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Stories of How the Unprecedented Shortage of Workers is Affecting Businesses

Escasez de trabajadores, El American

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What do a uniform supplier, a furniture store, and a restaurant have in common? All three are facing the consequences of a statist economic policy that is so disproportionately demand-slanted that it would make yesterday’s Keynesians faint. As a result of bad government-directed socioeconomic policies, Inflation, supply shortages, low levels of production, worker shortages, and a host of other maladies are plaguing the American free enterprise system and threatening to permanently shut down businesses.

Moises de Paz, founder and president of All Uniform Wear, one of Florida’s largest manufacturers of uniforms, is facing great difficulty meeting production requirements, given the lackluster interest of people to work. “We had to start emitting bonuses, on top of salaries, based on the increased itemized production of the textile machine operators”, told de Paz to El American. “Even with all the additional benefits and perks,” he adds, “getting workers motivated to work more to make up for the labor deficit is proving to be a difficult task.”

Worker Shortage, El American
Moises de Paz (right), the founder and president of All Uniform Wear.

Worst shortage of workers ever

From textile machine operators, store managers and sales representatives, to transportation personnel, All Uniform Wear is facing enormous pressure to be able to meet existing orders and fulfill contracts, both as suppliers to corporate entities, as well as stocking their 28 stores across the United States. “Never in our over 30 years in the business have faced such a problem attracting the needed workforce,” reiterates the company’s president.

El Dorado Furniture, one of the 50 largest furniture store chains in the United States, is encountering great challenges in securing qualified people to join their team as well. With over 54 years of experience in the field of selling furniture, Luís Capó, the company’s president and one of the sons that co-founded the business under the stewardship of his father, Manuel Capó, in 1967, emphasizes the gravity of the situation. “Never before” Capó stresses “has our business seen anything like this.”

While optimistic about America, El Dorado’s president feels that if the current government policies were around when they started their successful family-run business 54 years ago, “it would be questionable if we could have grown the way we have or maybe even have survived.” Capó was quick to point out that “the labor scarcity is inflicting other collateral damage such as driving up production costs.” Ultimately, as we all know, the consumer pays for this inflationary pattern. 

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Irina Vilariño, along with her sisters, run Las Vegas Restaurants. With 12 outlets of great Cuban cuisine stretched throughout South Florida, Antonio and Nilda Vilariño, the parents who started the restaurant in 1984, know the food business well and relayed that to their daughters. One of the biggest problems for any business, especially in the restaurant sector, is having access to workers. Irina adamantly referred to the labor shortage as “one of their main challenges.” More to the point, she noted, “this is one of American capitalism’s biggest threats.” Vilariño was referring to creeping socialism. “Government handouts do more damage than good,” she highlighted. 

Worker Shortage, El American
Irina Vilariño, run Las Vegas Restaurants

All three business executives keenly pointed to the extended unemployment benefits and other social network payments as the culprit for the labor shortage. When socioeconomic policies incentive people to remain idle and collect subsidies, they all asserted, that is what they will do. This common denominator observation is handicapping growth and prosperity, fostering inflation, and making it difficult to stay afloat. Is this failed government handout policy a result of the law of unintended consequences, or is it intential?  

Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.