- A Cape Cod restaurant closed for breakfast Thursday morning after customers berated staff to the point some employees cried.
- Reports of disruptive behavior on aircraft have shot up since the new year, and flight attendants are the ones on the front line dealing with rude and sometimes violent customers.
- Retail workers have had to break up fist fights to deal with patrons not wearing masks.
- Transit workers have been attacked for trying to enforce rules.
As Michael Sandel points out in The Tyranny of Merit, the dignity of work, most notably the work not requiring a college degree, has been eroding in the USA since the 1950’s and 1960’s with the rise of the meritocratic mission of higher education. Want a job with good wages, respect, a feeling of dignity? Go to college!
Sadly, we now see the other side of this coin. People who work in restaurants or a wide range of service positions not requiring college degrees are not just paid poorly, they are denigrated by the public.
I see this as an opportunity for Democrats to seize as more and more ordinary working class Americans are experiencing a loss of dignity as they work. Sure, go ahead, push for free college, free child care, and all the other bennies for what the right call the “liberal elite” but there is a substantial number of voters who just want a fair wage and a measure of dignity.