution or civil war confiscating private property, or a natural disaster destroys your home, or….

        • historicus says:

          Saving is lending. And lenders should get paid for the use of their money.
          The money in the bank gets lent out.
          The money in fixed income is lent out to corporations who borrow.
          For 7 decades Fed Funds equaled or exceeded Inflation. That is what the Fed did to tamp down inflation and make certain the holders of dollars didnt hold a wasting asset.

          Do you see how things have changed from that which was once normal and historical behavior of the Fed, per their mandates?

          Why different now? (since 2009) Tell us.

        • drifterprof says:


          Your theme about retail savers being ripped off is true. And the principle you describe, that an individual’s retail savings are debt instrument assets, is interesting. Especially when looking at it through the lens of macro-historical-debt cycles, as Ray Dalio’s big-picture theory describes.

          However, you often seem to focus on partisan politics, or sociocultural causes of this retail savings rip-off. For me the big picture involves mainly large asset holders, such as the banks which the Fed represents. They are still collecting nice returns from debt (credit cards, etc.). Their goal is to funnel profits from debt into their constituent asset holders. The last thing they want to do is share the profits with retail investors. It’s not really related to politics, immigration, cultural war, etc.

          Big asset holders have always liked people and companies to assume more debt, because this increases their profit (especially government debt which is often a lot more secure).

          No surprise if the Fed tends to drift in the direction of big asset holders benefitting from the ballooning of debt. Their constituent members profit from it. No need for political or sociocultural theories.

        • Wisdom Seeker says:

          We can disagree starting with “saving is lending”, and disagree further with “lenders should get paid”.

          Historically, something saved is a surplus. It doesn’t have to be lent. How you use it is up to you. (Right now people are doing better by buying used vehicles and flipping them for a profit…)

          But suppose you do deposit your savings in a bank account. Are you really a lender? NO! Actual lenders have to worry about the 4Cs, find borrowers, perform due diligence and accept some risks. They have to earn their return and that’s why they get paid. And not only do “bank savers” not want to do any of that work, they also expect the taxpayer to make them whole in case of losses… After paying the people doing the actual work you cannot expect a nice profit. The world isn’t geared that way right now, and the times when it was were rare. Even in the 1980s you could rarely earn more than inflation in a bank savings account.

          But the big problem (and I suspect we agree on this given your “2009” comment) is that nowadays, money ain’t real. Until the 1960s, to save you had to actually accumulate something tangible – a dollar was an ounce of silver more or less. Nowadays a dollar is just a Federal Reserve accounting entry. All a saver “has” is a slice in a horrendous accounting nightmare. Right now the Fed prints up $40,000 per second and pumps it into the economy, but they didn’t save a damned thing to do that. In this world where millionaires are printed up every minute, and all that cash has to find something to do, there’s not going to be much left that’s worth doing with it. So you can’t expect “savings” to earn squat. But I don’t think that’s by intentional design, I think it’s just a side effect of spineless politicians choosing the path of least resistance.

          The deeper point I’m trying to make though is that savings “in bank accounts or money-market funds” has never been a decent path to financial self-sufficiency. Savers have never made much over inflation just by lending short-term TO A BANK, except at a few historically special times. And there have been other times when savers got shafted (1929-1930s, 1970s). So if you want financial self-sufficiency it’s not enough to save, you also have to figure out what to do with your savings in any given market situation – you have to invest intelligently.

        • historicus says:

          “Ideally this should be the monetarily sovereign Federal government which needs to deficit spend in order to support full employment as an offset to private savings”

          The Federal government needs to deficit spend…..??
          We had 3.5% unemployment and the federal government CONTINUED to deficit spend and the Fed continued QE.
          THEY DON’T Stop…..ever, especially when the COST of deficit spending is pegged near zero.

        • Jake W says:

          nonsense. the bank is doing the work and acting as a middleman, but the depositors are still lenders. what about in a large corporate transaction where an agent syndicates out a loan to 10 lenders? would you say that those other lenders aren’t really “lending” because the agent is collecting the information about the borrower?

      • Old school says:

        In the 1800’s coins had a dual purpose of transacting and of saving. No long term inflation to be concerned with.

        Now cash and t-bills are liquidity, not savings.

        Interest bearing accounts used to be savings as they paid a real yield.

        When interest bearing accounts pay a negative yield then they can only be used for intermediate time periods.

        If you really want a long term liquid store of value probably going to have to be gold, but planned holding period needs to be decades.

    • Putter says:

      Need a third party. Both the R’s and D’s are corrupt beyond redemption. We need a party who puts the country above their wallets. The platform should start with a stable currency and term limits.

      • Lynn says:

        Yes. Problem is the country has been divided for so long and parties have been so contentious that is has developed into 2 or more distinct cultures. They even have different meanings for the same words and different understandings of the exact same goals.

        • Old school says:

          We are set up to be a two party system, so we are always going to be cut in half. Best thing I like about our system is government is divided into local, state and Federal. People are happiest if they can move to where government suits their needs.

      • Truckman says:

        Think about it. Compare with other countries with more than two parties.
        You will discover the problem is parties themselves.
        Specifically, it’s the lobbying and fundraising which allows bribery by corporations, and therefore the influence.
        Recall legislation needs to be improved also, along with more use of referenda (e.g. Switzerland).

        • Sierra7 says:

          Truckman (and others)
          Where else can you conflab lobbying as virtuous and bribery criminal?
          Millions of writing legal verbiage try to make a difference but what is, is.
          The US is thoroughly corrupt, politically, socially and every sideways way you want to describe. It’s inevitable because it is history.
          (Promise Mr. Richter this is my last post on this article……too tempting!)

    • Augustus Frost says:

      The country is on the “wrong track” due to extensive social decay. Been going for my entire life and I was born in 1965.

      This social decay is evident in the economy and finance. The level of government spending, national public debt, and private debt are all reflective of a society falling apart. A society believing (and pretending) it’s a lot wealthier that it actually is living beyond its means when it is really becoming poorer.

      The asset mania is also reflective of unfounded optimism in a segment of society even as society is falling apart.

      The actual economic fundamentals are mediocre to awful, disguised by historically low interest rates and the loosest credit conditions in human civilization.

      Whenever it is, just wait until both end and see what happens. The real state of the economy and society will be exposed for what it actually is.

      • drifterprof says:

        The question is, will the U.S. economy remain solvent enough related to other world economies, to enable U.S. oligarchy to keep screwing them.

    • Suzie Alcatrez says:

      Are back to that BS about non existent election fraud?

      • SocalJim says:

        In a recent well respected poll, more than half of the country believe something was wrong with Nov 2020, and that belief is causing problems in the labor market because people have given up on the dream.

        This has turned into a serious financial issue … inflation and shortages.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          Trump made clear before that election that when he and other Republicans lose elections, it’s henceforth due to “election fraud,” no matter what. It’s practically a religion by now that lots of people believe in, no matter what the facts. However, when Democrats lose elections, it’s because voters punished them, hahaha.

          And I’m probably going to delete this whole thread that was triggered by your election fraud BS.

          If you repeat something often enough, people are going to believe it. That’s the (your, their) strategy here.

        • Nick Kelly says:

          Indeed the poll is well respected. It accurately describes the beliefs of the population. It makes no reference to the accuracy of those beliefs. If you poll rural Africa, you will find wide spread belief in voodoo.

          The polls showing belief in election fraud are geographically correlated with belief that Covid is no more serious than flu, and that govt promotion of vaccines is a scare tactic to exert govt control.

          With US deaths at 750K and likely to hit a million by spring, this belief is dying a slow, painful death. Reportedly, having a rush tracheotomy to insert an oxygen tube is a mind changer.

          But Just among the old or sick? Leading cause of death in law enforcement.

        • SnotFroth says:

          Wolf, to be fair, although his toes are up to the line, he seems to assert that the problem is that half the nation believes in the fraud, not that the fraud took place.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          This assertion that half the US believes this BS is BS too.

      • josap says:

        Almost every post, same thing. Stolen, cheaters, fraud, whatever.

        Denial of reality on a daily basis. I read less and don’t post much, just can’t reason with most of it.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Market crashes 50%, with the Nasdaq -78% as in 2000-2002, with cryptos getting wiped out, well, then lots of people will be going back to work. Problem solved :-]

      • SocalJim says:

        True … that will cause some people to start working again … but, likely many will do that reluctantly and do the minimum possible.

    • Lynn says:

      It’s all stick and no carrot. I’m not talking about crumbs thrown to the crowd during stimulus to prevent riots. The american dream is gone. There is no hope for many. Most do not anticipate ever buying a house and raising a family in it anymore. There is nothing to work for for working class people.

      Try training anything with all stick and nothing at all positive. You will never have a working partner you can trust or rely on. It will bite you in the ass.

  11. DawnsEarlyLight says:

    What’s wrong Wolf? Did you run out of WTFs?

  12. WES says:

    I think this worker poaching is only going on for the very bottom poorly paying jobs.

    Higher paying jobs still seem to be terminating people to reduce costs. Thus the rising job openings. Jobs to be filled but only at lower wages.

    I know of no one who is switching jobs.

    • Ron says:


    • Lynn says:

      I would guess so. I would also guess it’s in part because those workers are moving away from places where they can no longer afford to live. Possibly to places where there are no jobs. Like BLM land.

    • Old school says:

      Not true. My friend works for a corporation that produces and markets specialty software. They are losing mid level people right and left. Last year their business was so-so and people only got so-so raises.

      New businesses are coming to the area and they are paying up to get talent to jump.

  13. DR DOOM says:

    Largest drop in productivity in 62 years. Producing competes with time needed for consuming. Good riddance. Un-employment data has been through the wash and rinse cycle several times and they are gooooood. We are booming. Gov’t data says all good. Inflation talk going dark.White House got the Big Five of MSM to stop talking about inflation and bad shit except Vlad the Soul-less and orange man bad! Stock Market correction over and another bull cycle has begun. Jump in and get rich. Mrs Magoo at Treasury told Congress all that money printing caused just a dab of inflation. Hardly measureable at all.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Next quarter will be largest spike in productivity in years. That’s how the math works during a hiring boom, when you add lots of people to the payrolls, but the production data is slow in catching up. Productivity = production output compared to hours worked.

      • Harry Houndstooth says:

        Looking in the rear view mirror it appears we are being less productive, which I thought was related to the churn. Here is the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) web site on December 7, 2021…

        “Nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, as output increased 1.8 percent and hours worked
        increased 7.4 percent. This is the largest decline in quarterly productivity since the second quarter of 1960, when the measure decreased 6.1 percent. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) From the third quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2021, nonfarm business sector labor productivity decreased 0.6 percent. This four-quarter rate is the largest decline since the fourth quarter of 1993, when the measure also declined 0.6 percent.”

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Watch productivity spike next quarters. That’s how the math works during a hiring boom after a huge wave of job losses. Look at a long-term chart. You’ll see.

    • Old school says:

      Productivity is important, but measurement is difficult and leads to strange results sometimes. If Starbuck’s raises the price of coffee from $2 to $4 and doesn’t lose any customers,their productivity doubled.

      • Harvey Mushman says:


        I used to go to Starbucks every morning for a simple house brew coffee. Then Covid hit and I started drinking Folgers Instant. I guess I got used to it because I haven’t been to Starbucks since March 2020.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          You can buy good coffee and make a great brew for far less than what Starbucks charges you, and probably for less than the instant stuff. And the ritual of making good coffee is fun and relaxing.

  14. Michael Engel says:

    1) Job opening on the moon. Most women drivers fascinated
    about 10 “Tesla magnetic compression fields”.
    2) Helion Energy is a disruptive co supported by Peter Thiel and FB founder, convert fusion straight to electric energy.
    3) There is no need for turbines, cooler towers… and no deadly radiation.
    4) Helium 3 is rare on earth – Robert Zubrin : “The Case for Space” – plenty
    Helium 3 out of space : on the moon, Neptune & Saturn, to be mined, extracted and travel back to earth by UPS.

    • Dan Romig says:

      2A) I convert mechanical energy to electrical energy and send that to machines made by Jim Thiel in Kentucky; it sounds good, but better yet:

      2B) I convert ME to EE and send that to machines invented by and made by Jim Winey in Minnesota; it sounds excellent.

      • rick m says:

        DR- Klipsch Forte I(ALK x-overs), ADS ls-880, Wharfedale w60d. Wish I had room and funds for Maggie’s or Thiels. Or your amplifiers from that California specialty house previously mentioned. This oldHouse is prone to hurricane flooding, so there’s limits.
        Oh, and gifted bose901’s, not wired, sound better like that.

    • Alku says:

      5) Randell Mills is another disruptor with his Brilliant Light Power :)

  15. Nick Kelly says:

    Sounds like heading our way is inflation the Fed fears most: wage inflation.
    Not transitory. It is one thing to refuse a worker a raise, it is another to demand a roll back.

    • georgist says:

      This is the only inflation they care about. I’m watching closely. IT wages are through the roof.

    • Rowen says:

      Built into a living wage is the cost of shelter; unless the Fed is willing to roll back real estate costs, this wage inflation ain’t transitory. The problem on my part of the globe is that most of the unfilled service jobs are where the money resides, areas where service workers can’t touch within 30 miles.

      • doug says:

        Yes. The “nice” places are too expensive for the service workers/fire and police/ems/nurses/etc. And that 30 miles is a radius not a diameter. I like to ask such folks where they live when I can. In some large areas, it is more than 30.
        Housing for all(including gainfully employed) is a real problem.

    • The Real Tony says:

      No wage inflation in Canada. Zero to 2 percent a year is still the norm. Pressure at the lowest end of the wage scale but those jobs go unfilled due to the cost of residential rents so those jobs are never filled. The province of Ontario now has a net outflow of people.

      • Harvey Mushman says:

        I’m in Southern California and work for a Fortune 100 manufacturing company. 2.75% has been the standard merit increase for the 10 years I have been working here. I’m interested to see if that changes this year. Oh I guess I better get to work!

      • Nick Kelly says:

        Go back a year and there was little mention of general inflation. Powell has only just conceded that it may not be transitory. The new ‘norm’ is not normal and it changed fast.

        Re: Powell. It would be merciful to the all investors especially FOMO ‘investors’ to raise rates .25 % immediately. This would get the markets attention that the tide is turning for real, and all the talk about hikes in 22 is not just jawboning. A .25 bump would obviously be of little consequence to bona fide loans for production or even RE.
        It would be honest ‘forward guidance’ and remove the wide spread belief that Powell is ‘lying’ about normalizing rates and is just hoping he can talk the market down.

        Take the stairs and descend one step at a time instead of at some point falling 2 floors and breaking legs.

  16. Marco says:

    Hi Wolf, I saw a recent interesting comment on the Site , sorry I have forgotten the Username, but the Member was indicating that to keep the Stockmarket up, (whilst the Tapering and Interest Rate rises are followed through on), the Fed could request to, or start to buy Stocks. I thought that was a good point. Could the Fed have their cake and eat it as well ? i.e. the Stockmarket is kept raised but Interest Rates still rise ?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Lots of nonsense floating around out there about the Fed buying stocks. Until Congress passes a law that allows the Fed to do that, it’s not going to happen.

      • sunny129 says:

        Fed is NOT supposed to buy Corp/Junk bonds but they by passed that rule and created SPV ( Special purpose vehicles) bought some, but not as much as they jaw-boned the news. Did any body object? NONE! So why NOT stocks the same way? All in the name of ‘financial’ stability. Congress and the regulators will look other way, since portfolios will take a hit unless they are hedged!

        If I remember correctly Treas Secy Yellen is already on record, says that Fed should be permitted to buying stocks (+whatever) if needed!

        • Anthony A. says:

          Special Purpose Vehicles were invented by Enron.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          In the CARES Act, Congress TOLD the Treasury Dept to work with the Fed to set up SPVs that bought the corporate bonds. And the CARES Act told the Treasury Dept to provide equity funding for the SPVs that funded the bond purchases. So this was Congress that did it. Under the limits in the Dodd Frank Act, the Fed couldn’t have done this. It required Congress and the CARES act.

          These are ALL credits. The Fed is allowed to lend (credits). Stocks are equities. That is an entirely different ballgame.

          Unless Congress acts, the Fed won’t buy stocks.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Should be clear enough by now that members of Congress of USA and most if not all recent POTUSs, almost all of whom ”retire” as at least millionaires, are owned, or at least controlled, by the same folks who actually own the banks that own the FRB.
          The incredible corruption of our political folks that was formerly fairly well hidden has become much more publicly known, and this leads to at least some hopium that we will get the reform needed to make these obviously more equal folks at least pay their share…
          ( Not holding by breath ! )
          Term limits; all FED folks, elected or appointed on the same medical services delivery system and retirement program; same insider buying rules and regulations applied, etc., etc., should do it, for now.

      • Marco says:

        Thank you for your below explanation on this

      • Gorby says:

        Is there anything stopping CONgress from passing a law instructing the Fed and the Treasury to buy stocks? After all they are all invested.
        They already nationalized government debt, education, and real estate. Pensions aka the stock market is next.

        • sunny129 says:

          Govt Sovereign Funds buying stock:

          Bank of Japan doing that for years (buying there own ETFs)
          Bank of Sweden is also buying stocks, the well known is Apple!
          I suspect there are many others, we don’t know, yet!

          I strongly suspect that the Congress won’t hesitate a bit in encouraging FED to buy indexes like SPY. Since our ole genuine American Free Market Capitaism was PUT to rest in March of ’09, any thing is possible!

    • historicus says:

      If they were engaging in such, they would buy index futures which settle vs cash…..a perfect mechanism for someone like the NY Fed.

      As for would they do such a thing……… in 1987, on that Black Monday, people swear the Fed was buying in the SP pit at the Chicago Merc. Is it true?, …well people believe what they want to believe. It is not impossible to imagine.

      • Old school says:

        There is a little bit of a mystery as why Singapore Central Bank bought gold this summer. They are known to run a tight ship and keep currency tightly pegged to a basket of currencies.

        Central banks are set up different. Swiss central bank buys a lot of US stocks I think.

        Money is fungible and with the Fed dominating world central banks, I wonder if some out of sight shenanigans goes on regarding stocks and gold

        • Ron says:

          Money will be backed by gold in some form Russia China also accumulating and American won’t show their reserves probably gone

        • historicus says:

          You can see by searching the web
          the stock portfolio of the SNB
          One wonders what is the inside track they enjoy

  17. Michael Gorback says:

    I thought laws were just suggestions now, like the Bill of God-given Ambiguous Rights.

    You have to admit a wage-price spiral would give us a lot of new stuff to talk about, and Wolf could explain how the Fed’s Office of Spirals, Sinkholes, and Reverse Repo Event Horizons works.

  18. Ma Sola says:

    Thanks Wolf for another great article. I have been reading your website for about a year and hope that these articles keep coming.
    Many comments seem to revolve around the government and the financial industries and miss the fact that skilled labors are hard to find. Some one like an RN can change jobs and get a raise or become a traveling nurse and double their income. If a machinist, certified welder, or electrician is mobile they can make up the moving expenses in less than a year . Too many employers will avoid giving raises to existing employees and pay new ones more. Been there done that.
    Its a decade old story that skilled people are retiring faster then new ones are trained.
    Here’s a thought about unskilled labor. I seem to remember reading something that for someone to buy what
    they bought with minimum wage in 2000 they would need $15 an hour in 2020. Maybe Wolf’s article on small business formation gives us a hint.

  19. Swamp Creature says:

    I believe the real unemployment is close to 20%. Same with the inflation rate which is running at 20%. That puts the misery index at 40%. During the worst of the Carter years it never got anyway near that figure. No wonder so many people are depressed. I lived through the Carter years, I had just come to DC (Swamp), and I was much better off than I am now.

    The civil society is starting to break down. You see that every day in people’s behavior.

    • Ron says:

      Unemployment has always been false people are only counted while on program everyone else not working aren’t counted

  20. DawnsEarlyLight says:

    Can’t wait for Q4 stats. Should be eye popping!

  21. Beardawg says:

    Going back to Marcus Aurelius’ observation of an unseen “malaise” in the workforce, then comments of people going “Galt,” I agree there has been a fundamental change coming, even before the Rona, and it’s here to stay.

    It’s more intrinsically rewarding to work for yourself than for an employer, in 1099 fashion or whatever. Additionally, employers have to walk on eggshells with the new generation of workers, so employers are disincentivized to hire as well.

    Not sure what percentage of America’s Workforce is comprised of gig workers in 2021, but I would guess it is at an all-time high and will continue to increase.

    • random guy 62 says:

      I feel this as well.

      To me, it seems as though the business models of large portions of the economy are being tested all at once. If a business can thrive using $15/hr labor, can it still survive with $25/labor?

      It all seems to me like the negative impact to our standard of living caused by a few decades of globalization all coming to a head at once. It worked in our favor until it didn’t…all at once…

      The feds are fighting an asset price correction because of the bloodbath it will create for pensioners and retirees (and they vote). They’re just fueling inflation now so it’s a real pickle.

  22. drifterprof says:

    How about citing data and analysis instead of parroting talking points.

    Even before covid, the health industry was facing a tight supply of workers.

    Conclusion of consulting firm Mercer:
    “By 2025, the firm forecasts a shortage of more than 400,000 home health aides and 29,400 nurse practitioners. There will also be shortages in other healthcare professions.”

    “The healthcare workforce is burned-out following a nearly two-year face-off against Covid-19,” said John Derse, healthcare industry leader, Mercer. “The demands placed on healthcare workers since the start of the pandemic have been unrelenting and overall, this data shows that there will not be enough healthcare workers to fill demand in the near future.”

    “Mercer’s report noted the US is losing healthcare professionals due to burnout at a faster rate than expected, a significant portion of physicians plan to retire and there will be a sharp increase in demand for mental health professionals.”

    Vaccination mandates are not cited as a significant factor. Although, more mental health professionals will be needed for anti-vax whack jobs.

  23. josap says:

    Those are lies.

  24. Red says:

    WTF is a hind tit sir ?

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Partly raised on a working farm in the 1940-early 50s Red, and the term was widely used, including by folks born before 1900.
      ”Perception” was that many cows had less milk available at hind teat,,, and ”runts” of pigs and dogs were usually forced to the back of the line = hind quarter.

  25. Red says:

    Looked up hind tit on urban dictionary that shows me the new young ppl words. Its just a lazy one.

  26. Franz Beckenbauer says:

    Now there’s even a job bubble.

    Good job, Fed.

    • historicus says:

      Yep. The Fed keeps rates low to help the unemployed …though there are record job openings.
      But the low rates fuel an inflation that is slaughtering working/earning/saving people of this country that make the world turn, bounce out of bed each morning, fill the shelves and turn the lights on…..with a terrible inflation.
      Thus, the Fed is “helping” those who wont answer the “help wanted” requests, but “harm” those who are out working.
      Good job, Fed.

  27. Yort says:

    Cheer up Wolf, sure we may have a gigantic labor shortage, yet the Fed gave us a gigantic money bonanza, which will inevitably force the bottom 99% back into wage slave inflation shackles next year…thus “Unemployment Solved”?!?!?

    Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet Bonanza:

    2008 =$1 trillion
    2019 =$4 trillion
    2021= $9 trillion

    Fed Santa Claus rally in the U.S. money supply (M2):

    2008=$7.5 trillion
    2019=$15 trillion
    2021=$21 trillion

    HO HO HO…Merry Inflation and Happy Wage Slavery next year…(sarcasm)

  28. David Hall says:

    The labor force participation rate is 61.8%. The population is aging. If they expand the H1B visa program to include more medical, technical and other highly skilled labor, some jobs might be filled.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      As I posted before, every able bodied person who is collecting unemployment should be assigned a job. If they don’t take the job then their unemployment benefits should be suspended immediately. That would solve both the unemployment problem and the unfilled job vacancy problem at the same time. That’s what they do in the military and that’s what they should do here and now. END OF STORY.

  29. Michael Engel says:

    1) USDGBP weekly is rising to a lower high, to the weekly ma200.
    2) UK yield curve is deeply inverted. The British are working for less.
    3) UK, Europe ex, labor force is deflating.
    4) Number 10 Downing street is working hard : Boris Johnson, age 56,
    and his beautiful wife Carrie Symonds, 33, announced the birth of a baby girl, their second, Boris Jonson #7.

    • Old school says:

      Borris is a mess, but he went to the right school and is ambitious.

      • georgist says:

        Boris Johnson understands Brits.

        He has made it clear he will support asset prices, come what may.

        Brits know he’s corrupt, they know he’s damaging the country and they know their kids will suffer. But those house prices…

  30. tom20 says:

    Mike R’s post, along with mandates, is the driver IN MY AREA for small business startups.

  31. Leo says:

    Looks like the wealth effect finally trickled down. People are so wealthy, that they don’t need to work anymore.

    • georgist says:

      The problem, which I never see spelled out on here:

      the rate of fiat creation has exceeded the rate of wealth creation, therefore you cannot exchange (en masse) your fiat for goods without inflation

      There are two types of credit creation:

      1. for wealth creation, this is why we can have a national debt, credit is created but lasting real value (machinery/infra) is the other side of the balance sheet. This is not inflationary.

      2. for speculation, more money chases the same amount of goods. This typically takes the form of rentier activity, which is a zero sum game. Your gain would be my loss. For example a housing speculator buys up homes and then sells them to families. He didn’t house them, or help them, he’s just a scalper.

      Our economic system has encouraged more and more of the second type of activity. Over time people have absorbed this as the way to “make money”. But the phrase “make money” isn’t specific – is it real value creation or value appropriation via rentier activity?

      Until Americans reach a sufficient level of sophistication to have the above kind of dialogue, you will forever be in a loop, a political dialogue that is the equivalent of a dog chasing its tail, while the rich look on, amused.

      • p coyle says:

        “Until Americans reach a sufficient level of sophistication to have the above kind of dialogue”

        i am not sure enough americans will ever, at this point, get there. the dog will indeed keep chasing it’s tail. the rich, on the other hand, might miss something going on below the surface, distracted by their amusement, that will render them ultimately Unamused. :-)

  32. Seneca's Cliff says:

    My youngest son just got a new job in a completely different position in a totally different industry for 2.5 times the pay he had before. But to get it he went through a total of 15 hours of zoom interviews as well as extensive background checks. The company even wanted his online gaming names so they could check up on how he handled himself there. The company had recently lost $millions in sexual harassment lawsuits due to bad behavior by upper level managers ( now fired) and they did not want to have a repeat. After he got the job he thanked my wife and I for raising him to be an old fashioned “gentleman” and convincing him to not get a Facebook account and post pictures of himself or his activities online. In addition, despite the fact that this is a job in the online world, all employees are expected to report for work in person full time starting Jan 3. Saturday I hit the road in a Uhaul truck with him bound for So Cal.

  33. Xavier Caveat says:

    It’s getting desperate out there, I hear some prospective employers are writing detailed thank you notes to those that deign to a job interview.

    • georgist says:

      It’s so funny to see companies scrambling around after what had become the standard for the past two decades. Even applying for a senior position you could get no reply, at all! Companies would also reject with no real grace.

      Labour is now treating companies as they have been treated. Prospective employees not showing up for interviews, even many not showing up to start the job because they took another.

      You reap what you sow.

  34. Anon1970 says:

    Getting back to labor shortages…

    If you filed a paper 2020 Federal income tax return way back in February, the IRS probably hasn’t logged it in yet, so their computers think you have not filed your return. In my case, my check accompanying my tax return was cashed in February and I have a credit at the IRS for the full amount of my taxes owed. Even though the IRS is way behind in processing paper tax returns, it did not stop their computers from sending out dunning notices requesting that I file my tax return “today”. The letter I received also requested that I send in a newly signed copy of my return to the address on the form, if I had already filed my tax return. It also threatened to cancel my credit balance with the IRS if I ignored the letter.

    The take away: If you filed a paper 2020 tax return, don’t be surprised if you get a dunning notice. If you call the IRS phone number on the form, consider yourself lucky if you get through to a real person.

    Suggestion: File your 2021 tax return online even if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. The 2021 tax year is almost over and in a few months, the IRS will again be flooded with millions of paper tax returns.

    My guess is that in Feb. 2022, the IRS will still be processing 2021 tax returns that were filed before the 2021 extended deadline. I hope I am wrong.

    FYI, the IRS web site, asks taxpayers not to file duplicate tax returns.

  35. Auldyin says:

    Again some of these charts boggle the mind from a ‘stats’ point of view.
    Trying to imagine a return to the regression mean anytime soon appears a challenge at best.
    If they don’t revert to mean, we may be seeing permanent structural changes to the historical nature of employment in US.
    There are strange nos. in some aspects of UK also.

  36. Dan Romig says:

    Once I was a tax man
    Collectin’ dollars and dimes
    I heard the rich man grumble
    I heard the poor man cry
    Some few couldn’t afford to pay
    Were put to the shackle and key
    I never got over bein’ a tax man
    -Nick Lowe

    People who come in handy:
    A good doctor
    A good dentist
    A good mechanic
    A good tax accountant

  37. Red says:

    Evergrande, has defaulted on its debt, according to Fitch Ratings.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Authorities have this under control. Some bondholders are going to get sacked. But it’s not going to get messy. There is no market.

  38. DawnsEarlyLight says:

    Labor shortages are only one half of the employment picture. The other half is of those that are employed. Many employees have labored and suffered through intense working conditions the past two years. A lot of those conditions can and should be addressed. Times are changing.

  39. Janna says:

    Our businesses seem to be adapting to labor shortages. Our McDonalds closed shop at 6pm this past weekend! Many other fast food places have completely closed their dining rooms. Our pharmacies have been closing at 6pm on weekends for quite some time. I can’t help but wonder how accurate these labor surveys are. My husband tried to find a higher paying job. One job ended up eliminating the position altogether and another job, which had the best potential, has paused hiring. Everything seems so out of whack. I can’t help but wonder if the labor market will reverse especially as businesses settle into new ways of doing things.

  40. DR DOOM says:

    Will Powell re- discover inflation again if print is up? The 52 year low in un-employment print was an easy fix using the Money Printer. If inflation has taken a pause will Powell throw in some dovish chum in the water to crank up a feeding frenzy. If it’s an up print I wanna see how effective the Administration come to Jesus meeting with MSM was in not talking about inflation and general bad mouth sanitizing was. I will sit back and be waiting for the analysis of it all or in part from Wolf Street.

  41. Yort says:

    “Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it” – Laurence Peter

    Per the Labor Department, US unit labor costs rose 9.6%, well above the median expectation of 8.3% and up from 5.9% for Q2

    Number of US job openings in the US rose to 11.03 million, well above both the median forecast of 10.47 million and last month’s revised level of 10.60

    Initial jobless claims lowest in 50 YEARS at 184,000 for the last week compared to a median forecast of 220,000….

    Conference Board released stats Wednesday that companies are setting aside 3.9% for raises, so yeah, inflation is now beyond “Transitory”. And what good is 3.9% when “The Everything Inflation” is running 7-10%??? Inflation has moved into the world human psych…from scholar papers to nightly local news, with an upcoming mid-term elections which will advertise the effects hourly, so good luck JPOW turning this self-induced Titanic Inflation Shipwreck before it hits that Stagflation iceberg that was obvious 12 months ago…what a fool…

    So yeah, as we have all been discussing on Wolf Street for the last 12-18 months, the Fed has now wrapped the entire world in a epic Stagflation shit-show that will cause chaos for many years…

    Of course, “Nobody could have seen this coming”….sigh

  42. Yort says:

    The irony is that the Fed has printed so much money, that now they can’t even meet their employment mandate as workers have accumulated $31 trillion in net worth, and over $4 of that is liquid savings as they stick up their middle finger to corporate America…HA, what a turn of circumstances for Corporate America, it is amusing as they thought they had the bottom 99% wage enslaved forever…

    Question remains, how could JPow be this ignorant? Should we require IQ tests for those than hold this much power over the entire world’s economy and population? Should any single human ever have this much power social and economic wellbeing power(s) in the future???

  43. Swamp Creature says:

    When you move here and hire movers, it is understood that the movers can create a “goodie bag” of boxes for them to steal 5% to 10% of your items. That’s part of the cost of hiring these movers. This happened to me on my last move. Most of them are ex-cons.

  44. silverfox says:

    Interesting Times, I agree with Marcus Aurelius above.

    The horse is out of the barn on this one, there is no putting it back in. This is actually the greatest threat to the nation right now, some though times are head and the status quo can’t really hold.

    Be ready.

  45. Dom says:

    Laws of supply and demand FINALLY pushing up wages? Companies will not put up with this for too long.

    Expect business group to sharply lobby to open up the foreign guest worker pipeline soon.

  46. CreditGB says:

    Smalls can’t compete against a Government check income. Also are now failing to pay the taxes that enable the Government payments for no production.

    This is not going to end well for anyone from those sucking at the Government’s…well you know…to those at high incomes.

    Why high earners? Well who do you think the Government is going to come after when the cash runs low? Wait until the next redefinition of “high earners” is trotted out.

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