At least where I live, there is a severe "labor shortage". Restaurants are cutting back their hours, with some having to close entirely, because their workers are all quitting. I went to Walmart yesterday to return some things my father had bought, and customer service was closed. I had to wait in line (drive-through) for almost an hour yesterday at McDonald's, to get lunch for my son. (Chick-fil-a, where I dined, ran like the Swiss clock it always runs like, but they take great care in taking on franchisees and hiring people, and working there is not for everyone, it's like Minnesota circa 1970, as is Culver's.) There are spot shortages of goods, my local grocer ran out of store-brand bottled water and I had to buy pricey Aquafina instead. Things are getting almost Soviet at some places of business --- long lines, shortages, like when you'd finally get to the sales counter in PRL Poland, and the clerk would say "nie ma" --- "there's none left".
What is going on?
The Biden child tax credits (to which I will be entitled when I file my taxes, Mom and I alternate years claiming our son, thanks, Joemala!) aren't enough to live on, not sure how the economics of other stimulus plans, as well as deferral of rent and mortgage payments (we have neither, my dear father busted his hump all his life, and then made some good real estate investments, talk about a wheeler-dealer!), play into that. And I didn't know that living in genteel poverty was an American thing. I thought it was all about endless bling and tricked-out everything. What are these people living on? Are they just maxing out their credit cards? (I can tell you that, late last year, when I had exhausted my investments until the end of the year, and had to carry a credit card balance until then, after which I paid it off in full, your credit rating does take a hit. Lenders take a dim view of your living on credit cards. I've made provisions for that not to happen this year, to some extent I can "calibrate" my income and take a 401(k) hit until Social Security kicks in next year. I worked for it all those years, living like a miser, and that's what it's there for.)
Again, what are these people living on? I've always heard of these people who "live paycheck to paycheck". What has changed?