Here’s my take from my neighborhood. During the pandemic lockdown people really understood what it’s like to live without income. Some of us had savings enough to get by, some had friends and family who would drop by donations. But I’d rather call this the “Great WAKE up call”, rather than the “Great Resignation”.

The folks I talked with began selling their stuff over the internet: EBay, Etsy, Marketplace, etc. Some did surveys all day and got paid for it while taking care of their children and neighbors children. Some exploited their own talents: tie dye clothes, sewing and knitting/crocheting extravaganzas with hats, gloves, blankets, etc. some helped others in the neighborhood by taking care of lawns, shoveling snow, raking leaves, and gardening. Some just did all kinds of work in trade for something the neighbor could supply. The creativity was amazing!! So after this ,who’d want to go back to customer service jobs where people and supervisors are mean to you, while you only get paid minimum wage? You suddenly know your worth! And that you can survive with your own ingenuity.

I know this probably isn’t everywhere, but we’re not the only country going through this. So maybe the Great Time Out is now the Great Wake up call.

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I don’t like my job/I’m not paid enough so I will quit. “Take this job and shove it!” I don’t understand how that really works.

Just so I am clear, people that already make less than they need would be willing to reduce that even more by paying a few dollars (meaning more than one) per day to get paid every day.

I lived my whole life on the system of receiving a check a week after the two week pay period. That’s roughly 18 days after the first day of the pay period. I also received a check after I left the job. All that until I went on monthly pay which was a check the 15th of each month, two weeks behind and two weeks ahead. I loved that but heard some complain.

When it comes to finances I’m like the ex-smoker: I was once poor as hell, and married, and with a kid. I intimately understand. You do what you have to do and manage. Thank goodness there were no payday loans back then in the “olden days.” You simply had to make things work, make choices and give up many things. It was clearly motivational as I worked my butt off to improve my lot in life.

While I have sympathy for people at some point you have to figure out how to manage the situation, the one you were clearly aware of, when you went in.

As for so many people quitting their jobs, I hope they can afford to do so. The old adage of finding a new job before you quit the one you have is fairly timeless, unless you are independently wealthy.

Life is tough. Kids are born to struggle. That’s how we are motivated, learn and grow. If you don’t like your situation do what is necessary to improve your lot in life but don’t expect someone else to do it for you.

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I like the idea of paying people daily. I like the idea of management treating people like humans instead of commodities better. There is so much research on the subject of retention, employee loyalty, turnover, etc, etc. People don't just leave jobs - they leave people. People who treat them like a 'piece equipment'. I suggest we start teaching supervisors, managers, directors, and executives how to connect to their most important resource - their employees. There is plenty of content out there on this subject, so I won't write a tutorial on effective leadership here. It begins with people who supervise others understanding that it is simply about HOW YOU TREAT PEOPLE. It starts with vocabulary...words like "respect, integrity, humility, trustworthiness, kindness." Add to that "fairness, dignity and civility". Doing this does not require a new piece of technology, contract nor major investment. Some time - yes.

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A few more questions:

1. Are all these people quitting leaving the work force or are some simply changing jobs? How many people left jobs in a typical month five years ago?

2. What do people do for many if they quit a job with no new job?

3. If the cost of getting paid daily is only a few dollars (more than one) you have now added at a minimum a $43 monthly bill. Can a $10/hour employee afford to add a $516 annual expense? I wonder how that compared to a revolving pay day loan?

4. What do people spend their money on? The line between needs and wants has become distorted. For example, look around and see how many low paid staff are sporting Apple watches and the newest iPhones?

5. I see signs (from least the last year) at many places such as Target, Whole Foods, etc., offering $15/hour to start. Even convenience stores are offering $12+ to start.

I think COVID has exacerbated the stress of people who have to deal with lack of masks and lack of vaccinated people. Just think schools. I think politics has driven not only the great hate divide but also the great stress.

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Its great to be creative, selling things on Ebay and so forth. If supervisors are "mean" to you, well okay, I understand. But what about the benefits that SOME jobs pay, such as health insurance, paying into social security, 401k and so forth. Granted, many employees in lower paid jobs may not get those benefits, I understand that but don't ever discount the importance of health insurance and finding a job that pays for it or at least has it available Even if you have limited skills, many corporations or larger companies do need skills such as cleaning people, greeters, front desk people and so forth. Of course, not all supervisors are mean either.

I know there are always reasons people get into financial jams or struggle financially. I do understand the "There for the Grace of God go I" phrase.

Having said that, I am an unsufferable Live Below Your Means person. We never bought anything in our household growing up unless we had the cash. Even the mortgage was paid off in a year. And my dad was the sole breadwinner in the early years. That lesson trickled down to me.

Quitting your job without another one lined up is like hitting your nose to spite your face. (is that correct?) :) I did that once in a fit of self-pity (quitting a job without another one lined up) and I regretted it (when I was about 20).

There are also many valid reasons people live paycheck to paycheck - but for some people, it is just plain not knowing how to budget or prioritize spending.

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I've been following Ms Hawkins and other senior track and field participants. It's encouraging and humbling at the same time. First, that 40 is senior (!), and second that a 100+ year old works out more than I do.

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The idea of paying people daily will only create a more difficult situation. If those folks who quit their jobs got paid daily before quitting the job, the money still would not be enough, because they would spend it daily. So it doesn’t make any sense to get paid on a daily basis. People will be who they are no matter what, unless they honestly and sincerely want to change their lifestyle . What ever happened to being a responsible human being and accountable for your own decisions you make. Instead of taking on the blame game.

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Anyone wonder why we don't hear much from all the people that have walked away from their jobs recently? The current narrative appears to be that they just walked away and not into another job. The current narrative does not take into account or at least attempt to identify any trends amongst these people regarding what they do instead now.

The theory that they just don't want to/aren't willing to work assumes that they are all living off of the government and/or the generosity of others.

The theory that this is just a hiccup/we'll see a return to normal assumes that just because we were used to it that what we thought of as normal was optimal.

How many of these people are a part of a family that still has a significant source of income and therefore they are offsetting their lost wages by doing things they no longer have to pay for?

How many of these people are choosing to pursue education?

How many are entering the "gig" economy?

How many have found a different non-traditional source of income (or other form of sustenance)?

Are some providing services in the virtual currency market?

An old friend of mine likes to say, "Numbers don't lie, but people do." I like to see this more along the lines of; Numbers can tell a story - but it's our job to figure out what story the numbers are actually telling us.

We are looking at a very complex problem (situation) here, and trying to provide a single simple explanation will most likely lead to bad decision making.

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Bill, I like this letter today because frankly, I am confused as you are. I am setting aside your idea of the daily pay (interesting idea though). As you stated, there are a vast number of Americans who live check-to-check. Then how do we have 12+M people in three months (and more after those months) who are not working? I truly don't get it. Are they using checks still from the Government? Have they saved dollars over COVID and don't need to work for w while? Are they making life decisions to quit working? Are they truly trying to find work and can't?

I think Bruno has some good thoughts below as well.

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I’m still trying to understand how people living on the financial edge seem to allow themselves a $1,000 phone. Priorities?

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Our family founded and are operating a non-profit agency providing living support services for intellectually disabled adults who require 24/7 coverage. The ID industry in our region often pays less than $10/hour even after a few years employment. Our agency starts out at $12.50/hour in an effort to attract qualified support personnel, but we have the same problem - people just walking off - no notice, no anything. It may be the job because of the training requirements and background checks, but it is much less difficult than working in a warehouse or fast food establishment which often starts at a lower hourly wage. We also offer a strong, free training program that can be used elsewhere and a bonus after a 90 days introductory period, and they still just walk away. We are somewhat limited by state restrictions since it Medicaid that is paying the bills, so we aren't able to raise much more. It is a challenge, and in reading many of the comments, no one seems to have a solution, and I do not see paying these folks daily as a solution. We are trying to communicate with the new employees every day and encouraging them in any way we can which seems to work some. It is challenging but we are still open and beginning to expand into an ever growing market.

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Rent doesn't come in "daily" amounts, and if one is living close to the bone, a daily check or pay envelope will get spent of daily necessities with nothing available when the big items come due. It's not a good idea to pay each day, unless one is working a second gig as a day laborer.

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People don’t leave a job, they leave a person.

I suspect that for many of those folks, the traditional formula for success has changed significantly.

Being out of work was the most demoralizing, embarrassing, dehumanizing thing I have experienced. My self-worth plummeted. I took minimum wage work and was glad to get it. The human must have a purpose, lest he be adrift as flotsam or jetsam.

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Hi, Bill, I am SO right there at the DROOM cliff. Luckily I have a good client who was willing to advance ME twice the amount I asked her for this week to keep my VISA card from going into "card-iac arrest!" I have adapted the idea of Pay by the Day to my bills as well. I pay a little on them when I have some cash, so that when the "deadline" arrives, I have either paid the whole minimum, a little more or have just a few $ more to hand over. With my credit card I try to pay 1.5X the minimum every month when I don't have steady work. This keeps me out of trouble quite well.

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My first reaction was what about the rent at the end of the month. Much people that live paycheck to paycheck don't have the concept of saving and would not be able to pay their monthly rent my friends, but if that is the case, be it. People has to be responsible for themselves and if they don't have the rent, out you go. Perhaps the rental industry would adapt so that those kind of people have would to live in a day to day rental unit (new concept, not a hotel) and be free to switch jobs and locations at will. This is where UBI+ comes in and that would be the solution for humanity. UBI+ as I call it stand for Universal Basic income and the plus includes none essential necessities such as going to a movie or having a drink or eating out. I know is huge switch and would take a lot to swallow specially by conservatives, but it will make everybody happy and the incentive to work in order to have other things like the freedom to travel to another Country or just take a vacation in Hawaii would be there if you voluntarily work or set up your own business or go to a College and learn a profession. It would be up to you. BTW, this is not my original idea, it came from a genius called Elon Musk. I just happen to agree with it my friends. His visions are vast beyond this world and only others visionaries can see them. It takes one to know one as they say. Thanks for reading this my friends.

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Bill, you often have some great ideas. I don't think this is one of them. For one thing, how might an employee getting paid a minimum (or less) wage save for rent, utility bills, periodic shopping sprees to the market, etc.? Could someone paid daily manage a reasonable and convenient method to save for emergencies? Another thing! The "small" extra cost of daily payroll could mean some companies going out of business. For still another, you're telling people they have to go to the bank everyday to cash a check. Or you're telling an employer he/she/they have to go to the bank often to get cash for their payroll. Some of the other commenters on this subject seem to have some same things and more to say here as well.

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