Minneapolis mayor calls remote workers ‘losers’ who sit at home with a ‘nasty cat blanket, diddling on their laptop’

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is trying a unique strategy to get remote workers to return downtown: insulting them.

“I don’t know if you saw this study the other day,” Frey told an audience of 1,000 at Minneapolis Downtown Council’s annual meeting on Wednesday. “What this study clearly showed … is that when people who have the ability to come downtown to an office don’t — when they stay home sitting on their couch, with their nasty cat blanket, diddling on their laptop — if they do that for a few months, you become a loser!”

The comment was a “complete joke” and the study was made-up, the Minneapolis mayor’s office told Fortune, but there are serious facts to back up Frey’s worry about the impact of remote work on Minneapolis’ downtown economy.

Silverseren,

"impact of remote work on Minneapolis’ downtown economy"

So nothing about the impact of remote work on actual productivity and output, which studies show are greatly improved. F your downtown, man.

yeahiknow3,

If “downtown” were a carless urban greenscape, it would be thriving, particularly if folks had control over their own busy schedules. Instead, this idiot presides over a traffic-jammed, smog-filled, noisy, ugly, colorless concrete jungle and he’s sad it’s dying? Yeah, because most cities are hideous blight zones.

Silverseren,

Turn downtown back into a walkable space!

Thrillhouse,

People just don’t want to spend what little time we have on this earth commuting, paying $10 for a shitty Subway sandwich for lunch, and listening to Elderly Manager Brian talk about his glory days to a captive audience.

athos77,

Oh, the loser who was on the Minneapolis city council for years before becoming mayor and then doing shit-all for a couple years before multiple cops in his city murdered George Floyd? The city that had so many civil rights violations that they're now operating under a consent decree? Why should I care what that guy says?

Brkdncr,

I guess making his downtown a good place to live and work might take some effort, while insults are free. Good use of economic resources.

I hope this guy gets stuck in traffic enough that his policies don’t get traction, and someone more capable gets elected next.

DigitalTraveler42,

The comment was a “complete joke” and the study was made-up, the Minneapolis mayor’s office told Fortune

Ah yes the typical “what? It was just a joke, why’s everyone mad at me?” reaction to saying something only an asshole would say, fuck this guy. So sorry rich people are going to make less money off of their real estate investments, boo fucking hoo, how about adapting to technological and cultural changes better? 🤷‍♂️

Quadhammer,

They hate improving citizens lives so for that they must go

thisisnotgoingwell,

He went with the “it was just a prank bro” strategy, which has in the last decade been very successful

punkwalrus,
@punkwalrus@lemmy.world avatar

Disclosure: I work from home and enjoy it immensely. I never want to work in an office again.

So sorry rich people are going to make less money off of their real estate investments, boo fucking hoo, how about adapting to technological and cultural changes better?

There is that, and some rich people need to be boiled in their own pudding. But this affects all downtown businesses, even mom and pop shops. People will just flee like urban flight did when people went to the suburbs. What’s left? I hear about “well, turn office buildings into residential space,” but the logistics of that with fire codes, building codes, and urban planning are not drop in replacements. They can be done, but at great cost.

We’re looking at an urban decay beyond what we’ve planned for. Minneapolis is terrified to become another Detroit or Gary Indiana.

running_ragged,

It doesn’t have to all be bad. If the city could get the head out of their ass, they could sort out the codes and get it done. Let people who work downtown live downtown. Shrink the driving and parking infrastructure, turn it into a walkable, bikeable area.

Rents/leases could go way down for the mom and pop shops that can survive in the new design.

Other businesses can move further out where the people are, so the suburbs can become more walkable.

If we made the focus on reducing waste, and making things easy for everyone, rather than how to make rich people richer, theres lots of solutions.

bluGill, (edited )
bluGill avatar

It was obvious 30 years ago downtowns were in trouble because businesses ere moving to suburbs. They still haven't made serious effort to change the root causes of that.

Snowpix,
@Snowpix@lemmy.ca avatar

Good point, but as an aside… is your backspace key broken?

bluGill,
bluGill avatar

typing on my phone. I have never found a good keyboard for mobile. I turned autocorrect off long ago as it too often was changing what I wrote to something that was completely the opposite, at least without it you know I didn't mean that can can figure it out (I hope). I'm using thumb-key which overall I like, but there are still issues with it.

I have dysgraphia which means writing is already more difficult for me than most, combine that will small text boxes and random hitting of something I didn't mean...

I'm on a real computer now so I was able to run spellcheck and get at least the most obvious mistakes fixed.

vividspecter,

In addition, increase housing density by removing single family only zoning and adding more missing middle and affordable housing. Make the city a place people want to live (and can afford to live) rather than just a place people commute in and out from in their noisy, polluting cars.

archomrade,

but the logistics of that with fire codes, building codes, and urban planning are not drop in replacements. They can be done, but at great cost.

Most of the buildings were talking about are made to accommodate stricter codes already. The problem isn’t really at all the cost of retrofitting them, so much as it is the lower rent/sf price they can charge for it.

Everything else you mentioned is fair, but the only reason people would rather leave urban centers if they don’t need to be there is the cost of living there. No matter how you slice it, the biggest obstacle to dense residential city centers is the established expectation of higher ROI on the space and the over-leveraged building owners who can’t afford to charge less for risk of defaulting on their properties.

HakFoo,

In the end, it’s about bailing out the rich. They should have diversified their bets away from commercial real estate.

Covid mashed fast forward, but remote knowledge work was a thing before it. It was a foreseeable risk, even just from guessing normal rich people motivations: once the San Francisco crowd figured out they could cast a bigger net for talent, AND pay lower-cost-of-living city salaries to them, it was going to spread.

Mac,

Demand has changed in the market? Bummer. Anyway,

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

Oh no, we might not need heavily built-up downtown centers any more. But we need to need them! For some reason.

aniki,

Just like we need crypto.

Oh wait.

Semi-Hemi-Demigod,
Semi-Hemi-Demigod avatar

Man, if you become a loser in a few months what does that make me since I've been fully remote for six years, and more than 50% remote for eleven years.

Also, here's the problem as defined by Minneapolis:

Gen Z prefers laptop diddling and nasty cat blankets to going out

What does "going out" entail? Visiting a bar and overpaying for drinks in a noisy bar? Overpaying at a restaurant that doesn't even have plates?

Gen Z doesn't have any money. Going out requires money. So unless they're gonna subsidize meals at restaurants, people will stay home and diddle on their laptops because at least that doesn't cost money.

karashta,

It's the same with a lot of us millennial people.

I graduated into a job market still largely crushed by the dotcom bubble bursting, had my entire life and career path destroyed by the GFC, then another destroyed by covid.

Let me just spend a third of my monthly food allowance on food I can make better myself to please the downtown economy god, I guess lmfao.

thesystemisdown,

Insulting a key demographic of your constituency in a ranked choice system is an interesting strategy.

SeaJ,

Yeah but businesses are probably paying him more.

RamblingPanda,

But voting less

skulblaka,
@skulblaka@startrek.website avatar

Your local businesses have more voting power than you do, by a long shot.

RamblingPanda,

Nah. My vote gets them into office, their money decides how they fuck me over.

TropicalDingdong,

Man it sure seems like Democrats don’t want me to vote for them.

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

It sure seems like some people insist on making absolutely everything a Republican-vs.-Democrat issue.

TropicalDingdong,

I mean… He’s an elected official in a party that is, well, a branch of the democratic party.

He’s a politically elected official acting in a political capacity making a political statement about labor and work.

I’m really not sure what you think your point is.

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

My point is that this isn't some kind of broad-based Democratic party platform on display here. He's just an idiot politician saying something dumb who happens to be a Democrat. He's not holding this position because he's a Democrat.

TropicalDingdong,

My point is that this isn’t some kind of broad-based Democratic party platform on display here. He’s just an idiot politician saying something dumb who happens to be a Democrat. He’s not holding this position because he’s a Democrat.

I mean he’s a Democrat and he’s holding the position. I can guarantee you that the DNC will not be siding with me on my stance on labor, work from home, etc, they’ll be siding with this muppet. And guess what? Probably half of the Democrats in office now when pressed, will hold a similar position. About 2/5ths will side with this goon once their corporate donors press the ‘Submit’ button. The last 10th, thats the squad and the progressives. An absolute minority.

The Democrats suck. They really fucking suck. They represent two generations of policy failure. This guy isn’t an outlier, he’s the main stream. And yet its teaching sheep to speak greek when trying to get Democrats and Liberals to understand whey they struggle sooooo hard when the country is fairly left in many regards.

FaceDeer,
FaceDeer avatar

I can guarantee you that the DNC will not be siding with me on my stance on labor, work from home, etc, they’ll be siding with this muppet.

How can you guarantee me that? Is there something in their platform about this, a clear pattern of other Democratic politicians taking this position, or is this just a feeling you've got?

Silverseren,

This guy seems like the type that pretends to be on the left, but will switch to the Republicans at the first sign of trouble. He is absolutely hated by his entire left-leaning constituency. Including by all his city reps you can see in the video, their faces clearly show they think he's an idiot.

buzz86us,

Translation: our tax income is down, because nobody wants to pay office leases, or premium rents to be close to the office. Fixed it for you!

megabat,

Frey really wants workers downtown proping up the commercial real estate market and paying that 12% - 15% downtown restaurant tax mpls has when we get lunch.

mods_are_assholes,

Or maybe he just wants less votes because nearly everyone likes wfh except the owner class, and they like it for themselves, just not for their indentured servants.

jenny_ball,
@jenny_ball@lemmy.world avatar

these guys who criticize typically have always had the choice to remote work in their entire careers, have nice corner offices, can just meet with executive all career looking and do fun things. etc

ILikeBoobies,

Lol a study showed they became losers

dipshit,

k. brb going to diddle my laptop

phoenixz,

The comment was a “complete joke” and the study was made-up, the Minneapolis mayor’s office told Fortune, but there are serious facts to back up Frey’s worry about the impact of remote work on Minneapolis’ downtown economy.

Really now? It’s all bullshit, but its really real too you know!

minibyte,

The comment was (made by) a “complete joke”

FTFY

butt_mountain_69420,

what a shit post.

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