Some thoughts on Trump, work, and rest

Donald Trump believes physically and mentally able people should do some work to receive government benefits. That certainly makes sense when there are five to six million open jobs, when the economy is generating jobs faster than population growth, and when the population is aging and retiring. Democrats seem to think having people work for their benefits, which would give them a start up the economic ladder, is unfair and demeaning.

Bernie Sanders and others say the solution is to guarantee jobs at $15 per hour plus benefits. Of course the market and need for specific jobs is irrelevant to Bernie. He would just have the government provide make-work jobs with no estimate of the cost but, of course, the "rich" would pay for it. He essentially wants more people to be dependent on government.

Bernie and others also support giving people a guaranteed income whether they work or not.

A brilliant writer from the Washington Post, in the article below, believes that we should focus on the virtue of rest.

America is obsessed with the virtue of work. What about the virtue of rest?

On the right, work requirements for Medicaid, food  stamps and housing assistance represent the latest conservative effort to make sure Americans work for any benefits they receive. Meanwhile, on the left, the idea of a federal job guarantee has gained increasing attention, showing up in statements from the likes of  Sen. Bernie Sanders(I,Vt.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).  

If we undervalue anything to the detriment of dignity, it is the virtue of rest. 

After a one-year experiment of providing income without work, Finland is deciding to get rid of the universal income guarantee. The problem here is that people who get the universal  income don’t have the incentive to work. Of course the New York Times won’t admit that. Instead they say the program was poorly designed.

Why Finland’s Basic Income Experiment Isn’t Working

Universal basic income is generating considerable interest these days, from Bernie Sanders who says he is “absolutely sympathetic” to the idea, to Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook’s chief executive, and other tech billionaires.

In reality, the Finnish trial was poorly designed, and is little more than a publicity stunt.

I have seen many reports over the past several years which say that unemployment benefits and food stamps give the economy a greater bang for the buck than tax cuts. I would love for someone to explain to me how confiscating money from individuals and businesses, running it through a government bureaucracy, and then redistributing a lesser amount than what is confiscated gives a greater bang than leaving the amount in the private sector to flow throughout the economy.

Under that theory, the economy would absolutely thrive with a higher number on benefits and there would always be an incentive to increase the benefits instead of shooting for the economy to thrive on its own. That is truly an ignorant theory.

The Best Economic Bang for the Buck

Strengthening automatic stabilizers like unemployment insurance and SNAP is critical to fortifying our economy.

The solution for Democrats is always more government. I would think they would have learned from history that capitalism, economic freedom and the private sector are what made the U.S. the greatest economy in the world and that capitalism is the greatest solution to poverty, but Democrats really don’t care.

I would also think that Democrats, including the media, would cheer as Hispanic and black unemployment hits all-time lows and women’s unemployment hits a seventeen-year low, but they are not. Democrats pretend they care about the poor and middle class but their actions and policies indicate that they would rather have more people dependent on government than give them the opportunity to thrive and move up the economic ladder.

I am 65 and still working as I have since I started at around nine years old as a paper boy. My parents did not go to college and did not have a great deal of money but they taught us to work and study. Not once did I hear them complain about people being rich or that the government or the rich owed us. I was privileged to having been taught personal responsibility.

My wife would attest that I have also become extremely good at resting and I did not have to be taught the benefits of rest by the government nor did I demand of any employer that they provide me more rest.

Those that advocate for more leisure also are the ones in favor of big government. We would all have lots more money for leisure if there were fewer regulations and lower taxes. Obamacare has certainly taken a lot of money away from people that they could have used for leisure. 

Some people that have achieved the virtue of rest and dependence on government are members of Congress.

For 2018, they have scheduled 121 tough days of work. Some of those days may be long but many will also be short. I know people throughout America will be sorry for these people who only get paid around $180,000 (around three times the median family income) for this tough schedule. Thank goodness they also get big pensions and other benefits.

The reason Sanders thinks things are free is because he has lived on the public trough for so long. Most of us can’t afford three houses.

I look forward to going to the library and reading all the books about great and successful people throughout history who focused on rest and were dependent on the government throughout their lives.

Image credit: WorkethicNYC via Creative Commons SA 3.0

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