Gaming the remote work system
A recent news item dealt with the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers's new remote work policy. Basically, PwC is allowing any of their tens of thousands of employees to work from home if they want. In itself, that's good news. PwC is adapting to the current job market and taking advantage of new technology. The move also frees up people to live where they want and still have job opportunities. The problem is that PWC will pay people less if they're working from places with a lower cost of living.
Other companies have instituted similar policies, and it constitutes an example of short-sighted, powerful corporate interests bullying their employees. I'm no Marxist. I realize that companies have to compete, and costs have to be controlled. But the employment contract is supposed to be beneficial to both sides. Corporations no longer view workers as valuable partners, but as serfs. I think they picked up that nonsense from the federal government.
Over the last few decades, corporate America has methodically demolished any rational basis for employees to feel loyalty to employers through offshoring, layoffs, illegal immigration, and the extinction of pension programs, all in pursuit of quarterly profit at the cost of the long term. This arrogance is behind much of the current labor shortage. Why deal with the corporate gulag if you don't have to?
Frankly, the term "gulag," while inflammatory, is not inaccurate. American workers feel trapped by rising prices, shrinking real income, and arbitrary policies like vax mandates and intolerance for the wrong opinions. H.R., which once concerned itself with filling jobs with competent people and making sure people got the right benefits, has become a corporate Stasi. Nowadays, H.R. enforces CEO whims or, worse yet, H.R. ideological fads.
The last measure of control the American worker has, at present, is the decision of where to live. Lately, workers have been fleeing high-cost, low-freedom cities and states, an understandable decision. This is an embarrassment and a threat to the socialists who run the Democrat party, and who run those dystopian cities and states. Essentially docking the pay of those who don't choose to march in lockstep with their vision, by living in the saner (Republican-led) parts of America, both punishes the heretics and subsidizes the progressive hellholes.
So perhaps a remedy would be to game this rigged system. If a corporation requires a remote employee to live in a socialist dystopia or take a pay cut, how would the corporation determine where an employee actually lives? The employee is remote. Could technology make it appear that the employee is suffering in Seattle when he is actually thriving in Texas? One can envision an enterprise that offers this service for a fee. This company could route all email, Zoom calls, and snail-mail through a chosen socialist utopia, to maintain that façade and maintain the employee's just compensation. I smell a business opportunity.
Is this legal? I'm not a lawyer, so I have no idea. That's why I'll simply ask the question, and not advocate for or against it (insert legal weasel words here). Asking questions is not illegal, at least not yet. Perhaps some attorney reading this would care to render an opinion. It's what they're paid to do, after all.
A. Welderson wishes to remain anonymous, preferring morning coffee not fortified with the saliva of some triggered SJW barista. Fame is fleeting; hepatitis is forever.
Image: Max Pixel.
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