Those captive to the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics recall the cultural phenomena wrought by scarcities delivered via centralized government control and collective ownership. When a passerby would see a queue, they’d join in, often standing for hours, without having any idea what might be found at the end of that sweating, slow-moving rainbow. Sometimes, there would be shoes, or a grapefruit, or a vaccine. Regardless, every “citizen” knew that it would be something that they, or someone they loved, would likely need, if not now then eventually, and that it would probably not become available again anytime soon.
But here in the land of private ownership and abundance, we find ourselves with scores of choices and countless options. and generally, it is rare to find us waiting for anything. As we march into summer, we are confronted with some of the highest-vacancy postings in the recorded history of American employment. Moreover, so many of us quit our jobs recently as to contribute to records there as well. We have choice. If we decided to downgrade and stay home, OK. But what of those left behind? Will a human shift where so many of us decide to give up working lead us to socialist bread lines of sorts?
Our favorite restaurants are closed early, or entire days of the week, able to procure product but not able to persuade anyone to serve it. And for the good and valiant remaining few, will exhaustion be a predictable outcome of picking up endless shifts for the deserting comrades? Checkout lanes are shuttered. Operating hours are limited. And the tempers of Americans, unaccustomed to standing for hours to get a banana, are flaring. Let’s give latitude to those working. Let’s urge those able to join. And let’s get the lines moving.