I just want to get this bit of intelligence out to you from my recent three-week research trip to Paris. As I wrote to you yesterday, Paris is open for business, but it feels more like a soft open, with staffing shortages being the main reason. In my conversations with locals, they tell me that in France, the government takes care of you when you’re not working. One even explained how Covid gave him the “opportunity” to spend more time with family, and he didn’t miss work one bit. Swell. He’s back to work now, but there are plenty of workers who aren’t and who may never return to their “old” jobs because they’ve simply found other things to do. Like what? I’m guessing there’s an army of day traders, especially here in the U.S., who will soon run out of cash or vote for another Biden term looking for free money. Not good.
Another anecdote from my conversation with a different gentleman in Paris is how bad the Covid situation was in other nearby countries, specifically Spain and Italy, where the government didn’t have the money to support its citizens. He said it was depressingly hard for them as his voice trailed off and we stood in silence. So, what does this mean? Well, look what’s happening here in America. For the kind of money available at the lowest levels of employment—minimum wage workers or part-timers—people simply don’t want to work. They’ve seen what it’s like not to work and to be paid handsomely for doing nothing. Thank you very little. There’s no point in working as far as they’re concerned.
All this remote working from home is creating an entitled class of worker and bitterness from those who can’t work from home (hello, teachers’ unions). Workers scooping ice cream for the summer are rare breeds today. Good luck finding someone to do that. A steppingstone job teaching one how to deal with customers face to face is an endangered species. Time to buy your own lawnmower. No one’s coming to do that work for you.
Action Line: Stick with me. Your Survival Guy’s on the streets of Paris for you.
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