Starbucks the Benevolent?
This is a great example of how complicated the ideas of “liberty” and “freedom” are, and how they don’t really work as absolutes in real life. After all, if your place of work gets to decide how you spend your compensation (by paying you with housing, or education), aren’t you less free to make individual decisions? Would the government forcing private business to pay you with dollars make you more or less free? What about if the government forced businesses to pay you in dollars, but that meant the total value of your compensation went down by 20%? At some point, it’s easy for two people in the exact same economic system to feel like they’re trapped under the heel of one of two completely different parties, simply depending on which freedom is more important to them at the moment. In this example, it’s “freedom to be paid the highest-value compensation possible” versus “freedom to decide how that compensation should be spent”.
That last freedom is actually pretty valuable (which is why Starbucks is willing to jump through various hoops to avoid simply paying their people more), but if you lack basic services like housing and education, it’s easy to understand why you’d be willing to dump it for as much raw economic benefit as possible in whatever format you can get it. When I was 22, my cousin and I dumped our health benefits our terrible food service job offered (which was actually really cool of them) for some trivial increase in our hourly pay because… well, because we were 22, and we were less interested in in-kind benefits.
This is why the anger in today’s political climate is so useless — it’s mostly focused on ideological absolutes that simply don’t apply to everyone equally, because we all live different lives, and it seems like we increasingly either don’t get that, or reject it because we find it too complicated to figure out.