May 7, 2021
For Democrats, the ideal world is to have three castes — Big Government overlords who know everything and benevolently do the central planning; a cadre of loyal Big Corporate cronies who share their technology and silence their critics; and…peasants — a huge class of people, every last one of whom is dependent on the government for bodily survival. Beggars, after all, are easiest to please, which is the surest means of creating permanent blocs of Democrat voters. Hard work and individual initiative, after all, are for kulaks — hoarders, wreckers, saboteurs, and counterrevolutionaries, as Stalin, more or less, used to say.
That’s what’s behind the far-left notions of universal basic income, which is a favorite of the Democratic Socialists of America crowd, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Based on the past several stimulus packages passed, complete with small packets of “stimulus” cash handed out to the public through the IRS, they’ve been pilot-fishing this idea for about a year now and getting ready for bigger things.
Just one problem: Nobody wants to work anymore. Huge labor shortages are appearing in the workforce, with most economists attributing the problem to government stimulus payouts, including supplemental checks for the unemployed. That makes it more attractive not to work than to actually work. Work under such conditions is for suckers. And small businesses in particular, hardest hit by the coronavirus, as well as the ugly prospect that they can capriciously be shut down again while bigger corporate rivals won’t be, are looking at a multiple-whammy on the labor front. If the COVID shutdowns didn’t get these small businesses, this labor shortage brought on by stimulus handouts will.
Issues and Insights has an excellent write-up of how the labor shortage is happening based on Democrat policies. That isn’t the only bad Democrat policy driving the labor shortage; another is Joe Biden dropping all requirements for receiving welfare, returning to the multigenerational model of welfare as a lifestyle choice, promoted by the Democrats.
Fortunately, one by one, the red states are starting to notice. Better still, their governors are saying “no.”
HELENA, Mont. — Montana is ending its participation in the federal unemployment program that gives people extra weekly unemployment benefit payments as the state struggles with a worker shortage, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Tuesday.
Beginning June 27, unemployed workers in the state will no longer receive $300 in weekly extra benefits funded by the federal government through Sept. 6.
The state will launch a new program to give bonuses to unemployed workers who return to work.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Floridians receiving unemployment benefits will soon have to provide proof that they’re looking for a job, according to statements made by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday.
DeSantis lifted the requirement that people receiving benefits look for work early in the pandemic when unemployment was rising and few were hiring. But DeSantis has lifted restrictions on businesses, and the unemployment rate is below the national average.
“Normally when you’re getting unemployment, the whole idea is that’s temporary, and you need to be looking for work to be able to get off unemployment,” DeSantis said at a news conference. “It was a disaster, so we suspended those job search requirements. I think it’s pretty clear now, we have an abundance of job openings.”
Here’s yet another:
South Carolina plans to stop some of its federally-funded unemployment benefits to address “ongoing workforce shortages,” according to the South Carolina governor’s office, leaving many out-of-work residents without any support at all.
The state joins Montana, which announced a similar move this week.
“This labor shortage is being created in large part by the supplemental unemployment payments that the federal government provides claimants on top of their state unemployment benefits,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement on Thursday. “What was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.”
There might be more coming up soon.
These governors are making a decision to not turn their able workforces into Layabout America by making it more profitable not to work than to work, which is the Democrat master plan.
Work will continue as the smarter option in these states, both for the workers and for the sustainability of the economy, as well as the tax base, something Democrats think comes from billionaires.
What the red-state governors are doing takes guts. Nobody likes to turn down a federal handout. But obviously, President Trump’s example has been to teach them to have guts. These decisions will foster some discontent and media handwringing, with lots of individual sob stories, given the easy deal it is not to work.
But probably not as much as the media reports.
As Albert Camus once wrote: “Without work, all life goes rotten.” Living without purpose, and with the government check substituting for a father, is quite likely at least one reason why we are seeing a resurgence in crime from the welfare and government-dependent classes. It’s also an open invitation to illegal aliens, who will eventually take such jobs.
Meanwhile, recall the outrage that then–presidential candidate Mitt Romney drew during his mean-minded private claim that “the 47%” of Americans stuck on welfare can’t be helped. His private remarks, which nevertheless got out, drew outrage because deep down, people want to work, particularly if they don’t have work. National Review writer Kevin Williamson drew flak, too, for claiming that the depressed areas of the Midwest were full of people who, because they didn’t move, deserved what they got.
The stellar hiring spree, with rising wages, and a booming economy, brought on during the Trump years, was proof positive of the merits of making it more attractive to work than not work. The economic revival of the Midwest during those Trump years stunned even the biggest skeptics who gave up the Rust Belt for dead.
If not working is more profitable than working, then people will do the former. It’s natural; it’s following one’s own self-interest. But it’s no way to sustain an economy. If an economy is to grow, and workers are to find a way up the economic ladder, then work has to be made more attractive than not working. Universal income schemes have failed in places like Finland, and like all socialist policies, they will fail everywhere they are tried. To Democrats, though, not only does that not matter, but they actually like it. They want to convert formerly productive American workers into those reliably Democrat easy-to-please beggar voters.
These states are seeing right through them, and working instead to make their state economies prosperous and sustainable. No wonder so many people are fleeing blue states and moving to them.