Something strange is happening in the US economy.
A McDonald's in Tampa, Florida, offers $50 to show up for a job interview. Even with free money plastered in big, bold black letters on its menu sign, facing a busy roadway, there are reportedly still no takers.
Business Insider spoke with Blake Casper, the franchisee who owns the fast-food restaurant in Tampa, who said the idea to hand out free money is an attempt to secure workers. He said he would do "whatever it takes to hire workers."
"At this point, if we can't keep our drive-thrus moving, then I'll pay $50 for an interview," said Casper, who owns 60 McDonald's restaurants across the Tampa-St. Petersburg Metropolitan Area.
Casper said McDonald's business is booming, but a labor shortage has made workers harder to find. His problems are merely a reflection of a much larger significant labor shortage developing across the country as trillions in Biden stimulus are now incentivizing potential workers not to seek employment but to sit back and chill and collect the next stimmy check for doing absolutely nothing in what is becoming the world's greatest "under the radar" experiment in Universal Basic Income.
At the moment, there are over 100 million Americans who are out of the labor force (of whom just 6.85MM want a job currently, and a record 94 million don't want a job).
Simultaneously, as we recently pointed out, JPMorgan warned clients of a massive labor shortage in the US.
However, JPMorgan did not expand on what may be causing this unprecedented schism within the economy - after all, for normalcy to return, people must not only be employed but must want to be employed - it did suggest that the "robust" government stimulus may be keeping workers on the sidelines.
Some 17 million Americans remain on jobless benefits. Perhaps many of these people want jobs but are getting paid more to sit on the couch.
In a letter sent to the White House Friday, WSJ explains Democrats on Capitol Hill are pushing for the Biden administration to make the jobless benefits permanent, the onset to universal basic income.
The McDonalds in Tampa is a prime example of how QE for the people scrambles the labor force and starts to pressure companies who can't find workers. But oh well, because in the next several years, automation and artificial intelligence systems will be displacing many of these low-skilled/low-income jobs.