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Waffle House CEO Walt Ehmer goes headon about the impact of lockdowns. Our government needs to hear these words: “It's really not about the business — it’s about the people. These people have jobs, they have livelihoods, they need to take care of their families.” Here's an excerpt: “None of the people who make the decisions to shut down businesses and impact people's livelihoods ever have their own livelihood impacted,” Ehmer recently told Business Insider. There’s clearly some hyperbole in the statement. After all, everyone is impacted to some degree by the lockdowns. But Ehmer’s larger point is correct: the people shutting down the economy are not being affected by lockdowns to the same extent others are. When the coronavirus swept across America earlier this spring, Waffle House, which has locations in 25 states, was forced to shut down some 700 restaurants across the country. This put roughly 28,000 hourly Waffle House employees out of work, who became part of the 26.5 million Americans who filed for unemployment that month. The story of these workers underscores an overlooked reality of the pandemic: lower-income Americans are being harmed the most by lockdowns. Pew Research studies show that Hispanic women, immigrants, young people, and individuals with less education have been the most likely to lose jobs and the least likely to save income during the pandemic. They’ve also been by far the most likely to say they’ve struggled to pay rent or bills. Ehmer says many people don’t seem to realize the harm that’s being done to the people who can least afford it. “A lockdown is going to put a lot of people out of work,” Ehmer added in his interview. “It's really not about the business — it’s about the people. These people have jobs, they have livelihoods, they need to take care of their families.” It’s safe to say the politicians ordering these lockdowns have not suffered the same way. For starters, they still have their jobs. But it’s also more than that. The reality is that many politicians have probably seen their wealth increase. The lockdowns have been hell on Main Street but great for Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time high this week, in large part because so many corporations have seen their competition sidelined, increasing their market share. https://fee.org/articles/waffle-house-s-stand-against-lockdowns-is-exactly-what-america-needs-almost/?utm_source=zapierImp
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