Try This One Weird Trick for Attracting Employees

A few wildly enterprising business owners are beta-testing a strange new method of luring workers: paying a living wage!

Illustration for article titled Try This One Weird Trick for Attracting Employees
Image: FREDERIC J. BROWN (Getty Images)

As restaurant owners around the country wring their hands in bewilderment at the fact that they simply cannot find human beings willing to be spat at by maskless anti-vaxxers in exchange for the privilege of handing off sustenance, a few wildly enterprising business owners are beta testing a strange new method of luring workers: Paying a living wage!

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As The Washington Post reports, a few American eateries, such as Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor, are experimenting with “paying people more money” in exchange for their labor, when the old method—paying workers $7.25 an hour and having them look to the kindness of increasingly disgruntled strangers hoping for the rest—seemed to be actually making prospective employees less interested in standing on their feet for eight hours at a time with minimal breaks, no health insurance, and likely very little (if any) paid leave:

“So owner Jacob Hanchar decided to more than double the starting wage to $15 an hour, plus tips, “just to see what would happen.” The shop was suddenly flooded with applications. More than 1,000 piled in over the course of a week.”

Wild! What if there was some sort of system in place where there was access to childcare or even doctors for the majority of Americans in addition to paychecks that could cover rent and food? It’s possible there could be still more people out there who would be both available and healthy enough to do jobs that benefit everyone.

Turns out it’s not just me with this outrageous theory. Actual smart people, like Enrique Lopezlira, a labor economist at the University of California at Berkeley, thinks treating humans as if they have a right to fair compensation and dignity could be the hottest trend to hit capitalism since paying human beings a pittance and demanding their profuse gratitude for that unconscionable treatment:

“The more employers improve the quality of the jobs and the more they think of workers as an asset that needs to be maximized, the better they’re going to be able to find and retain workers long term,” he told the Post.

Huge if true.

DISCUSSION

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After one of his managers told him that a line cook needed to borrow money to get groceries, Whalen was moved to reconsider wages at the company.

“It was just one of those moments where you just kind of stop and you say, ‘Is there a real problem in our industry?’” he said. “We always kind of knew it was there, but we didn’t really know what to do with it.”

Yes, fucker, people only work to eat (and have shelter etc) so if they can’t afford to eat fucking pay them.