Patterico's Pontifications

1/30/2014

No, Extending Unemployment Benefits Does Not “Create Jobs”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 am

President Obama is pushing to extend unemployment benefits again, and argued earlier this month that it “creates jobs.”

“Voting for extending unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs,” Obama said. “Voting against it doesn’t.”

It’s about time we took on this silly notion that paying people not to work causes more people to work.

Peter Schiff had some fun on his radio show the other day with this idea. He asked people to call in with their stories of being on unemployment when they were younger. Person after person called in to say that they had enjoyed their time on unemployment, and looked for ways to keep it going. One person said he crashed at his brother’s place and went skiing for months. If someone had offered him a job on the slopes he would have turned it down. Like all the other callers, he said the thing that motivated him to actually get out and work was when the checks stopped coming in the mail.

Now. I am not arguing that unemployment is a wonderful experience. For many, and almost certainly most, it is a rough time — especially for people who have gotten older and have greater expenses and responsibilities. It can be very rough indeed, even devastating. For such people, unemployment insurance can help cushion the blow. I’m not arguing against having it at all, although I can imagine better ways to address the issue.

My point is: I am highly skeptical of people who say that unemployment insurance “creates” jobs. No: businesses create jobs. When people need to work, it’s easier to get people to work. It’s just common sense, and Schiff’s callers illustrate the truth of that common sense: extended unemployment benefits means extended unemployment.

I hear some of you sniffing: “Common sense? Callers to a talk show? That’s anecdotal evidence! Where are the studies that prove what you’re saying?!”

Here:

We exploit a policy discontinuity at U.S. state borders to identify the effects of unemployment insurance policies on unemployment. Our estimates imply that most of the persistent increase in unemployment during the Great Recession can be accounted for by the unprecedented extensions of unemployment benefit eligibility. In contrast to the existing recent literature that mainly focused on estimating the effects of benefit duration on job search and acceptance strategies of the unemployed — the micro effect — we focus on measuring the general equilibrium macro effect that operates primarily through the response of job creation to unemployment benefit extensions. We find that it is the latter effect that is very important quantitatively.

This is one of many studies cited by lefty hacks PolitiFact when they tried to attack Rand Paul on this point and found they couldn’t. They quoted an economist from the left-leaning Brookings Institution who confirmed the obvious:

Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution, said Paul is on “safe ground” with his claim.

“It is fair to say that there have been ‘many studies’ of the impact of longer unemployment insurance durations on unemployment, re-employment, and labor force participation, and it is fair to say that a sizeable majority of studies shows an impact that links longer potential benefit durations with longer spells of unemployment,” Burtless said.

Naturally, PolitiFact tried to spin this a little, as you would expect. (Their big argument seems to be the old Keynesian “give people money and they’ll spend it which helps the ecnomony” argument. Why not just make every American a ward of the state, then? The economy will BOOM!) But they couldn’t avoid the evidence that extended unemployment benefits generally lead to extended unemployment.

Bookmark this for when people repeat that canard that extending unemployment benefits creates jobs. It’s nonsense. Common sense, your experience, and even studies say so!

119 Responses to “No, Extending Unemployment Benefits Does Not “Create Jobs””

  1. Any reasonable person would come to your same conclusion. Even Politico agrees.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/01/north-carolina-cut-jobless-benefits-and-the-sky-didnt-fall-102048.html#.Uup7bPvAaSo

    Patricia (be0117)

  2. Linked by dint of zeitgeist? Another devoted CA public service has enuf of odious TEA h8red:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/01/rep-henry-waxman-bashes-tea-party-announces-retirement-leaves-door-open-for-new-age-author-marianne-williamson/

    Come on Nan, you know you want to, be a joiner.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  3. Moonbeam let it out that Kali corporate revenues are but 70% of budgeted bonfire.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  4. It continues consumerism. In a retail economy, it helps keep others employed. But no, it does not create jobs. It redistributes the income of the working and taxed to those not working.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. Ironic that Krugman’s introduction to economics Textbook states the same thing – that Unemployment benefits reduce the incentitive to find work. Yet Krugman the Pundit at the NYT times says that unemployment benefits should be extended.

    joe (43b0c6)

  6. In retrospect I’m pretty sure the force in this one shined bright only because ’twas against the blackest of backgrounds.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/01/29/paul-ryan-under-our-plan-illegals-will-have-probationary-legal-status-while-the-border-is-being-secured/

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  7. Let’s face facts: unemployment is a job in itself. It’s an easy one, sure enough — beneficiaries have to call in every week or so to keep their benefits coming, and may have to go through the motions of looking for a job — but it provides a paycheck at regular intervals. And if it pays more than an actual job, if that actual job is the only one the recipient can get, what motive is there to take the lower (or even just equally) paying job, other than the impending expiration of benefits?

    Our unemployment will really drop once this welfare President is out of the White House — unless, of course, the public are stupid enough to elect another Democrat.

    The economist Dana (3e4784)

  8. I’m pretty sure the GOP will try to take the stick out of Media’s hands.

    A majority of the spending in the [Farm] bill is for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), informally called the food stamp program, and much of the Democratic opposition came from members who opposed the $8 billion cut to the program. The original House proposal would have cut $39 billion from food stamps, while the Senate-passed bill called for a $4 billion cut.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  9. Best stimulus plan EVAH !!!

    JD (69f5e8)

  10. Today CNN is highlighting a dead cat bounce in the Market as investors “focusing on strong Tech company profits and GDP results”.

    Missing is reference to last night’s slaughter on Asian markets and concomitant European pancake and US bonds edging up.

    And people wonder why ND floods every spring. Ever pour a glass of water on a cookie sheet?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  11. One of two things happens when people become unemployed. They either find a job quickly, or they stay on unemployment until the benefits run out.

    If people can’t find work that pays significantly more than their unemployment check they don’t take the work. If they’re getting $300 per week on unemployment and someone offers them a job for $400 a week, then they wouldn’t be working for $400 per week if they took it. As long as the unemployment checks last they’d be giving up a life of leisure to work 40 hours every week just for that marginal $100. Or $2.50 an hour. They’d be better off doing odd jobs off the books for cash; they could make that $100 in a day. In fact, I’m sure that’s what many do.

    That’s short sighted though because the longer someone is unemployed the harder it is for them to find work. Prospective employers think there’s got to be something wrong there. And they’re right; at the very least skills stagnate.

    At the very least you can say extended unemployment benefits don’t do anyone any favors. But frankly I think for liberals like Obama it’s just welfare by another name. He gives lip service about how people would rather have jobs than collect welfare. But I recall Bobby Jindal’s amazed response after meeting with Obama in the wake of the BP oil spill. He was trying to get Obama to understand that his oil drilling moratorium in the Gulf was a disaster. He had put tens of thousands of oil workers out of work when unemployment was already sky high. And Jindal was stunned when Obama kept responding, “But I gave them unemployment benefits, I gave them food stamps.” Jindal was shocked to find out Obama thought that collecting benefits was just as good as having a job, so what were people complaining about?

    I still think Obama believes that. I think he understands all of the foregoing. But I think he’s heard people like Jindal enough to know he can’t come out and just say what he thinks. If he’s going to boil the frog, he’s got to pay lip service to the fact that they’d rather have jobs. Even though he’d rather turn them into welfare recipients.

    As far as the Keynesian BS that’s to silly to mention. I just find it amusing that Obama is talking about raising the minimum wage, such as at places like Walmart or Target where these people try to stretch their unemployment check dollar, thus making their barely adequate government check completely inadequate.

    Let’s keep people on extended unemployment forever, and then make things more expensive for them by increasing labor costs.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  12. Let’s see, give us extended benefits, food stamps, amnesty, empty the prisons and pay the banks for all their sub-prime auto loans.

    And when, after all that help, the economy obstinately remains flat-lined the only solution must be more government.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  13. Missing is reference to last night’s slaughter on Asian markets and concomitant European pancake and US bonds edging up.

    I wish I had the skills of pre-congnition, because then I’d know whether I was being either too optimistic or pessimistic about the future, or maybe actually just right with one or the other.

    I know there was an extended, indefinite period of economic stupor back in the 1930s and 1940s, aggravated by the enactment of absurdly high income taxes not too many years following the great stock market crash of 1929. So far we haven’t been quite as idiotic or unlucky in those two categories, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    I understand that the onset of World War II also forced a major stimulus into the US economy — presumably the ultimate form of activating Kinseyian theory — although I believed the effect of that petered out noticeably after 1945.

    The one difference between now and then is that the manufacturing base of the US, and the world in general, has been greatly altered by the emergence of economies like China’s. In the late 1940s and 1950s the world was a plaything for the US, with the assembly lines in many other countries having been destroyed or never existing to begin with.

    Beyond that, the demographics of America have also changed over the past 70 years. We now have far more public schools in 2014 that illustrate forms of dysfunction and mediocrity in a way that would have been unfathomable decades ago.

    Will such things be this era’s version of the elephant standing in the corner of the room, sort of a variation of the punishingly high income taxes of the 1930s or the opposite of a post-1945 America that was able to monopolize many facets of the world’s economy?

    Mark (534100)

  14. Hey, with Waxman out that means Patterico can run! Against Marianne Williamson!

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  15. If paying out billions in unemployment creates jobs, here’s my plan: give the money to me. I guarantee I will create still more jobs, and better jobs.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  16. What really saddens me is the fact that our Government is playing games with over a million and a half American lives!!! For whatever the reasons are that someone is collecting extended benifits is not the issue here! The issue is that there are tens of thousands families that are looking at eviction notices, families that work their entire lives supporting a government that now has turned its back on them!!! Its amazing to me that the people are so quick to look down on an american working man that has run into hard times and say he’s a bumb just looking for a free ride? Why don’t people look at the un- documented workers and their wives and families who have never paid a tax or contributed anything to our country that are collecting foodstamps, Housing assistance, free medical care, and cash assistance? Why is everyone looking down on AMERICANS who have hit a rough patch and need help? Get it right people!!! Help our citizens, STOP PAYING THE ILLEGAL ALIENS AND START HELPING OUR FELLOW AMERICANS!!!

    Paul Peyton (2d1541)

  17. Democrats say they want to extend unemployment benefits to help the unemployed but is that their leaders’ goal?

    The authors noted that the number of Americans subsisting on welfare — about 8 million, at the time — probably represented less than half the number who were technically eligible for full benefits. They proposed a “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls.” Cloward and Piven calculated that persuading even a fraction of potential welfare recipients to demand their entitlements would bankrupt the system. The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces for major economic reform at the national level.”

    Their article called for “cadres of aggressive organizers” to use “demonstrations to create a climate of militancy.” Intimidated by threats of black violence, politicians would appeal to the federal government for help. Carefully orchestrated media campaigns, carried out by friendly, leftwing journalists, would float the idea of “a federal program of income redistribution,” in the form of a guaranteed living income for all — working and non-working people alike. Local officials would clutch at this idea like drowning men to a lifeline. They would apply pressure on Washington to implement it. With every major city erupting into chaos, Washington would have to act. This was an example of what are commonly called Trojan Horse movements — mass movements whose outward purpose seems to be providing material help to the downtrodden, but whose real objective is to draft poor people into service as revolutionary foot soldiers; to mobilize poor people en masse to overwhelm government agencies with a flood of demands beyond the capacity of those agencies to meet. The flood of demands was calculated to break the budget, jam the bureaucratic gears into gridlock, and bring the system crashing down. Fear, turmoil, violence and economic collapse would accompany such a breakdown — providing perfect conditions for fostering radical change. That was the theory.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  18. ACORN and Project Vote were born as a result of this movement.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  19. For how long, Paul? They give out unemployment benefits for 26 weeks without batting an eyelash. Only after that are extended benefits an issue.

    That’s half a year to find some other work. The only reason that isn’t happening for some is that President Spit-For-Brains keeps making everything worse with idiotic policy after idiotic policy.

    If you really cared about the unemployed you would have voted for Romney. I’m betting you didn’t.

    Kevin M (536c5d)

  20. I don’t think President Obama cares about the fine details of the arguments that support his policy positions (if he even understands them, which he may not in most cases.)

    Sometimes when he tries to “prove” or illustrate them, he falls flat on his face figuratively speaking.

    All he cares about is that somebody is making this argument…

    Making an argument…

    …that unemployment insurance creates jobs

    …that universal pre-K would improve education -

    …that what’s wrong with America is old highways, bridges and tunnels

    …that the more people go to college, the more income everyone will make

    …that “income inequality” needs to be corrected used an excuse to levy taxes.

    …that the cost of health insurance will go down if X happens

    …that a panel of experts can improve medical care

    …that climate change is settled

    and what have you.

    And that that argument is not being rejected out of hand.

    The actual reaosn he’s in favor of anything is that some people close to the Democratic Party are lobbying for it. With very little does he think for himself or judge independently.

    Sometimes what he’s saying may even be right, or close, but if it were wrong he wouldn’t take the opposite position. Only people practically laughing at him would stop him.

    Sammy Finkelman (8b8667)

  21. “massive drive to recruit the poor onto the welfare rolls”

    Well, there’s now a massive drive to recruit people onto Medicaid.

    Which is a booby trap.

    And nobody understands this, not the Republicans either. We’ll start fnding out in 2015.

    Sammy Finkelman (8b8667)

  22. These fools seem to think that people on unemployment run right out and buy a new tv or hit the hottest restaurant. Most people are making the payments on mortgages, cars, and credit cards i.e. things that have already been built and paid for on the credit they are now trying to pay off. It’s one thing to disagree with Obama because of policy differences; but they way he treats everyone like the fools who voted for him really gets me pissed. I think I’ll go throw some food in my sous vide machine.

    Bruce (a889cf)

  23. Of course it creates jobs. Unfortunately, those jobs are careers in the unemployment benefits offices, checking that the unemployed are qualified for unemployment.

    htom (412a17)

  24. Protip for Obama and the Democrats – It’s tough to be pro-jobs when you’re anti-business.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  25. I’m waiting until the unemployed who are collecting benefits start being counted as employed. I mean, we’re getting money for doing something (attending workshops, reading help wanted ads and job lists, sending out resumés or filling out online applications, etc.) so why not? It would help Ø’s U-3 stats look so much better. (Read that last sentence with extreme sarcasm in the voice, please.)

    There’s some tired cynicism in the above because I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that someone in this administration has already thought of it. I mean if we go straight from employed to off the radar when our benefits run out…..

    Forgive the negativity. I’ve been looking for two months now, and it’s becoming fairly obvious that if the family is going to keep it’s bills paid, I’m going to have to take a job too far away for commuting, leaving the husband and kids here, and maintaining two household for months or longer. It doesn’t help that CT was the only state with negative GDP growth last year, and the official U-3 for our area is nearly 10%, much of it directly attributable to federal policies.

    LibraryGryffon (1996ab)

  26. The Dems DENY Settled Science!

    “a sizeable majority of studies shows an impact that links longer potential benefit durations with longer spells of unemployment”.

    DENIERS!!

    Teflon Dad (53f3f7)

  27. so to clarify, food stamp wants a year of action… except for workers?

    whose gay idea was it to elect this person

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  28. We coulda had Clotty Brain McBenghazi.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  29. Democrats basically think that shoveling money out the back door of the Treasury department “creates jobs”.

    But the trillions of dollars that have been shoveled out the back door of the Treasury and Federal Reserve the last five years prove that to be false.

    SPQR (768505)

  30. Wasn’t unemployment available up to 99 weeks at one point? Clamoring for extended unemployment benefits did to economy seems to fly in the face of the recovery they always bibble babble about.

    JD (65351d)

  31. The best truth about unemployment insurance is that it artificially sustains some service jobs that might be lost downstream of a layoff or a recession due to the lost wages no longer coming into the community.

    This is especially so in remote or single industry towns or cities that suddenly lose a major employer or a are caught in a broad recession. While it does keep people housed and fed and the resultant downstream benefit of SOME money being put into the local economy, it “creates” no jobs, except for expanded government staffing, usually somewhere else.

    SGT Ted (c697c0)

  32. Democrats basically think that shoveling money out the back door of the Treasury department “creates jobs”.

    But the trillions of dollars that have been shoveled out the back door of the Treasury and Federal Reserve the last five years prove that to be false.

    Yea, the Obama clowns claim to be Keynesians, but not even Keynes proposed that deficit spending worked as a stimulus.

    What is funny is that they deride what they call “Trickle Down Economics” idea of free markets leading to job creation, despite the empirical evidence as to their success, but think that “Trickle Down Government” will work just fine and generate massive amounts of jobs, again, despite the empirical evidence that refute their contentions.

    Then, they say they are the “Science” and “Reality Based Community” folks. What they actually are is the “Community Based Reality” folks.

    SGT Ted (c697c0)

  33. 30. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/30/2014 @ 12:52 pm

    Democrats basically think that shoveling money out the back door of the Treasury department “creates jobs”.

    But the trillions of dollars that have been shoveled out the back door of the Treasury and Federal Reserve the last five years prove that to be false.

    If that is false, and it is, then the current Republican explanation for what finally ended the great Depression (war spending) is also false.

    It is not provably false. Paul Krugman says the amount of money shoverled out the door was simply too small for today’s economy.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  34. It is not provably false. Paul Krugman says

    You can stop right there. Self-refuting

    JD (65351d)

  35. In related news,

    “No, Having an Affair Does Not ‘Honor One’s Marital Vows’”

    “No, Ignoring a Cancerous Growth Does Not ‘Purify the Body’”

    “No, Being Foreclosed Out of One’s Home Does Not ‘Strengthen One’s Sense of Community’”

    And of course:

    “No, Smoking Crack Cocaine Does Not ‘Improve the Vascular System’”

    Lawrence Westlake (4fc30a)

  36. Finkelman, its well established that Krugman is a flaming liar. Regardless, the amount of “stimulus” that the Democrats have shoveled into the economy has totaled many times the amount of “stimulus” purportedly included in the pork bill Democrats pushed out in Spring of ’09.

    SPQR (768505)

  37. SPQR – they like to ignore that the “one time” “stimulus” got baselined.

    JD (65351d)

  38. Of course extending unemployment benefits creates jobs. And not your minimum-wage McJobs, either. Real, high-paying, union jobs, with security and benefits and all that good stuff. Just like every other government program ever invented, regardless of its title. Why do you think they exist, and are renewed every year? To boost the membership of the public service unions, which will in turn mobilize in support of Democratic candidates. The titles of the individual programs, and the issue they’re supposed to address, are just window dressing.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  39. 30. Democrats basically think that shoveling money out the back door of the Treasury department “creates jobs”.

    But the trillions of dollars that have been shoveled out the back door of the Treasury and Federal Reserve the last five years prove that to be false.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/30/2014 @ 12:52 pm

    Because of course before they can shovel it out the back door of the Treasury, they have to pick the back pocket of some taxpayer.

    Unless it’s borrowed, of course. Which is just deferred theft from the taxpayer, plus interest.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  40. Milhouse @39, that’s axiomatically true. Which is why the GOP is insane not to fight tooth and nail to kill Obamacare now.

    Obama knows that Obamacare will have a natural constituency no matter how badly Americans hate it. The bureaucracies, and consequently their attached PEUs, that administer Obamacare.

    Income inequality between DC and the rest of the nation will continue to grow as the parasites inside the beltway grow fat on the blood of their host.

    And most infuriatingly of all, GOP pols will continue to praise the “hard-working” employees of the federal government. Are they so stupid that they don’t understand that the federal bureaucracy is leftism incarnate? Or are they afraid of it?

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  41. Comment by Steve57 (5b9a77) — 1/30/2014 @ 2:37 pm

    Because of course before they can shovel it out the back door of the Treasury, they have to pick the back pocket of some taxpayer.

    No, they don’t. They can borrow it and that’s what they do.

    Unless it’s borrowed, of course. Which is just deferred theft from the taxpayer, plus interest.

    No, they never pay it back net. And the interest is very low. For now, anyway. And, in the long run, it gets wiped out by inflation.

    Sammy Finkelman (8b8667)

  42. Uhh, Sammy, inflation is also theft.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  43. Comment by Steve57 (5b9a77) — 1/30/2014 @ 2:50 pm

    Obama knows that Obamacare will have a natural constituency no matter how badly Americans hate it.

    Not the people who get policies, because they’ll take it any other way. And nobody likes Medicaid. But….

    The bureaucracies, and consequently their attached PEUs, that administer Obamacare.

    PEU? What is that?

    Professional Educators Union?

    Practice Education Unit? That;s something the U.K.

    Perceived Ease of Use?

    But you are right, the bureacracy and other direct beneficiaries. which include the hospitals and the hospital unions, who are getting paid right now top dollar.

    They are not that powerful, unless they wind up being the only people who can legally donate a lot of money to campaigns.

    Income inequality between DC and the rest of the nation will continue to grow

    They never talk about that kind of inequality – besides their proposal to “fix” it, is mostly to tax people at higher incomes and – maybe, but not really, give more moneyto people at lower income levels.

    Sammy Finkelman (8b8667)

  44. This is why people who saved for retirement all their lives have to go back to work as greeters at Walmart, Sammy.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  45. I honestly thought my comment @46 would appear before Sammy could whip up another word salad. How wrong I was.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  46. O/T but recently in the news:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/196700-congressman-i-would-jump-off-a-skyscraper-for-hillary

    The Hill asked congressional Democrats if they would back Clinton if she opts to launch another presidential bid.

    We found 57 (and counting) Democrats who endorsed Clinton, even though she’s not even close to announcing a (likely) bid.

    There were plenty of entertaining responses, most notably Davis’s.

    “I would jump off the Willis Tower, which is the tallest building in Chicago, to support Hillary Clinton,” Davis said.

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/196700-congressman-i-would-jump-off-a-skyscraper-for-hillary#ixzz2rvXMbms3
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    Has anyone ever heard of a better reason for Hillary! to run?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/10579899/Harvey-Weinstein-Meryl-Streep-movie-will-make-NRA-wish-they-werent-alive.html

    “I shouldn’t say this, but I’ll tell it to you, Howard. I’m going to make a movie with Meryl Streep, and we’re going to take this head-on,” Weinstein told the radio host Wednesday.

    “And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them,” the straight-talking studio chief, who has huge clout in Hollywood and is also known for his ability to generate publicity.

    Everything that Weinstein and Streep have ever done has always made me wish I wasn’t alive. Which is why I don’t subject myself to whatever it is they do under the guise of entertainment. Why is this news?

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  47. And they’re going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them

    He could be talking about any audience in flyover country he’s ever inflicted himself upon.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  48. 44. Border Security and Interior Enforcement Must Come First

    Which means, if taken seriopusly, that nothinbg else will happen. How much bordrr security is enough, anyway. Aren’t there enough people who cross the border dying? Don’t think enforcement can get any stronger without getting more people killed. Now what President Bush II said was that if you want a law to be enforced, then have a law that fewer people want to break. People can also be channeled.

    Implement Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System

    I think there are a lot of people who don’t want that, because that could bar a lot of Europeans and other tourists – and Canadians – from the United States for a long time, and create all kinds of trouble for anything that draws an international audience – medical conferences, even.

    The penalty for overstaying avisa is too strong.

    Right now, if somebody quietly leaves too late, there’s no record and no problem.

    There’s a reason this wasn’t implemented.

    Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement

    Charles Schumer was the first (or a very early) backer of that.

    This of course, will only drive more of the economy underground. Certainly, if you don’t do a complete amnesty first. People will figure out a way around it. People will have an incentive to figure out a way. In certain localities and sattes it will be unpopular. It will also force businesses to act ifiotically or discriminate illegally because the way this kind of thing works now, no verification is allowed before a hiring decision is made, but only afterwards. So go hire people and then fire them after three days. Right.

    It will never be applied to small businesses and homes. And it will never work except at the cost of closing down many businesses during the transition period. I didn’t know the Republicans wanted to wreck the economy.

    It will make many businesses, particualrly farms, but also construction, dependent for their very continued existence on the vagaries of what’s going on in Congress. Who has confidene in Congress like that? Do you? So why would you want such a law to be enforced? One day they can hie people to pick the crop and then another they can’t. I can really see this helping politicians.

    This also will drive more young women into prostitution. It will greatly harm homeless people. It already does. It will trap many other people. Now if you just want to make sure a Social Security number is real – but what you get then is identity theft.

    For far too long, the United States has emphasized extended family members and pure luck over employment-based immigration.

    No law that reduces any form of currently legal immigration wll pass. And not spporting family reunification is exactly what will repel Hispanics and other recent immigrants. The huiman element comes first.

    Youth </b

    The problem here, is that they want to say this is a one-time thing, which they do by touting enforcement. This is the logic trap the Republican Party is in. Obviously what is true in 2014, will also be true in 2034.

    Individuals Living Outside the Rule of Law

    Amnesty in other words, but the problem is the conditions are too tough, particularly the requirement to pay back taxes.

    Sammy Finkelman (8b8667)

  49. This Forbes’ column claims a White House report shows unemployment benefits are a bad deal for taxpayers:

    According to Congress as it debates some sort of restoration of the extended unemployment benefits, the cost would be $6.5 billion for three months or $26 billion for a full year extension. Simple division tells us that spending $26 billion in order to get 240,000 jobs means the government would be spending $108,333 per job created or saved (to use a favorite White House phrase).

    Personally, I suspect that the White House’s model overstates the employment benefits of extended unemployment benefits because their model does not account for the negative effects of the government borrowing needed to fund the additional spending. However, even if we grant the White House its figures, why would taxpayers want to spend $108,333 per job?

    Why, indeed?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  50. Personally, I suspect that the White House’s model overstates the employment benefits of extended unemployment benefits because their model does not account for the negative effects…

    SHOCKA! Obama WH cherry picks data to make it appear that there are only upsides to its policies.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  51. Comment by Steve57 (5b9a77) — 1/30/2014 @ 3:10 pm

    This is why people who saved for retirement all their lives have to go back to work as greeters at Walmart, Sammy.

    What is why?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  52. Sammy, I honestly don’t know which thread to pull on at this point.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  53. Seriously, you didn’t know by PEU that I meant Public Employees Union?

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  54. The bureaucracies, and consequently their attached PEUs, that administer Obamacare.

    This was hard?

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  55. My code was indecipherable?

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  56. Sammy reports, we deride.

    Colonel Haiku (62242e)

  57. eyes darting about
    teh ferret-faced Paul Krugman
    looked for egg to suck

    Colonel Haiku (62242e)

  58. America has tuned this particular president out… an unaccomplished ne’er-do-well who road into town on a wave of bullsh*t and who will leave behind a legacy of lawlessness and incompetence.

    Colonel Haiku (62242e)

  59. I still don’t know how many suns burn in the sky over planet Finkelman, but apparently it’s always Happy Hour there.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  60. This one is for my lovely wife of 38 years as of tomorrow:

    http://youtu.be/qR0O809JteM

    Colonel Haiku (62242e)

  61. A career is a career.

    Who are we to judge? Employed, unemployed these are just words.

    It is still a career.

    highpockets (3947ce)

  62. 60. America has tuned this particular president out… an unaccomplished ne’er-do-well who road into town on a wave of bullsh*t and who will leave behind a legacy of lawlessness and incompetence.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (62242e) — 1/30/2014 @ 4:47 pm

    Oh, yeah, thanks for reminding me; we should be talking ’bout the Preezy.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  63. Judge: “Is there any reason you could not serve as a juror in this case?”
    Juror: “I don’t want to be away from my job that long.”
    Judge: “Can’t they do without you at work?”
    Juror: “Yes, but I don’t want them to know it.”

    nk (dbc370)

  64. to 53.. Because they are idiots. No other reason. You think the stock market is some kinda voodoo?

    Anyone can get rich if they only try.

    highpockets (3947ce)

  65. There’s a reason employees are laid off. The employer does not have work for them.

    nk (dbc370)

  66. Unless they are .gov employees. Then that “have work for them” is iffy at best.

    highpockets (3947ce)

  67. 68. There’s a reason employees are laid off. The employer does not have work for them.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 1/30/2014 @ 4:55 pm

    Except in fascist countries. And I don’t use the term lightly.

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-07/in-france-kidnapping-the-boss-usually-pays-off

    “Bossnapping” and similar tactics have turned out to be pretty effective negotiating tools for French labor unions. Workers who have participated in past hostage-taking incidents haven’t been prosecuted, and most have won sizable concessions from employers.

    I read a recent article about how an Italian employer waved “so long” to his employees as they went off on their traditional August vacation. Then as soon as they were out of sight packed up the factory and moved it to Poland. Cuz in Italy employers do have to work for the employees.

    I could mebbe search for the link if anyone doubts me.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  68. Living wage, or the hostages die!

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  69. Damn, I hope you got management and not the workers this time Steve.

    highpockets (3947ce)

  70. It was real mess last time.

    highpockets (3947ce)

  71. How could it be a mess if 126 Poles get a job who won’t kidnap the boss?

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  72. Perhaps we have different understanding of what a mess is.

    BTW my first 5 husbands were Polish.

    highpockets (3947ce)

  73. It must have been a big wedding even if they only invited their closer relatives.

    nk (dbc370)

  74. Argentina, has tried all of these stupid ideas;

    That part of South America is a compelling one to me, because it’s a daily reminder of just how ideologically insane and extreme a nation can get, time and time again, with its populace never learning a lesson in the process. It’s sort of like the city of Detroit writ large.

    Argentina is also fascinating because it’s of mainly white-European extraction and, in fact, is less racially/ethnically diverse than most other nations throughout the Americas, including the US. Yet its history of loony leftism is no less well entrenched as it is in societies far beyond this part of the world, including continents such as Africa. So certain people in the US who conclude that the political landscape in the US is tilted even further left due mainly to purely demographic factors had better re-think their assumptions. IOW, human nature is what’s truly nonsensical, on a worldwide basis.

    So Argentina is a forewarning to the US of how foolish a nation’s populace can become and remain no matter what, and how the idiocy of a people goes far beyond skin deep. That’s why all the Americans who even today blame George W Bush instead of Barack Obama for current economic problems, or who don’t mind the unilateral power plays of the current White House, may be a canary in the US’s coal mine.

    Mark (534100)

  75. 75. Perhaps we have different understanding of what a mess is.

    BTW my first 5 husbands were Polish.

    Comment by highpockets (3947ce) — 1/30/2014 @ 5:25 pm

    Well, yeah.

    My first impulse on hearing the word “mess” is to think, “oh, yeah, that’s where the troops eat.”

    Now it’s the DFAC.

    But that’s not here nor there.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  76. BTW my first 5 husbands were Polish.

    Comment by highpockets (3947ce)

    Was one of them named Czeslaw Kielbasa by any chance?

    Colonel Haiku (62242e)

  77. Steve57 @ 12,
    One of two things happens when people become unemployed. They either find a job quickly, or they stay on unemployment until the benefits run out.

    There is a third thing that can happen, and does frequently: the laid off employee on unemployment returns to school working toward becoming marketable in a new career. I don’t begrudge them the opportunity that unemployment provides these people.

    If people can’t find work that pays significantly more than their unemployment check they don’t take the work. If they’re getting $300 per week on unemployment and someone offers them a job for $400 a week, then they wouldn’t be working for $400 per week if they took it. As long as the unemployment checks last they’d be giving up a life of leisure to work 40 hours every week just for that marginal $100. Or $2.50 an hour. They’d be better off doing odd jobs off the books for cash; they could make that $100 in a day. In fact, I’m sure that’s what many do.

    I know a teacher who was laid off and she opted for the unemployment check which was almost double what she would make taking sub jobs, and used the time to build a small business. When her unemployment ran out, she was netting a nice profit and kissed her teaching career goodbye. I can understand why she made the choices she did.

    At the very least you can say extended unemployment benefits don’t do anyone any favors.

    Not in every case, because there are those that it does benefit. While it certainly doesn’t create jobs, there are those who get caught in a layoff, who paid into the system their entire working lives, and then need the check until they can rearrange their lives and move on. Of course, there are endless abuses, etc. But I hate to lump into that group those good and industrious workers attempting to find their way again. It could be any of us at any time.

    Dana (730190)

  78. Dana, it’s more than depressing that you key on these things. I never said they don’t exist. As a matter of fact, I was going to mention the exceptions to the rule.

    But once you start, where and when do you end?

    I really thought about caveating everything I was going to say to head off every objection you just raised but I thought, “No, that’s not really necessary.”

    It’s kind of soul crushing to realize it is.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  79. It’s getting to the point where you can’t say anything without declaiming all the things you’re not saying.

    Excuse me for not distancing myself from all the things I wasn’t saying.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  80. Oh don’t let your soul be crushed, Steve57. If you read my comments carefully, I was not objecting to yours nor disagreeing.

    I have been thinking about extended unemployment alot and as a conservative, am a bit conflicted and am trying to flesh it out. That I felt compelled to lay out the exceptions should not be taken as a reflection of anything other than your comment, which focused on the abusers and users, was a catalyst for further thought.

    It may not have been necessary to caveat these things, but for me, it’s important to say them out loud (as it were), if not to simply remind me.

    Dana (730190)

  81. My soul is somewhat crushed, Dana. I really did think before I clicked the “submit” button, dare I?

    And I was like, what the hell, why not.

    Within minutes you responded with “why not.”

    How is this not soul crushing?

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  82. Maybe you didn’t mean it that way.

    Steve57 (5b9a77)

  83. Heh. My 83 was responding to your 81. I didn’t see your 82. And you are reading too much into my comments. Or our wires are crossed. Never can tell for sure.

    Dana (610912)

  84. Uhh, Sammy, inflation is also theft.

    Not really. It’s like theft, both in that it’s dishonest, and in that it has economic effects that are similar to those of theft, but it isn’t actually theft. They are two different things, both of which are bad.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  85. But you are right, the bureacracy and other direct beneficiaries. which include the hospitals and the hospital unions, who are getting paid right now top dollar.

    They are not that powerful, unless they wind up being the only people who can legally donate a lot of money to campaigns.

    They are very powerful, because what they primarily donate is not money but manpower. There’s no legal limit on that, and they’ve got lots of it.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  86. I don’t think we’d be agonizing about a succession of safety nets if entrepeneurship were not so hogtied.

    One small example, I have an acquaintance who ran a day care kiddo part-timed year 2. Her application to the state for a January startup, a ream of paper, was shredded because the State fell behind.

    The hoops she had to jump thru to get her thriving business(leasing superceded elementary schools) off the ground is scandalous.

    Government has killed the goose that laid the golden egg and mailed the murder down the memory hole.

    The GOP is worse than useless, they plucked the goose.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  87. That Athenian democracy many of you are well schooled on endured just 50 years.

    They had a gimmick where they could banish one citizen per year and did so with virtually every leader of consequence, e.g., Pericles.

    The only way to get these bastards attention is to retire them before they are ready.

    Actually, I have something more demonstrative than primarying them and sending them home with a pension.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  88. Termination of EUC didn’t create a job for me at all. It pushed me onto public assistance. Cutting off benefits does not make employers call applicants. Wish it worked that way but it doesn’t.

    Carol Findlay (e21a80)

  89. President Obama is pushing to extend unemployment benefits again, and argued earlier this month that it “creates jobs.”

    What’s funny about this is that Pelosi said the same thing the when unemployment benefits were extended on the previous occasion. If we had anything remotely resembling an impartial media, this horsecrap would have been ridiculed back then to the point that only a clueless idiot in this administration or Congress would dare try to make such a ridiculous claim a second time.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (bff3f0)

  90. Juan needs to be enrolled in a mental institution.

    mg (31009b)

  91. “It’s about time we took on this silly notion that paying people not to work causes more people to work.”

    People spending money causes people to work. Nothing silly about that.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  92. Yours is a “special” brand of mendoucheity, imdw.

    JD (b4e6c6)

  93. The issue is not if it creates jobs to me. The majority of those receiving the benefits (my wife included) can’t live off of $350 a week. For those who made little I’m sure its a nice vacation. For us? I work but lost my job a few years ago and nearly went bankrupt. I have recovered but it took a few years. Now my wife lost her job one year ago. I personally send out several resume’s for her daily to which she has had a total of 5 interviews. Two of which were working interviews. (they have you come in and work for 8 hours and pay you nothing then send you home and you get no call). She is in the medical field and has been for over 14 years. When the benefits were cut off, we fell behind on the car and I’m still slightly behind on the house. Do you remember the little Social Security statements you get from time to time telling you everything you have ever made? Added up my last one was almost $1M in my lifetime. I’ve paid in to this system and I only ask for help to get through her landing a job. The ones of you that are complaining about the benefit are the ones who don’t need it in the first place. My cars where within 3 months of payoff, I had to secure a new loan on Tuesday to catch them up which added 6 more months to the payments. Trust me I’d much rather have her getting a paycheck than using the money that you all seem so worried about. How about the lifetime paycheck your representatives get? How about the money the government blows on STUPID stuff? How about the 30% increase in spending on food stamps? Funny how you have nothing to complain about but the help that honest tax paying middle class families are asking for. Nice!

    Bill (4d3051)

  94. Who here said anything you just didn’t, Bill?

    nk (dbc370)

  95. Bill – do you think anyone here is arguing that there should be no unemployment insurance? I suspect that you are a drive-by, having shown zero knowledge of your audience here. Have fun slaughtering those strawpeople.

    JD (b4e6c6)

  96. Actually I was commenting on the original story, not the posts that followed. “drive by”? Funny, I’ve been an IT professional for 16 years. I tend to look at what interests me which is generally the story. I did look at the comments, however only wanted to make my point to the story not to the comments. This particular post however is directed at the comments section…Thanks.

    Bill (4d3051)

  97. Kthx. Can you point out where the author of the post took the position you raged against?

    JD (2bd35e)

  98. 97. “Trust me I’d much rather have her getting a paycheck than using the money that you all seem so worried about.”

    I cannot speak for everyone but can say with certainty you are missing you all’s point.

    We don’t demonize individuals who play with their own benefit foremost in mind. We are all human.

    The rather obvious point, so obvious it behooves even the self-pitying to notice, is that there is no ‘money’.

    Since the end of 2008, China, the US and Japan alone have printed $35 Trillion in digital greenbacks. That is 10% of global GDP over that period.

    That sum does not total the borrowed money “invested” by government in keeping itself fat and happy. A not insignificant fraction of which are payments to you and yours to remain pacified; to the SEIU, to Green Shoots entrepeneurs(sic), to Jamie Dimon and Jon Corzine, to undocumented Democrats, yada, yada.

    At this late date, your $350/wk. really doesn’t matter anymore. The damage is done. ‘Good luck’ will very soon be all that’s left to you.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  99. Gary Gulrud, I have always agreed with those sentiments. I’ve ALWAYS said the only way things will change is if all the “fat and happy” get up and do something about it, but it doesn’t happen. Big business and the well to do use all of us as pawns. EVERYONE bitches but nobody does anything. What type of system requires you choose between only two maybe three candidates and that is mandated by how much money you have…our democratic system, that’s who. BUT again unless people are willing to fix it we continue to grow weaker. Eventually we will all be on assistance of some sort including you. I’m not pitying myself or my wife, we’ve always made it somehow and still have it better than some. I don’t need your pity for sure.

    Bill (4d3051)

  100. 43. Comment by Steve57 (5b9a77) — 1/30/2014 @ 3:09 pm

    Uhh, Sammy, inflation is also theft.

    You could consider that, if done on purpose, but it is very gradual and can be avoided by spending money. It might be better than bankruptcy or default.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  101. Unemployment benefits have been argue by many many studies to improve our economy when unemployment rate in the country is above 5.5%. People who are receiving unemployment benefits have to look for work every week to receive benefit. The unemployed with benefit creates $1.12 for every $1 receive as oppose to those who are employed only create $1.04 for every $1 receive in salary. When the country has an unemployment rate of 5.5%, the unemployed creates $1.03 for every $1 receive in benefit.

    If we want to consider the benefit to society and our economy, unemployment benefits should continue another 3 to 12 months to get unemployment rate down to 5.5%, so we can resume the natural 6 months state unemployment benefits.

    Many economists studied this problem and understand people need money to go look for a job. If they don’t have the money buffer, they will resort to relying on the state for welfare and forever stuck in the welfare syndrome. Unemployment benefit is a way for these people to be motivated to look for a job while having a safety net not to fall into welfare syndrome.

    A 5.5% unemployment rate can easily support the hundreds of millions currently on welfare and social security.

    Zero Profit (7d63dc)

  102. I think that some of the problem is that strategic, helpful use of UI is a skill in of itself.

    One of my friends used a year of generous unemployment benefits to take classes in her field, volunteer full time, get a notary public’s license, and network like crazy. She was hired in a job she enjoys at a salary that was close to what she was making before she was laid off.

    Our federal bureaucracy wouldn’t administer an effective programme to help the recently unemployed to be productive with their free time, which is why we have this mess.

    bridget (37b281)

  103. Zero Profit – we are all dummerer for having read that. May Allah have mercy on your soul.

    JD (83e299)

  104. Actually, the logic isn’t that bad. A person without a job and who cannot get one will be able to spend more money if he’s getting unemployment compensation than he would if he wasn’t. This is a velocity of money argument.

    The part that they don’t tell you is that this only works when you are borrowing money from abroad. If the budget were balanced, UI would simply be redistribution of internal spending, so it wouldn’t be a net job creator. But, since overseas borrowing brings more money into the economy, if you borrow more to pay for UI, then you have increased the amount of money in the system, and the UI payments increase the velocity of money.

    It’s simple Keynesianism, to which the left are wedded, because they don’t actually understand the economics. Keynesianism holds that you borrow during recessions, but you pay it back when times are good; we never paid it back, but continued to borrow.

    The result has been that stimulus is increasingly useless, because the deficit spending every year has made stimulus the new normal.

    The economist Dana (3e4784)

  105. The flaw in the “logic” is that more than 5.5% of people want to be among the 5.5% who are being supported in perpetuity.

    bridget (a44b32)

  106. Great facts, but since when do facts matter? The jerks are in power, and they can do what they want. We, the out-of-power, must suffer what we must. To paraphrase Thucydides.

    Joseph Dooley (41d24a)

  107. Comment by The economist Dana (3e4784) — 2/3/2014 @ 5:26 am

    The part that they don’t tell you is that this only works when you are borrowing money from abroad.

    You can’t borrow dollars from abroad, because for the most part they don’t have them.

    These days, dollars are created electronically.

    The Federal Reserve Board never lends money directly to the U.S. Treasury, but what they do is buy securities on the secondary market from people who have purchased them, using money they get from the computer.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  108. The flaw is that there’s no point at looki8ng at how much people are getting in unemployment compensation – just look at the money supply.

    Sammy Finkelman (4eddd7)

  109. “If the budget were balanced, UI would simply be redistribution of internal spending, so it wouldn’t be a net job creator.”

    If you redistribute from a lower marginal propensity to consume to a higher one, then you do have a net gain in terms of output.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  110. a propensity to propagate puerile poot.

    Colonel Haiku (38a9fa)

  111. Its “simple keynesianism” as “the economist Dana” might say.

    d.wildst (ae20f1)

  112. The Nikkei and Hang Seng are falling thru the basement story tonight. The FTSE and DAX are falling as well just not as fast as the Dow.

    RESET bekons.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  113. Well, since Salon has decided to go full special gifted Commie, who am I to argue? Comrade.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  114. He’s a special snowflake,

    narciso (3fec35)

  115. I don’t believe that extending unemployment benefits creates jobs, and more than I believe that cutting unemployment benefits off will cause people to “take” jobs they wouldn’t have otherwise. In order to “take” a job, you have to be offered one, and in an economy with three job seekers per job, some people just aren’t going to find work. It’s a buyer’s market, and things are really competitive. If you try and find a job at the same level you left it, there are often other people with the specific skills that the employer wants, and if you try and find a job at a lower level, you’re overqualified. In plain English, that means you won’t be hired because they fear (probably rightfully) that you’ll still be job hunting while you’re working there. What we need is a little creativity. Tie benefit extensions to some kind of workfare thing. Have job hunters go down to the EDD and man the phones, which would be infinitely preferable to the current phone system that hangs up on 90% of callers, have job hunters conduct training for other job hunters, give employers some sort of a break if they will train people in the skills they are looking for. And pass laws that will encourage employers to actually hire people in this country rather than offshoring positions.

    Dawn Wolfson (fc1041)


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