From work from home to collect at home

My late father had a very strong work ethic.  He came here with a wife and three kids and worked two jobs to take care of us.  Eventually, he got back to banking, his profession in Cuba, but he worked carrying luggage at a hotel for almost four years.  My father would be shocked to see people collecting money for doing nothing.

Why are so many people walking by those "help wanted" signs rather than inquiring about work?  The answer is government benefits, what a friend from Finland once called the "European disease" — paying people for not working.

This is a horrible report, but it's true.  Let's check the details:

The labor force participation rate was 62.1% last month, notably lower than the 63.4% mark it was at before the coronavirus pandemic struck the United States in March 2020.

There are numerous reasons that unemployed Americans aren't entering the workforce, including ongoing fears of COVID-19, disabilities such as "long COVID," and other care responsibilities. One factor that is contributing to the relatively low labor force participation rate is the combination of unemployment benefits and recently expanded Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies, according a new study by the nonprofit Committee to Unleash Prosperity. 

In 14 states, unemployment benefits and ACA subsidies for a family of four with two people not working amounts to an annualized equivalent of $80,000 a year in wages and benefits, the study found.

Those benefits come out to over $100,000 in three states — Washington, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. 

If you pay them to stay home, then they will stay home, to paraphrase the famous baseball movie.  I do find interesting that Massachusetts and New Jersey are losing population to red states.  Maybe people are getting tired of paying taxes to support these benefits.

How does paying people not to work help the economy or the business-owners looking to fill jobs?  It does not, but it does give many a reason to vote blue and others a reason to move to Texas, Florida, etc.

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