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Author explains why the so-called Great Resignation is happening: The American dream is dead

Author Kurt Eichenwald points out that corporations have relied on food stamps and tips in the service industry to subsidize wages.

Author explains why the so-called Great Resignation is happening: The American dream is dead
Image source: Twitter/kurteichenwald

The American dream is dead, says author Kurt Eichenwald after watching many workers quit their low-paying jobs. Dubbed "The Great Resignation," thousands of workers quitting their jobs has baffled political commentators. After a year of risking their lives, the workers dubbed 'essential' during the pandemic have found they have become disposable yet again as Coronavirus cases fall all across the nation. However, this time, the workers have had enough and are quitting their jobs, demanding better pay and benefits. This has created a worker shortage, leaving many restaurants and other service shops understaffed mainly. Many are yet to consider raising wages. Workers are also realigning their priorities in the wake of the pandemic. 



Kurt Eichenwald wrote a detailed thread on 'The Great Resignation,' pointing out that the system was failing the workers while enriching the rich further. Eichenwald said workers had become disillusioned with the system that is extracting their labor only in exchange for basic survival needs. Eichenwald said people had lost faith in the 'American dream' of living a fulfilling life through hard work when in truth, companies are paying a pittance and further subsidizing wages by relying on government stamps and on tips from customers. Eichenwald said the American dream was about working for a better future, aspiring to have a family, buy a home, enjoy life, and retire peacefully. 


Eichenwald said the American dream ended at work, with a majority not being able to live a happy life. "Instead, the greed culture has turned work for millions into just a means of survival, with wages stagnant, healthcare unaffordable, insurance, treated as a luxury, paid free time an impossibility, children unaffordable, homes a dream. Yes, work is important — but not without the promise of a future. Many young people see nothing but 40 years of the same, further enriching the obscenely rich," he wrote.  

A waitress wearing a face mask and serving a customer some coffee at his table in a restaurant./Getty Images


The author added that workers are realizing that they might actually be better off than being stuck in a vicious loop of exploitation by businesses. "They have the choice of just saying 'forget it, I'm going to work on my painting or sewing or whatever, I am tired of being abused by my supervisor, I am tired of being screamed at by customers for things out of my control, I am tired of watching adults throw temper tantrums and then being balled out by my company because I could have handled it better. I can survive without all of this. I can be happier without all of this. I am paid so little, my life won't be that different," he wrote, before adding, "THAT is why we have the Great Resignation."



Eichenwald, a boomer himself, blamed his generation for sucking up the "capital that could go down to the younger generations to enrich ourselves, then pushed down the debt." He pointed out that even entry-level jobs that earlier needed high school education were now demanding college degrees, forcing many to take out education loans to finance college. He then pointed out that many boomers were condescending towards the future generation. "Then we sneer at them when they talk about how their terrible wages and horrible debt make home-buying etc. impossible," he wrote. "Oh sure, the children of the rich are fine. And their parents sneer "maybe stop buying avocado toast" as if a single pleasure in life equals the cost of a home. All of this starts and stops with greed and corporations. Pay more, and stop pulling up the ladder," he wrote.



He called on corporates to start paying fair wages and treating people like human beings. “People never wanted to “work.” They wanted to invest their effort toward living a better life. And if work doesn’t do that, if work merely makes life worse to people who have been taught how to survive without wages so that McDonald’s and Walmart et al can shift their wage costs onto taxpayers, then a Great Resignation was inevitable,” he wrote.

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