Quiet Non-Compliance For the Win

quiet non-compliance, refusal. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
quiet non-compliance, refusal. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

When 10,000 people show up and protest in a city square or outside a governor’s mansion, it makes news. When ten million people quit their jobs due vaccine mandates, it gets little coverage but makes a much bigger point.

It’s hard to ignore when cops, firefighters, and EMTs quit or sue the governor because they are required to get vaccines,. The very mandate designed to protect people is actually making them less safe by reducing the number of first responders.

In my experience, a big-city cop with five or more years of experience can get a job in an outlying suburb or smaller city relatively easily. Smaller agencies and Sheriff’s departments like someone with experience and training. But for the city to train a new officer takes at least a year, and that gives you an inexperienced rookie. Likewise, EMTs can always find work, and an experienced firefighters are in demand.

Employee Shortages Caused by the Mandate

When kids can’t get to school because there are not enough bus drivers, it drives home a point. According to the Wall Street Journal, Chicago is short 420 school bus drivers, in part because 10 percent quit when told they had to get a vaccine. The vaccination deadline isn’t until October. I expect more quite by then.

Do you think it is easy to hire school bus drivers in a big city? Look at it this way: Would you want to sit in a vehicle and try to be responsible for 30 or more yelling, misbehaving kids whom you are not allowed to discipline? All while trying to maneuver a large, bulky vehicle with a wide turning radius through a residential neighborhood.

“When I grow up, I want to be a school bus driver,” said no kid ever. Good luck replacing those drivers.

Despite seeing the ravages of COVID-19 first-hand, many nurses are refusing to get the vaccine. Those that are dismissed as a result often get better jobs elsewhere. In fact, traveling nurses that accept short-term assignments are often paid up to three times the prevailing hourly rate for a full-time nurse.

We’re Not Going Back to the Office

People who enjoying working from home are resisting going back to the office. Many are quitting their jobs rather than returning to the office, leaving companies with holes to fill. Given the job market, it’s easier for job seekers to get hired elsewhere than it is for companies to replace workers. Old-fashioned companies that insist on forcing their employees to commute are going to find themselves at a disadvantage.

It is important to note that there is no coordinated effort encouraging people to insist on working from home. There is no training course providing instructions on how to tell your boss you won’t go back to the office. There is no secret website where bus drivers go to schedule resignations. Nurses are not forming secret cabals and jointly refusing the vaccine. These folks are all deciding separately, together. That’s what makes it powerful.

Quiet Non-Compliance Speaks Loudly

When you have millions of people reacting the same way, fighting the “status quo” with no coordination, refusing to do what the government wants, then you have quiet non-compliance that can effect change.

While broken windows, looted stores, arson and clashes with the police make headlines and exciting Twitter feeds and cable news footage, the real changes are being made by people who silently do something behind the scenes.

You could consider it the modern evolution of Dr. King and Ghandi’s non-violent protests: It’s a non-protest. You don’t protest, you just withhold your labor. Don’t do what the government or your employer wants. Force them to fire you, which arguably hurts them more than you.

Many employers are raising wages and offering sign-on bonuses to attract new employees. Others are paying employees to get vaccinated. All they need to do is relax the rules and stop acting as the strong arm for the government.

Most of us follow the rules because we have been raised that way, because it is the path of least resistance, and in many cases because it is not worth the hassle if you don’t. But when the rules get more extreme, the rate of non-compliance increases.

Fight Back with Quiet Non-Compliance

I’m here to encourage quite non-compliance because there are lots of other things you can do to be non-compliant that have nothing to do with COVID-19 but everything to do with expressing your disdain for the government and their authoritarian position. You don’t have to join a boycott or sign a petition. You just have to opt out.

  • When they finally pass legislation that requires you to turn in some firearm you own, don’t. Don’t post about it on social media. Don’t write a letter to the editor talking about your refusal. Just quietly refuse. This kind of quiet non-compliance, or passive resistance, so has worked elsewhere.
  • When the government raises your taxes unjustly, start cheating on them. Get paid in cash and don’t report it. Trade or barter items and don’t report the value of the amount. Open an LLC or an S-Corp and bill many of your personal expenses to it, like your phone bill and your internet connection. The IRS can’t audit everyone, and they won’t do it for a company with $20,000 in earnings and 18,000 in expenses, but you just shielded $18,000 of income.
  • If your car needs to be inspected, find a garage that will sign the paperwork without doing an actual inspection.
  • Get your haircut by someone who is not licensed by the state.
  • Build a ghost gun. It’s not yet illegal, but its a way to spit in their eye.
  • Brew your wine. Don’t sell it, but give it to friends and family.
  • Open an underground business. Buy items at estate sales and farm auctions and sell them on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, etc. for a profit and don’t report the income.

They can’t arrest us all.