Yet any expectation of an increase in wages leads to an increase in costs for everyone. The uncomfortable reality, that this has only served to surface further, is that the willingness of some to work for less money than can be survived on is subsidizing the standard of living enjoyed by the rest of us. We are again back to the same two choices, we can either make it possible to live on less money by subsidizing the costs of things like food and housing, or we can pay people properly. If we choose the former, make no mistake, the haves are the ones whose lifestyle is truly being subsidized. And once again, if we do neither then the costs to generations down the road will be even greater as we pass on the social tensions that poverty inevitably creates.
What is particularly interesting about our current, post Covid, situation is that there is now an apparent shortage of people who are prepared to take on those lower paying jobs. In certain sectors some of the ability of our economy to find people to work cheaply enough to continue to subsidize our lifestyle is being eroded. It would be nice to think that this is the situation in all sectors but I suspect for many there is still no choice but to work for way less than a living wage. But maybe this disruption also creates a window to address this imbalance more systemically. If we can take this challenge and use it as a way to ensure that all those who are working can realistically expect to support themselves and their families, without working multiple jobs, then our society will be much the healthier for it and many of the pressures that continue to pass on the conditions of social disorder can be avoided.