Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cutting does not equal growth

Listening to the radio this morning, I happened across a couple guys discussing a proposal to cut unemployment insurance from 99 weeks to 51. Anyone who pays attention to the conservative talking points knows that, in their view, cutting benefits is a good thing because it promotes independence and personal accountability. In a perfect world, that is the case.

But what struck me as odd was their assertion that cutting the unemployment would spur job growth. Their claim was that unemployment would plummet because people would no longer be receiving benefits. It's an interesting theory, and one that makes no sense.

For starters, let's assume that they're right about unemployment benefits keeping people from looking for a job. If that's the case, why is it that those who have been without a job for longer than the cut-off mark for unemployment still aren't employed? Are they all lazy? I doubt it.

It amazes me that something like unemployment benefits and people's innate laziness are blamed more than companies who refuse to hire. The unemployed are not lazy, and there are more job-seekers than ready jobs right now. So, whose fault is it? Really?

Cutting the unemployment benefits when there is no recession might be a good idea. I could agree with that. But when there are millions of people who want to work, taking away the one thing that helps them survive is ridiculous. And it's not a job-creator, either, because cutting those benefits does nothing to entice businesses to hire.

So don't cut the benefits. Not right now. It will accomplish nothing except push people further into despair than they already are.

And here's another great example of this thought process at work.

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