Republicans and democrats always like focus on a small part of the results of their costly government programs. They always dress up the benefits without ever looking at the real costs.
Take jobless benefits, for example. Both parties are quick to approve endless jobless benefits extensions during this crisis always suggesting that if it was not for the benefits, the consequences would be awful.
Now, we’re not going to quickly dismiss the difficulty individuals and their families experience when a job is lost. Nobody wants to go through that, especially if there are few savings to fall back on. And that’s why Democrats and Republicans are quick to take other citizens money and give it to those who lost their jobs.
But what they never consider are the unseen costs. These costs, libertarians point out, end up being worse than the problem the two big parties claim to be solving.
When money is taken from business and individuals and redirected to those who just lost their jobs, a few things happen.
First, business have less money to grow. Money they might have spent expanding the business is instead redirected. Instead of hiring someone new with their savings in an industry that actually is generating jobs and wealth, these businesses savings are redirected to pay people to not to work. Now, that’s not the objective of most on jobless benefits. Many simply can’t find work — because the money redirected to them can’t be used to hire them!
Money taken from individuals and redirected to jobless benefits works the same way. That money would have been spent in functioning business, used to buy things that people actually want and need. Instead, it’s redirected to hold people on jobless benefits.
Of course, with the Federal Reserve printing money that’s being used to help finance the Federal Deficit (too complicated to dig into in depth via this simple post), well — those dollars printed out of thin air get their purchasing power at the expense of existing dollar holders, spending power redirected from the functioning economy to the jobless benefits.
So, while republicans and democrats point out all the people they are helping, while earning votes from those receiving benefits (as well as those kind-hearted folks who have been mislead into believing that voting for this junk-economics is actually doing good), in reality these major parties are doing nothing more than turning real jobs into government welfare. Instead, we should look at such programs as job killers!
Now, there’s an additional problem. Not everyone on jobless benefits actually feels like working. Take this article from the Detroit News:
“In a state with the nation’s highest jobless rate, landscaping companies are finding some job applicants are rejecting work offers so they can continue collecting unemployment benefits.
It is unclear whether this trend is affecting other seasonal industries. But the fact that some seasonal landscaping workers choose to stay home and collect a check from the state, rather than work outside for a full week and spend money for gas, taxes and other expenses, raises questions about whether extended unemployment benefits give the jobless an incentive to avoid work.
Members of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association “have told me that they have a lot of people applying but that when they actually talk to them, it turns out that they’re on unemployment and not looking for work,” said Amy Frankmann, the group’s executive director. “It is starting to make things difficult.”
Chris Pompeo, vice president of operations for Landscape America in Warren, said he has had about a dozen offers declined. One applicant, who had eight weeks to go until his state unemployment benefits ran out, asked for a deferred start date.”
Libertarians realize that people are people. We all agree that given an opportunity to get something for nothing, most folks will have a hard time turning it down, especially if the system says it’s legal and ethically o.k. Take a look at the whole financial meltdown and the ethics problems on Wall Street and in D.C. regarding that. Why should individuals on jobless benefits be any different?
The article continues:
“The average landscape worker earns about $12 per hour, according to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth. A full-time landscaping employee would make $225 more a week working than from an unemployment check of $255.
But after federal and state taxes are deducted, a full-time landscaper would earn $350 a week, or $95 more than a jobless check. The gap could narrow further for those who worked at other higher-paying seasonal jobs, such as construction or roofing, which would result in a larger benefits check.
The maximum weekly benefit an unemployed Michigan worker can receive is $387.
The jobless in Michigan are collecting for a longer time — an average of 19.4 weeks last year, up from 15 weeks in 2008. State benefits last for up to 26 weeks.
The unemployed can then apply for extended federal benefits that increase the total time on the public dole up to a maximum of 99 weeks.
The federal jobless benefits extension “is the most generous safety net we’ve ever offered nationally,” said David Littmann, senior economist of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market-oriented research group in Midland. The extra protection reduces the incentive to find work, he said.
It’s impossible to know exactly how many workers are illegally declining employment, but 15 percent of Michigan’s economy is underground, where people trade services, barter or exchange cash without reporting it to the government, Littmann said.”
So, while Democrats and Republicans are quick to get votes by handing your money away while destroying the economy and enabling some people to game the system, libertarians are against it! We believe that charity is important, that helping neighbors through tough times is helpful. But we don’t believe anyone is entitled to anything, or that you solve the problem of unemployment by hamstringing the economy from recovering on its own — without making republican and democrats all important by handing out goodies for votes.
Moreover, we point out that jobless benefits have created a moral dilemma, where people know there’s no risk to losing their job with the jobless benefit programs, so they spend every dime they have living paycheck to paycheck vs. keeping emergency savings.
Instead of helping out and causing good, the republicans and democrats are more interested in promising free lunches for votes. Jobless benefits do more harm than good, and are actually one among many forms of democrat and republican endorsed intervention that not only drove the economy to its current horrible state, they are being expanded and therefore preventing the economy from recovering in any meaningful way. An economic recovery dependent upon redistributing other people’s wealth is a recovery destined to crash and burn, thus requiring more democrats and republicans to ride to the rescue.
Break this cycle of dependency and vote Libertarian!