Please Mr. President, Please Don't Try to Help Anymore

The number of people filing new unemployment claims dropped sharply last week, according to statistics released today by the Department of Labor. The number of newly unemployed dropped by 21,000 over the previous week to 454,000, the lowest level since early May.

While the economy is certainly not out of the woods yet, these numbers will add fodder to the debate over whether the Senate should approve a bill that would extend unemployment benefits until November 30. Many Democrats have been lining up in support, arguing that unemployment benefits stimulate the economy. And while Republicans have so far been able to postpone the bill's passage, there is probably a good chance that it will be enacted in some form (I suggest never underestimating the government's propensity to engage in costly spending programs).

Yet, a story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal provides further evidence for what many people have been saying for a long time, that extending unemployment benefits is counterintuitive:

Management Recruiters of Sacramento, Calif., says it recently had a tough time filling six engineering positions at an Oregon manufacturer paying $60,000 a year—and suspects long-term jobless benefits were part of the hitch.

"We called several engineers that were unemployed," says Karl Dinse, a managing partner at the recruiting firm. "They said, nah, you know, if it were paying $80,000 I'd think about it." Some candidates suggested he call them back when their benefits were scheduled to run out, he says.

The perpetual unemployment extensions have gone far beyond a social safety net and now act as an incentive for people to continue to receive government handouts, rather than actively seeking out and accepting job opportunities. Despite a massive stimulus program and previous unemployment extensions that allowed many Americans to continue to receive benefits for up to 99 weeks, the unemployment rate still rests at 9.5 percent.

This, of course, has not stopped politicians from continuing to try to solve the problem by throwing money at it, despite the fact that we clearly can't afford it. "To every American who is looking for work, I promise you we are going to keep on doing everything that we can," President Obama said on Friday. "I will do everything in my power to help our economy create jobs and opportunity," Please Mr. President, please don't try to help anymore.

Read more on unemployment here. And if you're in need of a good laugh, watch House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) trying to convince reporters that unemployment insurance creates jobs:

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  • Jeffersonian||

    Paying people not to work creates jobs.

    When was it we fell through the looking glass, again?

  • P. K.||

    Well, let's do the math. Say that we have a population of ten, and only 8 jobs. That is to say, we have 20% unemployment. However, if we pay four people not to work, we will then have a surplus of two jobs -- which nets us a negative unemployment figure of 25%.

    This is a good thing, no?

  • Jeffersonian||

    You have a future on the Op-Ed page at the NYT. Too bad the NYT has no future.

  • Suki||

    + I blew wine out my nose.

  • ||

    No, it's even more confusing than that.

    There were two people who were unemployed. Only if they had they been looking for work would they would be considered unemployed in the labor statistics. The two people had jobs but were lured away from them by unemployment might not count if they weren't actively looking for work, also. So it's possible you could have an unemployment rate of zero, 20%, or 40%. But -- isn't it the case that if you're on unemployment that you're supposed to show evidence that you're looking?

  • Dan Lavatan||

    If on unemployment you're not supposed to show evidence that you're looking for work; you are supossed to dial into an automated phone system and press a button fradulently indicating you are looking.

    If you were actually looking, you would be employed, as anyone trying to hire some people already knows.

  • ||

    Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman has been diagnosed as mentally retahded. QED.

    [It has been noted that he will be instructed, in the future, by Trig Palin, who will divert some of the time he has been spending writing Krugman's Times Op-Eds for the purpose.]

  • ||

    Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman has been diagnosed as mentally retahded. QED.

    [It has been noted that he will be instructed, in the future, by Trig Palin, who will divert some of the time he has been spending writing Krugman's Times Op-Eds for the purpose.]

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    My best friend was a pro at getting unemployment insurance. He quit a job one time, filed for unemployment & because the employeer didn't show up for the hearing he recieved unemployment. He would go out get job applications file them out in a way that no one would hire you & send the copy into the unmeployment office to prove he was seeking employment. He even got an ewtension approved one time.

  • ||

    He sounds perfect for Vandelay Industries.

  • ||

    Whatdelay industries?

  • ||

    Senor Vaca's friend sounds like he took a page from the Seinfeld episode where George is scamming UI.

    I should be ashamed of myself; I'm too young to be making lame Seinfeld references.

  • ||

    You must getting old, too. Because when Kramer answered the phone at Jerry's place, he said "Whatdelay industries?"

  • ||

    Oy. In my defence, I am driven to distraction at having another hour and 17 minutes until I can soak up some of our elusive Seattle sunshine.

  • ||

    "Defence"? Really? I give up. Time for a beer by the pool.

  • ||

    Ah, ha! Another spy nest uncovered!

    Don't worry, Dagny, I'm sure we'll be exchanging prisoners with the Canadians any day now.

  • A.G. Pennypacker||

    Good Day, Sir.

    I am am wealthy American industrialist who is interested in applying for a job in your company. Would you mind telling me where the bathroom is?

  • Suki||

    Did he go out with the counselor's daughter too?

  • ||

    Very few Americans want to be unemployed. Very few are trying to take advantage of unemployment benefits. To think otherwise is truly counterintuitive! Nobody gets enough money to live comfortably or to pay all basic living expenses.

    I am not lazy. I do not do drugs. I have paid my taxes for over 30 years. I pray & I vote.

    I lost my job last fall and have been looking desperately for a job. It is NOT that I am not looking & I did not lose my job due to wrongdoing-it was a cutback in my company.

    I am 50 years old and taking care of an ill parent who lives with me. I am out of options financially. My only income has been unemployment. I have used all credit & savings. I have an interview in 2 weeks and no money to get there. My rent is late now & utilities overdue.

    Without an unemployment extension I will lose my house, as my landlord needs the payment to pay the mortgage. The landlord will miss at least one month of rent if I have to move out because it takes time to find a new renter. My parent will have to go to a nursing home, which will cost the government (through the VA or Medicaid) much much more than the unemployment I was getting. I will be homeless as I have no other family.

    I also have medical issues that I have not had the money to address. Any care or food that I would get would have to be government or charity & those resources are extremely limited. With no home or car it becomes even more difficult to find a job. No address, no clean clothes no phone.

    I was earning over 70000 a year before this. I did not "blow" the money on luxuries. I was caring for two other ill relatives who have since passed away. It took all of my savings, but did keep them from being a "burden" on the government.

    I have been a responsible citizen and I do not want welfare. I don't like being on unemployment but I did work for 30 years and paid into the "unemployment insurance" system and paid taxes.If you paid for medical insurance and your claim was denied in spite of desperate need you would be outraged-but that is what is happening to the million plus unemployed Americans.

    I did not vote to bail out banks, automakers, or to send so many jobs overseas. I did not vote to give oil & gas companies tax breaks and incentives.

    Now that I am the one who needs help our elected officials are saying "NO".

    A very sad day in America

  • JEP||

    God be with you Gerry.

  • ||

    Thank you, JEP.

    And may God be with all others affected by this situation.

    Which ultimately is our whole country, whether people see it now or not.

  • ||

    You may just have to downsize your lifestyle and career prospects and accept a lower paying job in a different field.

    How long do you expect society to keep supporting you at your current UI income level? Forever?

    Unemployment insurance has never been intended to be a permenant thing. If you can't find a job, you should sell your house and go on welfare.

  • ||

    @ Hazel Meade

    It seems you did not really read my post, Hazel.

    I do not have a house to sell anymore. I am renting. The only way to downsize my lifestyle is to be homeless.

    If you had read & comprehended what I was saying you would know that I have always tried not to take anything from the government-I took care of my relatives when they were ill so they did not need to ask for assistance elsewhere.

    I said I did not want welfare and certainly don't want permanent unemployment insurance. I was only on tier 1.

    Our country has always been proud of the fact that when Americans were down, not to mention other countries, we always did what we could to help them. Sadly, the last administration sent our jobs overseas, bailed out banks and automakers (which this administration has carried on) and damaged our economy. We have paid extended benefits for unemployment without requiring offsets since 1959. The year I was born.

    Society is not supporting me-my employers & I paid the insurance already. Much more has been paid in than I will ever take out.

    Ask yourself how you would feel if you were in my position-if you will take the time to actually look at the facts & read what I wrote.

    How would you feel if you paid insurance for 30 years and when you finally actually needed it it was rejected?

  • ||

    Gerry, I don't know if you be trollin', but all the melodrama and "how would you feel?" whinging isn't going to make anyone do anything but laugh. Like I did.

  • ||

    No Dagny T, I am not "trolling".

    I told you how the economic changes & unemployment affected my job and my life. I am not whining.

    I am sorry it made you laugh. The lack of empathy is sad.

  • ||

    Your lack of ability to understand that we don't want to pay for your lifestyle isn't just sad, it's fucking parasitic.

    Also, I laughed as well.

  • Warty||

    Dude, I jerked a quick one. There's nothing like hangdog moping to get me going.

  • yojimbo||

    Bwahahahaha

  • Almanian||

    I managed not to laugh till I read Epi's and Warty's posts, then I shot Mountain Dew out my nose I laughed so hard.

    Fuck...now I gotta clean that up. It's worth it for the laugh...

  • NeonScribe||

    I keep hearing the same argument from people — especially conservative commentators — who claim there's plenty of work if unemployed people would just look. Curiously, these are the same people who claim the Obama administration is wrecking the economy. So which is it? They can't have it both ways. Either there are plenty of jobs or there aren't. If there are plenty of jobs, then I guess we all should be grateful for the two stimulus packages, right?

    The truth is, there are no jobs. And I agree with others who say the Wall Street Journal citation is far from typical. And while I disagree with extending unemployment compensation benefits forever, I especially tire of the implication that unemployed people are out of work because they want to be. Usually, the people who make these claims still have jobs.

    Where were the fiscal conservatives when we engaged in two unfunded, undeclared wars and bailed out bankers with TARP? Now they suddenly rediscovered their principles?

  • Sudden||

    Perhaps one of the central factors is people not being willing to take jobs for significantly less than what they made before. I'm not saying that is the case here, but I know in my own situation, I'm making considerably less today than I did two and three years ago (to the tune of 35% less). I don't like it, and I use a fair amount of my leisure time trying to rectify that situation through job searching, but I have to play the hand I'm dealt.

    As for Gerry's situation, you are currently renting. Is the rent so much that your mother's SS check is insufficient for covering the base rent? Are there rents in the area that are cheap enough to be covered by the SS check?

  • ||

    @ Sudden

    I live in the Washington DC area and the rents are high. My mother's social security would not cover rent. I also have a lease that will be broken and I am responsible for paying that whether I am there or not.

    My only solution for my mother is to find a home that can be covered by government benefits.

    Contrary to what some want to believe, I do not want to rely on government. I stated that clearly in my post. I am looking for a job constantly. My biggest concern is making sure my mother is safe.

    I also am not looking for a job that pays what I was earning. I am saddened that people assume that I am holding out for a job that provided the same salary or a wonderful lifestyle. I am not.

    I have 42.00 in the bank. I have had to use all of my savings and credit.I just called the electric company to ask for more time to pay my bill. This is not a luxurious lifestyle.

    This is a crisis for many families. I am sorry it makes people laugh.

  • ||

    Move to a cheaper apartment outside the city. One your mom's ss check will pay for.

  • Sudden||

    Interesting that you mention this problem and the epidemic joblessness in one of the lowest unemployment metro areas in the country.

  • ||

    Thank you for the advice.

    My rent is very low now. My mother's social security is not enough to rent an apartment-without government help, which is why I have been helping her.

    I have always tried to make sure that my family did not have to rely on government help. In this case I will need to make sure my mother has the help she needs, which the government will subsidize. I realize that many seniors rely on government subsidies in retirement and would have thought the more fiscally conservative people here would make note of that from my original post-I have been a Republican and have acted as one-but they have not.

    Funny...I was wrong. By NOT using the government benefits that could have helped my aging relatives, I am now in a financial position that is perilous. I have taken personal & financial responsibility for my family even though I could have asked for help from the government. ALL of this would have cost so much more than my measly unemployment that it is almost laughable.

    NONE of the arguments that are being made against unemployment here apply to my case or the majority of others who need unemployment.

    We worked, we paid taxes and with along our employers we paid for these benefits.

  • ||

    "NONE of the arguments that are being made against unemployment here apply to my case or the majority of others who need unemployment."

    THE MAJORITY? I'm sure there are quite a few people in your position, but THE MAJORITY? I highly fucking doubt that the majority are in your position.

  • ||

    Gerry,
    Sorrry to hear about your situation. What makes government so insidious is that programs like SS, Medicare, unemployment have caused your current joblessness and financial problems. If you and your mother had been allowed to keep all your earnings instead of having to pay into the government system, you would have had more savings and perhaps owned your home free and clear. But the government steals your money for these programs, so when people like you and others hit a rough patch, they don't have enough saved and invested so they not only MUST rely on the government even if they don't want to (like you). Less noble people feel entitled to government money because they were forced to pay in. All the money during the years you, your infirm mother, and your employers have been paying into Social security could have been invested, but now you both are forced to rely on the government, who stole your money.

  • ||

    Where were the fiscal conservatives when we engaged in two unfunded, undeclared wars and bailed out bankers with TARP? Now they suddenly rediscovered their principles?

    The fiscal conservatives voted against TARP. However, you needed a majority against it.

  • Another Statistic||

    TARP will actually net a profit for the government when all is said and done. 350b, with what 85% paid back already? Do not confuse TARP with that ARRA garbage that Obama pushed.

  • Some Guy||

    TARP will be a net loser for the government. The auto bailouts were part of TARP.

    But even if we're only talking the banks, the only reason the government will "profit" from TARP is the other bailouts it gave them and the 0% interest rates it is STILL feeding them.

  • ||

    Curiously, these are the same people who claim the Obama administration is wrecking the economy. So which is it? They can't have it both ways.

    Actually, if, as in the article mentioned, they claim that Obama Administration policy on unemployment benefits is keeping people from seeking out jobs, they CAN have it both ways.

  • ||

    Either there are plenty of jobs or there aren't.

    False dichotomy. Jobs are not physical objects that either exist or do not. It is always the case that there would be plenty of employers willing to hire for extremely low salaries, but employees don't want to do that. Similarly, there always would be plenty of people willing to work jobs for extremely high salaries, but employers don't want to pay them that much, and couldn't stay in business if they did.

    Things that create friction make it take longer for employers and employees to agree what jobs to work and at what salaries.

  • ||

    Precisely. If American scaled down their economic expectations, the market would find a place for them.

    Which is what this recession is about and why it's lasting so long - people won't accept the fact that country has gotten poorer and their standard of living should decline with it.

  • Sound Money||

    Actually the country isn't really getting poorer. We, as in the entire World and not just the US, have been living in an inflationary bubble / fantasyland. Now reality is striking so we must adapt. The governement is certainly not helping with never ending stimuli and perpetual ZIRP.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If you think we're towing the conservative line, you're in the wrong place. If you think we weren't hitching about TARP and the shiploads of cash spent by Republitards pre-Obama, you clearly don't read that much.

  • ||

    NeonScribe|7.8.10 @ 6:50PM|#
    "So which is it? They can't have it both ways."
    When presented with a false dichotomy, it's very easy to say: Yes, I can have it both ways.
    Yes, Obama is wrecking the economy, and yes there are jobs available.
    Got it now?

  • ||

    Well, that's the problem with a government run insurance program. Maybe if UI was privatized, people who paid in for 30 years could get better benefits. The current system is skewed so that people are the bottom end can abuse it and it has to be subsidized by taxpayers and higher earners. And then isn't there when they need it.

    But the fact is that extending UI benefits does come out of taxpayer pockets today. And if you havn't found a job in your career field in 6 months, then you should broaden your job search, you can't just wait until another $70,000 jobs comes along, and you may have to accept that your sick relatives might have to to rely on more social assistance too. You might have to think about moving to another city or state.

    The jobs went overseas not because anyone "shipped" them there, but because FACT OF REALITY it is cheaper to do many things over seas. No amount of whining about it is going to change that reality. You can throw up trade barriers and all it will do is raise prices for consumers. No net benefit will accrue.

    Jobs aren't physical objects that can be stacked up and preserved in a freezer. The economy changess. For instance, it no longer makes much economic sense for video rental outlets to exist, and a shitload of people who worked for Hollywood Video are going to have to either find jobs in the online streaming business, or make a career change.

  • ||

    Our country has always been proud of the fact that when Americans were down, not to mention other countries, we always did what we could to help them. Sadly, the last administration sent our jobs overseas, bailed out banks and automakers (which this administration has carried on) and damaged our economy.

    I dunno, you claim to be proud of helping other countries and Americans, but then complain in the very next sentence that "sadly" the previous and current administrations have helped other countries and some Americans.

    Or are you only "proud" when you're the one being helped? Because whenever our government "helps" someone, someone else has to pay for it.

  • ||

    @John Thacker

    You have misquoted me & misunderstood.

    This is what I said:
    "Our country has always been proud of the fact that when Americans were down, not to mention other countries, we always did what we could to help them. Sadly, the last administration sent our jobs overseas, bailed out banks and automakers (which this administration has carried on) and damaged our economy".

    Please do not distort the facts to try to illustrate a point that suits you, if you are going to quote me. If you truly misunderstood, then I understand.

  • yojimbo||

    He quoted you word for word.

  • objector||

    An adult without minor children can't get welfare. He would have to be disabled and qualify for SDS to get government support. So he can't just go on welfare.

  • ||

    Dude, clearly you've been handed a shit hand. However, without knowing the EXACT details of your situation, you could just be whinging on, but I'm going to take what you've said at face value. I do apologize for your situation, but you know what, I don't think that I should be forced to pay for your lifestyle nonetheless. I'm at the very bottom of the pile in terms of skill level, and I can still find A job. I actually recently moved to Washington state, which is probably one of the hardest states to find a job in right now, but I can still find some work. I'm also surprised that you have no friends, former co workers, or even church associates to give you any help. Why can't you convince other people who know you to help you out? Why do you have to force complete strangers to do it? Maybe I'm more likeable than you, but I know that I will never be homeless, because I have quite a few friends who will and already have put me up. Some people are just miserable.

    Clearly your situation isn't the norm, and I resent the way that the left trucks out people like you anytime the gov talks about cutting or reducing anything, as if this whole country were a bunch of single mothers with 8 kids and parents with cancer. If I personally knew you, I'd do something to help you out, but coming on some internet comment page to give us your sob story is just freakin pathetic. Get some friends, and get some help. If you can't convince any other human being to help you out personally, than you are just expecting us to pay for the fact that nobody likes you.

  • josey||

    Gerry, why are you here posting on the internet all day when you are apparently days away from not even having a phone? How are you paying for it? Why has it taken you this long to find a job, unsuccessfully? What job is it that you are trying to get?

  • ||

    Sniff, sniff....; rattus rattus
    Let's see, he of the 'perfect storm' of personal tragedy, with no possible way of existing without government intervention, finds his way to Reason?
    Glurge, anyone?

  • SIV||

    I have been a responsible citizen and I do not want welfare. I don't like being on unemployment but I did work for 30 years and paid into the "unemployment insurance" system and paid taxes.

    The unemployment extension is welfare. The "insurance" covers 26 weeks.

  • ||

    Fuck you. I hope you starve to death. You might have some sympathy if not for your altrustic "I need your money so you HAVE to give it to me/stolen from you and then given to me" false morality BS.

  • Chad||

    Gerry, I am the liberal troll around these threads.

    And I can assure you, lots of people are scamming UI. They are either working under the table (often for the very employer who laid them off), or have no desire to work given the crappy opportunities available out there right now. This is particularly true of those with children, who perceive $400/w of UI better than $1000 wages less taxes and child care. I also know a few people in their sixties that are just milking UI until they can claim SS.

    I have no problem with paying UI benefits. I DO have a problem with the utter lack of oversight of the unemployed. After three months, you should be REQUIRED to spend 10 hours a week at the UI office. No show, no check. After six months, 10 hours there plus ten hours of mandatory volunteer work. If we can't find something better for the unemployed to do, we will have you dig ditches on odd numbered days and fill them in on the rest. You WILL work for your money. After nine months, five more hours of labor. After a year, another five, etc. By that point, 80% of those claiming UI will miraculously decide that their under-the-table job is more important, or they really didn't need the check in the first place.

    I do, however, doubt the anecdote about the engineers. Not many people are going to turn down a $60k job for $20k in UI, unless the $60k is an insultingly lowball offer given these peoples' skills (which, if there is any truth to the story, is probably the case).

  • Valster||

    It is a lowball offer, but the economy is in the toilet and personally, I'd take it.

    There seem to a lot of people who are holding out for their former salaries or exact job titles or what they think they're worth -- but people are worth what employers are willing to pay. Facts.

    Some people also seem unwilling to do elementary costcutting things like have housemates/share apartments.

  • Chad||

    It depends. If you were making $70k and were offered $60k in today's market, most people would take it. If you were making $100k before, you probably would pass and wait for a better opportunity. This anecdote doesn't illuminate anything because we have no idea what kind of engineer is being talked about, nor how much experience they have.

  • WTF||

    If you were making $70k and were offered $60k in today's market, most people would take it. If you were making $100k before, you probably would pass and wait for a better opportunity.

    Don't be too sure. A good friend of mine was an associate at a biglaw firm in D.C., making $150K, and was caught in the big round of layoffs that took place in May 2009. She, like many hundreds, if not thousands, of others, couldn't find employment for months, and finally ended up taking a job paying $50,000, just so she could pay her mounting bills.

    The hiring environment has been extremely shitty for at least a year and still is. You take what you can get.

  • ||

    Many Democrats have been lining up in support, arguing that unemployment benefits stimulate the economy.

    Please, God, make it stop!

  • ||

    Many Democrats have been lining up in support, arguing that unemployment benefits paying people to sit around stimulates the economy.

  • ||

    If you didn't see this, or don't know Iowahawk, this one is appropriate.
    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/io.....s/page/13/

  • Broken Aesop||

    That last paragraph of Iowahawk was the money quote:

    "And speaking of morals, let's all remember the moral of "The Ant and the Grasshopper." That frugal food-saving ant can bitch all he wants about the lazy grasshopper. But it won't matter when summer's over and the grasshopper plague comes to town."

    And how!

  • JEP||

    alt-text fail!

    And what a golden opportunity.

  • Jesse Kline||

    img class="pic right" alt="Photograph courtesy Evan Hamilton/flikr" height="309" src="http://reason.com/assets/mc/jkline/2010_07/will-work.jpg" width="268"

    Perhaps you are looking for a title tag? Perhaps you should learn a thing or two about html before criticizing the markup on every thread.

  • JEP||

    hey, I only criticized on this one

    And I didn't click on the properties for the image. That's just too much work.

    At least you're utilizing flickr though.

  • JEP||

    ah ha, the alt-text/title tag confusion was perpetuated by IE

    learn something every day

  • ||

    Why are you using the lower unemployment numbers to somehow say that we are recovering. Your a journalist right do some research instead of printing what your cooperate masters tell you. The only and I repeat only reason the unemployment rate appears lower is because over 350,000 people can no longer claim due to the senate not passing the unemployment extension. it makes me sick to see these articles. Fact is if you figure in the 350,000 that lost benefits which the labor magically claims them as employed due to their benefits running out the real number is we added about 100,000 newly unemployed to the 15 million that already are. but don't print the truth I mean it might scare people.

  • Jeffersonian||

    It doesn't count them as employed, it just assumes they aren't looking for work anymore, sorta like a walk in baseball.

  • ||

    This recession is not just about banks, it's forcing a significant economic realignment from brick-and-mortar to online retail among other things. Lots of lost jobs will not be returning and people need to face up to that and make career changes. Keeping them on UI allows them to keep up the false hope of finding a similar job in the same field, when those jobs justr aren't coming back.

  • Pedant||

    It seems a lot of the economically illiterate (including everyone in DC) view a recession as an exogenous entity, like a hurricane, and all they need to do is wait out the storm with "temporary" measures like deficit spending, stimulus spending, and increased welfare outlays.

  • ||

    The only and I repeat only reason the unemployment rate appears lower is because over 350,000 people can no longer claim due to the senate not passing the unemployment extension.

    No. The unemployment rate has nothing to do with the number of people drawing unemployment checks, except that people who don't claim to be looking for a job can't claim unemployment.

    What you're probably thinking of is that the unemployment rate is lower because many people have given up looking for a job. That doesn't have to do with extending unemployment benefits, unless you somehow believe that not getting unemployment benefits makes someone *less* likely to look for a job.

  • Jesse Kline||

    From the post:

    While the economy is certainly not out of the woods yet
  • ||

    Well if we decide that government HAS to Do Something about the financial crisis I would rather have spent the money on making sure unemployment was solid rather than bailing everyone else out. Screw the banks and the Detroit three.

  • ||

    I agree. I wish that they had spent the 1.9 trillion of Tarp 1 and 2, the stimulus, and the omnibus on real infrastructure, tax reductions, and actual assistance for the people that really need it. Instead, they just bailed out government departments and the state and local governments of this country. The entire concept of stimulus has become completely self serving.

  • alan||

    Do the 'moderate' Republicans realize how ethically compromised they are due to their support of TARP? I ask any of you to repeat this phrase that was common to your lexicon before September of 2008, 'The government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers.' Doesn't quite roll off the tongue like it use to, eh?

    Don't give any of that saving the economy from a depression crap because if you truly understood economics you would understand that propping malinvestments and preventing them from liquidating is among the most destructive things in terms of future productivity that you can do.

    Gawd, I hate your kind even more than Democrats in general. You should know better. There are no rainbows and unicorn farts propping up your world view.

  • moderate Republican||

    w8 how i end up @ liburtrain web sight? lol!!

  • alan||

    How, you wonder? As always, some Democrat suckered punched you into bobbing your head in the wrong direction.

  • ||

    He's making fun of you, dumbass. These folks are libertarians. The only moderates around here are trolls.

  • alan||

    Hey, fuckhead phil, I have been a regular here for years, and participated thoroughly in the original threads concerning TARP in Sept. 2008. My comment wasn't directed at the majority who read this site, but at the moderates who did come here to argue in favor of TARP. They were wrong then, and some have the gall to come back again making the same TARP loving arguments, in spite of the mitigating history between, read through the posts of Another Statistic, you ignorant jackweed to understand that I was aiming at a real target making noise here in the present. Christ.

  • alan||

    BTW, it's customary here to take trolls at face value when they are obviously trolling. It is a dry form of humor. Maybe you are not familiar with humor, as in, 'okay, I'll humor him.'

  • objector||

    This.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Yet, a story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal provides further evidence

    An anecdote (that I suspect is far from typical). Not sure I would go as far as saying it provides "evidence."

    To me your logic leads to an important principle related to how you would structure unemployment benefits to minimize this perverse incentive. It does not, however, seem to lead to a conclusion that extended benefits are a bad idea per se

  • ||

    To me your logic leads to an important principle related to how you would structure unemployment benefits to minimize this perverse incentive. It does not, however, seem to lead to a conclusion that extended benefits are a bad idea per se.

    I'd like your suggestion on how one could structure unemployment benefits. I'd argue that any effective unemployment benefits measure would have to have this perverse incentive.

  • Sudden||

    I can see an argument for stucturing it with a larger initial payment and weening down as the length of unemployement lengthens, that way recepients could gradually whittle down on unnecessary expenditures and the incentives to gain employment increase as time elapses, but it would appear to be unworkably complex.

  • ||

    What about my 9 kids and my mother who needs a new hip and i can't find a job waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

    That's why that'll never get passed. Anything that doesn't provide people with a handful of free, discretionary money will be met with that response.

  • johnl||

    Or just a one time payment. Then you are free to take another job, probably lower paying, right away with no penalty.

  • ELECTRIC EARL||

    1. The reason these people qualified for unemployment in the first place is that they are WORKERS! Not welfare mothers!
    2. The idea that any reasonable person would want to live on less than half their usual income permanently is crazy. That's like the old myth that homeless people "like" being homeless.
    3. Unemployment benefits should be extended for as long as the unemployment rate remains so high. And it should be paid for by the Wall Street scum who created this situation. BP has to "make whole" anyone effected by their oil spill, the same rule should apply to Wall Street.

  • ||

    If the choice is between living on half your usual income and making a career change many people will choose the former, because a mid-life career change usually means less chance of ever getting back to your former income.

    That's the reality. A lot of people would rather stay on UI than accept a job they think is "beneath" their career level.

  • ||

    @hazel

    That is NOT reality! Most people will take any job they can get. You seem to take a dim view of your fellow Americans.

    You are really out of touch.

  • ||

    That is NOT reality! Most people will take any job they can get. You seem to take a dim view of your fellow Americans.

    Not as dim as ELECTRIC EARL does, since he tries to pretend that all "WORKERS" would take any job that they could, while "welfare mothers" wouldn't.

    I happen to think that all Americans, whether bankers, workers, or welfare mothers, respond to the incentives that they're given.

  • ||

    Really? Is the guy formerly making $70,000 going to take a job as a day laborer?

  • Union Douchebag||

    Who says you can't do both?

    No, really. My Louisville Slugger wants to know.

  • SIV||

    Most people will take any job they can get.

    Fuck that
    Unemployment is paying $300 a week in GA (much higher in some states). That's better than 40 hours/week at minimum wage. If you have working members of your household,a non-work income stream, a cash gig, or substantial savings that is strong incentive to NOT take a job that pays anything less than double the government check.

  • ELECTRIC EARL||

    The reality is that anyone who applies for a job that is "beneath their career level" is told that they are "over-qualified." That's often code for age discrimination. But usually the employer doesn't want to hire you because they think you're only going to work there until something better comes along.

  • ||

    Only true up to a point. If you go far enough down the ladder, they will take a mature responsible person over a 20-something flake. Sure, you'll leave sooner or later, but they have high turnover at that level anyway.

  • ||

    "The reality is that anyone who applies for a job that is "beneath their career level" is told that they are "over-qualified.""

    I believe that it happens, but I've known tons of high level college graduates that have gotten all sorts of jobs, and I have never seen the scenario that you outline.

  • ||

    ELECTRIC EARL|7.8.10 @ 6:40PM|#
    "The reality is that anyone who applies for a job that is "beneath their career level" is told that they are "over-qualified.""

    The reality is you made that up to justify your lazy ass.

  • ||

    If the choice is between living on half your usual income and making a career change many people will choose the former, because a mid-life career change usually means less chance of ever getting back to your former income

    Do you have anything at all (other than you really really believe) to back up this bullshit? Or are you just speaking out of your ideological ass?

    You so-called "fiscal conservatives" have been spewing this garbage for so long without a shred of proof to back up your claims. People want to work, they don't want to collect a measly 293/week (that's the average payout). What kind of lifestyle is that? half of the month's unemployment would go towards a meager rent on a meager place. Add in utilities and maybe a car to get around (even without a car payment you have gas, insurance, repair work if something goes bad, licenses, city stickers, etc) and food, and you have a bare minimum survival. And you fuckheads want to pretend that most people would just love to live that kind of "high life"?

    And then, while accusing "deadbeat" unemployed of "not cutting their expenses" you also argue that somehow unemployment isn't "stimulative"?

    Are you kidding me? Putting money in someones pocket so they can pay their rent and bills don't have to go dumpster diving doesn't have a positive effect on the economy? Really? Giving people money to spend on things doesn't help the economy at all? really? We'd be better off if these people all got evicted and stopped paying bills

    No wonder no one takes libertarianism seriously. With 10% unemployment rates you guys are spouting non-sense like "there are jobs there if you want them" -- where are all these magical jobs? Are we to believe that in the last 2-3 years 4-5% of the population decided they just weren't gonna work anymore and want to live a bare minimum existence?

    You motherfuckers can't honestly believe the nonsense that you spew about this topic? You can't possibly be that fucking dumb.

    Fuck you and your "I got mine so everyone else can just die" (aka typical selfish idiot libertarian) attitude!

    I hope your sorry ass becomes jobless and then we can call you a deadbeat and a fucking parasite.

  • ||

    "Fuck you and your "I got mine so everyone else can just die" (aka typical selfish idiot libertarian) attitude!"

    Not all libertarians have this attitude. However, I do agree that if you can't get people to voluntarily help you out, why should you demand the government force people to help you out? If I personally knew somebody in a bad way, I'd do anything to help them that I could, unless they were just a horrible a person. I do take issue with being forced to maintain people that I don't even know. Not to mention the fact that Gerry's case is not typical. Yes, there are some people who really need help, but there are also a lot of people who are not suffering nearly as bad, who are just willing to take what they can get.

    I don't think that unemployment benefits are terribly stimulative. They can reduce somebody's desire to look for reasonable work, as as long as they keep applying for highball jobs that have 6 applicants for every position, they can avoid the unfortunate reality that they might have to deliver pizzas for a living, at least the for the foreseeable future. This will cause the economy to take longer to adjust to reality.

    Anytime that somebody talks about cutting government benefits of any kind, you people truck out the Gerrys as if those people were the typical case. They are not, and you are simply confusing the issue.

  • ||

    "Are we to believe that in the last 2-3 years 4-5% of the population decided they just weren't gonna work anymore and want to live a bare minimum existence?"

    No, we believe that those people simply decided to hold out longer for jobs that they had no chance of getting instead of slinging pizza for a living like I have.

  • ||

    1. The reason these people qualified for unemployment in the first place is that they are WORKERS! Not welfare mothers!

    That's damn offensive to welfare mothers. Why are we supposed to assume that the welfare mothers don't want jobs, but we have to assume that other people who sit around getting unemployment do? Maybe some welfare mothers want jobs, and maybe some people are happier collecting UI than taking a job making less money.

    Don't sit there and put welfare mothers in a entirely different category.

  • ELECTRIC EARL||

    I agree with you! I was only using the phrase "welfare mothers" to suit the mindset of the author of the article, who likely assumes (wrongly) that most people on welfare are lazy and do not want a job.

  • Jesse Kline||

    I was only using the phrase "welfare mothers" to suit the mindset of the author of the article, who likely assumes (wrongly) that most people on welfare are lazy and do not want a job.

    In fact, the author does not assume that. The point is that UI is supposed to last for a specified period of time and then run out. This provides a social safety net for people who have recently lost their job, so they have some time to retrain and look for a new job.

    If UI lasts in perpetuity (because it is constantly extended), it provides a reverse incentive. If someone can survive off the income, they will often stay on it instead of engaging in the legwork that it takes to either find a job or start a new business, which has the potential to create new jobs in the economy.

  • Anonymous||

    I'm sorry, but you can't convince me that managing partner anecdote wasn't entirely made up, either by the WSJ or by the guy they called (a recruiting director has every incentive to give quotes like that.) I'd like to see the unemployment benefits package that's preferable to a 60K job.

  • ||

    It's not that the unemployment benefits are "preferable to a 60k a year job," it's that unemployment makes it easier to think, "If I just ride this out, I won't have to look for a new career in a different field." Yes, most people would rather make 1,000 a month for doing nothing than make 2,000 a month in a job that they don't want to be in.

  • ||

    Diminishing returns. That first 1000/month is really much more important (from a pay the rent and bills perspective) than the extra $1000 for which one would have to work 40 hours per week. Because then, you'd be working 160 hours for the extra $1000.

  • SIV||

    I think you can get up to $900 a week in Mass. $900 a week for not working beats 60k a year for working.Particularly if you use some of that free time to generate additional income.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Particularly if you use some of that free time to generate additional income.

    Of course, you have to make sure that it's off the books, or you won't get UI.

  • SIV||

    Anything that's not a "job" or one of those "jobs Americans won't do" that's paid in cash.

  • ||

    "Will Work For Chips" sounds somehow Canadian. In which case the chips might be some delicious/horrendous variety such as dill pickle, ketchup, or all-dressed.

    But! But! Without an obscenely high minimum wage, everyone would be paying teh poor single moms in weirdly foreign chips, and we would lose all the American chip manufacturing jobs, so more UI for everyone!

  • Greer||

    I find this hard to believe, especially for higher paid positions. My nephew has been on unemployment for a long time. He used to make pretty good money but seems content to sit at home and jerk off all day. He may conform to your theory. But I have a friend who worked in engineering, probably in the $80-100k a year range who get $1800 a month on unemployment. He wants work and is looking hard for it, even in other areas. I just don't believe that most people who are used to making $50k or more are going to settle into making $20k and liking it for long.

  • H. Protagonist||

    Indeed. I've accepted the fact that my well-paying engineering job or one exactly like it has disappeared as isn't coming back, as Hazel suggests. However, her suggestion to simply "make a career change" is much easier said than done in this environment. I've been applying for jobs outside my industry that I'm qualified for. Trouble is, I'm competing with those who already have experience in those industries.

    (Full disclosure: I collected the entire sum of my 26 weeks UI, totaling a mere $4426 due to the archaic way benefits were calculated, and was informed that I did not qualify for extended benefits. Yay me!)

  • ||

    Go another notch down the ladder.
    Thing is that if you can get "in" at a lower level, having a little more maturity and experience dealing with a workplace means you'll be positioned to move up faster.

  • H. Protagonist||

    Again, easier said than done. There is significant competition at all points on the ladder right now, across every industry. Getting a resume with no specific industry experience past the automated filters and overwhelmed HR personnel is no small feat with the current state of the market, even given the exceedingly high quality of my background and experience (if I do say so myself). Personal networking to avoid that whole issue has been the only tactic that has shown any promise for me thus far.

    I fully expect to take a big haircut on my previous earnings, but it's not like I'm not busting my ass to find work, or that my meager UI benefits were hindering that sense of urgency. I'm opposed to indefinite extensions, but I'm also highly skeptical of the anecdote above. I'd wager there were some other confounding factors at play besides UI, like those contacted were not willing to move into the area due to owning a home and not wanting to be forced to sell it at present, or spousal career considerations.

  • ||

    Perhaps you should go self-employed and do consulting work.

    I don't think that jobs are really limited commodities that someone has to produce or provide. It's just a matter of what there is to do in the economy. There's fewer jobs in some areas, because the consumers don't want that product or service, or can't afford it, or have switched to something newer and better. So what else is there to do? What could you do that someone else would be willing to pay you for?

    At some point, some entrepreneur will ask that question, start a new business, and start employing the unused labor. Probably at a lower salary than before. But there will be some benefit to the consumer who buys the service, instead of having the money taxed away to pay that person UI.

    If the jobs aren't there, and there is competition st every level, it's because too many people expect someone else to employ them, and don't think realistically about how their skills fit into actual needs and demands.

  • Sudden||

    Its nearly impossible to get the startup capital for even great ideas right now if you don't already have that set aside.... government borrowing is crowding out private investment borrowing (hence the largely unseen economic damage of UI)

  • H. Protagonist||

    I've already considered all of your suggestions, and am pursuing gainful employment along all avenues. I guess my problem with your stance is that your tone makes it seem all so simple to do if we unemployed weren't so lazy, and it simply isn't true. This "Recalculation" (as Arnold Kling calls it) is not going to be quick, painless, or easy.

  • ||

    I'm not saying they are lazy. I'm saying they are living in denial and extending UI enables people to stay in a state of denial.

  • H. Protagonist||

    And I'm saying that being realistic does not guarantee finding work quickly. In practice, it's quite a bit more difficult and time-consuming to "make a career change" or "go down another notch on the ladder" than your posts imply.

  • ||

    Six months isn't enough time to figure out what you're going to do next?
    What, do you think taxpayers should just wait until you go on a vision quest and find yourself?

  • H. Protagonist||

    Yes, Hazel, in many cases and locales, six months is not enough time to figure out what you should do next. A few months, at least, is spent looking for work in your old area of specialty before realizing its dead and gone. Then a few months trying to assess where the stable jobs are in your area (if they exist). Then a few months of networking to find a way in, or to assess if you need to go back for training to make a break into it. It can easily take 6+ months with the current state of the economy.

    And, again, I've said that I oppose UI extensions. I'm just responding to your apparent assumption that this process would be easy and fast if all of the unemployed were as clever as you are.

  • ||

    Go to pizza hut. They are always hiring drivers.

  • Pedant||

    MacDonalds is hiring. I'm sure they'd love to get someone with your "exceedingly high quality ... background and experience."

  • H. Protagonist||

    I don't mean to be pedantic, but it's "McDonald's" not "Macdonalds."

  • ||

    I'm re-reading a book in which you feature prominently, but it's McDonald's Corporation, not McDonald's.

  • Mokers||

    "The have the golden arches, we have the golden arcs"

  • Mokers||

    "They have the golden arches"

    damn preview.

  • ||

    Fantastic. Thank you for that.

  • ||

    The idea that the unemployed would rather live on unemployment insurance is ridiculous!! Both my husband and I were laid off our well paying jobs, which we worked for over fifteen years each. I would gladly trade an unemployment check for a paycheck anyday. My benefits have run out and the home that my husband and I worked so hard to get, will probably go into foreclosure. The story of the engineer who wouldn't trade his UI benefits for $60,000 is a load of crap! Where is this agency located?? Phone number?? I know plenty of unemployed engineers here in Georgia who will gladly take this job.
    I am 47 yrs old and have worked since I was 13. If the government has billions to bail out the banks and the auto companies, who caused this mess, they should help out us.

  • SIV||

    I would gladly trade an unemployment check for a paycheck anyday. My benefits have run out...

    Now you have nothing to trade!

  • Cyto||

    Actually, you have a fair point. You should call the reporter and get the reference. Win-win.

    Unemployed and over 45 sucks hard. Until the new retirement age of 72 becomes a reality and gets ingrained in the national consciousness, hiring someone with so little time before retirement is going to be sketchy.

  • ||

    Libertarian Arithmetic:

    isolated anecdote
    +
    pre-existing ideological commitments
    =
    irrefutable cosmic truth

  • Another Statistic||

    Why does anybody care what a Canadian intern has to say and why is he addressing our President as if he were American?

    Aside from a few extreme rightwingers, even the Republicans know that an extension of UI benefits for people is better for the economy than not extending them.

    A person that was born here or has lived here for any period of time, might be able to better report on national stories.

    But hey, Jesse is posting about all sorts of things as if he knew anything about them:

    http://jesse.kline.ca/about-jesse

  • ||

    Aside from a few extreme rightwingers, even the Republicans know that an extension of UI benefits for people is better for the economy than not extending them.

    Unemployment benefits cannot possibly, even theoretically, benefit the economy. Only increased productivity can. It would be better to be paying those people to mow lawns than to stay at home. Maybe pay them to do all those civil service jobs that the states say they can't get rid of.

    The market WILL find a way to employ unused labor, doing something, even if it is shit work for a while.

    IMO, America blew it's capital and Americans just have to accept a lower standard of living. Which they have so far been unwilling to. That's why we're so deeply in debt at every level. Americans have been living beyond their means, from individuals, to city, state and federal levels. Everything must be cut. We're going to have to get used to cooking our own food, having fewer cars per family, travelling less, and not getting infinite medical care paid for someone else.

    So UI is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. A ton of people waiting for jobs that will never come back, demanding that the government keep extending and extending and extending their benefits, forever. Never willing to accept the fact that, FUCK, America is not as rich as we used to be.
    Reality bites.

  • Another Statistic||

    UI benefits put money into the economy. When there are no jobs and no UI benefits, you have lost all of that money going into the economy. The people on UI are hoarding away the measly amounts they are receiving - they are paying bills, they are buying food, clothing, etc.

    You suggest they take government jobs that do not exist? Do you understand that part? If there are no jobs, there are no jobs.

    FL has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the country. The max benefit (the MAX, not the average, but the maximum) is below minimum wage. With that benefit, if one were to believe your line of reasoning - then FL would have one of the lowest unemployment rates - because people would make the decision to go with what pays better, no? But the reality is that FL still has one of the highest unemployment rates.

    You are acting as if the unemployed out there are a bunch of spoiled Americans that had money in the bank to sit through this and UI has been pocket money to spend on happy meals.

    The average US household income is only around $55k with multiple incomes in the household.

    Not sure what America you live in, but the reality for the vast majority of real Americans has been a case of UI not even being able to pay their little bills - losing their cars (making it more difficult to find work), losing their homes, being evicted from their apartments, etc, etc.

    Reality does bite, and I wish to God that people like you understood what reality actually is...

  • ||

    UI benefits put money into the economy. When there are no jobs and no UI benefits, you have lost all of that money going into the economy.

    And it takes money OUT somewhere else. Taxes, or inflation (when the fed prints money), or future repayement ofr debts (with interest!).

    Every dime of money going into the economy through UI is coming out of it, past or future.

    You cannot magically create wealth by printing money. Money is just a medium of exchange. The economy is not made of money. It is made of goods and services. If individuals are not producing any goods or services, they cannot possibly be adding to the economy.

    You are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Reality: Americans want jobs that do not exist, at a standard of living they cannot afford. We have eaten our seed capital, and are continuing to eat it at an accelerating pace. Sooner or later that fact will catch up with us, and we will be poorer for it.

  • Another Statistic||

    Your understanding of economics is rather sad. If the economy is made of goods and services, it is not a case of producing them - it is a case of consuming them. If the demand for goods decline because there is no money for them, then the amount of goods that need to be produced will be reduced. Which in turn will lead to further layoffs. Those on unemployment were still consuming goods. Without job creation, by ending UI, you will simply lead to even more unemployment - which will lead to less consumption - etc, etc, etc.

    Both trickle down and bubble up economics have been proven to be idealistic fairy tales that have no room in the reality of present day life. However, by stimulating the economy from both ends - it will be able to stabilize. The economy will not resolve itself.

    I suggest you read this: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108.....oyment.pdf

  • ||

    So if you take money from Bob, and give it to Jane, Bob's consumption of goods goes down and Jane's increases.

    Where is the increase in demand, again?

    If you try to increase demand for goods by printing money and handing it out, you will produce inflation. The same amount of goods will be produced, but they will cost more, which will negate the effect of printing the money to increase demand.

    I'm boiling it down to some simple formula,s but that's the essence of it.

    Paying people to spend money does not stimulate the economy since the money you pay them must be removed from the economy in some other way.

  • Another Statistic||

    The Republicans are rightfully suggesting it be pulled from the money that is not being used. If that money had been used as intended, then unemployment would not have reached the point that it has. ARRA funds are sitting around collecting dust, not even interest - they are just sitting there collecting dust.

    There are too many libtards and wingnuts involved in politics. It is a wonder we have not crashed and burned long ago...

  • ||

    How about the money that is not being used, NOT BE USED. How about having a slightly smaller gargantuan budget deficit?

  • Another Statistic||

    You realize that without job creation, without UI extension (again, keeping in mind this is an extension for the previous four tiers/EB not an additional tier), and without some form of stimulus - there will be no tax revenue? There will be less consumer spending? That it will get to the point that it does not matter if the deficit is $1 or $1 trillion, that there will be no way to pay for it? I mean, you do get that, right?

    There is a vast difference between spending money on necessities and fluff. I'm all for not spending money on fluff.

    So what you are saying is that nothing should be done about job creation? So there should not be any extension of UI benefits? So, those millions upon millions of Americans should just go somewhere quietly and die?

    Because, you do realize, that is what you are saying, no?

    Oh no doubt there is a small percentage that might actually start applying for jobs and even a smaller percentage from that group will find jobs...but for the vast majority of those that are unemployed? They should, you know, just take their spouses, their kids, the family dog, and just go somewhere...and die?

    How about we close the loopholes that allow companies to abuse what Bush intended to try to help things out? Bring those service jobs, manufacturing jobs, et al back to the US. Get a handle on the various bubble economic fads that have popped up here and there over the years. Take a look at urban sprawl. Take a look at crowded prisons. Do something about unions. You know, actually do something instead of just complain about how much it might cost?

    It is not about money being spent, because money well spent would generate a return on the investment.

    It is about how the money is being spent...keeping several million Americans alive to me appears to be a good investment, considering how much we spend to keep folks alive in other countries.

  • ||

    You realize that without job creation, without UI extension (again, keeping in mind this is an extension for the previous four tiers/EB not an additional tier), and without some form of stimulus - there will be no tax revenue?

    So, let's get this straight. Uncle Sam pays Sally $1,000 a month. Sally spends $1,000 a month on ... whatever. Which ends up in somebody's paycheck. Uncle Sam gets back (optimistically) 25% of that.

    Wow, spending $1,000 earned the govern ment a cool $250! It's a magic money tree! We should just keep spending money ... think of all the tax revenue it will generate.

    You know, I hear lefties accuse libertarians of thinking of the market as magical, but, christ ... you're the ones who think the government throwing dollars around works like the Law of Attraction.

  • ||

    If that money had been used as intended, then unemployment would not have reached the point that it has.

    Unjustified assertion alert!

  • Another Statistic||

    If one more job was created...

    ...so it is not really an unjustified assertion, is it?

  • ||

    I think you overestimate the resolution of the unemployment figures...

  • Another Statistic||

    More of an absolute issue than a resolution issue.

  • ||

    "Your understanding of economics is rather sad. If the economy is made of goods and services, it is not a case of producing them - it is a case of consuming them. If the demand for goods decline because there is no money for them, then the amount of goods that need to be produced will be reduced."

    Yes, for a while until the price level falls enough to cause resources to be put back to work. Even the most unregulated, unstimulated economies have avoided this "neverending spiral of death" that keynesians keep shouting about.

  • Sudden||

    UI is not a net gain to the economy by its increase to aggregate demand, because the money that goes into pumping said aggregate demand is taken out of the economy initially either by transfer payments or by borrowing. When the money is borrowed (as is the present case) that money ends up being taken out of the economy because gov't borrowing crowds out private sector borrowing (read: investment) and such investment generally goes into endeavors that both a) employ people and b) create goods or services that are not presently offered to a sufficient degree by the current marketplace or are offered at a higher price and the introduction of new competition brings down prices.

  • Chad||

    UI is not a net gain to the economy by its increase to aggregate demand, because the money that goes into pumping said aggregate demand is taken out of the economy initially either by transfer payments or by borrowing

    You mean the money is taken out of the Chinese economy. You can always stimulate your local economy by borrowing money from outside.

  • ||

    I didn't know you were an outsourcing supporter, Chad.

  • ||

    Not so fast Unemployment is a net loss on the economy Not only you are taking capital out market but at 260 a week bill are left unpaid and I can not buy gas, clothing and my medicine. furthermore I can not afford to eat out. These are business I no longer make purchase because I am on unemployment.

  • Another Statistic||

    You realize how little that makes sense? UI is around $1.4b in consumer spending a week. If there were jobs, there would be more consumer spending. No jobs and no UI means...? Catching up now?

  • Butts Wagner||

    The average US household income is only around $55k with multiple incomes in the household.

    Doesn't this support the idea that individuals making 20K/yr on unemployment actually aren't doing too badly?

  • Another Statistic||

    The poverty threshold being $10k for an individual kind of says...no.

  • Mangler||

    THEY ARE AMONG US

  • cynical||

    The economy is based around labor and capital. Consuming capital to pay people not to perform labor is the exact opposite of "good for the economy".

    If you try to give people money to raise demand, without actually helping supply to catch up with demand, all you do is raise prices, which means that you have to give people on welfare even more money, and many people not on welfare get less purchasing power from their paychecks, meaning that getting on the dole starts to look nicer and nicer each day.

  • cynical||

    The economy is based around labor and capital. Consuming capital to pay people not to perform labor is the exact opposite of "good for the economy".

    If you try to give people money to raise demand, without actually helping supply to catch up with demand, all you do is raise prices, which means that you have to give people on welfare even more money to get the same QoL, and many people not on welfare get less purchasing power from their paychecks, meaning that getting on the dole starts to look nicer and nicer each day.

  • Jesse Kline||

    http://jesse.kline.ca/about-jesse

    I'm glad you got a chance to check out my website. I hope you took the time to read everything I've written on subjects I know nothing about.

    I also appreciate you pointing other people to the site. Keep up the good work!

  • Another Statistic||

    There are some good things there. There are some bad things here. No arguing that from me, my friend.

  • mr simple||

    I have chips!

  • Enrique||

    Pelosi is a fool. Unemployment benefits create no jobs, it's just wealth transfer. Unemployment insurance rates then go up, companies have less funds to hire, rinse and repeat. Government can only hinder private sector employment not help it.

  • ||

    The economy is a mess in large part because the government won't stop spending so damned much. While unemployment benefits are less of a problem than other expenditures, I don't think expanding any government spending is going to help the economy.

    That's what we really need--a stronger, healthier economy. That will solve a lot of the problem all by itself. If we keep expanding the size of the government and of the safety net, it'll swallow us all up.

    I have all the sympathy in the world for people in financial trouble, and I don't think everyone can solve their woes by getting a part-time job at McDonald's. But this business of the government doling out a pittance of what we've paid in. . .it's just awful.

  • Tman||

    I guess the obvious question here would be how long should UI last?

    99 weeks?

    999 weeks?

    9 years?

    I know people that went from working in the $60k-100K zone and lost their jobs. After collecting UI for a few weeks they said screw this and went and got a job waiting tables or washing dishes. It sucks, they aren't happy about it, but it was either take a chance at increasing their income with a crappy service industry job or continue to collect UI insurance which was less money.

    Two crappy choices, no doubt, but when left with no other option it's a no brainer.

  • Sudden||

    I don't think a lot of rational actors would consider that choice obvious. Time spent working at the local pizza joint can make a few extra bucks above what the UI will pay, but the time opportunity cost can get in the way of one's ability to really fully commit to finding a job that matches their qualifications. Besides, if you tell me I can make $20k doing nothing, or $30k working 40 hours a week, a lot of people will consider the doing nothing a better proposition.

  • Tman||

    Besides, if you tell me I can make $20k doing nothing, or $30k working 40 hours a week, a lot of people will consider the doing nothing a better proposition.

    Sadly, you're probably right. But I still would like to know how long taxpayers should foot the $20k. I realize with UI you will get the slacker who says "screw it, free money" and the sympathetic "I'm trying but I just can't find anything" and everything in between, but how long does this last before the "temporary assistance" becomes "semi-permanent welfare"?

  • Pedant||

    The correct answer is: however much you're willing to purchase when you're employed.

  • josey||

    Not exactly; what a rational actor would do would be to collect as much unemployment as possible, all the while dealing as much as possible under the table. Combine the two and you're not doing too bad.

    A friend of mine, his wife is a union heavy-equipment operator. She tends to work a couple of months, then go inactive for half a year or so. She's not what you'd call a deep thinker, and in conversations, it became pretty apparent to me that she doesn't even realize that she's using a strategy. She just sees things in terms of numbers of months vs. how long unemployment and insurance will run (they're in their later sixties, so coverage is an important factor), and decides what she has to do around that. He is self-employed; in other words, he can handle the under-the-table income side of the equation. Together, they're not rich, but they have a life, a home, cars, etc...all the normal stuff.

  • Van||

    Here's a riddle for you guys.

    I normally work as a Systems Engineer, and I got laid off last October. I do not live on unemployment insurance since in this state it amounts to $1000.00 a month so it would barely cover my rent check. I'm not married and I haven't sold my house, I didn't own one. I have not sought lower paying professional work, because I'm not a sucker, I know how to negotiate.

    How am I supporting myself?

  • Sudden||

    Savings, hooking, or selling drugs.... not sure which.

  • Van||

    Partially correct.

    No one would pay me for sex, although am a studly 52.

    If I sold drugs I would lose my security clearance, so no.

    Savings is close, very warm.

  • ||

    calling in favors? labor trades?

  • Van||

    Wrong.

  • Sudden||

    Investments, daytrading, shorting everything.

  • Van||

    Bingo. Except I'm mostly bullish.

  • Sudden||

    But the eternal question is: bullish on what?

  • Van||

    Bullish on Van's ability to take care of Van's own ass.

  • ||

    Fine. Borrowing. And you're a dumbfuck if you are living off of borrowed money ratehr than accepting lower paying professioanl work.

  • Van||

    Wrong. In 2002 when I was broke I drove a cab for a year plus a couple months, so direct thy preaching unto those that have not heard the word yet Sister.

  • ||

    Pretending I didn't read anything below, I guess that you started your own religion. 'Cause that's my plan if I ever can't find a job.

  • Van||

    All you need for that is a rental space in a strip mall, some cheap local advertising on cable, and a sociopathic personality.

    Get them used to drinking Kool Aid as a sacrament.

  • ||

    Wealthy parents?

  • Van||

    Wrong.

  • ||

    Common law wife?

  • Van||

    I should have been more explicit, I am using my own means.

  • ||

    Selling your organs?

  • Van||

    No, buy I may need to buy a kidney at some point. Last year this time the urologist removed a twenty millimeter stone from my left kidney.

  • ||

    White slavery ring?

  • Van||

    If things get to the point where I have to drive a cab again. I could theoretically work as a driver and bodyguard for Escort Babies, maybe work up to pimping them out.

  • ||

    Why white slavery, you racist, Flat Pizza believer?

  • ||

    Asian slavery ring?

  • ||

    That's better.

  • Van||

    The only thing my bitches will have in common is their love for Daddy Van, all races accepted.

  • ||

    Van is a pimp. He never could have outfought Episiarch.

  • Van||

    Potential Pimp. Reread my post.

    Have I been fighting with Episiarch? I thought we were brainstorming.

    And whatever happened to his teleporter?

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...but what I never knew until this day, was that Pelosi was behind it all along.

  • Van||

    When Pelosi is no longer speaker, she can become a Pro Domme and pee down people's backs.

  • Warty||

    Does the punchline involve dead hookers? 'Cause if not, I got places to be.

  • Van||

    I love young women so git on out a here!

  • ||

    part time consulting. craigslist.

  • Van||

    I had thought of that but no. Those are good suggestions.

  • ||

    Selling your fine, fine collecting of antique furniture, jewlery, artwork, and quality porn mags.

  • Van||

    You have imagination, but I am perplexed that on a website where everyone claims to be a capitalist, this seems to be the last thing anyone thinks of.

  • Ryback's Cook||

    The stock market?

  • Van||

    Back when I was employed and things were flush I maxed my 401k and pumped money into a brokerage account.

    My solution may not be best for everyone, I'm just trying to encourage you guys to think outside the box and to not accept conventional explanations and solutions for things. Unemployment insurance is simply a way of peeing down your back, while claiming it's raining.

  • Cthorm||

    zOmg investing or running your own, sneaky small business.

  • ||

    Most of the people here are male.
    It's the women who collect furniture jewlery and artwork.
    The men collect porn, but since there's so much out there you can't really make money selling vintage porn.

    Being serious ... if you look at older feudal societies, buying gold jewlery for the wimmins does seem to be a standard method of saving money. The woman wears the family savings around her neck, sells it when they hit hard times.

  • Van||

    If you look at what's on sale in a Pawn shop, it's easy to see what's sale able if you get into a real tight. Guns, jewelry, things like that hold value well.

  • SIV||

    Guns generally hold their value much better than jewelry.

  • ||

    Not if the jewelry is composed of solid gold and/or unflawed precious gemstones in traditional settings.

  • Sudden||

    I was once given a huge box of vintage 1970's and 1980's Playboys from a neighbor upstairs when I was in college. It was disturbing.

  • Van||

    I've found that old comic books and magazines are only valuable to collectors. You can only make money if you can find someone to buy the entire collection.

  • Urkobold™||

    DURING THE URKOBOLD'S BOHEMIAN PERIOD, WHEN HE DABBLED IN POVERTY, THE URKOBOLD RAISED MONEY BY RENTING WOMEN'S BOSOMS AND SELLING THE ADVERTISING SPACE.

  • ||

    Does vintage porn included my dozens of VHS tapes? I'm female, BTW. My BF laughed at me when I moved in with him and brought in box upon box of VHS porn that I can't bear to throw away.

  • josey||

    If you're good, being let go allowed you to realize that you never needed an employer in the first place, and now you're doing freelance.

    But your comment about savings doesn't seem to fit in anywhere with that, so I guess you may be living on alot of 5% money that you pulled out of your house, expecting to buy it back later in inflated dollars. Which is not a bad strategy; somebody will be left holding the bag, but nothing says it has to be you.

    Whatever though...these kinds of riddles never play well in this medium.

  • Van||

    Reread the post, I have never owned a home.

  • josey||

    Missed that.

  • My guess||

    Van, did you take an emergency withdrawal (I believe you are spared penalties in some hardship cases) of your 401k, or is it self-administered, and you are loaning yourself funds?

  • Van||

    Turns out you can roll your 401k into a Rollover IRA and keep the funds there without penalty until you need them. Penalties and taxes depend on your circumstances, and the amounts you withdraw are up to you.

    This has the added benefit of allowing you to self direct your investments.

    This will of course not work for everyone and I was not able to do this myself during previous layoffs.

    I am encouraging people to use their street sense and their college degrees and think up the CAPITALIST solution that meets their needs. Don't be afraid, believe in yourselves.

  • My guess||

    Hmm, turns out the only non libertarian figured out the solution. I guess living in the real world pays off.

  • Van||

    My philosophy is libertarian, so a libertarian developed the problem and then posed it, and at least one non libertarian got the correct solution.

    I conclude that street sense is more important than ideology in these matters.

  • My guess||

    You can also conclude women are smarter than men ;-)

  • Anonymously Unemployed||

    FWIW, there is some rationale for not accepting a job that pays significantly less than what you'd made in the past; future employers base your expectations on what you previously earned, and taking a massive haircut often leads to longer term underpayment if you undervalue yourself. When you are in your peak earning years, you may think twice about downgrading yourself so readily.

    Also -this: But usually the employer doesn't want to hire you because they think you're only going to work there until something better comes along.

    ..has proven true for me so far. I've applied to lots of gigs that they looked at me and said, "you want to do this... after THAT?" (meaning, making well in excess of 100K doing high level work for a premium institution)...meaning, they know as soon as I find an opening back in my old field, I'd be gone in a heartbeat.

    That said, I've been on the dole for a while now, and I'd take almost anything that paid reasonably just to get out of the not-doing-productive-work rut. Do I hope they extend unemployment benefits? Sort of. I would welcome the cushion rather than go hat in hand to borrow, or depend on family largesse (which doesnt exist, frankly - though others may have that option).

    I am more in tune with what others have said here; I think the government wastes a lot of money on stupid shit, but this isnt necessarily one of them. I think the anecdote probably proves most true for people in their 20's who have not really fully established their career so far, and for them, chilling out and living on the dole may seem like a nice summer break.

    For many others who DO have careers to try and sustain, this is bloody awful, and something they want to end ASAP.

    Seriously, while I appreciate the fiscal sentiment, this may not be something that Reason should hammer against, given the vast numbers of people shit out of luck in this country. Its not for lack of effort. The sentiment of the post comes off a bit heartless and glib given the economic realities and the number of people affected.

  • Ryback's Cook||

    Then take my money.

  • ||

    Anonymously Unemployed|7.8.10 @ 8:28PM|#
    FWIW, there is some rationale for not accepting a job that pays significantly less than what you'd made in the past; future employers base your expectations on what you previously earned, and taking a massive haircut often leads to longer term underpayment if you undervalue yourself."

    "Undervalue yourself"?
    You once had a job that paid X and now the market says your skills are worth

  • ||

    Sorry, that was cut off for some reason..
    You once had a job that paid X and the market now says you skills are worth less than X.
    And you chose to sit around and use my money to (hope to prove) you know better than the market?
    Sorry, get to work.

  • Anonymously Unemployed||

    No, the market made 30% of the jobs in my industry go away.

    Not that that makes much of a difference.

    And if by 'sit around', you mean spend all day every day looking for employment in the same field anywhere in the country (or outside of it)...

    Whatever: you're a cock. I hope you find yourself in the same situation soon to learn a little humility.

  • Sudden||

    Admittedly, I sympathize with your plight. I do. And of course there are umpteen thousand other endeavors the government funds which I find more pointless and trivial (and were I you, I'd be scheming ways to get ahold of some of that). But the case that UI extensions extend unemployment itself is fairly well demonstrated and, though suck it may to take something with a significantly lower salary, it might be the tradeoff you have to make.

    I think its a frame we have to accept. Instead of thinking we're underpaid now, perhaps we were all just overpaid before. Look at the cost of labor in much of the world, its not entirely unreasonable to think we've been outside our means for awhile now.

  • SIV||

    Is there any truth to this "Employers offer more compensation to deadbeat layabouts sponging unemployment extensions for up to two years than someone actually working for another employer for less money"?

  • Anonymously Unemployed||

    The way you frame it (and by the way, thanks for the 'deadbeat layabouts' that you apparently consider 10% of the population to be), no.

    But if you say, work in a very exclusive field, and transition to one less exclusive, and try to get back in - yes, it is harder than if you simply went fishing for two years. What they look at is the last gig you had, and what you did.

    Not that it matters to you; you already think the unemployed are all products of their own deadbeatism, apparently.

  • Ryback's Cook||

    If you were "making well in excess of 100K doing high level work for a premium institution" and you now can't find a job, I doubt very much you deserved the job you had.

  • Anonymously Unemployed||

    You are a brave, compassionate and thoughtful man, with fine insights on what other people probably deserve. I am impressed how clearly you came to that conclusion, knowing absolutely nothing about me or my work aside from my intentionally vague comment. I suppose in your free time you go to people whose houses have burnt down and tell them that they "shouldn't have had all that flammable material around anyway"? Kudos sir.

  • Another Statistic||

    How does this sound for a letter?

    "Yes, good morning. I do not wish to alarm you, but I was wondering if you could call the police and tell them there is somebody here attempting to rob you. I have no weapon and will not harm anybody, however, I have been unable to find a job and my unemployment benefits have run out. I lost my car last year, and I was finally evicted at the start of this year. I had been renting a room in the interim while still trying to find a job, but now I am not able to pay for that either. I'm an insulin dependent diabetic and being homeless is not an option for me. I am faced with the option of committing suicide instead of facing a slow painful death or asking you to call the police for me in the hopes that the economy stabilizes during my imprisonment and that I will be able to find a job upon release. I refuse to harm anybody so that I might survive, and if this letter traumatizes you in any way - you have no idea how much that would pain me. I'll sit over there and wait until the police arrive. I thank you for doing this for me. I do not want to die."

  • ||

    I refuse to harm anybody so that I might survive

    Taking my money harms me. Oh, well, everyone has to die sometime.

  • Another Statistic||

    How does it harm you? Clarify if you can...

  • ||

    Another Statistic|7.8.10 @ 8:32PM|#
    "Your understanding of economics is rather sad."
    Yours is abysmal.
    "If the economy is made of goods and services, it is not a case of producing them - it is a case of consuming them. If the demand for goods decline because there is no money for them, then the amount of goods that need to be produced will be reduced."
    Yes, and you *take* money from those who might spend it, lose X% though gov't friction and then deliver the remains as UI. Net loss.

  • Another Statistics||

    You take money from those that might spend it where? Do you mean the pork that does nobody but the politicians and their friends any good?

    Seriously, where?

    We can answer the where the money will not be spent if a UI extension is not passed, no? I mean, that is right there. Sure, it does not make the news headlines like Lindsey Lohan going to jail - but a simple Google of "unemployment extension" will get you more than you can read in your spare time.

    While you are there, take a look at how UI bolsters near GDP, eh? It is amazing how your "Net Loss" does not show in anything that any of the various economists have put out...oddly enough.

    Is UI something that should be permanent? No, it is not a case of creating a form of welfare. UI along with stimulus to the economy will stabilize the economy.

    Even Republicans realize this. Where they draw the difference with the Democrats is on the amount of fluff and pork. I mean, seriously, the Democrats were able to whittle away well over $100b from the tax extenders bill? Who has been holding the UI extension hostage?

    Look at the number of Democrats that have been sitting on ARRA funds and doing nothing with them or wasting them on pet pork?

    The Republicans want those funds to be used for the UI extension and for what the President stated they were to be used for as well.

    Use the money. Keep the economy afloat and stimulate it! Get that sucker moving, woot! Woot!

    Is that really that hard to understand?

  • ||

    Another Statistics|7.8.10 @ 9:30PM|#
    "You take money from those that might spend it where? Do you mean the pork that does nobody but the politicians and their friends any good?"

    Uh, making up stories about how the money might be used in less effective manners leaves you, well, making up stories.

  • ||

    Do you mean the pork that does nobody but the politicians and their friends any good?

    How does paying people extended UI benefits not qualify as "pork"?

    Seriously, where?

    A significant reason for the recession is small business being unable to borrow money to finance operations.
    The government borrowing money means it is soaking up lendable capital that some small business might otherwise be able to borrow. This drives up interest rates, making it more expensive for business to borrow. If they can at all. That's what is meant by government borrowing crowding out private sector borrowing.
    The government uses that borrowed money to pay people who do no work, money which would otherwise be used by businesses to expand their operations and bhire people.

    No, it is not a case of creating a form of welfare.

    If UI stimulates the economy, why shouldn't welfare? Why don't we just pay everyone welfare all the time? Think of the stimulus!

    Use the money. Keep the economy afloat and stimulate it! Get that sucker moving, woot!

    Could you BE any more retarded?

  • Another Statistic||

    Theresa, c'mon now. Small banks did chose not to participate in TARP because they did not want to deal with pay caps for their executives and the like. They could have easily participated and helped to stimulate the economy. Considering that most of the SB loans come from small banks or the SBA, saying that the government borrowing money (which it does at the international level by selling debt) just shows your complete lack of understanding of the issue.

    UI stimulates the economy in times of high unemployment in comparison to no UI. Trying to compare UI to welfare is a weak strawman argument.

    So it is retarded to suggest that they use the money for what they appropriated those funds for..? Cause...? Cause why...?

    So I guess with having nothing intelligent to say, realizing that your arguments were growing weaker by the moment - it was time to resort to name calling?

    Yep, done with you as well...

  • ||

    Who are you?

  • no_thanks||

    An imbalanced social misfit with google and your email address, that's who.

  • ||

    Actually I suspect it's someone I know who's a majorlt creepy Ass.

    I mean, following someone around on the internet and posting on their message boards? That is some fucking seriously creepy shit.

  • Another Statistic||

    Was a simple case of doing a Google for "unemployment extension" and this story came up. No need to be so melodramatic.

    You just happen to have an opinion that I do not find to make sense in the least.

    But then again, I do not do well with extremists on any side - Republican, Democrat, or Independent. I'm a moderate.

  • ||

    Trying to compare UI to welfare is a weak strawman argument.

    I repeat the question. If UI is stimulative, why not welfare?

    The argument is about whether paying people who are not working has a stimulative effect or not. In that respect, how is welfare different from UI? Do you have an answer? Or just more babbling about "strawmen" like a blind fool.

  • Another Statistic||

    Are you familiar in the least with what welfare actually entails? The work requirements? The insanely minuscule monthly max benefit? That welfare is mainly to provide support for children? Actually, to qualify - you need a child in the household?

    The monthly max benefit for temporary cash assistance in FL for a family of two (single mom or dad with child) that pay more than $50 in rent a month is $241. That benefit is reduced based on the amount of income gained from working, since they also have to work 20-30 hours a week to receive that benefit. Add into that a maximum of $367 of food stamps to provide food for two people for the month - as long as the monthly gross is below $1500 - or you do not qualify. It goes on and on, and on and on.

    It is a trip to see people talking about welfare as if it was some grand program where people are living the good life.

    Part of your compensation when you have a job includes the company paying UI premiums. That is why it is called "Unemployment Insurance" and one of the manners in which it differs greatly from food stamps, temporary cash assistance, and medicaid.

    The argument was actually about whether the economy could sustain the loss of consumer spending brought about by high unemployment over an extended period of time without unemployment benefits being paid. That the monies provided by those benefits are not put away for a rainy day, but that they are used within a period of days to a week or two. Without the additional influx of that capital, overall consumer spending would decrease and lead to further unemployment as businesses were unable to sustain their current number of employees or the business itself. By continuing to pay unemployment benefits, businesses would be able to continue to sell their goods and services - continue to make a profit - and thus allow for the growth they would not have without the additional consumer spending facilitated by those benefits. The growth would not simply be at the direct point of sale, but it would carry on through the supply chain. The psychological aspect of knowing that there will be consumer spending will lead to taking that risk of expansion, and the economy would recover. Without the benefits, there is no reason for expansion because of the declining demand for goods. It would actually lead to more businesses going out of business as they lose more customers. This too would be felt through the supply chain. With the expansion though, would come jobs, people would get those jobs as they became available, and further increase the amount of consumer spending as they once again realize a certain amount of disposable income. It would go from absolute necessities to those items that are not a necessity but make life easier/better.

    You cannot compare the UI benefit and the welfare benefit in that sense. The combined temporary cash assistance and food stamps benefits are around a third of the average monthly UI benefit.

    So attempting to lump UI in with welfare (an incorrect notion of welfare at that) is pretty much a strawman argument. You are trying to attribute fictional elements of one system to another for the emotional affect it may render.

    Cause face it, even I think that women on welfare should be required to go on some form of non-optional birth control to avoid the creation of welfare baby factories in an attempt to extend and increase their monthly benefits.

  • ||

    So what? The poorer they are, the more likely they are to spend the money, eh?

    Should be EVEN MORE stimulative than UI.

    So your logic is that UI is more stimulative before the checks are bigger? Okay, let's just increase the welfare checks and hand out more of them.

    Mucho stimulato.

    Why not?

  • Another Statistic||

    If I give you a dollar and I give Ron three dollars - who is going to stimulate the economy more by going to the store?

    (no idea why I gave Ron $3, his socio-ecnomic status appears to be much more affluent than your own - but hey, I felt bad for the guy)

    So no, welfare would not stimulate the economy more because they will be spending it at about the same rate the person on UI would.

    Yes, the logic is that more money being spent stimulates the economy more than less money being spent. Do you actually want to argue against that point or wag your finger around all willy-nilly?

    It is obvious that your intent is not to better the situation in the least and that you do secretly wish that the unemployed, those on welfare, etc - would all just go away and die...quietly, I presume would be your preference.

    How about closing those tax loopholes that pretty much cost us all the manufacturing and service jobs instead? Bring the jobs back to America. Take a look at providing corporate housing at reasonable costs, eh? Do something about the fact that we already pay a hidden VAT which increases the cost of otherwise cheap goods because they have been artificially inflated? There are so many things that could actually be done to improve the economy.

    But no...let's sit around and pretend that UI is welfare and tell the people to get jobs that are not there.

  • ||

    Yes, the logic is that more money being spent stimulates the economy more than less money being spent. Do you actually want to argue against that point or wag your finger around all willy-nilly?

    So then, if throwing money around stimulates the economy, why not just increase the welfare checks? Why care about whether people work or not? It's all stimulus, right?

    Why would we even WANT to top welfare recipients from having more babies? More welfare babies equals more poverty stricken consumers to give cash to so they can spend it. Even more simulus.

    Heck, why stop there? We could hire some illegal aliens to go on welfare so they can spend money to stimulate the economy. If every dollar spent simulates and has a "multiplier effect" it should multiply into jobs for white Americans, right?

    We should just have a constant supply of cheap Mexican welfare queens to pay a monthly stipend on so they can keep stimulating the economy swith their spending. That way, white people can have more jobs.

  • Another Statistic||

    Knowing where you are from, I was waiting for that kind of racist comment. Though, honestly, I was hoping for something more along the lines of saying, "Hey, we'll pay you a fair day's wages for each Mexican you toss back over the border." Course, the other one would have been along the lines of, "Hey, we'll pay you a fair day's wages for each Mexican you carry across the border...quick, get that fence up once they're on the other side!"

    Have you noticed how you continue to resist addressing the issues and appear only to want to dabble in some insane glee you find from babbling on nonsensically about UI being welfare?

    Is that part of your independent philosophy about maximizing your personal happiness?

    Does thinking about Mexican welfare queens get you wet or something?

    It really is a trip. Like a toddler having a hissyfit in the corner and spewing savage nonsense with spittle flying every which way.

  • ||

    Have you noticed that you continue to resist addressing the issue of why
    we shouldn't just increase all the welfare checks?

    Have you notice that you continue to avoid that point and start babling about total non sequitors like the emotional association of the word welfare?

    Do you or don't you believe that giving every welfare recipient the equivalent of UI would be just as ebeneficial to the economy or more?

    At what point do you think that paying people money who are not working ISN'T stimulative?

    If there is no such point, why *shouldn't* we pay a bunch of illegal aliens to collect welfare checks?

    Do you actually understand the argument we are having? Are you too stupid to get my point?

  • Another Statistic||

    So, we were discussing one thing. You could not manage that, so you went off on a tangent. I pointed out how silly that was and that you were avoiding the topic...

    ...so you answer by stating that I am avoiding the topic? Do you get my toddler reference a little better now with the rubber and glue bit? Or how about the strawman thing a little better now that you have added in paying welfare to illegal immigrants?

    What does welfare have to do with unemployment insurance?

    What does paying welfare to illegal immigrants have to do with unemployment insurance?

    What is next? Comparing paying death benefits to same sex partners when the diseased died of AIDs to unemployment insurance?

  • ||

    Wow, you really are stupid.

    I asked a rhetorical question that goes to the heart of the argument that UI benefits are stimulative.

    If UI is stimulative, why shouldn't welfare also be? And if it is, why don't we just increase the welfare rolls to stimulate the economy?

    According to your logic, the logic of your degenerate Keynesianism, when you hand out checks to poor people, it has a simulative effect, because they spend the money and it increases aggregate demand.

    That logic should hold true regardless of whether the individual who receives the check gets it through the welfare system or the UI system, or whether they were born in the US, or not.

    Are you strill so dense as to not get it? The point is, your logic is ridiculous, and patently so.

    UI could not possibly be stimulative. Which is why this article posted a video of Nancy Pelosi saying so. Because the claim that UI is stimulative is so patently absurd that it is laughable.

  • Another Statistic||

    I already posted how continued UI would help the economy and why welfare would not.

    It is up there, and if you look around the web - you'll see that economists pretty much agree with that.

    I did not bother watching the video. Pelosi is an idiot, as are most Democrats in Congress (Hell, most Democrats in general in my not always humble opinion).

    It does not change the simple facts...but whatever.

  • ||

    Your argument is that welfare stimulates the economy less because the welfare checks are smaller than UI checks.

    To which my response is: So, then why not increase the size of the welfare checks?

    If giving money to people at the bottom end of the economic spectrum stimulates demand, because they are the most likely to spend the money, then you MUST CONCLUDE that increasing welfare payments to UI levels would be just as effective, since the welfare recipients would be just as likely to spend it.

    And if you believe that more money being spent = more stimulus, then you MUST further conclude that it would be just as effective to pay illegal aliens to go on welfare, since THEY will be just as likely to spend the money and increase aggregate demand as anyone else.

    Which part of this logic do you object to?

  • Another Statistic||

    Was going to go to sleep, but I decided to have a little more caffeine instead.

    It was not an argument that welfare stimulates the economy less than UI does because of amount, it is the fact that welfare stimulates the economy less than UI.

    A single parent/child family with max temp cash assistance/food stamps will have a benefit that is about a third of the max benefit of UI. It would take three such families to spend as much as the single person on UI, given all were at max benefits. It is not an argument - it is fact.

    In order to advocate your policy of increasing welfare to meet the level of UI benefits, it would be necessary first to prove that welfare and UI are the same. Which cannot be done - which is where this all started - but you believe them both to be such, thus you are unable to see that point.

    They are very different programs, different requirements to start them and different requirements to stay in them.

    Prior to the extension (such a bad word for it really, when you think about it) lapsing, the max period of benefits for UI in FL was 18 months. Welfare is 48 months. Would you be reducing the amount of time welfare lasts or increasing the amount of time UI lasts? In order to qualify for welfare, you need to have a child under the age of 18 in the home. Will you be removing that requirement for welfare or adding it to UI? The max UI benefit is enough to disqualify you from other social services benefits - will you be changing that?

    It goes on and on and on and on. UI is not welfare. EUC and EB are not welfare.

    Until you have apples and apples, instead of apples and oranges - there is no grounds for the argument.

    How about this one then, eh? One could form the premise that you are arguing against more money stimulating the economy more than less money would stimulate the economy.

    Removing the almost $1b a week from the economy will not have a negative impact on the economy.

    So you would have no problem giving up your salary? Because, you having no money to spend would not adversely affect the economy...am I right?

    It is not a case of deciding to provide a personal stimulus to Americans out of the blue at taxpayer's expense. It is a case of removing the stabilizing factor offered by the continued consumer spending which could stimulate the economy.

    Will be interesting though, to see how many Americans that lose their UI are able to apply for welfare, eh?

  • ||

    Jesus Christ, you really are retarded.

    A single parent/child family with max temp cash assistance/food stamps will have a benefit that is about a third of the max benefit of UI. It would take three such families to spend as much as the single person on UI, given all were at max benefits. It is not an argument - it is fact.

    So triple the welfare benefits. What part of that don't you understand?

    They are very different programs, different requirements to start them and different requirements to stay in them.

    Neither of which has anything to do with the supposedly stimulating effects of giving poor people money.

    It goes on and on and on and on. UI is not welfare. EUC and EB are not welfare.

    I'm not saying they are. I'm saying that the logic that claims UI stimulates the economy applies equally to welfare benefits. Ergo, welfare stimulates the economy.

    If you see the stupidity and absurdity of the claim that welfare benefits stimulate the economy, how can you NOT see the stupidity and absurdity of the claim that UI does?

    Are you just being willfully retarded not?

    Removing the almost $1b a week from the economy will not have a negative impact on the economy.

    So you would have no problem giving up your salary? Because, you having no money to spend would not adversely affect the economy...am I right?

    I think you're finally getting it. Government taking money from A and giving it to B DOES NOT Stimulate the economy. Because A will have less money to spend, and so the demand cancels out.

    Man, was that a blinding revelation to you, or something? I have to wonder ...

  • Another Statistic||

    You are obviously the inbred orphan daughter of a drunken Mexican coyote and a disabled Mexican welfare baby factory.

    If UI and welfare are not the same program, then tripling welfare would not provide the same benefit. It is not simply about the amount of money.

    Do you subscribe to the theory that if you repeat nonsense enough it will make sense? Do you run into walls in your spare time believing that at some point the wall will not be there?

    Once more for your limited mental faculties:

    1) Welfare does not provide the same stimulative effect to the market as UI, because welfare contributes that much less to consumer spending. It is a point captured in time, a fact - there is no arguing it.

    2) Welfare is not the same program as UI, so even if one were to argue for increasing the amount - that would not have the same affect on economy.

    And no, at the end, it was not a blinding revelation - I think that you'll find quite early on in our discussion I said you were too stupid to have the discussion. I did not gleam anything new out of you by that point...sorry.

  • ||

    Another Statistic|7.8.10 @ 10:54PM|#
    "UI stimulates the economy in times of high unemployment in comparison to no UI."
    Yep and spending lowers debt, too, right? And "up" = "down" also. Is English a second language?

    "Trying to compare UI to welfare is a weak strawman argument."
    No "trying" involved; trying to deny it is hogwash.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm sorry but I'm half inclined to call bullshit on this story. While I'm opposed to incenting people not to work, I have a hard time believing that the meager amounts of money offered by most state's unemployment benefits can compete with 80K a year. I live in Ohio and the amount you get for unemployment at a MAXIMUM doesn't cover the rent for a total shithole apartment. I find it hard to believe anyone would turn down a $30K job to keep that money much less an $80K one. I'd like to see some actual numbers on this instead of conjecture. I'm not so much advocating extensions as much as I'm questioning the 80K story. I do not believe that is true. Sorry.

  • Another Statistic||

    Oh, I believe the story in that sense. If you take into account there are over 15 million people unemployed and the rate is closer to 30% (the close to 5 million people that generate the close to 10% number are only those able to claim unemployment), then it is possible that you would find somebody with substantial savings - a decent portfolio - and the means to decline such a job. You're not going to find 15 million of them, not 10 million, not 5 million...but you should be able to find one or two of them.

  • ||

    Another Statistic|7.8.10 @ 9:36PM|#
    "unemployed ... rate is closer to 30%"

    Ah, yes. More stories!
    You somehow have evidence that the unemployment rate is 30%? Might this 'evidence' come from huffpost or some other brain-dead site?

  • Another Statistic||

    You have a pool of people that are eligible for employment. A certain number of those people are not employed. You have a percentage. The "unemployment rate" only shows those that chose to claim UI and are eligible. The unemployment rate is going to drop massively here shortly, because of the number of people that no longer qualify for benefits.

    Depending on the source, you are going to have somewhere between 10 - 15 million actual unemployed Americans. The unemployment rate for July is not going to reflect the over 3 million people that have lost benefits. They are still unemployed - but they are no longer counted as unemployed.

  • ||

    Another Statistic|7.8.10 @ 10:13PM|#
    "You have a pool of people that are eligible for employment. A certain number of those people are not employed. You have a percentage. The "unemployment rate" only shows those that chose to claim UI and are eligible...."
    Yes, and you have no better data than anyone else, so why should I believe your claim of "30%".
    You're lying.

  • Another Statistic||

    Oh, and as far as the extension. A lot of people point to the 99ers and calling that ludicrous. The issue with the extension not being passed is that it has nothing to do with the 99ers. Those people are looking for an additional tier. The failure to pass an extension affects those that run out of their initial 26 weeks. There will be no Tier I-IV extension nor any EB benefits having used up the EUC. Meaning that you will have people who went 99 weeks and you will have people that went 26 weeks or somewhere between.

  • ||

    Looks like you've worked the system pretty well!
    You've got all the acronyms down pat and you're more than prepared to show how *you're* not taking welfare, just those other folks?
    I'd say you should look for a job.

  • Another Statistic||

    Ron, are you hiring anybody for your 356 parts and services depot? I was a System Admin, been working in IT for over 15 years. You look like you could use somebody with IT experience to clear up that mess you have on the internet providing your home address, phone number, and all the rest.

    I mean, you went through the trouble of apparently incorporating, but you are running the business out of your home? C'mon, living in that neighborhood, surely you could have set up the address at a UPS Store. Could have worked out some sort of VOIP phone number connected to the additional address. Could have had that information for the website. It is amazing how lax people are about information security on the internet.

    Oh well, there is obviously no point in trying to have an intelligent conversation with you - sure, you might be an engineer - could build a rocketship with a paperclip, gum wrapper, and a salt shaker - but from the lack of commonsense you display, you probably have to have Nina tie your shoes for you...

  • ||

    Another Statistic|7.8.10 @ 10:45PM|#
    "Ron, are you hiring anybody for your 356 parts and services depot?..."

    Who would hire an IT sleaze-bag? Seemingly no one.

  • no_thanks||

    Whoa, what a freak. No need to ask why you have to use that past tense qualifier in referring to your sysadmin status.

  • Another Statistic||

    Do you know how much somebody would charge him to go through and do all of that? Yet I offered several recommendations for free?

    And no, as an unemployed person - of course I would use the past tense - and there would be no need to ask why...

    ...obvious much?

  • ||

    An unemployed System Administrator.

    Even in this economy that's a rare sight.

    Perhaps your unemployed status has to do with something other than lack of work for system administrators.

    Could be that you're an arrogant douchbag with an overinflated ego. Just a guess.

  • Another Statistic||

    Pot.

    Kettle.

    Black.

    ...much?

    Nah, there are reasons that I have not found a job in my preferred field. There are reasons that I have not been able to find a job in other fields.

    My favorite was that I actually had a job lined up as a night clerk at a hotel of all things...only to have the hotel go into foreclosure.

    Though I continue to look for jobs in IT to this day, after a month of being unemployed I had already applied to all the min wage jobs without any luck. You go in every now and again, make a little change so it saves, and hope that you get noticed again.

    It is life - for now.

  • no_thanks||

    No so obvious, apparently, as you've still missed the point. That whooshing sound you heard was all of the real reasons why you're unemployed, and from the looks of it, probably unemployable, sailing right over your head.

  • Another Statistic||

    Nah, that was just me being an arrogant douchebag and exhibiting an overinflated ego in regard to your playground level blather.

    Thanks for playing though, no thanks.

  • ||

    Yeah, because IT, you know, there's a sector of the economy that's REALLY gotten hit in this recession.

    I know tons of unemployed System Administrators, personally. I'm thinking of starting a group home for them.

  • Another Statistic||

    Yep, it is there on news.google.com each and every day about the various tech firms that are laying people off.

    Sad, eh?

  • ||

    AlmightyJB|7.8.10 @ 9:32PM|#
    "I'm sorry but I'm half inclined to call bullshit on this story. While I'm opposed to incenting people not to work, I have a hard time believing that the meager amounts of money offered by most state's unemployment benefits can compete with 80K a year."

    Uh, how about if that $80K was the result of labor shortages and the market now says your skill are worth, oh, $40K?
    Strange how that "meager amount" now becomes not so meager and how you can use my dime to sit around and claim you don't want to just take a job that "undervalues" you?
    How about that?

  • AlmightyJB||

    If one assumes these people were making $60K to $80K while employed (which makes sense given the info in the article). One would also most likely assume that their bills, like everyone elses, were close to what they made. Even if state unempolyment was perpetual (which it is not) your talking around $15K a year in benefits. Unless you were either independently wealthy, or you were happy with that massive drop in your standard of living, or you were bilking the system (working under the table AND collecting the 15K) how could you afford to pass up 60K for 15K, even if the 15K was for doing nothing? It just does not make sense to me. As someone commented earlier, there may be a handful of people out there that would do that, but I can't see a large percentage of people making that kind of decision.

  • hmm||

    Gerry, who lists his email as gspeedy@me.com. Can apparently afford a Mobile Me account. Gerry are you trolling?

  • ||

    See above:
    Sniff, sniff?
    Rattus rattus....
    Fake glurge.

  • ||

    extending unemployment benefits is counterintuitive

    I think you mean "counterproductive," or possibly "counterintuitively counterproductive" if you're not into the whole brevity thing.

  • hmm||

    Counterintuitive works fine. You would think it helps, but in reality it doesn't. That is counterintuitive.

    Seems okay to me Grammar Nazi Sir.

  • ||

    I'm currently Vocabulary Nazi, but you were close. I know what Kline was attempting to say, but he used the wrong word. It would be correct to say that the fact that water expands as it freezes is counterintuitive, but it would not be correct to say that water freezing is counterintuitive.

  • alan||

    I wonder what the effect of having an elastic minimum wage would be. If the law was to be changed that for every .5% rate of unemployment above 8.5% the minimum wage would be kicked down a dollar for no less than a year from that time. It would have the most impact in the lower paying jobs, but those areas also tend to be the hardest hit in recessions.

  • Another Statistic||

    As a stimulus for companies to hire people, give them the opportunity to hire people at a lower rate, eh? What would happen at the end of that year when the min wage is increased again? Companies would more than likely fire the last folks in. It would become cyclic, no?

    Besides, not all states are at the Federal min wage - some are above and a few have even managed to stay below.

    There are already tax incentives for hiring minorities, criminals, and the like because of a reverse racism quota system dubbed EOE.

    The actual wage that a person makes is only part of the actual cost of that employee. Saving them $1500-2000 a year on wages is not going to help with the additional costs they will incur from having said employee.

    A company has a product or service they wish to sell at a profit. Profit exists after all other expenses are paid based on the amount of product/service sold. With higher healthcare costs, insurance premiums, various repetitive taxes (VAT already exists, by the way), overall increased costs, with less consumer spending - the whole process has become at odds with itself.

    Individuals and companies are falling through the cracks. It is a case of deciding to do something about it or to decide to do nothing about it. The trying to straddle the rope is simply making it worse.

  • ||

    Fuck this thread...I am living large suckers!

    Between the fake "I lost my dang ol' job at the screen door factory" sob stories, van's boring and boorish "guess why I am not charging to give blow jobs yet" 20Qs game, and the always cowardly and inane spoofer dant this thread is a fucking bust.

    Go get a job fuckers. If you are too proud to sweep floors, then you are too proud to eat. Man up bitches. I'd pray for your asses, but Jesus would sucker punch me for wastin his time on y'all little bitches,dang!

  • Van||

    You are jealous of the size of my thread!

    True libertarians do not rely on employers or the government. Try reading "The Fountainhead."

  • Another Statistic||

    You realize that the highly contrived ending of the book was highly contrived, correct?

    Rand was a trip though. World was a much different place back in the early 40's though compared to now.

  • Van||

    Yeah, I always wondered what the backstory was for Howard Roark, he didn't seem to have one.

  • Another Statistic||

    Have to say that I've always preferred Atlas Shrugged to The Fountainhead. I sometimes wonder if it was because the ending in Atlas felt more genuine.

    Though much of the deeper philosopher elements lead to too much thinking and not enough doing, the stirring concept of entrepreneurship of a man (or a woman) taking their dream in hand and making it a reality is sadly missing in today's world.

  • hmm||

    Hell I'm looking for work and shopping PhD programs. It's fucking rough out there. Thank god I'm a kept man.

  • ||

    Are you misusing the word "counterintuitive" on grad school applications?

    Kidding aside, it is pretty rough looking for graduate support right now with all the university endowments decimated and the states broke. I might be scrubbing burger grills next to you in a couple of years if my tenure doesn't go through.

  • ||

    That would be a waste of your talents, Tulpa.

  • ||

    Alas, pretty much every form of profitable employment seems to be a waste of my talents. Damned talents.

  • The Frito Bandito||

    If the economy is made of goods and services, it is not a case of producing them - it is a case of consuming them.

    Munch, munch, munch a bunch of Fritos!

  • Another Statistic||

    Exactly. Were it not for your desire to munch Fritos, then Frito-Lay could produce all the Fritos they wish; yet they would simply rot away in a warehouse somewhere until the company was forced to write them off as a loss.

    That people can be so ignorant of the demand part of supply-demand economics is kind of amazing.

    Personally though, I've never liked Fritos. Then again, I've never liked Lays potato chips - big empty bags full of a greasy product. That is what some people like though, and generally speaking their price point in the market compared to other brands has served them well. Usually though, you can find a generic of better quality.

    Now if we were talking about their Cheetos, it is very difficult to find anything that matches the cheesy goodness offered by those snacks!

  • Chester||

    Now if we were talking about their Cheetos, it is very difficult to find anything that matches the cheesy goodness offered by those snacks!

    Right on! Quick-Fried To A Crackly Crunch!

  • ||

    Marxists always miss the demand side of the equation. They think that market forces are mysterious disembodied entities which need to be controlled, that have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with people's desires.

    What you are missing is that increasing the number of dollars in the economy doesn't stimulate demand, it just rearranges the distribution of goods. You can devalue people's savings by printing more money - thus reducing demand from people who can't afford as much a result of inflation. Or you can tax it away from someone - thus leaving THEM with less money. Or you can borrow it - stealing from the future and raising interest rates for productive enterprises.

  • Another Statistic||

    It is not a case of increasing the number of dollars in the economy. It is not a case of looking to increase inflation and further devalue the dollar.

    The money has already been taxed. It is there. It is a case of spending it wisely instead of fruitlessly.

    There was almost $1.4 trillion in discretionary spending for this year's budget. I recommend not reading it, it is enough to make a grown man cry with the amount of waste.

  • ||

    So you think it is wisely spent by paying people who are not working?

    Instead of say, building a road or something?

    At least in REAL Keynesianism, the government pays people to actually PRODUCE something. Something of value to the economy. They aren't just tossing money out of a helicopter to "increase demand".

    Your philosophy isn't even real Keynes. It's some kind of degenerate fucktard version of Keynes.

  • Another Statistic||

    Do you have a road that will require 15 million build to build? How about 5 million?

    Oh, they should build a lot of roads?

    Roads to where?

    So instead of trying to keep up with consumer spending by paying UI and working on actual job creation, you want to spend how much more to have people building roads to nowhere?

    I like that - kind of sums up your line of reasoning here - a road to nowhere.

  • ||

    Personally, I would prefer the money not be spent at all.
    Since I don't believe the government can efficiently allocate resources in the economy, I would prefer such spending be directed by the consumers who earned the money in the first place.

    Including if they choose to invest it.

  • Another Statistic||

    Ah, so you're an anarchist. You've lost faith in a representative government, believing they do not represent the people and are just misappropriating your hard earned income, eh?

    We should do away with all government, do away with all public services, and sit around on our stoops shooting anybody that looks at us funny?

  • ||

    No. I'm not an anarchist. And at least public services are, ya know, services. Unlike paying people to not work.

  • Another Statistic||

    This is where it gets a bit dicey for me, you see. In FL, the max UI benefit is below min wage. FL has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the country. So I come from that point of view.

    Looking at many states out there, where the max benefit is two to three times min wage - I have to agree with that.

    I prefer to break it down to that level, though. I could not believe how much more I would have received on UI if I had been laid off in a different state. I would have been able to compete in the marketplace much better and would likely have been off of unemployment pretty quickly.

    When I see what some of those 99ers were getting and still have their homes, their cars, etc - it makes me ill. I cannot help but think get a job, you lazy bums.

    But see, down in FL - the max benefit is below min wage and the state has the 5th highest unemployment rate. Everybody would benefit from even being able to have a min wage job because of the benefits, still paying into SSI, the room for advancement, and not having that glaring hole on their resumes.

    So when I get ticked off about this, it is from that perspective. There are so many people competing for every job, it is ridiculous. You are overqualified, lack transportation, have bad credit from repo/foreclosure, etc, etc, etc - it is difficult.

    I have to wonder, when people complain about the UI stuff - if they realize that there are places like FL - or if they are just looking at other states where people are making that two to three times min wage, you know?

    It is hard not to think that some of those people are being paid not to work. In FL, it is a different case...

  • ||

    Look, if your problem is that you're upset that you aren't getting UI benefits, that's one thing.

    You can argue for UI for lots of other reasons. My point is that argueing that it stimulates the economy is a bunch of bullshit. It does NOT stimulate the economy, and saying so reveals you to be a total economic illiterate.

    You want to argue for UI, go right ahead. Just please leave the pseudo-keynsian bullshit out of it, cause it makes you look like a moron.

  • Another Statistic||

    Answer this - which is better?

    1) Economy where there is the continued consumer spending allowed by UI while actual efforts at job creation take place...

    ...or...

    2) Economy where that consumer spending is removed.

    They said what, 4.6m unemployed? Avg weekly check is $302 or something like that? 3.2m without benefits by the end of July? That is a loss of over $9m in consumer spending each week given that there is no room for savings with the general amounts paid.

    Is that loss going to be felt at big chains? Is that loss going to be felt by the small business?

    It is funny how you would call me an idiot, yet history lends itself to my side rather than your side, no?

    It is not my fault that we have Democrats in office instead of Republicans. Republicans could conservatively spend our way out of the mess. Democrats on the other hand, spend money left right and center without any thought to the matter involved.

  • Another Statistic||

    Honestly, it is not a case that I am upset that my UI benefits ran out a couple of weeks back - that I do not have the money to pay the rent and I will probably be dead this time next week.

    I'm upset that we put Palin on the ticket, basically pulling a Kerry and ensuring that Obama won the Presidency. I know many people that lost their jobs directly or indirectly because of him taking office. I know that his endless campaigning and speech making has not done a damn thing for this country other than drive it further down the tubes.

    I've kind of accepted my fate at this point, once they went on vacation. I went online on Monday to let FL know that even though they had not passed an extension, that I was still looking for work - but, because I had no remaining benefits - they did not want to hear from me. I no longer exist to them.

    I do not think it right that some people have received 99 weeks of two to three times min wage while there are people in FL that will only receive 26 weeks of below min wage.

    I could go on and on there...but none of that changes that if you have money being spent in the economy it stimulates it more than not having money, no? I mean, it really is that simple. There is no need to go off talking about Keynes, Rand's thoughts on laisse-faire, babbling back and forth on classical and neo-classical economic models. Those are mainly concerned with things that do not matter in the real world - c'mon, everybody knows that. A person can get a B.S. in Economics or they can get a B.A. in Economics - applied and theoretical. Theory is for the economists that could not get a real job.

    $9m a week.
    Not $9m a week.

    Even a person with a certificate in underwater basketweaving from Penn Foster would get that...

  • Another Statistic||

    And with my internal calculator off by a couple of zeroes, think I'm going to call it a night.

    Works out to about $966m a week, not $9m.

    Have fun all...

  • ||

    1) Economy where there is the continued consumer spending allowed by UI while actual efforts at job creation take place...

    How about this:
    Economy where we don't take the money away from the original earners in the first place, thus increasing consumer spending, in addition to not siphoning off the costs of government overhead.

  • Another Statistic||

    But that is where your economical theory is such spasmodic failure. Increasing the amount of personal wealth beyond a certain point only leads to savings - not consumer spending.

    I'm all for amassing personal wealth, but to say that doing so increases consumer spending is a farce.

  • Sting||

    I don't want to spend the rest of my life
    Looking at the barrel of an Armalite
    I don't want to spend the rest of my days
    Keeping out of trouble like the soldiers say
    I don't want to spend my time in hell
    Looking at the walls of a prison cell
    I don't ever want to play the part
    Of a statistic on a government chart

    There has to be an invisible sun
    It gives it's heat to everyone
    There has to be an invisible sun
    That gives us hope when the whole day's done

  • Libertylover||

    Wow. Another smug condescension by the contributors to REASON magazine. No wonder the Libertarians are growing by leaps and bounds. Telling people trying to figure out how to keep the bills paid and provide for their families that they are having too much fun is a great way to win new converts to your position.

  • ||

    SOunds reasonable to me dude

    www.web-anonymity.au.tc

  • ¢||

    You somehow have evidence that the unemployment rate is 30%? Might this 'evidence' come from huffpost or some other brain-dead site?

    Uncontroversially, actual joblessness—nonparticipation in the labor market by people who aren't unable to participate in it—is well over 30%.

    For various reasons, some legit but mostly not, that's not what official unemployment stats measure.

  • ||

    Telling people trying to figure out how to keep the bills paid and provide for their families that they are having too much fun

    And you call Reason readers condescending? I'm an ex-con that's been dead broke that thinks middle class is a whole lot like being rich. Keep waiting for someone to pay you what you think you're worth.

  • Another Statistic||

    Now the discussion of who makes up the middle class is a nifty discussion at that. I had always thought that I was middle class, but even though I wore a shirt and tie to work - I was actually working class based on what Obama stated.

    Had the wife, kid, house, two cars, both working - but we were the working poor apparently.

    Who are these $250k middleclass people when the average household income in US with multiple people working is only $55k? Yep, the whole discussion of class models is always fun.

  • longtimelurker||

    wow what the hell happened to the comments on this blog in the past month?

    reads like a bunch of UE collectors with guilty consciences trying to make themselves feel better about themselves, kinda like those rabidly anti-gay conservatives who turn out to like hooking up in airport johns.

  • Another Statistic||

    They gave the intern job to a Canadian and asked him to write about US issues as if he had a clue.

    It failed miserably.

    Maybe somebody could write about that?

  • Fitzroy||

    Are you seriously saying that only born in a certain country can have opinions about that country? I hope not, because that would be really fucking stupid.

    I'm not born in a Iran, and therefore "don't have a clue", but I still think hanging gays in lampposts is horrible. According to you however, that's just peachy.

  • Another Statistic||

    Fitzroy, would you say that a person should be in a country for more than a month - have lived among the varied people - possess a deep understanding of the day in and day out of that country - before offering an opinion on it and expecting anybody to take them seriously?

    So, I should be able to head up to Canada - pick any random subject I want - and start offering my opinions while expecting people to accept me as a legitimate journalist?

    I suppose I could have made it more clear in my comment that Jesse did not leave Canada until getting the intern position...eh?

  • Intern Advocate||

    We interns have tremendous real world insights on what people with real jobs actually live though.

    Also, we offer them for free, because they are the kinds of things journalists with real jobs are unwilling to say themselves, out of fear of possible repercussions.

  • Fluffy||

    I have some sympathy for Gerry, but it's hard to know enough about his situation to really comment.

    He's been working for 30 years and makes 70k a year and has no home and no savings.

    It's hard to work that without a divorce, or a business failure. He says he's been caring for sick relatives, but for how much and for how long?

    I think he should be angry at the people who have bled him dry for 30 years, and not us.

    If he had savings, he wouldn't be facing homelessness. He would have the money to relocate for his job search if he had to. Hell, he could move to somewhere in PA where the rents are 10 cents a year and wait the economy out, and perform his job search remotely.

    It sucks that he has no options left, but something has happened in the last 30 years to leave him with no resources and it's hard to know what that is from this story. The worst thing you can do is wait until you're dead broke to start living like you're dead broke.

  • R.D. Alcala||

    Ah, I get it now. Hit and Run, "Continuous news, views, and abuse," that's what this blog is about. A safe place where one can go to for emotive confirmation of their most cherished presumptions. It's only loosely associated with Reason, stands well outside of it, in fact. That's fine, we all need a place to snark and rant at times, one where we can do so safely ensconced in our ignorance. Of course, if we were to remain within Reason, as it were, It would be difficult for one to take the hazy suspicions of a management recruiter in Oregon who is failing to recruit as "further evidence for what many people have been saying for a long time" on unemployment benefits. Who are these many people? Well, there is a link provided, but of course not a link to Reason, as it were, but a link to more Hit and Run. Turns out the “many people who have been saying for a long time” are us. Links like that make for a perfectly circular chain of logic, very hard to break.

    Of course there are even more people, The CBO, Moody’s, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, virtually every reputable economist, etc. who claim maintaining and even increasing unemployment benefits is very effective stimulus. They don’t appear to Hit and Run, however, but stay within Reason, as it were. Which is to say that they hit with facts, figures, arguments and evidence, and then dig in to defend their contentions. And they can hit hard, facts being not just stubborn but hard, almost unbearable things for some. I suppose that if you can’t hit back, and you can’t bear the facts, better to just run.

  • Rich||

    It's only loosely associated with Reason, stands well outside of it, in fact.

    Drink?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Prattling Cat likes to prattle.

  • ||

    R.D. Alcala: I've been a Reason subscriber and contributor for years, so that means I come here to "confirm my most cherished presumptions", right? See below at 9:04am. And FYI, those "read more" links at the bottom of the articles used to say "more Reason on" or "More H&R on topic X."

    Feel free to disagree with the author of the article. I'm only suggesting that you avoid a completely idiotic preamble before you make your point. Kind of blunts the impact, ya know?

  • ||

    Yeah, a bunch of left-leaning think tanks and the Democrat controlled CBO think UI benefits are stimulative.

    What an amazing consensus.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    "Another Statistic" is so stunningly and hopelessly ignorant that there is no point arguing with it.

  • Another Statistic||

    "The Angry Optimist" wears pink seersucker suits and sips pig urine with a hint of lime.

    What? I said it on the internet. It must be true, eh?

  • ||

    So were basing this on some angry manager who tried to lowball some engineers who had the temerity to say no? Then outside of the quotes he claims that they said to call back when their benefits were scheduled to run out! Yeah, right. If you believe that, you are stupid.

  • ||

    If it's the highest offer you can get, it's ipso facto not a lowball.

  • ||

    Who said it was the highest offer they could get?

  • ||

    What unemployment extensions accomplish is that they postpone the restructuring that the economy is demanding, extending the misery for all.

  • Butts Wagner||

    so succinct, so correct. and it's not just unemployment, it's the aggregate of all gubmint "stimulation"

  • Another Statistic||

    So at this point, Tim, you're thanking your maker you were not part of the almost 1000 people to be laid off over there at HP/Palm, eh?

  • creech||

    All very interesting. A question:
    unemployment insurance hasn't been around ever since 1789, so how did Americans cope with unemployment in the numerous recesssions and panics that have occurred in our history and what caused those panics to end and employment come roaring back?

  • ||

    Death.

  • creech||

    I see, so 10% of the population would die during each recession, leaving 100% employed until the next recession.
    Can you cite the history book that mentions this fact?

  • Another Statistic||

    Before the 20th century, info is a bit dicey - but one can look at several key factors: 1) population 2) slavery 3) formation of unions 4) immigration

    There were several recessions in the early 20th century - which were resolved by government reforms (something that the learning impaired here have a hard time understanding).

    Luckily though, along came WWI - enough folks died - and we were fine until the 30s. Which pretty much went on through the 40s and tada - WWII.

    You see, generally speaking, we are not an isolated country. The world economy is going in the tank. At some point, somebody is going to have the bright idea to start WWIII. There will be a loss of population and tada - job openings!

  • ||

    Cry me a river:

    Preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Department of Labor find that, in 2009, states made more than $7.1 billion in overpayments in unemployment insurance, up from $4.2 billion the year before. The total amount of unemployment benefits paid in 2009 was $76.8 billion, compared to $41.6 billion in 2008.

    Fraud accounted for $1.55 billion in estimated overpayments last year, while errors by state agencies were blamed for $2.27 billion, according to the Labor Department. The department's final report will be released next month.

  • ||

    "We called several engineers that were unemployed," says Karl Dinse, a managing partner at the recruiting firm. "They said, nah, you know, if it were paying $80,000 I'd think about it."

    I don't know which engineering discipline they're seeking people for, but if it were in my particular discipline and they called me, I'd have left California in a heartbeat. I've been out of work for over a year and a half and the opportunities in my field are almost nonexistent.

  • ||

    You know the name of the firm. Look them up and call them.

  • Another Statistic||

    Mr. Sacremento, I mean - Management Recruiters of Sacremento, CA - have this position listed:

    Division Controller/Energy/Portland OR

    Be a Division Controller Jedi!

    ^-- their words, not mine.

  • R.D. Alcala||

    Reason is one thing, Hit and Miss quite another. Devotion to the latter seems to require divorce from the former, and that is the point. The argument of the article is fallacious and flimsy, the link is meant to imply there is more supporting background when there isn't, and the conclusions arrived at by the author transparently unfounded. The question is, who could possibly agree with the him? Yet the amen chorus comments as if the article proves something. Well then it does, it proves to be slanted enough to reinforce those cherished presumptions, misconceptions and prejudices, abiding by the standards of the blog admirably.

    I can understand you subscription to Reason, but not to its undigested byproducts.

  • The Ghost of Louis Armstrong||

    I can understand you subscription to Reason, but not to its undigested byproducts.

    Man, if you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know.

  • ||

    Hit & Run is a blog meant to stir around ideas. If I based my support of Reason on the blog, I would have stopped awhile ago. Yes, the article is flimsy and stupid. I think some of these tools sound a little too much like the Bush apologists circa 2004, only now they have an enemy to target. So, yeah, I get it. I simply called you out for assuming that the commenters here are a monolithic bunch.

    And FYI, I can understand the link issue to an outsider, but HnR regulars understand that the links at the bottom are almost always to other Reason articles. Many times the text will say, "More Reason on Topic X".

  • Another Statistic||

    All in all, when all is said and done; one cannot but marvel at the overall saccharine nature of this troll. Most people ignored the outright fraudulent misrepresentation of the facts, the false sentiment of camaraderie, and the simple fishing expedition this article was.

    Leaving Jesse to sit back and say, look at the comments my article generated! (just don't look at the article)

  • Cathy Young impersonator||

    UI can make the labor market more flexible in that it encourages risk taking. Without UI, it's risky to move far away from your family and take a job in a new field. OTOH, it makes the market less flexible to the degree it provides a disincentive to ... move away and start a job in a new field.

  • IXLNXS||

    Your article is misleading.

    You help further the cause of passing off misleading information by saying the unemployment numbers went down while totally ignoring that they went down because 1.2 million people are no longer counted.

    Providing limited facts that only fit within your limited bias.

    I hope the price paid for your soul ends up being worth it.

  • db||

    Management Recruiters of Sacramento, Calif., says it recently had a tough time filling six engineering positions at an Oregon manufacturer paying $60,000 a year—and suspects long-term jobless benefits were part of the hitch.

    This is not really surprising, considering the fact that $60,000 is entry-level money for many engineering disciplines. My employer pays engineers with fresh B.S. or B.E. degrees about $56,000 on average, and there is a phased plan to get them in the $70,000 range within 5 years of hiring.

    So it's not surprising that this company is having a hard time hiring engineers at that rate. Unless they are recruiting new graduates exclusively.

  • Nike Dunk High||

    thanks

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