If I am to believe the latest running conservative meme that the unemployed are all lazy drug-addicted alcoholics. In the interest of job creation in this economic shit-storm, it seems it would behoove our government to invest in individual drug dealers, corner store bodegas, and the ’round the way bootleg-liquor-man. Yep, be sure to hurry up and make that unemployment extension thing happen an shortly thereafter follow through on my suggestion; how’s that for free market economics.
I mean after all, according to them, there’s no stimulative effect to the economy when people spend their unemployment checks. Not only that, the safety net that is unemployment insurance – ironically, like weed – happens to be a de-motivator. Think about it, why would anyone wanna work when they are able to sit on their asses and get paid for doing anything productive. Why should they be forced to worry about anything but the possibility of maybe a drug overdose, right?
But just in case nobody takes me and my idea seriously, here are some thoughts from a pretty smart white guy who in his infinite Nobel Prize for economics wisdom, takes a moment to speak on the subject of unemployment benefits and just how at this time are beneficial to the economy. Paul Krugman is my dude and all, and he makes a compelling case; but I’m sorry, I’m sticking with the “lazy drug addict” meme in an effort to make a come-up off of those loser unemployed people. I mean since they’re all drug-addicted drunks, I think I’ll open up a bar and name it, “The Senate”:
Do unemployment benefits reduce the incentive to seek work? Yes: workers receiving unemployment benefits aren’t quite as desperate as workers without benefits, and are likely to be slightly more choosy about accepting new jobs. The operative word here is “slightly”: recent economic research suggests that the effect of unemployment benefits on worker behavior is much weaker than was previously believed. Still, it’s a real effect when the economy is doing well.
But it’s an effect that is completely irrelevant to our current situation. When the economy is booming, and lack of sufficient willing workers is limiting growth, generous unemployment benefits may keep employment lower than it would have been otherwise. But as you may have noticed, right now the economy isn’t booming — again, there are five unemployed workers for every job opening. Cutting off benefits to the unemployed will make them even more desperate for work — but they can’t take jobs that aren’t there.
Wait: there’s more. One main reason there aren’t enough jobs right now is weak consumer demand. Helping the unemployed, by putting money in the pockets of people who badly need it, helps support consumer spending. That’s why the Congressional Budget Office rates aid to the unemployed as a highly cost-effective form of economic stimulus. And unlike, say, large infrastructure projects, aid to the unemployed creates jobs quickly — while allowing that aid to lapse, which is what is happening right now, is a recipe for even weaker job growth, not in the distant future but over the next few months.