Wage stagnation leads to apathy

‘I would rather clock out eternally’: This Gen Z TikToker quit her office job and proclaimed she’s happier struggling to pay bills than being a ‘corporate drone’ — here’s why

Andra Berghoff has a point, if all one can find in corporate are crappy jobs at crappy pay, find income elsewhere.

The Captain


Captain is one of my long time favorite fools (does that even exist here in new board land?). I often disagree with his opinions on this or that, but never with his fundamentals.


david fb


Better friendly debate than echo chamber! :cowboy_hat_face:

The Captain


I’ll second that, even though I think I’ve made the Captain angry more than once.

Interesting how alien this sentiment would probably sound to the generation raised during the Great Depression or to immigrants who sacrificed much for American economic opportunity.

I can certainly understand the feeling, who wants to be a “corporate drone” with stagnant wages? But I have to ask, whose fault is that? It is hard to tell without more context. Did she plan during college to get the training needed to be marketable for her dream job? Or did she just take courses in what she was personally interested in and assumed that the free market would magically place her in a fulfilling, high salary career?

I dunno. I am admittedly a cranky old guy but I can’t help but feel there is a lot of misplaced entitlement being felt by this the Gen Z TikToker.

I also get the sinking suspicion that the the Roman Gen Z equivalent were making similar statements just before the fall of the empire.

We really need immigrants.


I fully agree with your OP comments. Not just better pay but if you are unhappy go where you are happy regardless of pay. There is no ultimate pay that will make everyone happy.

Then do yourself a favor and do something lucrative on the side outside of work.

For some not working for some employers is the best bet. Many profitless companies are wasting employee time. No one owes a deadbeat anything towards his business hopes.

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Wrong question! Take guilt, fear, and righteousness out of the equation and think in terms of supply and demand. The real inequality is in the power imbalance. Employers have monetary power, employees have scarcity power (labor strikes). When I mentioned that some jobs are sad it applies only to the job holder not to the job market.

Nirvana is not to have to take on sad jobs but you have to start somewhere.

The Captain


Not sure what you mean. An MD has a high paying job. A fruit picker has a low paying job. Who is responsible for that job choice?

The more skills one learns, the more choices one has in the job market. Who or what determines what skills are learned? Hard not to put at least some accountability on the employee.

Much depends on what one is working for. A secure but boring job to someone who is working primarily for a newer cell phone or a better car may not be worth it. The same job to someone whose goal is to gain better life prospects for his/her kids may be very attractive.

I mean that responsibility and guilt are not the same thing. Guilt is laden with lots of useless crap.

The Captain


Really only the MD. Most people do not have that luxury. That does not mean most people are unhappy. Employers set up a battle. Some employers negotiate that well. Other employers mess up their business by not respecting the work.

The complaints are not about the work. The complaints are about the employer. There are employers far too ignorant to own a business. It backfires wasting time with such people.


I realize I am slow, but I still don’t understand what point you are trying to make. Who is guilty? In any case, going back to your earlier statement:

Employees have the freedom of choice. That’s really their power, the willingness to find and take the better job. Passivity doesn’t usually get one far. Much less so these days

We live in a time where businesses are increasingly experiencing creative destruction. Industries and jobs are changing at a rapid rate. Neither employer or employee can be passive in the face of change and be successful. Both have to learn how to continually adapt or become obsolete.

Maybe it’s just a question of language: “whose fault is that?”

Disagreements are not faults, conflicts of interest are not faults. If they were supply and demand would be a fault of the other side. Maybe a neutral word to replace ‘fault?’

The Captain

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There are outcomes good and bad. Nothing to do with personal guilt. Doing the wrong thing you can ignore the guilt. Or deny the guilt.

The issue is how destructive is management. Plenty of managers are really terrible at what they do. Alienating employees costs money. Paying for expertise is more efficient. Assuming someone is unworthy of pay should cost the business. In today’s climate, it will definitely cost the business.

I do not care if GM goes out of business because Mary Berra is very poor at running GM. I do care that the Berras of this world take zero responsibility when the chips are down. What we usually see is just infantile.

You are saying there is a difference between responsibility and guilt. I take that as doing things right or denying you did things wrong and refusing to feel bad about it. The difference between responsibility and guilt really does not exist.

Denial in the C suite is so glaring it makes most of us sick.

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There are companies with good management and those with bad management. There are jobs that pay well, and those that pay poorly.

Who is responsible for the type of company one works for or the job qualifications acquired in one’s life? If one’s dream is to be a welder but one never bothered to take welding certification classes at the local community college or trade school, whose fault is that?

No doubt there are some whose circumstances are such that they are severely constrained in the who, what, and wheres of their work. Immigrants with language issues for example. But for the great majority of those unhappy with their employment that isn’t the case. They could choose how hard to apply themselves in school. They could choose whether to emphasize sports or join the science/math club. They had the choice of learning a second language or playing video games. They could choose to continue education after high school to learn a trade or the skills necessary for a good job. They can choose whether to move to better opportunities or stay put and settle for whatever jobs are local.

People have choices, and like it or not there are consequences for good or bad decisions.

The main difference between success and failure is the difference between doing something or just complaining about it. I get the feeling that as societies get wealthier and more comfort-focused, people do more of the latter than the former.

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In my case it’s me. Maybe it depends on how people are brought up. It seems that new immigrants are less picky and in the long run wind up with better jobs than picky natives who don’t belong to the elites.

I have acknowledged that there is a power discrepancy between capital and labor but that does not mean workers cannot have the street smarts to beat the system. Unless it’s imposed by law or by force I don’t believe in victimhood. You make your bed and lie in it.

Exactly but I still don’t like the word ‘fault.’

The Captain


In this case it seems GM, Ford and Stellantis are the only ones claiming victimhood.

The generalizations about immigrants v natives are ridiculous.

If you feel no guilt that removes you from being responsible. Things do not always go your way. Knowing right from wrong includes some guilt. You do not get to hang up on your emotions when wrong.