The Disappearing American? By Victor Davis Hanson for American Greatness
There are historical downsides—economic, cultural, social, and military—to nations that shun child-raising.
“Help wanted” and “Now hiring” signs are everywhere. Flights, construction projects, and healthcare services are delayed—or unavailable—due to labor shortages.
Hourly and monthly wages spiral. There is a growing disequilibrium between the number of available jobs and the declining pool of workers needed to fill them.
What is going on?
During the nearly two-year-long COVID shutdown and economic downturn, firms cut costs by laying off millions of employees.
As a result, some in their early- or mid-60s simply retired early and never came back to work.
Federal and state governments also vastly expanded financial support to the unemployed. Other workers figured they would not make all that much more by working and so are staying home on government checks.
Still other former full-time employees became used to the new, more leisurely lifestyle and are loath to return to a full 40-hour work week.
Employers also are now convinced that a hard recession is on the early 2023 horizon when the trillions of dollars of newly printed money run out. Many are willing to put up with worker shortages now, rather than hire too many employees only to have them idle when consumer demand soon crashes.
Still other workers fear yet another COVID pandemic and are not eager to return to daily contact with the public.
The government has no idea how Americans remain sick with the mysterious “long COVID” chronic aftermath of the infectious phase of the disease.
Well over 100 million Americans have likely had COVID. An estimated 10-30 percent do not recover for months—or even years.
So, millions of COVID long haulers remain either unable to work or can only work part-time.