Stop paying people to not work

States ending enhanced unemployment participation

Too may people can get more on unemployment than the can by working. Time to end the $300 Federal enhancement and return to job seeking requirements.

46 thoughts on “Stop paying people to not work

  1. I’d go further, if I could: End the unemployment benefit entirely.

    The recommendation is impractical, but it never makes sense to pay people to not work.


  2. There is no shortage of people willing to work for a living wage. The idea that they should be forced to work for less by the whip hand of hunger and homelessness is a moral outrage. Those businesses whining about lack of willing workers have an obvious solution – pay better.

    We need to replace unemployment insurance and the whole dog’s breakfast of programs that subsidize exploitive employers like Walmart with some form of universal basic income or greatly enhanced Earned Income Tax Credit. That and Medicare-for-all to once and forever cut the tie between employment and healthcare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Typical, never let a crisis go to waste. It never was about COVID.

      Use half a million deaths and thousands of lost businesses to advance the socialist agenda, Thanks for reminding me that the left is composed primarily of sociopaths.


      1. Odd that this comment should trigger your anger and your stupid name-calling. You think starvation wages are just dandy?

        If you consider finding ways to pay people enought to support themselves a “socialist agenda” then it is you and your ilk who are the sociopaths. As a matter of fact, the UBI/EITC is a very market oriented approach. If it was in place there would be no need for minimum wages nor the dog’s breakfast of subsidies that people and businesses now rely on.


      2. “Sociopaths” on the left? Never mind the “patriots” that attacked Congress on a false premise of overturning the election by force.

        But that is another story.

        Unemployment benefits are but one part of the employment issue facing businesses today. And not necessarily the primary one.

        Restaurants and hospitality sectors are all opening at the same time. Even offering higher wages they cannot get workers, many of whom have moved on to either retirement or other jobs like delivery, Uber or freelance work. Washing dishes for $16,000/year has competition.

        Plus businesses in manufacturing cannot get supplies never mind how many workers they have. And those supply lines are global.

        This too shall pass, but as predicted by more than a few economists, it will take time. The vaccines are working, but still far from universally popular thanks to Republican balking.

        In my opinion, the 600K deaths, millions infected and still suffering could have been avoided or mitigated if we had had an interested administration. Instead we had a sociopathic one that thought the pandemic was a nuisance to be ignored. Then perhaps the economy might be rebounding faster.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The total of the enhanced unemployment and associated benefits is the equivalent of $32K a year, twice what a dishwasher currently earns.

          There is no chance such dole could have passed other than as an emergency bailout for the pandemic. To keep it now when it is no longer needed to coerce businesses into pay an unjustified wage is theft.


          1. Again, I don’t think the unemployment boost is a big part of the labor shortage other than as a target for Republican talking points.

            The pandemic is apparently winding down in most places, but not gone by any means. And won’t be for a while. (Ironically, Republican tout OWS as a shining success for vaccine development yet 40% of them refuse to get vaccinated.)

            You say “unjustified” wage. Why is it unjustified?

            Food costs are a reflection of illegal immigrant labor which is mostly minimum wage, no benefits and absolutely no guarantee of even getting paid. How long will that keep up as being justified also?

            Automation in fast food is coming no matter what the wages are so that threat is pointless.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. Why is the higher wage unjustified? Because if it were justified, it would already be paid based on the market value of the labor.

          There is no way other than the market to set a wage that is not coerced one way or the other.

          If wages were held down by government edict, would that be just? If not, then the opposite must also be true as it does harm to someone else. Maybe not as visibly, but just as certainly.


          1. The restaurant sector would still be paying competitive wages even if as a nation we establish a floor that is the same for all. Just like we already require OT after 40 hours or safe working conditions. Service industries have little foreign competition such as textiles that pressured us to scrub the sector.

            Essentially, if you want to do business in our country, with its benefits of relative peace, security and decent adherence to the rule of law sans too much corruption, there should be a responsible wage floor.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. A responsible wage floor is zero/ No one should be required to pay to work.

            Whether you can rationalize a way to make your corrupt scheme work or not, it is still corrupt.

            You are forcing one party of a transaction to pay more than the other party’s contribution is worth.


          3. Well, let’s just go back to 1880, no safety rules, no OT, company towns with scrip, children working in coal mines and violence against workers.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. No safety rules? OK, but also access to the courts for employer liability for unsafe conditions.

            OT unfairly limits those workers willing to work longer hours by overpricing hours over 40. It’s a rule that holds down the industrious

            Violence is always wrong and unlawful.

            And none of those justifies coercion by government.


          5. Access to courts? Yeah, sure. While I get fired, I can hire a lawyer and get on the civil docket in maybe 3 years or so.

            Trump made his court battles legendary because he would run up the meter full well knowing that in NY at least, it was about 7 years to get a civil trial after continuances, etc.

            OT stops willing workers. Hardly, it rewards willing workers since OT is not an employee move, but rather an employer mandate that helps when work gets piled up, has a deadline. Plus it saves an employer from hiring and training another full time worker.

            It wasn’t the government coercing anyone, but rather the employers who knew workers, especially the new immigrants, had no voice in how they were treated.

            Why do you think Third World labor is so cheap. Because the conditions of pay, safety and treatment are abysmal. And they have courts, too.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. You’re confusing a failing in our legal system with justification for coercing a value best set by the market.

            The legal system can be fixed, loser pays would be a good start and the truth is that the employer’s insurer is the worker’s ally.

            Overtime as a backup for piled up work is not the same thing as someone simply wanting more hours to save for a down payment on a house or for his kids’ college.

            Two employees wanting to work 60 hours for their own reasons will never get that opportunity as it is cheaper to hire a third 40 hour employee than to allow them to work more to reach their goals. It is not the employer you are hurting, it us the employees you are denying the chance to meet their goals.

            You have to learn to look past your good intentions to the unintended harm you inevitably do when you deny people the right to make their own choices in the marketplace.


          7. You are setting the stage for a lawyer’s feast. Every legal case with a judicial outcome would set a maze of precedents. Many contradictory.

            You think taxes are high now, wait until we set up a few thousand more courts, judges, magistrates, clerks to handle the caseloads. We are already underfunding judicial systems big time.

            Loser pays? A single worker gets legal aid to go against Amazon. Oh, yeah, that works.

            Much simpler to set universal rules that give a sense of predictability for both workers and companies. You think an employer wants to go to court every week and get different rulings from different judges on similar cases?

            As far as OT, it is not cost effective to hire extra workers to avoid occasional OT. Training, vetting all cost. Much better to pay your prized, trained workers extra. I did that all the time with my assistants.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. There is no rational arguing with someone who thinks that a legal minimum wage is a form of “theft” and who flies off into emotional rants with words like “sociopath”, “corrupt schemes”, “coercion”, and “violence” at the drop of a hat.

            Add to all that emotion a complete break from reality that would make him think, for example, that working overtime is not routinely demanded as a condition of employment but merely a choice by the industrious to earn extra money.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. And yet it is you who supports denying a worker the opportunity to work more hours to improve his lot.

            Your charity brings great hardship to those you claim to support.

            You need to look inward and see why you think you are better equipped to make other people’s choices than they are. That is a sickenss.


          10. LOL!

            So supporting laws requiring extra pay for overtime work is a “sickness.” I stand by my observation that there is no rational arguing with such nonsense. Those who agree with the laws of our country which have been in place since 1938 are “sociopaths”, “corrupt”, “thieves” and now suffering from “sickness” of an implied self-centered superiority complex. That last one is particularly interesting coming from someone like you who “knows” more than the experts in just about every field.

            All I can suggest is that you look in the mirror and try to find the source of such irrational nonsense.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. Read more carefully

            The lust for power to force others to live according to what you think is best for them is the sickness.

            Libertarians, on the other hand, do not seek to force anyone to live as we choose., only to prevent others from using force on us.


          12. “Read more carefully?”

            What exactly do you think I missed in your angry, hate-filled psychotic name-calling rants?

            People who believe in reasonable “wage and hour laws” such as we have had since 1938 are not “sociopaths”, “corrupt”, “thieves”, or “lusting for power.”

            Again, all I can suggest is that you look in the mirror and try to find the source of such irrational nonsense.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. Do you really not get it?

            Why are you more qualified than other people to make their own choices?

            Your “reasonable” wage and hour laws deny people the freedom to make their own economic choices. I know you think you are wiser than they, but what gives you the right to impose your wisdom on them?

            Denying them choices is not helping them, it just feeds your lust for power over others. And yes, that is sick.


          14. One of us needs help. A lot of it. I invite you to review today’s posts and look at yours with a critical eye. I responded to your original posting with a fact – there is no shortage of people willing to work for a living wage. That triggered an insane rant about “sociopaths.” You have gone down hill from there. It seems that any challenge to YOUR brilliance leaves you just about unhinged.

            Liked by 1 person

          15. I invite you to face a simple fact.

            OT laws deny those who, for their own reasons, want to work added hours for added income.

            It is that worker, not the employer, who has been harmed.

            Of course, you are blind to the unintended consequences of your arrogant good intentions.


          16. Arrogant?

            I did not create the wage and hour laws that we have had for almost a century. The arrogance is yours thinking that you know better than the American people and many generations of elected leaders and representatives.

            And, while we are at it, your knowledge of what it is like to work for wages appears to be near zero. You obviously think meeting a permanent 120 hour per week work requirement by working two employees for 60 hours a week instead of three employees for 40 hours a week is a good idea. That is really and truly dumb. In too many ways to bother to list.

            Liked by 1 person

          17. It isn’t for me or for you to decide if working a 60 hour week is a good choice for an individual worker. That choice belongs to that worker and his employer, and no one else.

            The difference is that I seek to leave him free to choose and you support taking that choice from him because YOU don’t think it’s good for him. That os arrogance.


          18. Arrogant?

            Your constant uncivil and ignorant name-calling is growing kind of old. Where is Mr. Roberts when we need him?

            The framework of employer-employee relationships in this country was not created by me. It was created by the Constitutional processes of the community of human beings that we are both living in and benefit from. There are very good reasons why We the People decided to involve the government in that relationship. In a nutshell, it was because the unregulated “market” allowed employers to HARM the people they employed. Decent people almost a century ago said “Enough is enough.” Only the most doctrinaire of extremists object to that framework now that it has proven the test of time.

            Liked by 1 person

          19. You chose to defend the OT rules.

            No one is forced to work for a specific employer. The terms of employment should be between the employer and the employee, or a union which he voluntarily joins. Government should have no part in that transaction.


          20. “You chose to defend the OT rules.”

            Uh, yes I did. Because they work. And they fulfill one of the roles of government. Keeping people from doing harm to other people. Your blather about people free to switch jobs being the only protection that they need shows a naive, childlike understanding of the reality of the workplace.

            And my defending the labor laws which have existed for 80 years does not make me “arrogant.” Only a genuinely clueless and arrogant jackass would hurl such an insult on the basis of that fact.

            Liked by 1 person

          21. You still have not provided any justification for the harm done to the worker who is denied the choice to earn more by working longer hours, for whatever reason he chooses to do so.

            Again, you never look past your immediate good intentions to the harmful unintended, but less visible, consequences.

            Government, and progressives do not manage people’s lives better than they can, or at least have the right to.

            But you just can’t admit that government meddling harms people in ways the market never does.


          22. Only in the bizarro world of the modern “conservative” mind are wage and hours laws that have been protecting the working people of this country for 80 years actually harming them. Why? Well, just because.

            If there is work that requires a commitment of 120 man hours per week no employer would prefer to do it with two 60 hour positions with or without overtime pay regulations. The idea that they would staff that way is nonsense and betrays that you are totally clueless. And yet employers making such nonsense decisions is the essence of your “argument.” Laughable. And made doubly so by your pouty indignation that your “thinking” might be challenged.

            Liked by 1 person

          23. Are you sure you worked in the private sector?

            There are fixed employee costs, like insurance, that incentivize fewer employees working longer hours.

            But again you deflect and evade. Is the employee seeking longer hours harmed or not by taking that opportunity away?

            Clearly he is. As much as you wish to avoid admitting it, taking that choice from him does him harm.

            Of course, he can get a second job with another employer, but second jobs always pay less and have added lost time to travel.

            He is harmed when his freedom is diminished, you just don’t see much value in being free to choose.


          24. “Are you sure you worked in the private sector?”

            Yes, pretty sure that I did. And, unlike you in organizations employing thousands of people. My knowledge comes from experience and not from some polemic by a non-economist Austrian.

            Let me put this plainly – you do not know what you are talking about. It does NOT harm the workforce to be protected from employer abuse. Being paid time and a half when it is REQUIRED that they work overtime is good for them – not bad. Duh. No opportunities for full-time 60 hour work weeks are destroyed by OT pay because employers would not choose to staff that way in spite of the fixed costs. People are not machines. Fatigue, errors and inefficiency are real issues. And so too is the issue of continuity and redundancy. Not to mention simple decency which – believe it or not – many employers have.

            Besides these stupid errors based on your sheer ignorance, your logic is shitty as well. If an employee is “harmed” because he wants a full time 60 hour week job that an employer won’t offer because of OT pay then so too is the non-employee “harmed” because there is no job available to him under your silly a priori work ’em to death scheme.

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Explain exactly what a “living wage” is. I can bet that you will get thousands of different answers if you asked that on a street corner. If you think a person flipping burgers deserves enough pay to buy a house and a BMW, you are the problem, not the answer. My daughter’s ignorant boyfriend is a prime example of a Gen Z slug who thinks society owes him a roof, daily order in Wendys, phone and service as well as his hair dye just because of people like you feeding the young wealth envy and free money from the “rich”. The young dont understand entry level jobs and working their way up due to this narrative. BTW, he didn’t finish high school and doesn’t drive so he needs a personal uber too. You pay for it!!!


        1. What a pathetic response. You dont know me or my daughter who graduated cum laude and has a job due to her parents influence. That would be me. Now that was rich trying to be a punk like her boyfriend.


          1. So, you raised your daughter and even got her a job and she STILL chooses a “punk” “Gen-Z slug” as a boyfriend but that has nothing to do with you or how you raised her? Oh no, it is the fault of “people like [me]” who for some reason have more influence on her than you do. And you say my response was “pathetic?”

            BTW, I have two daughters. One is a world famous ballerina. The other was Valdictorian of her class at Oscar Smith and is now a graduate of Dartmouth College. Neither has chosen a “punk” nor a “slug” as a mate. And so it goes.


  3. Isn’t it interesting that when low wages are brought up the usual refrain from conservatives is “well, just work harder, get skills, stand out, get a better job that pays better!” but in the context of a labor shortage the same supply and demand market principles go out the window. The obvious solution, as my fellow commies have pointed out, is to simply pay people more. But it seems businesses should not be subjected to market discipline, only labor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A true labor shortage is the best way to raise wages.

      But a contrived labor shortage resulting from subsidizing the choice to not work will produce unintended consequences, especially when those subsidies eventually end and employers have found ways to automate then out of a job.


      1. Automation is taking place now whether wages are $15 or $5 an hour. It is a classic excuse to say “work for peanuts or we’ll replace you with a robot”.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Labor shortage? We’ve had one for decades. Why do you think we allow illegals to work for low wages, no benefits and no rights? Companies in the food supply sector are making money by not paying the going wage if they hire illegals. The market based wage would be what it takes to get Americans to pick lettuce.

        Therein lies your “sickness”. An economy that is so dependent on cheap, compliant labor will not consider an immigration solution because that would end the gravy train. Republican policy is simple: keep illegals in constant fear, but don’t get rid of them.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Sure. Did Mexico send a check?

            I suggested long ago that sending owners and hired managers (CEO’s, etc.) to prison for hiring illegal workers.

            But we know how that went.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. As a nation we demand cheap compliant labor as well as profits and solving the immigration issue would kill that.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. When the companies who employ the workers form other countries get actually punished for hiring those here illegally, then maybe things will improve. But until that happens, the cycle will continue.


          4. Understand that I favor allowing people who want to come here to work to do so. Either as legal immigrants or guest workers.

            I object to non-citizens voting and receiving means tested benefits.


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