KEW Episode 70: The Great Resignation

Have you heard this phrase yet? In the past few weeks tons of articles have come out that explain the ‘Great Resignation’ or the ‘Big Quit’. According to Wikipedia (yes, it has it’s own wiki page) a fella called Anthony Klotz at Texas A&M predicted last May (2021) that people were going to leave the workplace as a result of Covid. And to summarize, very briefly, ‘The Great Resignation’ is an explanation about the reduced number of people in the workplace during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Ok, sure. So more people than usual are not working. Makes sense. There was some unemployment incentives, a little extra cash, extended for a longer period of time. That probably made not working and being on unemployment more attractive for a while. There were also eviction moratoria across the U.S. that reduced monthly expenses for a lot of renters. And, sure, there was some fear about being around a lot of people; especially in the food industry that was hit very hard by job losses.

And on the business side there was encouragement to KEEP workers due to the PPE money.

The point is, there was a lot of money artificially pumped into the economy to keep us afloat while businesses ‘took the hit’ because no one would be spending any money, people would get laid off as a result, and our economy would tank.

Instead, what I have seen, and heard, and read about, is some businesses doing extremely and surprisingly well during the pandemic. Fast food and restaurants pivoted, closed their dining rooms and focused on to-go and drive through service. Breweries switched to canned six-packs delivered. And on and on.

But even more surprisingly it seemed that everyone and their sister started being or remodeling their homes. People moved from the city to the country to buy more square footage with pools, home offices, and workout rooms. People who already lived in the country remodeled their kitchen and added a bonus room. But like the service industry, many of the suppliers could not have people in the factories and the supply of materials and homes could not keep up with demand. Which drove the prices up. But that didn’t stop anybody.

And maybe that’s what’s so surprising to me. Not only are we not supposed to have the money to buy things now, we are spending money on things we don’t necessarily need. And on top of THAT, we are paying too much for those things.

Does that sound like a busted economy to you?

How in the world can the economy be so healthy that people can afford to not work as a result of a global pandemic?

So the next question is, are people just incredibly stupid, about to be broke, and headed for homelessness? Some would say yes but there is little evidence to support that theory.

The theories are all over the place. By the time I post this there will likely be twice as many articles online but I’ll post a few:

https://www.wired.com/story/great-resignation-misses-the-point/

https://hbr.org/2021/09/who-is-driving-the-great-resignation

https://www.npr.org/2021/06/24/1007914455/as-the-pandemic-recedes-millions-of-workers-are-saying-i-quit

These have been coming out for almost two months now, and the explanations are getting more and more diverse.

At the very least it doesn’t make much sense.

At the very best this is an indication that the people are revolting. See my Episode about Slavery for more on that topic

I like to think it’s more of the latter and that this may be the most memorable positive effect of the pandemic.

I hope you’ll listen and/or watch and share your thoughts below.

Full podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9471574-kew-episode-70-the-great-resignation.mp3?download=true

but it’s much easier to subscribe to Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom on your favorite podcast app, plus it’s very encouraging to me when you do.

If you prefer video, here’s that on my YouTube channel where you can also subscribe to get notified when a new episode comes out (in case you forget): https://youtu.be/jbDnS-UH2_Q

Thank you for your curiosity and attention.

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