business news in context, analysis with attitude

Yesterday we took note of an Axios report that "just 42% of U.S. adults think today's youth will have a better life than their parents - an 18-point drop since June 2019 and the lowest since 2011."

MNB reader Chuck DeZutter responded:

Not sure if this is something long lasting, just a reflection of the immediate times, or something systemic in the way older generations think.

In 1980, I distinctly remembered as a high school freshman our English teacher stating to the class, “My generation reached the highest standard of living in the 1970’s – your generation will never achieve the success we had”.  Inflation in 1980 was 13.5%, mortgage rates were 15% and GDP shrank by 3.4%.  Is it a surprise that an older generation will think this way when the economy is struggling?  When the recovery happens, my guess is those thoughts change.

Yesterday, we posted an email from an MNB reader that said:

Is “instant delivery” something that all this energy deserves. I assume 99.9% of “stuff” people order on-line is not really needed in an hour. On a macro level, it would be great if all these resources to “solve” this unimportant problem were applied to solve some critical societal issues.

I responded: 

Well, sure.  You can try to solve the instant delivery riddle, or you can try to save democracy.  But the latter may make the former look like a piece of cake.

Which promoted another MNB reader to write:

Equating saving democracy versus solving the instant delivery window is depressing.

Knowing your thoughts on many issues tells me we’re doomed if someone like you think these two issues are in any way equivalent   I’m sure you’re going to come back with the notion you’re not putting the two on an equal footing, but you are raising this instant delivery issue to a level far above its value to society. My entire career was in marketing. I never felt it was “important” just a fun thing to make a living.

Apologies if I was imprecise in my language.  My point was that the two are not equivalent, and that it isn't fair to suggest that there is so much big stuff to solve that it doesn't make sense to deal with much smaller issues.

Instant delivery, it seems to me, is the very definition of small stuff.

MNB reader Tom Murphy had a thought about the stories regarding Amazon's alleged $8 billion in annual attrition:

You don’t often see industry turnover figures in public, but most grocers have extremely high store turnover rates…above 100% annually.  Your same thoughts could apply to them.


On the subject of "quiet quitting" and why there is discontent among so many workers, MNB reader Karl Graff wrote:

Good morning from flyover country!

I am 60 now and have worked a few places- mostly retail, but now for a state  government agency.

Once when I worked for a major retailer- think bullseye – I received a great performance review. I was told that I scored in the 90’s and that I had the highest score of our exec team.

Then I was told that since no one else scored that high,  the DM had decided to bump down my score to make things “fair.” These reviews were 95% metric driven.

I was less than happy and left that retailer within the next few months, once they pulled something like that it usually meant that someone didn’t like you and was starting to push you out.

Now, years later,  I work for a state government. agency and I recently transferred to a new position. I got my offer/transfer letter that had my hourly wage, etc- essentially it was the terms I accepted the offer under.

When my next pay date came I noticed that my hourly wage was $2 less than what my letter had stated- the response was “Oh, sorry for the typo, we’ll send you a corrected letter.” Nearly 30 days had passed since I’d received my offer letter. 

Now I have a wage complaint with the Dept. of Labor and am not hopeful that my employing state agency will have to honor the  wage that was stated in my letter.

It doesn’t matter where you work, for the most part. The bottom line is always the priority and workers are considered replaceable and expendable by most employers.

Quiet quitting isn’t exactly what I am doing, but I am not going to go over and above for my employer any more- for my team yes, for our clients yes, but I will do the “work” I am required to and not much more.

Loyalty and support are two way streets. 

Be well and enjoy life!

You, too.