“Nobody Wants To Work Anymore” Is The Lamest Of The White Male Conservative Dog Whistles

Plenty of people want to work, but the problem is the terms and conditions of the work involved, and that’s where the moral panic sets in.

Ted Bauer

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This is a relatively complicated and nuanced topic all-in, but I’ll do my best to simplify it if I can.

  1. The idea of “nobody wants to work anymore” became popular among an older set of conservative white men (typically) around the time of the first $1,200 COVID payouts, which ironically were checks signed by Donald Trump. The idea is that the big bad government was paying young men to sit on their ass and watch PornHub and play video games.
  2. This narrative continued to persist through “The Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” and all the other terms we invented and wrote breathlessly about for much of the last two years.
  3. Anecdotally, virtually everyone who embraces this narrative knows 1–2 recruiters or people who own a staffing company. At social events, they hear that “five people didn’t even show up for their interview last week!” and throw up their hands and say “Ugh, nobody wants to work anymore!”
  4. The concept of nobody wanting to work anymore is supposed to be a…

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Ted Bauer

Mostly write about work, leadership, friendship, masculinity, male infertility, and some other stuff along the way. It's a pleasure to be here.