Some people believe, not inaccurately, that the people of the US are guilty of ignoring the rest of the world. As I discussed in an earlier post, if Americans knew how good the Scandinavians have it, they would not be voting the way they vote, or stomping around about the superiority of their country.
The same is true of Britons. They vote against their best interests all the time, but the voting system there also reduces the need for compromise in governing.
Since the pandemic has up-ended the work people do, and their willingness to do the work that is – and has been for a while – underpaid, countries throughout Europe and North America have been struggling to fill jobs. In New England, there is a lack of restaurant wait staff, a lack of truck drivers, and a lack of medical staff. According to a recent delivery update I received, truck drivers are also in short supply in Germany and California. In the UK, there is a lack of the same, but there citizens are being told that it is because of leaving the EU – foreign drivers are no longer working in the UK and so there is a shortage.
I have several observations about this:
- If that was true, then why would Germany and the USA be struggling to get drivers?
- If that is true, does that not prove that so-called Brexiteers were right that the availability of EU staff was reducing salaries in the UK economy to the detriment of the working poor?
- If it is not true, why is it being bandied about as if it is?
I think there are relatively simple answers to all three questions, but that puts me at risk of over-simplifying a complex world (which I would posit might be the reason for question 3). So instead, I shall leave those questions unanswered and let you fill in the blanks for yourselves.
I am hoping that in the medium-term, this results in an increase in salaries for everyone below a C-level job. The gap between the high earners and the rest of us has been increasing above the growth in the economy. If anything good can come from the pandemic, maybe it is an end to this process which puts the very existence of democracy at risk. Voters will, at some point, become unwilling to tolerate the situation and, unless they realize that their best interests are served by the moderate left (which in the US is considered the extreme left) then there is a significant risk that the likes of Trump will benefit, despite the ridiculousness of that proposition (a multi-millionaire, racist, lying CEO supposedly being the solution to the wealth gap and the suffering of the working class in our societies).