“Job openings are at record highs. Why aren’t Americans filling them?”
The Wall Street Journal, 7/9/21

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My good lords, I must bring to your attention a grave issue that requires our utmost concern. You see, my fellow land-owning gentry, it seems that the invention of mechanized industry, the rise of “capitalism,” and the impact of the recent plague have brought upon us a wave of moral degradation and irredeemable sloth — specifically, nobody wants to be a serf anymore.

This newfound modicum of control the peasant class has over their lives has brought us to a dark new reality in which the serfs have become so lazy that they’ll no longer toil without pay on land they do not own yet can never leave, and instead leach upon the system by searching out more equitable work.

Surely you are already aghast, but I fear the problem does not stop there, my good, rich, sirs. Be sure to be seated upon your golden chairs for this next bit of news. Not only do our current serfs refuse to labor, but the serfs we ejected from our fiefdoms when we feared the plague would harm our profits now don’t want to come back and replace the workers we kept who then subsequently died of the plague. Did they not know that we banished them with the expectation they’d come crawling back at our earliest convenience? What has the world come to when the whims of noblemen no longer control the lives of the masses?

And it’s not just the serfs who have left; now that we have fewer laborers, we’ve required our remaining peasants to work longer hours without recompense. But the villains refuse! They demand something called “overtime.” Apparently, they now think their time belongs to them, and if we use too much of it, we should pay them for it! There’s no way to describe this phenomenon other than plain moral rot. How else would you? “Social progress”? Don’t make me guffaw.

Not to mention the safety demands! Simply because a large number of peasants have died of this plague, the remaining peasants do not wish to work under conditions that make them vulnerable. How can they value their lives so much when we’ve always valued them so little? Do they not realize by ascribing meaning to their lives and the lives of their family members, they’ve turned this mass death event from a simple labor issue into an incalculable tragedy? Don’t they know that the only thing standing between us and disaster is our resolution to ignore the human cost of our actions altogether? The cold, cruel fools.

I, for one, my good lords, am at a loss. We’ve already tried tossing them a pittance. What else shall we do? Toss them a pittance more? Establish a higher minimum pittance? Ludicrous. Something drastic must be done to stop this unscrupulous scourge of “exercising one’s personhood” from poisoning our laborers, lest feudalist society crumbles as we know it. For where would we be without the noble principles of greed and oppression that allowed us to build the shining cities on a hill that only we are allowed to live in while everyone else suffers in squalor? I dare say, we are in grave danger of losing everything great about our way of life that also makes us rich.

If we fail, our only hope is to bend this new, so-called “capitalism” to our will and turn it into something akin to our beloved feudalist oligarchical system. And that could take hundreds of years.