Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus shredded the younger “woke generation” for laziness and asserted that “office people” are among the least motivated to work.
The businessman commented during an interview with Fox News that companies across the nation are facing difficulties attracting and retaining young people in particular. He attributed the phenomenon to the rise of a socialistic attitude and a prevailing sense of entitlement.
“They don’t want to work. Nobody wants to work anymore, especially office people. They want to work three days a week. It’s incredible. How do you have a recession when you have people that don’t want jobs?” he said. “They’re entitled, they’re given everything. The government, in many cases, if you don’t work, you get as much money as when you did work.”
An analysis from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity found that federal supplemental unemployment benefits, food stamp expansions, child tax credit payments, and other benefits offered in the aftermath of the lockdown-induced recession could exceed $120,000 in multiple states. Even with the expiration of the programs, a more recent study from the conservative think tank found that unemployment insurance and expanded medical subsidies can exceed the national median income in nearly half of states for families with two parents and two children.
Policymakers and corporate leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, discussed the merits of a four-day workweek, even as the labor market suffers from a lack of available workers that is worsening inflation across the economy. Though the speakers referenced a number of analyses showing that employees generally prefer virtual or flexible work arrangements, other studies reveal that the costs of such setups are not palpable for employers: 85% of business leaders say the shift to hybrid work “has made it challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive,” according to a study from Microsoft.
Marcus, the first chief executive of Home Depot and an ardent supporter of capitalism, expressed skepticism toward the ability of fellow billionaires who desire to manage the future of the planet. “I certainly don’t want to see the woke generation coming up, especially the leaders. I’m watching Davos, what happened in Davos, and they’re recommending spending more money on climate control when we don’t have it,” he continued “We’ve already overspent. And if anything, climate control has caused most of the problems we have today.”
Republicans have recently argued that efforts from asset management firms to pressure portfolio companies to divest from fossil fuels have exacerbated rising energy prices. Several attorneys general filed motions two months ago with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission contending that asset manager Vanguard should be barred from acquiring shares in publicly traded utilities out of a concern that the company’s emissions reduction objectives would hike energy prices and decrease grid reliability.
Marcus rebuked companies that grow enraptured with pursuing social goals rather than maximizing profits. “We need leaders who are basically thinking about the shareholders and their employees, and how well the shareholders are doing and their employees,” he said. “And I think today it’s all about woke diversity, things that don’t hit the bottom line.”