Mad or Nah: Labor Pains

How much are we hurting from Philadelphia’s reported worker shortage? 

You already know what time it is, it’s your girl P.O.C., back in these streets to hear how you feel about the recent slump in city services. Are you Mad or Nah?

911 calls go unanswered. Trash remains on the street days after scheduled pickup times. And now the school district of Philadelphia is offering families $300 a month to opt out of transportation services?! We’re told all of this is due to labor shortages here in the city. So what I want to know from community residents is: Does this decline in government services make you Mad or Nah?

I hit the streets with my microphone, here’s what folks on your block are saying.

Neighbors sound off! NOTE: Some speakers provide their names & neighborhoods, some don’t. Check out their voices in the original recorded interviews, transcribed here:

  • Yeah, it’s frustrating, but I think it’s also indicative of people not getting paid enough for work, not enough benefits for jobs that are very difficult on the body. Maybe better pay for these kind of jobs, more support for these kinds of jobs. – Jess, Washington Square West
  • People don’t want to get back to work. Like it’s a process. Like if I own a business, I would love to pay my people a nice salary. But we all know, there’s so many other things in play. We want to do it. But we can’t.  – Resident, North Philly (33rd and Diamond)
  • I’m planning to leave the city soon, I’m so frustrated. I use paratransit, and they are totally unreliable. The people who drive call out. I’ve waited two, three hours, and the paratransit has never shown up. I don’t know what the problem is. And it seems to me that the city is more focused on new development and doing things such as that, instead of dealing with the infrastructure. And unfortunately, our federal government, the Republicans are not interested in paying for the things that urban sites need. So, what are you going to do? – Resident, North Philadelphia
  • It doesn’t make me mad really. What does make me mad is the guys that don’t want to come to work. They don’t want to work? Then move on to the next person.  – Alan, Germantown
  • Well, it’s just a disgrace. This comes back from your city officials and whatnot, everything is just wow, the city’s dirty. You got murders every minute and whatnot here. So you know, was just not working. You need to put a lot of people to work, especially the young ones and what not. – Rich, Upper Darby
  • It does make me angry because you see Help Wanted signs everywhere. And then you see people who look very healthy, young standing on corners with you know, signs asking for money. And it’s like, there’s so many jobs out there for people to do. And then personally I’ve we have a nephew who said he gets paid more to sit at home to do nothing, thanks to the COVID money. And you know, until he doesn’t have that any longer, he’s not going to go out and get a job. And that’s just not the way it’s meant to work. So I feel like government is incenting people to sit at home, when there are businesses that are not being able to have enough workers who are not bringing in the amount of money that they need for their families to keep other people in business. And it’s because they’re being disincentivized to actually have people go out and work for it and I think it’s very, very sad not the way capitalism is supposed to work. – Resident, Philadelphia
  • That’s not good, because you burn people out. So you make people not want to come to work, you burn them out.  – Resident, Philadelphia

How ‘Bout You? Reading these comments, are you mad or nah? Big mad, little mad? Chime in below! Or reach out to and let her know how you feel. Read the last Mad or Nah here.

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Mad or Nah is an original woman-on-the-street interview series from REVIVE Radio that asks Philadelphians about issues impacting their everyday life. This edition originally aired September 29, 2021 on 

Tamara Russell aka Proof of Consciousness aka P.O.C. hosts and produces a variety of award-winning shows featured on Uptown Radio 98.5FM and Philly’s WHYY/NPR/PBS outlets. Read more in our feature on this multi-talented motivator, Wouldn’t It Be NICE? (June 2021). 

About P.O.C. 20 Articles
Tamara Russell (aka Proof of Consciousness aka P.O.C.) hosts and produces a variety of award-winning shows featured on Uptown Radio 98.5FM and Philly’s WHYY/NPR/PBS outlets. "Mad or Nah" is an original woman-on-the-street interview series from REVIVE Radio that asks Philadelphians about issues impacting their everyday life.

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