Why Gen Z’s Latest Trend Is Setting It Up For Failure


The Kids Are not Alright. At least not if you take into account the latest social media trend.

In recent weeks, a “quiet quit” movement has sprung up from the bowels of tik tok. Like most things trending in the left-dominated, communist-owned app, it’s a combination of range self-deprecation, defeatism, and destructive ideology.

“You are not directly giving up your job, but you are giving up the idea of ​​going further”, explained a TikToker whose viral video helped start the craze. “You still do your homework, but you no longer subscribe to the hustle culture mentality.”

Basically, you’re not really giving up, you’re just starting to do the bare minimum.

In a tongue in cheek video dramatization, a young woman models “quiet quitting” by sitting down at her desk at exactly 9:00 am, declaring it “Maple Muffin Monday,” gossiping, and taking plenty of breaks to talk about “The Bachelorette.” She then laughs at her goal of 500 calls for the day: “Instead, we’re doing 50.” And when her boss asks her to do some extra work, she replies, “Susan, it’s 2022: we’re acting on our salary, so don’t give me extra work.”

Queue up the “Yass, queen” in the comments section, and the unemployment application in your near future. But perhaps because of how expansive our social safety net has become, many of these young people aren’t particularly perturbed by the prospect of facing job consequences.

“If I’m supposed to go above and beyond, my salary should too,” a boy’s viral TikTok argues.

“You are lucky to have an employee do their job. I’ve done so little at work before that it wasn’t ‘quietly quit’, technically it was stealing.”

Another TikTok user told how after “quietly quitting” his job, he “used up all the free space in his mind not caring about work anymore” to start doing “queer history walking tours.”

“By doing less, I improved the lives of everyone around me,” he concluded. “Do less! Do less! Do less!”

Some of these videos are downright absurd. But the frustrations that motivate this broader movement are not.

Real wages are falling. Housing, groceries, gas, and other necessities are increasingly unaffordable, thanks to inflation. And the economy has been lackluster at best and dire at worst in the early years of this generation’s racing.

All that said, “quietly quitting” is a terrible idea that is only going to leave these young people in a much, much worse situation. We are in a recession, by the conventional definition, and while employment numbers remain strong, it looks like that could change. Soon. And when it does happen, guess who will be the first name chosen by management for the layoffs?

That’s right: The “silent fifteens” who racked up TikTok views by not just slacking off at work and doing the bare minimum, but boasting about it extremely publicly.

Even those who didn’t post about their “quiet quit” exploits may still be in trouble. When times get tough, it’s the underachievers and those with the “minimum minimum” who are the first to go. That is the sad fate many are facing if the economy continues to head south.

They are also sabotaging their long-term financial and career prospects.

You don’t get promoted doing the bare minimum. Why would you do it? When an opportunity opens up in his company, the boss will obviously elevate the workers, the dedicated employees, the scammers, he will not promote the entitled Gen Zer that he does as little as possible.

It is also Econ 101 that your productivity as a worker strongly corresponds with your long-term earnings. Why? Well, in a competitive market, if you put in the effort and your employer still doesn’t pay you for the extra value you’re creating, competitors have a profit incentive to rip you off and capture that profit.

Or they have an incentive to hire you at a higher salary if you go out and apply for new jobs at the higher level you are already demonstrating. And when companies can make a profit doing something, you can be completely sure that they will do it.

That is why going “beyond” is, by definition, the way to get ahead.

So yes, the “quietly resign” move is absurd to the point of hilarity. But it is also deeply sad because the young people who give in to the toxic ideology it espouses are only setting themselves up for failure and hardship.

Brad Polumbo is a policy correspondent for the Foundation for Economic Education, co-founder of BASEDPolicy and one of the few right TikTokers has not yet been banned from the platform.


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