Once upon a time I became unemployed. And I registered for benefits.
Now, I looked for a job; kinda. But after not very long, it became apparent what I was up against.
My benefit was something like $150.00 a week. If I found work, the first $50 I earned didn’t count against my benefit. However, after that each dollar earned meant one less dollar in benefit.
So, if I earned $50 a week, I could keep my $50 and ALL of my benefit: Net Take $50 + $150 = $200.
If I earned $100 a week, I could keep my first $50, but the next $50 meant that my benefit was reduced by $50. Net Take: $100 + $100 = $200.
If I earned $150 a week, same thing. Net Take: $150 + $50 = $200.
Now, if I earned $200 a week, it turned into this: Net Take: $200 + $50 = $250.
What does this mean? It means that because I was earning unemployment, I did NOT have a financial incentive to work. By working 40 hours a week, I earned $250. If I worked ZERO hours a week, I made $150. At the time, I wasn’t willing to work for the marginal wage of $2.50.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we aren’t seeing our unemployment numbers getting better as Congress continues to remove the incentive to work.
Which is why this is laughable:
Federal unemployment benefits began to expire nearly a month ago. Since then, 1.2 million jobless workers have been cut off. The House passed a six-month extension as part of a broader spending bill in May, but the Senate, despite three attempts, has not been able to pass a similar bill. The majority leader, Harry Reid, said he was ready to give up after the third try last week when all of the Senate’s Republicans and a lone Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, blocked the bill.
The situation cries out for policies to support economic growth — specifically jobless benefits and fiscal aid to states. But instead of delivering, Congressional Republicans and many Democrats have been asserting that the nation must act instead to cut the deficit. The debate has little to do with economic reality and everything to do with political posturing.
This is nonsense of the highest degree.
At the same time Congress is removing the incentive to work, they have also removed the incentive to hire.
Don’t be fooled, while this might be political posturing, it isn’t being done by the Republicans. It’s the Democrats that are posturing.