A meme shows clippings of 14 real articles that were printed between 1894 and 2022, all of which show people expressing variations of “Nobody wants to work anymore”.
July 20, 2022 Great Socialist Cat Memes Facebook Page share a meme titled “No one wants to work anymore”. The meme has been described as “a short story of capitalists complaining that no one wants to work for poverty wages”.
The same meme too appeared on Twitter four days later. Both posts received thousands of shares and retweets.
While the Facebook post and tweet displayed the information in a meme, the author of it all was a son of Paul Fairieknown on Twitter as @paulisci:
The meme and thread allegedly showed 14 clippings of articles that were printed between the years 1894 and 2022, all of which appeared to show people expressing the general view that “no one wants to work anymore”. Some of the posts showed the exact words from the top of the meme and thread, while others displayed a variation of the belief. The idea of the meme and thread was to show that in each of the 14 years posted, the person who said or wrote the opinion seemed to believe it was a novel thought.
With the help of Journals.comwe located all old articles and applied the “True” rating above to indicate that all clippings were real.
The most recent post that was tagged in the meme and thread as being published in 2022 was from Forbes. The article began: “According to a new survey published by TinyPulse, 1 in 5 executives agree with this statement: ‘nobody wants to work.’ These same executives cite a “lack of response to job postings” and “poor quality candidates” when describing why it’s hard to hire right now. »
In 2014, the Germantown News near Memphis, Tennessee, printed an article that was written by a pastor. Part of the article reads: “What happened to the work ethic in America? no one wants to work anymore. It has not always been so. The pastor went on to talk about “When I started working as a teenager,” which read like a variant of “When I was your age…”
The 2006 press clipping came from a question which was sent by a reader to the Ventura County Star in California. It read: “I can’t believe the bad luck I had trying to find someone to do some necessary improvements to the house. It almost seems like nobody wants to work anymore and when they work, they are not proud of what they do. How to find a reliable worker? »
In 1999, the Clearwater Times in Florida printed the story of Cecil and Henry Lopez, two brothers who decided to quit after running a shoe repair shop for 53 years:
Their Service Shoe Repair store, at 649 Cleveland St., is for sale. Cecil, 78, and Henry, 73, would take around $80,000 for the business, which has occupied the same rented space for 45 years. But they don’t seem overly optimistic about finding a buyer. “no one wants to work anymore“, said Cécile. “They all want to work in front of a computer and earn a lot of money.
nineteen eighty one
The Miami Herald published an article in 1981 about an 89-year-old man named Sammy James. James had worked for decades as a crate nailer and said his quick movements earned him the nickname “The Nailer”.
According to the story, James once said, “Farming is my hobby now. But, these rocks – I hired two boys to remove the rocks from this land last week. But they just fooled around. They didn’t want to work. no one wants to work anymore.”
In 1979, the Ohio News-Journal reported the story of a man living in suburban New Orleans named Jack Diamond. At the time, Diamond decided to shut down his dry cleaning business for good after running it for 40 years. He placed a sign in his window that read, “Closed June 5 due to taxes, labor and theft.”
The News-Journal article included the following mention of the meme phrase and thread:
[James] denounces the social protection system as one of the factors of the labor shortage.
“About three months ago a woman came here and said she wanted a job. I asked her if she knew anything about the company. She said no. So I told her I could start her at $3 an hour.
“She laughed in my face and said, ‘Sir, I can make $106 a week on welfare. I don’t work for three dollars an hour. Now you ask any little businessman and he’ll tell you. I do not lie. No one wants to work anymore. The government puts everyone on welfare when they should be working.
The Atlanta Constitution, now known as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, formerly published an article in 1969 about a new local television series:
Atlanta viewers will have the opportunity to listen to the poor talk about the issues of low-income citizens and their communities in a new 10-week series produced by WQXI-TV in cooperation with Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Inc.
Last Sunday, the first of the programs dealt with “what it’s like to be poor” and the next segment on Sunday is called “no one wants to work anymore.”
The Alabama newspaper The Evergreen Courant once printed what appeared to be a letter from a reader that said: “I heard someone say the other day that everyone was getting too lazy and nobody wants to work anymore. It’s the truth if I’ve ever heard it.
In 1940, the Wisconsin State Journal published that Governor Julius Heil was referring to recent legislation when he said: ‘The problem is that everyone is on some kind of assistance or pension – nobody wants to work anymore.” The article ends there without further details.
In 1937, The Gazette and Daily newspaper in York, Pennsylvania printed an article with the headline, “Arborists complain of labor shortage”. The opening paragraph read as follows:
Faced with a labor shortage amid widespread unemployment, peach orchards in York and Adams counties are complaining that, ‘no one wants to work anymore.’ There is work, it is reported, for 15 to 25 peach pickers in each orchard in the two counties, but only two to five pickers are at work due to labor shortages.
In 1922, The Mulberry News in Kansas once printed a drive letter containing the meme and thread phrase:
What is the cause of unemployment and hard times? The manufacturer and businessmen say it’s because nobody wants to work anymore unless they are paid enough to work half the time and pamper the other half. The worker says the hard times are caused by the determined stance of the employers to drive down wages. Now, why do these things exist during a Republican administration?
The Binghamton Press in New York published the following headline in 1916: “Prices must be high for Thanksgiving dinner”. Part of the article had a small, bold headline that read, “Nobody Wants to Work.” One interviewee, identified only as a Binghamton dealership, told the newspaper the following:
“And the vegetables? Wasn’t it a good year for vegetables? the dealer was asked.
“Well, as far as I know,” he replied, “the reason for the food shortage is that nobody wants to work as hard as before. I asked a man who was here the other day why he didn’t raise more cattle and make his own butter.
“Women don’t want to make butter anymore,” he said, then asked, “Do you know where prices would go if we raised more calves and pigs and produced more butter?” They would go very low.
In 1905, the Edgefield advertiser in South Carolina printed a letter from a subscriber. Following a mention of crop yields, the reader wrote: “Labour is scarce, high and very unreliable. None want to work for pay.”
In 1894, the Rooks County Record in Stockton, Kansas, published a letter sent by a reader. “With all the mines in the country closed by the strikers, what will the poor coal editor do next winter? It becomes obvious that no one wants to work these hard times.”
“Beware of scammers posing as contractors.” Ventura County Star via Newspapers.com, August 14, 2006, p. B3, https://www.newspapers.com/image/777183341/.
Bozeman, Bob. “The wash of the week.” The Evergreen Current via Newspapers.com, May 29, 1952, p. 2, https://www.newspapers.com/image/538432167/.
Brassell, Jr., Sam. “From the Pastor’s Heart…Work Ethic.” Germantown News via Newspapers.com, January 29, 2014, p. 5B, https://www.newspapers.com/image/409176937/.
Fairy, Paul. TwitterJuly 19, 2022, https://twitter.com/paulisci/status/1549527748950892544.
“Heil approves of the reduction of road offices for more economy.” The Wisconsin State Journal via Newspapers.com, March 22, 1940, p. 1, https://www.newspapers.com/image/396758568/.
Knight, Eddy. “The aging crate nailer continues to hammer.” The Miami Herald via Newspapers.com, April 23, 1981, p. 26, https://www.newspapers.com/image/629185437/.
“Letters to the Editor.” The Mulberry News via Newspapers.com, May 5, 1922, p. 4, http://www.newspapers.com/image/479928386/.
“-.” Edgefield Advertiser via Newspapers.com, December 20, 1905, p. 2, https://www.newspapers.com/image/72226770/.
“-.” Rooks County Record via Newspapers.com, April 27, 1894, p. 4, https://www.newspapers.com/image/379643726.
“The arborists complain about the lack of manpower.” The Gazette and Daily through Newspapers.com, Sept. 16, 1937, p. 7, https://www.newspapers.com/image/64205801/.
“Prices must be high for Thanksgiving dinner.” The Binghamton Press via Newspapers.com, October 24, 1916, p. 8, https://www.newspapers.com/image/261057050/.
Rigsby, GG “Landmark Brothers Shoe Store Closing.” Clearwater Times via Newspapers.com, November 10, 1999, p. 1, https://www.newspapers.com/image/328409333/.
“Taxes, profiteers, thieves too much for the cleaner.” News-Journal through UPI through Newspapers.com, May 9, 1979, p. 39, https://www.newspapers.com/image/295904031/.
“The poor tell how it is.” The Atlanta Constitution via Newspapers.com, May 9, 1969, p. 71, https://www.newspapers.com/image/398830260/.
Westfall, Chris. “‘Nobody Wants to Work’: The Why of the Great Resignation.” ForbesJanuary 19, 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/chriswestfall/2022/01/19/no-one-wants-to-workthe-why-behind-the-great-resignation/.