Able Bodied Workers Choose Jobless Pay over Real Jobs

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.

How so?

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!

This entry was posted in Economics, Federal Reserve, Jobless Benefits, Libertarian, Liberty. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Able Bodied Workers Choose Jobless Pay over Real Jobs

  1. Gary Ruppert says:

    The fact is, people whove been unemployed that long are lazy and a drain on us and should be killed, as well as there fam9ilyes.

  2. admin says:

    Not sure why you think your comment is funny. Clearly no sane person thinks what you wrote is.

    Although plenty of progressives try, try, try… to make the absurd association that because some might object to being forced to pay for the bailing out of others, jobs or otherwise — a rational argument articulated above (did you even read the comments??) — that those objectors are therefore heartless…. So heartless, the bleeding-heart progressive then snidely implies, that those objecting are really not much different in opinion to someone who might articulate what you’ve written.

    If that’s your game, we call BS. In fact, we’d suggest your redirecting some people’s wealth in ways you think fit — for benefits or otherwise — might be nice on the short term, but long-term it slowly kills an economy. More people lose their jobs consequently, and then they, too, need benefits that are forced out of the productive sector, which in turn kills more jobs… And around and around we go until you kill an economy.

    Oh, but it helps your heart feel good to do the quick easy (thoughtless, and really heartless) thing. So sorry.

  3. Perhaps the initial response was not meant to be funny. It is quite an appalling sentiment, though.

    That said, replacing taxes on good things like labor, capital, production, and sales with taxes on bad things like pollution of the natural environment, monopoly land use, and extraction of non-renewable natural resources would go a long way to making the issue of “taking away someone’s money’.

    The idea is to move to a system where those who benefit from privilege are the ones who have to pay for it. The issue of robbing Peter to pay Paul then goes away. How can you blame any individual for making a decision they believe to be in their best interest?

  4. admin says:

    From a libertarian perspective, the most moral choice is the best one. The most moral choice would be that which respects others’ right to consent or not, vs. the use of force at the expense of others. There is no doubt a fine line between voluntary association and localized governance that meets the specifications each individual desires.

    But to your point, we should all blame someone who makes decisions in their own best interest when it comes directly at the expense of others — without their consent, when it is theirs (to begin with) to consent or not.

    Pollution, environment, etc. can and should fall into the right of consent. As it stands, corporatism rules the day, and those who do not consent are left to live in the environmental mess created by others who couldn’t care less about if they consent or not: the law says they can do it, so they do.

    I could go on, but this initial example simply denotes why being “legal” does not infer being moral or right. But you seem to realize that.

    To your point of taxing some things vs. others, no doubt there might be better means of implementing a tax regime. But then again, it really ought to respect the idea of consent.

    And in that, to return your point about looking out for one’s best interest, really we should be looking out for engaging others in mutually beneficial ways. The few laws that should exist should protect us all in that way.

    H.L. Mencken said it pretty well:

    [Government] is apprehended, not as a committee of citizens chosen to carry on the communal business of the whole population, but as a separate and autonomous corporation, mainly devoted to exploiting the population of the benefit of its own members. The intelligent man, when he pays taxes, certainly does not feel he is making a prudent investment of his money; on the contrary, he feels he is being mulcted in an excessive amount for services that, in the main, are useless to him, and that, in substantial part, are downright inimical to him.

    H.L. Mencken, More of the Same, American Mercury 1925

    Libertarians believe we can and should do better.

  5. Scarface says:

    Hey, “admin”, I’ll bet it took you a non-trivial amount of time to write that blog post and then respond in the comments. You must be relatively new to the LP. One of these days you’ll probably realize what an utter waste of time any involvement with the LP is. Despite claims to the contrary, they haven’t gotten any traction to speak of in 4 decades, and they never will.

  6. admin says:

    Not new to the party.

    The very idea of the word libertarian has meaning is proof positive that the LP has its place and function. As for the lack of traction, no doubt a frontal assault on the heavily guarded R and D fort has it’s limitations, especially when so many voters continue to delude themselves that the Ds and Rs actually have elements within that care about liberty… Such voters are unfortunately suckered in again and again that the Ds and Rs are actually not for sale to the highest bidder.

    The Rs have had every chance to cut government, yet can’t even work up a reduction in the pace of spending when they have both houses and the presidency, and for their vote, the liberty minded R gets endless wars and bogeymen abroad, a security state, as well as prescription drug programs the country couldn’t afford.

    D’s who wanted and end to the war find their chosen one is a war monger no better than the Rs, and who is even more crafty at expanding the police state surveillance and offshore facilities like at Gitmo, never mind his lying outright to the electorate about how he would end such programs. Obama is in the pocket of the War Machine, just like Bush. And for environmentalism, they’ll get this absurd cap and trade program that the likes of Goldman Sachs are slobbering all over running, while $$ billion enviro-industrial complex businesses gush to get more badly thought out initiatives that line their pockets passed. Kinda like the ethanol law. Education? More union favoritism that bankrupts localities and churning out an ever-declining product.

    No, the L’s have not had an easy road with the freedom minded voters blowing their votes for D’s and Rs, and the mainstream can’t be blamed for sucking up the handouts. But the economy will continue to decline until voters sober up, and hopefully L’s can better shape policy.

    Oh, and by the way, in case you don’t know it, L’s don’t care if it is an L that get’s elected so long as the R or the D is libertarian. Far and few between, but the freedom oriented movement is alive and a real thorn in the side. The L label may not be on it, but that’s not the point.

Leave a Reply