About that alleged ‘labor shortage’

See updates through June 10, 2021, at end of post.



Fig. 1. Diogenes, seeking an honest man. Also, me, seeking an honest job market. Attributed to Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein – Nagel Auktionen, 2005, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

My long-failed job hunt[1] took an interesting turn when I signed up for Medicaid in Pennsylvania.

It seems that in Pennsylvania, if you sign up for Medicaid (I do not know about other social services), and indicate a desire for help with your job search, your health insurance provider will have a program for helping you with this. In my case, this is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and I have to say that my experience with the medical care I have received with them has, so far, been excellent, indeed, vastly improved over my experience in California with MediCal, where it was continuously apparent I had been insultingly relegated to inferior care.

UPMC’s Pathways To Work program, however, has turned out to be a pathway to the same procedure that has been failing me for two decades[2] and, utterly unsurprisingly, yielded the same result. This is to 1) apply for a job opening, 2) hope (in vain) that someone actually takes my application seriously, and 3) hope for an interview (this hasn’t happened yet with UPMC, has almost never happened in twenty years, and, when it has, it’s blatantly been so they can claim they interviewed someone besides their preferred candidate).[3]

It’s not just UPMC. Pam Weigand at Known Employment Service swears that “[i]f you want to go to work, you can find work.”[4] She and Kelly Prucnal at Carol Harris Staffing blame[5] the economic stimulus passed early in Joe Biden’s presidency[6] for employers’ alleged difficulties finding workers.[7] The story is similar with Uber and Lyft, both struggling to find drivers as demand for rides has increased sharply.[8]

[D]rivers said the coronavirus pandemic provided the first glimpse in years at what a life after Uber could look like. For many of them, it was a meaningful reset that gave them a better understanding of the toll the gigs had taken on their bodies, their mental health and their vehicles. It was the push they needed to finally begin their lives after Uber.

Some of the drivers said they realized the ride-hailing gigs were not the same jobs they signed up for in the early days of the apps. In the early days, they were incentivized with promotions and what they regarded as sustainable wages, taking more than $1,000 in pay from a full workweek. But as the apps took off, pay models changed and earnings slowly dwindled as drivers saw their weekly pay fall into the hundreds.[9]

As an Uber and Lyft driver myself, I should add that something well over three quarters of my gross income goes to various costs, including fees charged by the companies—revenue I never actually see. Which is to say that my weekly pay really amounts to a small number of hundreds, even if, at various points, I feel a lot more flush.

Instead of admitting that maybe capitalists should raise the wages they offer, which would be how pricing is supposed to work with supply and demand in a “free” market, I’m seeing a lot of blame for this alleged “labor shortage” directed at the stimulus package.[10] I’m even hearing it in my car from passengers who, remarkably,[11] expect me to be sympathetic, and then give me a low rating when I’m not. But the evidence supporting that blame is weak.[12]

[M]uch of Friday’s data is inconsistent with the “labor shortage” story. For one thing, the labor supply actually expanded last month — the number of Americans looking for work increased by 430,000. If the primary constraint on job growth was the welfare-induced shiftlessness of America’s non-employed, we would expect to see labor-force participation remain stagnant or fall. For another thing, leisure and hospitality — the sector most sensitive to a welfare-induced labor shortage, due to its relatively low wages and the large number of former food-service workers eligible for UI — added more jobs in April than it had in March. The headline jobs number was not depressed by tepid restaurant hiring, but by large job declines for couriers and grocery-store workers, and small ones in manufacturing and retail. Finally, although wages rose in April, they didn’t rise by much. Were employers suffering from a severe labor shortage, we’d expect to see more upward pressure on both wages and prices.[13]

I contacted Known Employment Services and received a response inviting me to select a date and time for an interview. I did, but then never heard back—this from the very same set of assholes whose Weigand complained of workers ‘ghosting’ employers.[14]

In a larger picture, I have done everything everybody says to do. Including that in the time I have miserably failed to find work, I returned to school, finished my Bachelor’s degree, did a Master’s, and earned a Ph.D. It matters not what level position I apply for with what educational attainment. My social network has proven useful only in exposing how many are perfectly content to let me twist on the vine. “Informational interviews” are too blatantly a job-seeking sham. All of it is entirely to no avail.[15]

And now capitalists are whining that they can’t find workers.[16]

In my own case, calling bullshit is about two decades overdue. But the point should also be made, given what seems to me to be overwhelming evidence, that complaints of an allegedly over-generous stimulus package are in fact an attempt to reassert a power relationship over poorly-paid workers and, conveniently, to punish even the barest beginning of an acknowledgment in Washington, D.C., that workers have been getting a raw deal.[17] Those politicians had better not dare even to think about raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour,[18] let alone the $24 it should be.[19]

Having been lied to for twenty years, the one thing that’s painfully apparent to me is that hiring workers is a vanishingly small part of whatever it is the job market is really about.


Update, May 9, 2021: As COVID-19 vaccines have become increasingly available and “normal” life begins to return,[20] but an economic stimulus package passed early in Joe Biden’s presidency bumps up unemployment benefits, employers have been complaining that they can’t find workers, that there is a so-called “labor shortage” that isn’t actually borne out by the evidence.[21] It turns out this is an old game that capitalists have been playing, well, since slavery, and it’s all pretty bluntly about keeping workers subordinate.[22]

Today, with the additional unemployment benefits from the recent Covid-19 relief bill, business owners are living their greatest nightmare: workers with genuine leverage over their wages and working conditions. The owner of a Florida seafood restaurant recently explained this straightforwardly: “You need to have incentives to get people to work, not to stay home. You’ve got the hard workers who want to have a job, but the others need that motivation.”

In theory, there are many possible such incentives: better pay, better working conditions, even a slice of ownership of the company. But the owning class hasn’t been interested in those incentives at any point in the last few centuries. There’s only one incentive that makes sense to them: You work or you starve.[23]

This actually dovetails neatly with my interpretation of employers’ demands that workers all fight traffic simultaneously to be at the same places at the same times for work, that as we’ve seen in the pandemic, can often be done from home. This can’t, I reasoned, really be about productivity. It has to be about control.

And it’s about keeping workers working for as close to nothing as possible:

[B]usiness turned to a two-fold strategy: first, lobbying to keep unemployment benefits at the lowest level possible, and second, preventing the unemployment rate from ever getting too low. It may seem counterintuitive that businesses would not want the economy operating at full capacity. But low unemployment alters the balance of power between owners and workers just as unemployment insurance does — and when workers can easily quit and get another job across the street, the dreaded worker shortage simply appears again in a different guise.

The battle against low unemployment was eventually cloaked in scientific jargon. In 1975, two economists announced the existence of the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, or NAIRU. If unemployment fell below NAIRU, inflation would start rising uncontrollably as businesses were forced to pay workers more and more. At the time, NAIRU was purportedly 5.5 percent, while later estimates placed it somewhat higher. This meant that whenever unemployment was getting too low, the Federal Reserve had to step in and strangle the economy until lots of people were thrown out of work.[24]

Naturally, that “non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment” (NAIRU) was set at a level higher than that actually proved necessary to avoid inflation.[25] And the idea of long-term unemployment is to ensure that workers are terrified of ending up in,[26] well, a situation pretty much like mine, consigned to lifelong poverty and financial insecurity.[27] The very fact of my misery reinforces conformity[28] and helps the rich to feel more secure.


Update, May 10, 2021: When, I first wrote in my page on my job hunt that the job hunt process seemed to be a scam, I did so based on my own experience, in combination with a recognition that, then, nearly twenty years of failure could not solely be my own, that something else had to be going on.[29] Even when I first wrote yesterday’s blog post, noting the discrepancy between capitalist cries of a “labor shortage” and my own ongoing experience of the labor market, I was really rather mystified as to what that something else was.[30]

Then I found Jon Schwarz’ article in the Intercept, making clear that capitalist cries of a “labor shortage” or a “worker shortage” date back to slavery, that they are not so much about an actual shortage of workers as they are about ensuring that those workers will be paid as little as possible and about maintaining the power relationship that ensures worker devaluation. Schwarz[31] is not the first to draw a connection between capitalism and slavery; indeed, the former has its roots firmly embedded in the latter.[32] Nor would Schwarz[33] be the first to point to a stigmatized class of people, preserved in destitution, as a means of social control,[34] ultimately to protect the position and power of an economic and political elite.[35]

My failures remain my failures. I cannot sell; anything I attempt to sell or market is doomed. Which, even as this only partly explains the failure of my job hunt, also dooms any attempt I might make at entrepreneurship, including, by the way, writing a book, an action which these days requires authors to market their work.

So even as I now understand the labor market as intentionally rigged to keep me, as a member of a class of people, destitute, I remain stuck in a situation I find intolerable and, with a Ph.D., profoundly unjust. I need to do something, even as with Robert Merton, I understand that I am being denied socially approved means to socially approved ends.[36] I have to do something. Because this is not okay.


Update, May 12, 2021, revised May 14, 2021: What’s been missing from my recent revelation about the job market,[37] that is, that an important part of its function is to deter worker agitation for higher wages or better working conditions by keeping a large number of people, including me, unemployed and therefore poor, as examples of what can happen to insufficiently pliable workers,[38] has been an explanation of the method. How can this actually function?

On reflection, it’s all too apparent. The address you put on your job application says something about where you live; just like some neighborhoods were historically red-lined in real estate,[39] your economic status, and sometimes, your race, can be inferred in the same way. Though my own credit rating is good to excellent, albeit with high student loan debt, some employers, especially in retail, require credit checks, also a signifier of economic condition.

Put too much experience on your resume or, indeed, anything, like education (my Ph.D. signifies several years of adult education), that dates back far enough, and you may be discovered to be “old” in a profoundly ageist society.[40] I’m white and male, but names often indicate gender or race; some names were more popular in certain years, also suggesting age.

Probably most deadly in my own case is the kind of experience I’ve had or its gaps. If I don’t put that I’ve been an Uber and Lyft driver for the last five years, it appears I’ve been doing nothing, unemployed, therefore unemployable.[41] If I do, I expose myself as a low wage worker in a country where social mobility is more accurately characterized as social immobility,[42] whose socioeconomic system can most accurately be described as a caste system, at least between the rich and everybody else,[43] but I think also between the poor and everybody else.[44] I am poor, therefore I deserve to be,[45] even because it is the Christian god’s will,[46] and I must be kept so.

All of this bias, of course, is rationalized in the name of “cultural fit.”[47] And some, of a particular age, might recognize when “culture” was code for race.[48] But here, it is apparent that “culture” has become code for much more diverse forms of bias.[49]

Google recently chose promotion of artificial intelligence idiocy over its reputation and ethical concerns, the latter including that such systems may be biased.[50] But the use of artificial idiocy[51] in filtering job applications and applicants in multiple ways, including attempts at psychological assessment, including some that resemble phrenology,[52] has attracted little attention. It is far from a stretch to imagine that such systems might perform web searches and, again deploying artificial idiocy, seek to filter out anyone perceived as radical. You and I might be discriminated against in ways we haven’t even fathomed and all it takes for your application to wind up straight in the bit bucket is to run afoul of even one filter.

I say your job application because I won’t be bothering anymore. I now know unmistakably where I stand. But there is one more point that should be made: To the extent I might now be considered radical, even if we define ‘radical’ as looking at the world as it actually is, rather than through ideological lenses that inform as to what it should be, and drawing the conclusions that follow,[53] it is a consequence,[54] not a cause, of my failed job hunt. Capitalism, I now know, wants scapegoats;[55] my story is an example of how it produces them.[56]


Update, May 17, 2021: Yes, I work well over 55 hours per week, the length of time the World Health Organization now says increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.[57] I have no choice. Lots of other people do and they, likewise, have no choice. But you know, to advocate a living wage is to blaspheme against the great god capitalism.[58]


Update, June 4, 2021:

[I]f the pursuit of maximum employment is an uncontroversial aim in the context of American oratory, it is a radical one in the context of U.S. policy. For the bulk of the past four decades, our government hasn’t merely declined to achieve full employment through public hiring; it has actively sought to keep millions of Americans perpetually unemployed.

This bipartisan consensus against full employment was rarely articulated to the public in forthright terms. During the crisis that consolidated the paradigm, policy-makers were sometimes blunt; in 1979, Fed chair Paul Volcker told Congress that in order for inflation to be brought down to a tolerable level, “the standard of living of the average American has to decline.” But as inflation became more of a historical memory than a present danger, the government’s prioritization of price stability over employment became increasingly camouflaged behind the dry technocratic verbiage of central-bank press conferences. Once decoded, the gist of this new consensus was simple enough: If unemployment falls beneath its “natural” threshold, then employers will be forced into a bidding war for scarce workers, who will then secure wages in excess of their productivity, which will force businesses to raise prices, which will lead workers to demand yet-higher wages, which will force businesses to raise prices further still, thereby setting off an inflationary spiral that will be difficult to stop. Thus, to save the economy from such destabilization, the government has to reduce economic demand — by raising interest rates, or cutting federal spending, or both — before unemployment gets too low, even if inflation is not yet apparent.[59]

Eric Levitz’ claim is that this has now changed, that while Republicans still prioritize low inflation and low wages to the benefit of the wealthy, hence the fictitious “labor shortage,”[60] which I have addressed,[61] Joe Biden wants labor to have bargaining power, to raise wages and dignity. If this is true, it would indeed be, as Levitz claims, a radical shift away[62] from anything I have seen in my adult life.[63]

I’ll believe it when I have a real job. But so far, what I’m seeing[64] remains utterly bogus.[65]


Update, June 10, 2021: So a funny thing happened with businesses that raised their minimum wage to $15 or more: That entirely bogus “labor shortage”[66] disappeared. Vanished. In a puff of smoke. It seems that improving working conditions helped, too. And price increases? Minimal, if any.[67]

  1. [1]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/
  3. [3]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/
  4. [4]Pam Weigand, quoted in John Shumway, “Help Wanted: Employers Offering Incentives, Higher Wages While Searching For Employees,” KDKA Television, April 29, 2021, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/04/29/employers-struggling-to-find-employees/
  5. [5]John Shumway, “Help Wanted: Employers Offering Incentives, Higher Wages While Searching For Employees,” KDKA Television, April 29, 2021, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/04/29/employers-struggling-to-find-employees/
  6. [6]Tony Romm, “Biden signs $1.9 trillion stimulus into law; some could see stimulus payments this weekend,” Washington Post, March 11, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/03/11/biden-sign-stimulus-covid-relief-congress-checks/
  7. [7]John Shumway, “Help Wanted: Employers Offering Incentives, Higher Wages While Searching For Employees,” KDKA Television, April 29, 2021, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/04/29/employers-struggling-to-find-employees/
  8. [8]Laura Forman, “Uber and Lyft Need a Sharper Turn,” Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-and-lyft-need-a-sharper-turn-11618311794; Faiz Siddiqui, “Where have all the Uber drivers gone?” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/05/07/uber-lyft-drivers/
  9. [9]Faiz Siddiqui, “Where have all the Uber drivers gone?” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/05/07/uber-lyft-drivers/
  10. [10]David Benfell, “Capitalists are shameless in their entitlement,” Not Housebroken, May 8, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/04/18/capitalists-are-shameless-in-their-entitlement/; Eric Levitz, “5 Explanations for April’s Bad Jobs Report,” New York, May 7, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/jobs-report-explained-ui-childcare-seasonal-adjustment.html; Heather Long, “It’s not a ‘labor shortage.’ It’s a great reassessment of work in America,” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/07/jobs-report-labor-shortage-analysis/; N. Gregory Mankiw, Principles of Economics, 6th ed. Australia: South-Western, Cengage Learning, 2012); John Shumway, “Help Wanted: Employers Offering Incentives, Higher Wages While Searching For Employees,” KDKA Television, April 29, 2021, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/04/29/employers-struggling-to-find-employees/
  11. [11]Uber and Lyft evade responsibility to drivers through an “independent contractor” scam, fleece them, and leave government to pick up the pieces. Hence my dependence on MediCal and Medicaid. But due to the companies’ success with Proposition 22 in California, now other employers are seeking to emulate their model. Laura Forman, “Uber and Lyft Need a Sharper Turn,” Wall Street Journal, April 13, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-and-lyft-need-a-sharper-turn-11618311794; Farhad Manjoo, “The Uber I.P.O. Is a Moral Stain on Silicon Valley,” New York Times, May 1, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/opinion/uber-ipo.html; Dhruv Mehrotra and Aaron Gordon, “Uber And Lyft Take A Lot More From Drivers Than They Say,” Jalopnik, August 26, 2019, https://jalopnik.com/uber-and-lyft-take-a-lot-more-from-drivers-than-they-sa-1837450373; Alexa Noel, “Revised MIT Study Says Uber, Lyft Drivers Make About $8 or $10 per Hour,” Points Guy, March 8, 2018, https://thepointsguy.com/2018/03/revised-mit-study-says-uber-lyft-drivers-make-about-8-or-10-per-hour/; Kari Paul, “Uber drivers plan shutdown over ‘poverty wages’ as company goes public,” Guardian, April 25, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/apr/24/uber-drivers-strike-ipo; José Rodríguez, Jr., “The Aftermath Of Prop 22 Is Not As Happy As Big Tech Promised,” Jalopnik, February 18, 2021, https://jalopnik.com/the-aftermath-of-prop-22-is-not-as-happy-as-big-tech-pr-1846299686; Alexander Sammon, “Prop 22 Is Here, and It’s Already Worse Than Expected,” American Prospect, January 15, 2021, https://prospect.org/labor/prop-22-is-here-already-worse-than-expected-california-gig-workers/; Faiz Siddiqui, “Where have all the Uber drivers gone?” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/05/07/uber-lyft-drivers/; Faiz Siddiqui and Andrew Van Dam, “As Uber avoided paying into unemployment, the federal government helped thousands of its drivers weather the pandemic,” Washington Post, March 16, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/16/uber-lyft-unemployment-benefits/
  12. [12]Eric Levitz, “5 Explanations for April’s Bad Jobs Report,” New York, May 7, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/jobs-report-explained-ui-childcare-seasonal-adjustment.html; Heather Long, “It’s not a ‘labor shortage.’ It’s a great reassessment of work in America,” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/07/jobs-report-labor-shortage-analysis/
  13. [13]Eric Levitz, “5 Explanations for April’s Bad Jobs Report,” New York, May 7, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/jobs-report-explained-ui-childcare-seasonal-adjustment.html
  14. [14]John Shumway, “Help Wanted: Employers Offering Incentives, Higher Wages While Searching For Employees,” KDKA Television, April 29, 2021, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/04/29/employers-struggling-to-find-employees/
  15. [15]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/
  16. [16]Eric Levitz, “5 Explanations for April’s Bad Jobs Report,” New York, May 7, 2021, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05/jobs-report-explained-ui-childcare-seasonal-adjustment.html; Heather Long, “It’s not a ‘labor shortage.’ It’s a great reassessment of work in America,” Washington Post, May 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/05/07/jobs-report-labor-shortage-analysis/; John Shumway, “Help Wanted: Employers Offering Incentives, Higher Wages While Searching For Employees,” KDKA Television, April 29, 2021, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/04/29/employers-struggling-to-find-employees/
  17. [17]David Benfell, “Time for the gig economy to grow up,” Not Housebroken, August 30, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/30/time-for-the-gig-economy-to-grow-up/; David Benfell, “The expendable worker,” Not Housebroken, July 5, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/07/05/the-expendable-worker/; David Benfell, “A piper needs paying,” Not Housebroken, January 29, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/12/19/a-piper-needs-paying/; Johana Bhuiyan, “Amazon ends practice of dipping into drivers’ tips to meet their wage guarantees,” Los Angeles Times, August 22, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/story/2019-08-22/amazon-flex-fares-tips; Jessa Crispin, “Amazon is a disaster for workers. Nomadland glosses over that,” Guardian, March 23, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/mar/23/amazon-nomadland-film-jeff-bezos-disaster-workers; Daniel D’Addario, “Amazon is worse than Walmart,” Salon, July 30, 2013, https://www.salon.com/control/2013/07/30/how_amazon_is_worse_than_wal_mart/; Timothy Egan, “The Corporate Daddy,” New York Times, June 19, 2014, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/20/opinion/timothy-egan-walmart-starbucks-and-the-fight-against-inequality.html; Josh Eidelson, “Wal-Mart faces warehouse horror allegations and federal Labor Board complaint,” Salon, November 19, 2013, https://www.salon.com/test/2013/11/18/breaking_wal_mart_faces_warehouse_horror_allegations_and_federal_labor_board_complaint/; Josh Eidelson, “Tens of thousands protest, over 100 arrested in Black Friday challenge to Wal-Mart,” Salon, November 30, 2013, https://www.salon.com/test/2013/11/30/tens_of_thousands_protest_over_100_arrested_in_black_friday_challenge_to_wal_mart/; Josh Eidelson, “Finally paying for Wal-Mart’s sins: Wage theft settlement yields millions,” Salon, December 16, 2013, https://www.salon.com/test/2013/12/16/finally_paying_for_wal_marts_sins_wage_theft_settlement_yields_millions/; Josh Eidelson, “Freezing for Wal-Mart: Sub-zero warehouse temperatures spur Indiana work stoppage,” Salon, January 14, 2014, https://www.salon.com/test/2014/01/13/freezing_for_wal_mart_sub_zero_warehouse_temperatures_spur_indiana_work_stoppage/; Josh Eidelson, “Amazon Keeps Unions Out By Keeping Workers in Fear, Says Organizer,” Alternet, January 22, 2014, https://www.alternet.org/2014/01/amazon-keeps-unions-out-keeping-workers-fear-says-organizer/; Nichole Gracely, “‘Being homeless is better than working for Amazon,’” Guardian, November 28, 2014, https://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/nov/28/being-homeless-is-better-than-working-for-amazon; Steven Greenhouse, “The Changing Face of Temporary Employment,” New York Times, August 31, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/upshot/the-changing-face-of-temporary-employment.html; Erin Hatton, “The Rise of the Permanent Temp Economy,” New York Times, January 26, 2013, http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/the-rise-of-the-permanent-temp-economy/; Simon Head, “Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers,” Salon, February 23, 2014, https://www.salon.com/control/2014/02/23/worse_than_wal_mart_amazons_sick_brutality_and_secret_history_of_ruthlessly_intimidating_workers/; Paul Jaskunas, “The Tyranny of the Forced Smile,” New York Times, February 14, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/jobs/the-tyranny-of-the-forced-smile.html; Allison Kilkenny, “Ohio Walmart Holds Food Drive For Its Own Employees,” Nation, November 18, 2013, https://www.thenation.com/article/ohio-walmart-holds-food-drive-its-own-employees/; Ken Klippenstein, “Documents Show Amazon Is Aware Drivers Pee in Bottles and Even Defecate En Route, Despite Company Denial,” Intercept, March 25, 2021, https://theintercept.com/2021/03/25/amazon-drivers-pee-bottles-union/; Paul Krugman, “The Plight of the Employed,” New York Times, December 24, 2013, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/the-plight-of-the-employed/; Paul Krugman, “The Fear Economy,” New York Times, December 26, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/27/opinion/krugman-the-fear-economy.html; Danielle Kurtzleben, “Read McDonald’s workers’ shocking harassment and discrimination complaints — and why they’re so important,” Vox, January 22, 2015, https://www.vox.com/2015/1/22/7873661/mcdonalds-lawsuit-harassment-discrimination; Colin Lecher, “How Amazon automatically tracks and fires warehouse workers for ‘productivity,’” Verge, April 25, 2019, https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/25/18516004/amazon-warehouse-fulfillment-centers-productivity-firing-terminations; Edward McClelland, “You call this a middle class? 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