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    Editorials
    Saturday, December 03, 2022

    Election’s over. Now concentrate on inflation

    This appeared in the Boston Herald.

    Not so long ago, a 9-5 job was enough to pay the bills and put food on the table.

    But out-of-control inflation has kneecapped the eight-hour day. According to a survey by Insuranks, a small-business insurance marketplace, 93% of adults have a side hustle or are working a second job.

    Nearly 80% of those surveyed work full time, but both full-time and part-time respondents said they devoted an average of 13 hours per week to their side hustle.

    Welcome to the United States of exhaustion.

    As FoxBusiness reported, many survey respondents who reported taking on extra work said they did so as a result of economic conditions and rising prices. Nearly half (44%) said they took on a side hustle to make ends meet, while 28% said it was to cover rising costs from inflation. Around half of Americans (51%) also said that they’re considering taking up an additional work because of inflation.

    Some of the money-making enterprises include selling items on sites like eBay, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, freelance work and selling used clothes.

    They’re also hitting the road, joining up as drivers for ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft.

    Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi pointed to increased living costs as one reason why more people were choosing to drive for Uber: “72% of drivers in the U.S. are saying that one of the considerations of their signing up to drive on Uber was actually inflation,” he told CNBC’s TechCheck earlier this fall.

    As NBC News reported, Khosrowshahi said that Uber now has more drivers and couriers earning money than before the pandemic. New driver sign-ups were up by 76% year over year.

    Those who don’t get behind the wheel put together extra hours from multiple part-time jobs.

    Others find the solution to rising costs overtaking their income in selling blood plasma. Reports from states such as South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida and Texas reveal that paid donations are on the rise in response to inflation.

    That should not be happening in America.

    It’s one thing to work to earn extra disposable income, it’s another to toil at two or three jobs just to cover a rent increase, or sell one’s clothes or blood to pay for groceries.

    With the midterm elections in the rearview, the winners need to remember: These are your constituents. Struggling Americans may or may not have been a campaign talking point, but it’s your mandate to find solutions to the problem.

    With so much focus on gaining seats in Congress, everyday citizens have gotten lost in the shuffle.

    Before the winners start plotting their moves with an eye on 2024 and the roles they may play in the presidential election, lawmakers of all stripes must focus on the here and now and how the non-elites are living.

    It doesn’t matter if your next address is in Washington or a Massachusetts manse, the goal for victorious candidates should be righting the ship and making sure their constituents can support themselves and their families, without slogging through unending work weeks or tapping a vein.

    Winning is just the first step.

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