“Make it better for the next generation.”
This has been the mentality of working Americans for decades, even centuries. Work as hard as you can so that your children will have the benefits and opportunities you never had.
But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and with federal stimulus packages paying the unemployed a comfortable wage, why work hard anymore?
The Rev. Franklin Graham highlighted this problem in a Facebook post on Labor Day, pointing out that the ethic of hard work is fading in America.
While celebrating the workers who have built this nation, Graham pointed out that in the wake of COVID-19, there is a growing disregard for work.
“Almost every business is trying to hire people, but can’t find enough. So many people no longer want to work. What has happened in just two short years?” Graham wrote.
COVID-19 was bound to affect the economy, because when a virus makes people sick, they miss work. For example, the flu costs the American economy an estimated $1 billion to $5 billion a year, according to the American Journal of Medicine.
But the bigger issue that has created massive economic implications is how COVID was handled politically.
“Yes, the coronavirus had a great impact, but political mismanagement has dealt a debilitating blow with things such as repeated stimulus payments and giveaway packages that encourage people not to go to work,” Graham wrote.
He then praised Republicans for being the party that knows how to get people back into the workforce, while “Democrats seem to know how to tax your money and give it to people as an incentive not to work.”
Though unemployment rates have fallen over the past few months, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate went down to 4.8% in September (which inevitably was going to happen anyway as the pandemic waned), these numbers have yet to come close to the historic lows under Donald Trump.
Under the Trump administration, millions of jobs were added to the economy, and unemployment fell to the lowest level our country has seen in half a century.
But now there are labor shortages. Just drive around your neighborhood and you’ll see plenty of “hiring now” signs and McDonald’s paying $15 an hour.
“Labor force participation is below its pre-pandemic level by almost two percentage points, with more than 3 million fewer Americans in the labor force today than before the pandemic. … Even among prime-age workers, labor force participation declined from 82.9% in February 2020 to 81.7% in June 2021,” the National Council on Compensation Insurance reported.
Why re-enter the workforce when you can be paid for doing nothing? It’s just common sense to stay home and get paid by the government.
Last winter, as Congress passed another COVID-19 relief bill, many were able to collect $1,400 stimulus checks as well as enhanced child credit. So many families could reap thousands of dollars.
But as Graham pointed out, humans are created to work. Why? Because it’s natural to face the future and work for the betterment of the next generation.
Sure, what we are seeing now with the decline of work across our culture is laziness, but it’s also blatantly selfish disregard for the good of future generations.
The idea of making things better and creating more opportunities for our children is dead. And our leaders are enhancing and enabling this as they continue to disincentivize work and dole out money.