Work Ethic

4th Quarter 2022

Market Watch
by Joe A. Hollingsworth, Jr.

With the recent unemployment percentage rate below what it was toward the end of the Trump administration, how do we reconcile there is over 3 million fewer workers? This is in combination with over 11 million job openings that seem to never get filled. Every age demographic is failing to meet its previous Trump years in total number of jobs. Have we killed the “golden goose”?

What do you do when you purposefully destroy the WORK ETHIC? America has always prided itself on a strong work ethic and a sense of pride in the quality of the product. What has happened? Repeated US Government subsidies, rent forgiveness, student loan forgiveness, federal unemployment benefits, extended state unemployment benefits, food stamps, housing…the endless “give mees” are making the rest of the work population feel abused. A great number of studies have indicated that there is more restlessness now in the present working population than ever before about whether they might want to join the unemployment ranks.

People get used to subsidies; and, when you kill it, what happens? It is a struggle to get back to reality. Unfortunately, this is a long fight, a strategic fight. Basically, the bottom line is that they “poisoned the well’, and it is going to take a long time (if ever) for the well to purify itself. Sure, all the above was with great intentions, but the harmful side effects of this continuing lack of financial accountability has consequences. However, you see this everywhere: 1) lack of accountability in school testing; 2) always accepting mediocrity instead of exceptionalism; 3) 18 – 35 year-olds playing endless video games; 4) smoking marijuana in a number of states and its contribution to laziness; 5) over 30% of parents have an adult child living with them that is 23 years-old or older; 6) wasting time on TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms and making you think you are “in touch”.

This is a huge cultural change with no motivation to do anything. And now, individuals are not expected by society to make anything of themselves. I fear that this is almost a lost decade of young adults that are “coasters”. While that maybe a lifestyle they choose, the rest of us struggle to fill jobs and produce for America.

Inflation can best be solved by competition between competing products on the market. If you choke the supply chain by not letting it have enough workers and paying them to “sit at home” instead of working, do we really think inflation can best be solved by raising interest rates? No, inflation can best and most easily be stopped by competing products manufactured by people willing to work and produce at competitive prices.

It is certainly not raising interest rates to punish the remaining working population.

America needs to have policies that restore the work ethic, not destroy it.

“Joe Hollingsworth participated as one of our first equity investors. In addition, Joe Hollingsworth has served as a board member and leading advisor for strategic planning and direction.” — Scott Kelley, President and CEO, Service Center Metals