The covid pandemic event has inspired a generation of workers with false notions about labor, production and work ethics, to the point that it may be a decade or more before people finally return to reality and stop living in fantasy.
One prominent issue, of course, is the anti-work movement, which essentially believes that no-skill work should be paid a living wage or that such workers should be supplemented by government welfare. This is the beginning of Universal Basic Income (UBI), which means millions of people dependent on government fiat and maintaining this relationship would become a matter of survival. You can’t rebel against a corrupt government when you depend on them to feed you and your family.
The covid stimulus checks acclimated the public to the taste of UBI (not to mention the rent moratoriums) and many of them now have an addiction to living for free. Large numbers of Americans and Europeans think that this is the way it should be forever, but nothing is for free, kids. There’s always a cost and a consequence.
Another issue is the rise of the “work from home movement.” Certainly, there are many technology jobs, media jobs and data analysis jobs that can be accomplished from home and are perhaps better done outside of an office than inside of one. The advantages are substantial, with reduced traffic in major population centers, psychological relief from the often stifling office environment and potentially improved work output. Businesses pay for less office space and less supplies also. It seems like a win-win.
However, there is an agenda afoot which seeks to exploit the work-from-home dynamic and pervert it into something ugly. And, it is rooted in a growing trend of corporate surveillance of employees in their own houses.
Eight out of ten the largest employers in the US already track productivity metrics at the workplace. This means monitoring software on work computers, surveillance cameras, facial recognition, mood recognition, keystroke records, and even cell phone tracking apps with GPS records. The argument in favor of this kind of Orwellian all-seeing eye is: “You don’t have to work here if you don’t want to – you can always quit.”
This is a cop-out response that is designed to circumvent any discussion on the unethical nature of employee monitoring to such an extreme level. People are being paid, but at the same time they are being treated like property – they are being treated like slaves with no privacy. And what if every single employer uses employee surveillance? What if there are no options? You can quit, but will you be able to find a work environment that doesn’t treat you like this?
This kind of pervasive intrusion is exactly what the work-from-home movement is inviting into their daily lives, as more and more companies are now demanding that employees allow technological surveillance onto the home computers, cell phones and even allow corporations to insert video surveillance into worker houses.