The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that many people no longer think that working hard will give them a more fulfilling life.
It is the new normal nowadays to get frustrated with the working world. Once, there was a glimpse of passion in working people, which drove them to give 110% at work. But now, the narrative seems to change. Growing up and realizing that the majority of the advice we received as kids about ‘how to be successful’ is a massive letdown. ‘Just work hard at whatever you do’, is probably the most gaslighting statement you can ever hear. Because, in reality, there is nothing that will get you out of working hard. When you put in a lot of effort at something and it doesn’t get appreciated, everything you achieve is taken for granted. Eventually, you become exhausted and live a shorter life with no benefits if you only work hard for yourself.
Moreover, a growing sense of inequality has been looming over the workforce for quite some time now, which has caused people to question the very concept of capitalism and its social institutions. According to ABC, the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, which is in its 20th year, many people no longer think that working hard will give them a more fulfilling life. Despite robust economic growth, the majority of respondents don’t believe that they will be better off in the next five years. This revelation contradicts the popular belief that economic growth is driven by the trust when it clearly isn’t. Not anymore, at least. “We are living in a trust paradox,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman.
Around 56% of the surveyed population agreed that capitalism, as it exists today, does more harm than good. Workers around the world are concerned about losing their jobs as a result of the global recession, the gig economy, cheaper foreign competition, and lack of training. As a result, the masses are slowly losing the respect they once had for their country. Rough two-thirds of people believe that technology is advancing at a concerning rate. Australia witnessed one of the largest declines in trust in technology. There is also a widening “trust chasm” between elites and the general public, which is a reflection of income inequality. “We now observe an Alice in Wonderland moment of elite buoyancy and mass despair,” he said.
Following the 2008 recession, the Economic Policy Institute published a report demonstrating a tendency toward rising incomes of the top earners. The Institute reports that in 43 states and Washington D.C, between 2009 and 2015, the earnings of the top 1% increased quicker than the incomes of the remaining 99%. As per Investopedia, this pattern is associated with a variety of factors, such as salary stagnation for wage-earning Americans, tax breaks for the richest Americans, the loss of manufacturing employment and an upsurge in the stock market that increased the worth of corporate executives and hedge funds managers. “The informed public – wealthier, more educated, and frequent consumers of news – remain far more trusting of every institution than the mass population.”
Following the recession, many companies and businesses are heavily investing in hiring people who possess specialized skills in the fields of healthcare and engineering. This has severely pushed down regular wage works into a deeper level of competition. “There are now a record eight markets showing all-time-high gaps between the two audiences – an alarming trust inequality.” You won’t benefit financially from devoting all your time and effort to the work if you get a fixed income or hourly wage like the majority of individuals do. Your supervisors may be happy that you’re doing everything on time, but you’re not going to get any raise from putting in extra hours of work. Therefore, you should work smart, not hard.