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Guest Post: Unemployment Insurance Schemes And The Dependency Of Welfare

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by James Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada

Unemployment Insurance Schemes And The Dependency Of Welfare

In the Garden of Eden there is no scarcity.  Food, clothing, and shelter in are abundance.  Resources merely fall from the heavens upon command.  It is economic paradise precisely because economics does not exist.  The universal laws that hold in the world of scarce goods vanquish in the land of the plenty.

The vision of Eden is the politician’s main source of employment.  That is, promising to lead the suffering masses toward utopia by government decree makes for great electoral results.  The voting fodder ignorant of economics falls in line to cast a ballot to grant themselves other people’s money.  But of course many voters don’t see it this way.  Their vision of the state is that of Eden.  They see the bureaucrats and enforcers capable of tapping an infinite pot of wealth to pass along prosperity to those subservient enough to put them in office.  This in turn has lead to the establishment of the welfare state and its plethora of entitlement programs.

For those who see the modern day welfare state as corrosive to the productive capacity of any given country, no where is this theory more evident than the scheme of unemployment insurance.  In a recent National Post article, the entitlement attitude was on full display:

Jenna Somerton views her layoff from a job at Algonquin College in June of 2010 as a blessing in disguise: She lived on employment insurance benefits for eight months, took stock and decided what she really wanted to do with her life.

Of course, she admits to taking advantage of her EI cheques at the beginning, after hunting for a job with no luck.

“I was thinking ‘Free money, the government owes me, I paid for school … I deserve this,” the 27-year-old Ottawa resident says now.

She soon got serious, using the subsidized income to hatch plans to start her own web development business. Some of her friends, she said, have not been so diligent.

“I’ve known lots of people on EI and I know a lot of them just stayed on EI and as soon as it ran out they started freaking out and then they started looking for jobs…. [The government] makes it so easy.”

In Ms. Somerton’s view, it is the government that owes her and she is rightly deserving of the “free” money.  Her error is unfortunately not unique.  The notion of the government not restricted by the amount of resources it is able to squander from the private sector is hardly touched on in what passes for informed opinion.  The reading of the editorial section in today’s highly regarded newspapers often contains numerous recommendations on what the state can and should provide.  What is never eluded to is the real cost of government expenditures.  While it is a simple task to rattle off the dollar cost of a program, to truly gauge the price of the state, one must look at what may have been foregone to provide for the payment of taxes.

The proper understanding of government is that it is parasitical in nature.  It can only spend what it first forcefully takes.  Because the political class is beholden to how much theft it can get away with before sparking an enraged uprising, it also invents new schemes to not be reliant on tax collection alone.  This includes borrowing and accumulating debt; which is nothing more than the promise of future taxes.  And there is inflation which benefits the first receiver of new money, that is the state, to spend freely before prices adjust economy wide.

Whatever the devious method, each comes at cost to the taxpayer.  Again, the nominal price of taxation by itself is easy to calculate.  What is often neglected is what the pilfered funds could have been used for if left in the necessarily more prudent non-public sector.  It was recently came to light how the great technological innovator Apple Inc. sets up branches in cities with low corporate tax rates in order to lower its tax bill.  This is of course a great thing as Apple, constrained in income by how much it receives from consumers, is a better steward of scarce resources then the state.  Apple’s tax avoidance is obvious.  The further technological innovations financed by money the government bandits don’t help themselves to is not readily apparent.

The general public is blind to this state of affairs.  Many have been conditioned through years of public schooling to see the state as Eden.  The short term benefits of government transfer payments override any conceivable long term gains of genuine wealth creation in the private sphere.

Decades of the predominant welfare state have not only created a reliable voting constituency dependent on handouts, it has perpetuated the Santa Clause-like image of the state.  What isn’t considered is the overall social degeneration that is a byproduct of the so-called “social safety net.”  As noted economist Thomas Sowell explains:

While liberals may think of the 1960s as the beginning of many “progressive” trends in American society, cold hard facts tell a very different story. The 1960s marked the end of many beneficial trends that had been going on for years — and a complete reversal of those trends as programs, policies, and ideologies of the liberals took hold.

Teenage pregnancy had been going down for years. So had venereal disease. Rates of infection for syphilis in 1960 was half of what it had been in 1950. There were similar trends in crime. The total number of murders in the United States in 1960 was lower than in 1950, 1940, or 1930 — even though the population was growing and two new states had been added. The murder rate, in proportion to population, in 1960 was half of what it had been in 1934.

Every one of these beneficial trends sharply reversed after liberal notions gained ascendancy during in the 1960s. By 1974, the murder rate had doubled. Even liberal icon Sargent Shriver, head of the agency directing the “war on poverty,” admitted that “venereal disease has skyrocketed” even though “we have had more clinics, more pills, and more sex education than ever in history.”

As for black economic advances, the most dramatic reduction in poverty among blacks occurred between 1940 and 1960, when the black poverty rate was cut almost in half, without any major government programs of the Great Society kind that began in the 1960s.

Why be productive and take of yourself when someone else picks up the tab?  This isn’t a cold hearted question but a basic recognition that in most cases, leisure and immediate pleasure are preferred to delayed satisfaction.

Back to unemployment insurance, no matter how much it is denied by entitlement apologists, there is no escaping the truth that if someone is paid not to work, they will generally not work.  As Murray Rothbard writes in his magnum opus Man, Economy, and State:

For almost all actors, leisure is a consumer’s good, to be weighed in the balance against the prospect of acquiring other consumer’s goods, including possible satisfaction from the effort itself.

People will always be economizing beings who make choices between how they spend their time and where they dedicate their labor.  The National Post article makes mention of this consideration among those on the dole as small business owners…

have found themselves competing with the EI system for workers who are weighing opportunity costs: Would I toil in a hard labour job for $10 an hour or not go to work for roughly the same amount of cash?

This reluctance to work was documented in a 2009 survey which found many businesses unable to hire those on the unemployment rolls:

A CFIB survey published in September, 2009, found 22% of small businesses owners had trouble hiring people who are on EI, as workers said they would rather continue collecting benefits than work in the more hands-on jobs. Another 16% said that in the past year, they had had an employee ask to be laid off so he or she could collect EI benefits (these rates were higher in Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island).

This is all a consequence of the welfare state which has institutionalized poverty instead of relieving it.  The real beneficiaries of entitlement programs are not the recipients but those who maintain their positions as gatekeepers to the money.  The saddening dependency of others and the government’s monopoly over coercive tax collection is what provides them a steady stream of income.

As long as the public still operates under the fallacious assumption that the state is costless, they will continue to vote themselves into destitution.  Living standards will decline as productivity gains begin to taper off.  A generation of the entitled will soon find themselves deserving of nothing because the real wealth producers will have long since abandoned their efforts to serve others.

Host bodies only ever have so much blood to give.


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Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:13 | 2456828 zorba THE GREEK
zorba THE GREEK's picture

Soon, those on welfare will outnumber taxpayers and we will see only Socialist

being elected to political office. At least, until it all comes tumbling down.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:20 | 2456850 brewing
brewing's picture

grand plan, 99 weeks of unemployment followed by going on disability for chronic back pain from laying on the couch all day watching E!...

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:45 | 2456926 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

go live on 14k a year genius and get back to me how well this plan is working for you.



Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:51 | 2456945 Joe The Plumber
Joe The Plumber's picture

Plus subsidized housing plus subsidized insurance and a little work here and there in the cash economy. Oh and dont forget the foodstamps

For the peoPle i know who value free time more than material possessions they are loving it

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:58 | 2457115 midtowng
midtowng's picture

I'd bet money that you don't actually know anyone doing it and loving it.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:14 | 2457140 Joe The Plumber
Joe The Plumber's picture

I work with hundreds of them in a medicaid clinic. I spend all day long with disability types three days a week

And now I am an expert in government bennies. It is useful to know how to efficiently work the system cuz u never know

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:19 | 2457159 Dr. Sandi
Dr. Sandi's picture

I never knew there was a "disability type."


I did, however, know there was a plumber type. I've met quite a few and they're all slovenly assholes.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:55 | 2457244 Joe The Plumber
Joe The Plumber's picture

The disability type

They never get better cuz they would lose bennies. They always have a reason why ur suggestions wont work or they tried it before and it didnt work. They always emphasize how terrible their kids are and how severely emotionally disturbed they are. They say those things to me right in front of their children. They can never think of anyrhing nice to say about their own kid for fear he may not qualify for a disability check

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:25 | 2457700 Yohimbo
Yohimbo's picture

I cant wait to shoot these zombies when they are clawing at my door.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 04:46 | 2458149 Harlequin001
Harlequin001's picture

You know, since I'm still working I was thinking about adopting a few hundred thousand unemployed families.

Oh, I already have...

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 06:42 | 2458245 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

Cool.  I see we have approximately 6-8 Prog Trolls on the site.  Thank God theat they are well and truly outnumbered here.  No wonder I come to ZH for a dose of sanity, especially after hitting Marketwatch and CNBC.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:08 | 2457288 Augustus
Augustus's picture


I suspect the plumbers consider you the perfect prick.  Hope they charge accordingly.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:15 | 2457319 Xkwisetly Paneful
Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

This is not complicated to see, oil and gas is paying mega bucks for labor in some parts of the country while in a period of high national unemployment.  It's nonsensical, just about the entire development of the country is one where people wanting to  get ahead moved to whereever prosperity happened to be.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 00:11 | 2457812 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

+1 rich and prescient

Fri, 05/25/2012 - 14:26 | 2463202 beachdude
beachdude's picture

Dr. Sandi, who isn't feeling to good about themselves today, hmmm?

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:37 | 2457206 adr
adr's picture

Ever take a stroll through East Cleveland, thousands of people living off government benefits and loving it. Massive corporations are dumb enough to put stores near by, and the cops are too lazy to stop lifting. Free stuff all day long, and they expect it for free. Shoplifting isn't a crime to the ghetto type. It is unfair they don't get it for free. Whitey owes it to me, they say.

The only complaint they have is when another ghetto mama gets a new $200k project townhome before them.

Open you eyes, the new American Dream is sitting on your ass getting everything for free.

I bet you actually live off less than $15k a year out of your salary once all your bills are paid. Ghetto trash has more disposable income than 90% of the working middle class.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:50 | 2457235 XF
XF's picture

I'd have your money

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 13:27 | 2459384 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

I never ate better than during the three months that I qualified for food stamps.  I bought storable staples, too, that lasted more than six months later.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:03 | 2457473 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

I ripped down $26k a year on unenjoyment. Great time! But, I looked at my stint as a big Fuck you to the state. I was happy not contributing hard earned dollars to the crony corruption! And, that materialistic assumption is spot on.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 05:07 | 2458170 Henry Chinaski
Henry Chinaski's picture

The government does not "owe" me.  It is exactly the other way around and I would be happy to call it even.  Stop

benefits, drop taxes and roll.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 08:08 | 2458325 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

it is the government that owes her and she is rightly deserving of the “free” money. Her error is unfortunately not unique.

The government does not "owe" me.  It is exactly the other way around

I can't get behind these statements...the whole friggin game is corrupt from top to bottom and somehow the ones at the bottom are the ones castigated for using the system to exist. Come know better. The unemployment rate is 20% why? Because there are no real jobs. The corporations have bought the congress and state govt and implemeted NAFTA. Jobs that paid a living wage went to China for a fraction of the labor cost. The corporations pocketed the difference. Period.

Welfare is the Corporate govt's crumbs to the people so that the rape of the the rest of the middle and upper middle class can continue unabated. Our country...yes the country that every citizen belongs systematically being stolen. Govt has been usurped by the 1% of the 1%.

Dickin around complaining 'bout welfare and unemployment money is useless to the cure.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 13:39 | 2459433 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

And if the poor people had received the 30% of their pay that was withheld in taxes, and were able to save it?

If the businesses had the 30% they had to pay in taxes available to save, or to spend to maintain their business during this slowdown?


The point is, that the money for the welfare and the unemployment does not spring from the head of Zeus fully formed.  It has to be taken from someone who most likely would have put it to better use.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 06:45 | 2458249 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

Even better, after you have pulled in whatever you and your employer have paid in unemployment insurance, you should look into opening your own business doing whatever "under the table," something which is virtually impossible here in Germany.  Stave the beast!

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:56 | 2456958 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I read recently in the newspaper (sorry don't have the link) that people are going on disability for stress brough on by ... 99 weeks of unemployment.

I had a guy working in my backyard a while back who was on disability after his UE ran out.

He was jackhammering out cement for me.

Young guy really strong great attitude worked hard and I paid him well and fed him in the bargain. I'll probably have him back. But he needed the money under the table to protect his "disability" payment. He said so and wasn't shy about it, and I didn't argue and could not have cared less.

One data point. Not much. But that's what I've seen.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:24 | 2457174 Chuck Walla
Chuck Walla's picture

I read recently in the newspaper (sorry don't have the link) that people are going on disability for stress brough on by ... 99 weeks of unemployment.


The 99 weeks are over. Its 79 weeks now, Obama's U/E scam has tripped guidelines that reduce the number of weeks that are in that bill granting the 99 weeks.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:37 | 2457207 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Hey, thanks for all the italics and bold.  As you suspect, what you say really isn't interesting on its own, so that helps.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:30 | 2457191 ZeroAvatar
ZeroAvatar's picture

I had breakfast last week with an acquaintance who lives in town in s small trailer park.  His wife, he said, hired a lawyer

from (out of town)? and she had JUST got approved for disability.  I know this guy has no real job, and he and his wife

have problems, some drug use, 1 or 2 children.


  I began to explain to him how the gov't can't continue to borrow money to pay for people's entitlements, his wife

included, and he mumble something about how China 'owns us' and then his eyes glazed over and he stared silently

off into the distance.....I could tell he'd stopped listening.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:44 | 2457214 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

It really shouldn't trouble us that it's 79 weeks or 99 weeks. It may as well be 1,000 weeks.

Because the truth is, any number of weeks later, it's not going to work out.

The jobs went over the ocean and beyond the border to places like Mexico and China. The jobs are not coming back, ever. In lieu of jobs we got credit cards and 12% annual interest. The easy debt that then got us iPads and college degrees is going to haunt us all for a long time. The government and business colluded to set all this up. Nobody worried beyond the next quarterly reporting, or beyond the next election. It would all work itself out some day, some way.

But some day never came. And it's not going to either.

How did it come to this? I'm not entirely sure. I could make guesses, but it really doesn't matter anymore.

It really doesn't. Matter.

It might matter if you are wondering who to hang from a lamp post, but that's all.

Nothing new will await these people at the end of 99 weeks or 1,000 weeks. There is nothing coming their way. Not for ever and ever. Not for them and not for their kids and not for anyone ever. Only less will come, and want, and suffering, and regret. And they will start to decay like the rotting houses and cities around them, to return slowly to the earth.

To disappear.

People. Will disappear. 99 weeks and then unmade.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:10 | 2457657 Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture
Man With 30 Kids Can’t Pay Child Support

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 06:48 | 2458254 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

Yes, there ARE exceptions.  Especially this piece of shit.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 02:22 | 2458035 poor fella
poor fella's picture

I agree, but still buy American.

Since we don't make shit anymore, one can save quite a bit of money; although, I was at REI and a cot didn't scan. We got another box and she said, "it's 100 bucks! do you still want it?!?" yep.

And next time I'll get that metal cooler for 100 bucks.

So sick of throwaway products.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 06:50 | 2458256 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

I buy American when I can.  Fender American Deluxe Strat, Blue Diamond Gussett Jeans.  Whatever . . .

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:44 | 2457221 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

bullshit.  You don't know how many children?  Nice story.  When you have no facts, make them up!

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:47 | 2457230 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

I wouldn't listen to your shit either.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:00 | 2457259 Witchsmeller Pu...
Witchsmeller Pursuivant's picture

NOthing says "top quality argument" like a random, idolated, personal experience anecdote. 

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:07 | 2457279 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Especially where the anecdote is complete made up.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 00:35 | 2457848 Central Bankster
Central Bankster's picture

You two are fucking clueless.  My best friend rehabs foreclosed properties and rents them.  Half his tenants are section 8.  He could tell you a 100 different stories in the 10 years he's been doing it.   The bottom line is that society is giving perverse incentives to the least capable people who also happen to be incentivized to reproduce more ignorant leeches.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 01:23 | 2457939 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So your fuck friend makes money off the government and bitches about it and you repeat his bullshit?

How much profit did your government teat sucking friend make last year, ass?

Fri, 05/25/2012 - 14:48 | 2463302 beachdude
beachdude's picture

Hey let, what keeps you from just offing yourself? You're obviously in great misery. Also, how do you stop others from doing it for you?

Just wondering. Head cases like you have always fascinated me... how some choose to be like this.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:33 | 2457379 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

Or... was he jackhammering you? Being that you're a Cougar and all...



I had a guy working in my backyard a while back who was on disability after his UE ran out.

He was jackhammering out cement for me.

Young guy really strong great attitude worked hard and I paid him well and fed him in the bargain. I'll probably have him back. But he needed the money under the table to protect his "disability" payment. He said so and wasn't shy about it, and I didn't argue and could not have cared less.


Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:23 | 2457170 brewing
brewing's picture

"Anyone who can walk to the welfare office, can walk to work"

-Al Capp

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:22 | 2457527 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

Right...because there are soooooo many jobs for people right now. Do you guys have any clue whatsoever? Or do you just prefer feeble attempts at humor? Good thing most of you aren't trying to make a living as a comedy writer.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:27 | 2457539 brewing
brewing's picture

yes, i do.  unemployment is 4% where i live.  lots of jobs...

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 02:15 | 2458029 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Do you live on an oil rig or something?

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 11:09 | 2458895 WorkingClassHero
WorkingClassHero's picture

Stop bitching and go get an engineering degree.  I have one and have never had a problem finding a job.  All the engineers I graduated with have jobs as well.  Surprise!  Educated people are still in demand in the workplace.  You majored in communications didn't you?

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:13 | 2460061 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Exactly. There are never going to be jobs for adult populations reading at an elementary school level. Unless you count pressing license plates, or sitting on ass down at the local HUD or DMV as jobs.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:09 | 2457489 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

It can be done.

Debt freedom and austerity is key.

Oh, and living in low cost States compared to 14K a year rental or 20K a year house payments... See where I am going?

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:40 | 2457743 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

Dont all you people here posting have jobs to go to?

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 01:58 | 2458001 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture


Finished several decades and retired medically.

I take care of my Spouse.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:01 | 2457628 Freddie
Freddie's picture

LOL!  Lots of Hope & Change scum still junking here on ZH.  They love their is*amic.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 06:52 | 2458260 Gavrikon
Gavrikon's picture

You mean the people with Obama-organ-shaped openings in their anal orifices?

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 01:51 | 2457988 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Moral Hazard.

If they bail out the banks and insurance companies and the gambler CEO's collect bonuses why would anyone bust their ass if they are laid off and can get unemployment?

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:51 | 2456947 agent default
agent default's picture

What stuns me is that the worse it gets the more they flock to the left.  Most people really think that the solution to the failures of the Left  is more leftist policies.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:32 | 2457011 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Get over your Red Team/Blue Team fantasy.  W and O are both corporatists.  W ran up the deficit and increased welfare to prevent a middle class turning into poverty class revolt, because it benefitted the oligarchs especially the bankers.  O is doing the same thing for the same reason.  O'Romney will do the same thing. 

Both parties are dismantling our middle class in order to funnel more money upstairs.  To keep the masses in line, they issue welfare checks.  Don't confuse the symptom (welfare and unemployed people) with the disease (fascism).

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:54 | 2457446 Clashfan
Clashfan's picture

Yes, LTER, finally somebody is calling it what it is, fascism, only of the two-party type. We get a choice between fascist parties.

This is the false occultist dialectic. This is fascism, which is a form of corporatist socialism.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 00:18 | 2457823 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture




" Get over your Red Team/Blue Team fantasy.  "


The real reason: The ONE party is afraid of the OTHER party.


The aggressor sets the rules, remember?


(We're all afraid of the big bad UNION dems)


Thu, 05/24/2012 - 01:24 | 2457944 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

You are an idiot.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:29 | 2457030 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

There's no "left" in American politics.  We have right, center, and center-right.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:33 | 2457045 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Don't forget far-right neocon.    Most people who say Obama is a socialist have no idea what a socialist is.   He may be a lot of things (mostly bad), but he's no socialist.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:03 | 2457126 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

There are far-right individuals, sure.  But I don't think I'd agree there's a significant far-right political presence among our parties or mainstream media.  It's just a question of how low you're prepared to set the bar.

Being a warmonger doesn't itself make someone far-right.  Most of those guys are just businessmen who couldn't care less about politics.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:13 | 2457143 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I'm not so sure.  I once thought this was crazy, but I really do see some indication that guys like Cheney have a secondary agenda beyond just bombing children and bringing soldiers home sans limbs to line his/his friend's pockets.  But I agree the jury is still out on this issue.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:10 | 2457297 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I'm continually gleefully surprised to discover that what I thought was evil was actually just stupidity and/or incompetence.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:21 | 2457523 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

+1 hope you're right.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 05:35 | 2458187 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Obama's a fucking communist, you dipshit. He looks like a corporate stooge but it's mostly an act of convenience. I'll give the guy credit, he's playing the long game. Or rather, the people who run him are playing the long game.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:59 | 2460217 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Neo-cons are the American version of Trotskyites. And if you think the right can't be socialist, you are even dumber than your posts make you out to be.

"Most people who say Obama is a socialist have no idea what a socialist is." Please enlighten us, wise one, with your totally objective definitions.

Keep blaming all our problems on the clown-show known as the American "right".

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:01 | 2457265 Witchsmeller Pu...
Witchsmeller Pursuivant's picture

As a non-American, virtually the entire world agrees with this post. Anyone who junked it is simply ignorant, but that is easily fixed. Read a new source that's not American, that'll fill you in. 

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:17 | 2457324 Leraconteur
Leraconteur's picture

Should read: "As a European who thinks that my values are best..."

Asians do not agree with your 'encourage the deadbeat' philosophy.

China, HK, Singappore, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, all have far lower taxes and welfare than the EU and USA and Canada.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:05 | 2457641 CommonSense89
CommonSense89's picture


Leftist Europeans love to think their beliefs are the objective world standard.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:19 | 2460076 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Leftist Europeans: leading the revolt against human achievement since 1789.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:23 | 2457344 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

I've been saying that for years, but the righties just cannot comprehend it. Neither can most sheople.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:30 | 2457693 spooz
spooz's picture

Its a long hard road convincing the conservative.  A lot of the libs have figured it out and laugh when the idiots on the right call Obama a socialist.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:52 | 2460190 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

There is no right. There is no left. There is no center. That, or your hypersimplfying labels are utterly useless excuses for not thinking, hmmmmmmmmm.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:09 | 2457296 XF
XF's picture

If it's not given to them, they will take in from you.   Sadly, I think this is in our future.    Prepare to fight for yours.   I hate to say it, but I am know shopping for my first handgun.    I think it just might get that bad.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:33 | 2457382 Conrad Murray
Conrad Murray's picture

Handgun bad? At least you're on the right path, but you've got a long way to go. Handguns are only for fighting your way to your rifle.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:15 | 2457508 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Or the 12 gauge.

Thumb down all you want to, you cannot dispute that a People willing to fight and possible deadly force to protect themselves is a more secure people.

Mark my words, Mobs will strip walmart this year.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:23 | 2457529 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Good luck with the armed drones and stealth bombers that are being distributed while you blame welfare queens for your problems.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:05 | 2457639 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Actually some of those can be taken down with the Penetrator slugs.

Never mind the high definition cameras along the interstates and on every city block. We live so far out away from those Urban areas that most people don't know what to do with a drone.

But that is changing. We have tinted windows already... And that is a first step.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 01:28 | 2457946 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Welfare queens are placing HD cameras along the interstate? 

Who is your enemy?  Who would seek to cause you to blame the world's problems on a ... welfare queen.  While they place HD cameras on the interstate and deploy high tech drones?

Idiot fuck.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 01:59 | 2458003 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

You are the one who is the idiot.

Take a look at Washington DC and I-495 beltway.

Those cameras have been in place for years.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:05 | 2457638 Arnold Ziffel
Arnold Ziffel's picture

Is this the line for my Free Cell Phone?


"The out free cell phones and monthly service to Americans in need of financial help." "You may qualify for a free government cell phone and minutes"

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:31 | 2457714 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

"free" .gov tracking device, and subsidy to the "telecom service provider" funneled through the "American in need of financial help."


seriously, connect the dots before hitting the "RAGE" button.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 00:45 | 2457865 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

This is for the people who are too poor to be tracked. 

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:25 | 2460088 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Plan also includes Eric Holder's instructions on when and where to riot, absolutely free!

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:23 | 2457696 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.


Thu, 05/24/2012 - 01:33 | 2457959 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Countrywide's CEO made almost $100M selling mortgages to people who could not pay them back.  And he paid $10M in fines for doing so.  Is that what Tom was advocating?  Antifaschistiche fuck?

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:26 | 2460099 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Countrywide had a lot of help from the Racial Patronage Machine. They got his back.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:13 | 2456833 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Stalins dream....

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:15 | 2456837 dlmaniac
dlmaniac's picture

Everything points to a modern age Rome Empire collapse.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:35 | 2456846 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

Those barbarians at the gates don't stand a chance in hell!
Now please somebody pass the wine?!

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:53 | 2456951 agent default
agent default's picture

Don't knock barbarians.  They had zero taxes.  Even the Romans preferred them eventually.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:24 | 2457018 Joe The Plumber
Joe The Plumber's picture

Lol it wasnt exactly zero but enforcement was somewhat sporadic

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:15 | 2456838 LeBalance
LeBalance's picture

and the fly said:

"Abandon Shit!"

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:16 | 2456842 Plumplechook
Plumplechook's picture

Let em starve.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:22 | 2456854 veyron
veyron's picture

I respectfully disagree.  Most states take an explicit unemployment insurance precisely for this reason.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:01 | 2457118 CrimsonAvenger
CrimsonAvenger's picture

And borrow billions from the feds to cover the gap between what they take in on unemployment insurance and what they pay out. Do your research.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:49 | 2457766 Axenolith
Axenolith's picture

And CA is in the hole about 14 billion for that, which they aren't reporting along with the 16 or so and rising regular budget red ink tide...

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:26 | 2456865 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Let me give you the following point of view from a bloak I met not too long ago:

This young chap told me he was making $50,000 a year before he got laid off and began collecting UE. I can't remember the exact number he told me as I was bit preoccupied but he said he was making somewhere around $3,500 a month collecting UE to the best of my memory. So this lad told me he had applied to many jobs, he got interviews and even a few job offers. However, he turned down the job offers because the jobs he was offered paid less than what he was getting on UE benefits. He told me his concern was the following: UE benefits are based on your last work experience, so if the job didn't work out he would be eligible for half of what he was making on his current UE should he become UE again.

To me this is quite disturbing because the system has a built in initiative for individuals to NOT accept jobs even when they are offered to you because the UE benefits are not only more generous, but had he took the lower paying job and been laid off, his future UE check would be far less than what he was currently receiving.

As unfortunate as it was I had to agree with him. I don't agree with the underlying issue, but I could see where he was coming from. It's truly unfortunate that our government has paved the way for an environment where people actually turn down work because doing nothing is not only a safer bet but also a more lucrative one monetarily.

It's truly a sad state of affairs and it can be highlighted best by Nancy Pelosi, then speaker of the house, stating that welfare is the best way to stimulate the economy. While I despise and loathe how the current system is working I can at least understand now why the UE rate is so high.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:46 | 2456930 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

UE did not used to be an open-ended entitlement with infinite extensions; used to be you had a runway and at the end you crashed. This 99 week-and-then-some thing is becoming a trap.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:46 | 2456931 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

That's not quite how it works in the USA, but it's a common enough error and I know plenty of folks never bother to check it out.

The traditional system is like this: when you file an unemployment claim, the timer starts on a 6 month period of benefits based on the calculation from your previous gross income, it's about 60% of the gross capped at somewhere between about $270 to $400/week, depending on the state.  (Lots of local variations in the caps, how much or how little, the minimum and max payouts, etc etc etc.)

If you get a job say, 6 weeks into your UI claim, *that* claim is SUSPENDED.  If you become unemployed again within 2 years of that initial claim, you may re-instate that claim with whatever distribution amount is in place.  So if you were 6 weeks in, you'd have roughly 4.5 months of additional payments available from the claim based on the previous calculation--ie: the higher weekly amount.

I haven't been unemployed in quite awhile, so I dunno what's been changed with the 99'ers and the who-knows-what else.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:59 | 2456963 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

Like I said, my memory was fuzzy to the exact amount he told me. He was shooting numbers off to me and I really wasn't paying that close attention. I remember him saying he was collecting the Max amount.

Still $1,800 a month for doing nothing? He was probably on food stamps to boot as well as every other program he was eligible for. At the end of the day I wouldn't be surprised if he was grossing 3,000 a month being UE. The government even provides free cell phones and minutes now a days. If he was getting a section 8 housing voucher he was most likely making at least $3,000 a month.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:11 | 2456992 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Hey, it's only money.  No point getting your knickers in a twist. 

Maybe Congress will cut your taxes and just print a bit more.  That'll help, right?

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:26 | 2457021 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Like I said, I have no idea what the facts are but that didn't prevent me from spouting off and making an invalid point and then not apologizing for it later because I am right even when I'm wrong and facts are so inconvenient anyway.  Lads.


Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:37 | 2457055 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I said right of the bat I wasn't sure the exact dollar amount he told me. I wasn't making 'a point' I was extending a real world example of what was going on to other readers on ZH. The dollar amount really had nothing to do with what I brought up anyway. 

I have no reason to applogize.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:47 | 2457078 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Your point goes out the window when you consider the true benefit.  The VAST majority of those on UE get somewhere around $1,100 a month.  Could you live on that?  For most people, their rent or mortgage or whatever is more than that.  Add a car payment, food, health insurance, dental needs, gas, electricity, etc, and you are WAY in the hole every month.  Few would consider that a vacation.  But at close to $3,5K a month which was your fuzzy recollection of your conversation with a lad who exists only in your Red Team brain, it's a whole different story, isn't it.   Fuzzy recollection my ass.  I call bullshit on your whole supposed non-conversation.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:46 | 2457225 slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

in fairness to bob, this is not a well-written article, imo, but simply ludwigVonDiatribalism

to go from some woman on UI to [paste}  "The proper understanding of government is that it is parasitical in nature" is great at the 'stute, tho! 

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:00 | 2457263 adr
adr's picture

Your point goes out the window when you realize that with other government benefits $1100 a month is more than enough to live on.

If you lost your job you can stop paying your mortgage and stay in your house without paying a dime for at least two years. If you call the bank and tell them you are unemployed they'll almost do anything they can to stop them from putting another home in the shadow inventory. That will save you $1000 a month. You'll go on HEAP and other utility programs and pay $10 a month, you'll have electricity, heat, and water. Healthcare? Paid for 100%. Walk into any ER and get treated like a king. Food stamps will give you a decent amount of groceries. You get free internet and a government paid for cell phone now as well.

Sure if you want to keep your car, you might have to pay for it, but a $350 a month payment is doable on $1100. You can even get the government to give you prepaid gas cards if you are claiming to look for work.

I lost my job in the fall of 2000 and lived on a $1200 monthly retainer I was getting from a company I freelanced for. I didn't go on any government assistance and lived off that for a year and a half. I had a $500 rent bill and a $300 monthly car payment. $100 in utilities, $50 a month for parking, and $40 for internet and phone. That left about $200 for food and anything else. I ate dollar menu fast food items and clipped coupons to get the best deals I could on groceries. That $1200 would have gone really far if I got subsidized rent, discount utilites, free internet, and food stamps.

So after I paid my bills I lived on $200 a month for over a year. Could you do that? THE FUCKING UNEMPLOYMENT AND WELFARE DEADBEATS HAVE IT A LOT BETTER THAN I DID AND I MADE IT THROUGH ON MY OWN.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:11 | 2457303 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

What would you have done if you had a health problem and needed medical care? 

What if you instead of being single and no kids, you needed to support a parent and had kids?

What if you lived in a high rent state/city?

What if....  never mind. It worked for you therefore it could work for anyone.



Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:40 | 2457407 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

Welcome to life... 

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:54 | 2457448 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

You're on the lifeboat, eh?  Rand fuck.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:59 | 2457462 Sabibaby
Sabibaby's picture

I read through all your bullsh!t and you down vote me!

Pathetic cliche b!tch you are, just look at your f@cking NAME!!!

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:06 | 2457483 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I didn't down vote you, but I will if you like.  Rand fuck.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 05:27 | 2458183 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

WHAT IF a piano fell on Let them Eat Rand?

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:38 | 2460139 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

What if you had a health problem? He would've gotten free shit from the gov't.

What if you had kids? He would've gotten more free shit from the gov't.

What if you lived in a high rent city? Still more free shit from the gov't.

You get the picture yet, asshole?

and adr, thanks for doing the right thing and being a Real American.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:13 | 2457314 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

$1200/month retainer from a sweet gig you had landed is indeed a lot like UI and/or welfare.

I see you're very impressed with yourself, but I assure you: most of those poor you think have it better than you are getting by on far less.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:41 | 2460157 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

It's not at all like welfare if he worked for it.


Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:25 | 2457348 XF
XF's picture

Could you live on that? For most people, their rent or mortgage or whatever is more than that. Add a car payment, food, health insurance, dental needs, gas, electricity, etc, and you are WAY in the hole every month.


I could, if the goverment paid my rent, gave me food stamps and medicare.  No taxes, and an under the table job? In fact, I could live quite nicely - and there are many who do.  

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:56 | 2457454 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

So they are gaming the system.  So is Jamie Dimon.   Let's throw away banks and welfare, okay?

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 00:50 | 2457876 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

As i wade ever downward on this thread all i can say is 'thanks - you made your point.'


Now shut the fuck up.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 00:57 | 2457886 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Go fuck yourself, SmallDuke.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 03:12 | 2458076 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

When you insulted 'tradelikehisassisonfire' you went too far.

Your rambling posts betray you.

As a pseudointellectual under acheiver who has always lacked the instinct for the killer blow so has always come off second best.

i know your type and it must be tough for ya but your IQ is about 105 and you must accept that.


Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:14 | 2457670 spooz
spooz's picture

Right.  You only make up the details to make the story better.  To make it prove whatever fascist point you're trying to make.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:46 | 2460174 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

What, rats aren't getting enough free shit in the USSA now too?

If cockroaches could vote, we'd have a federal program for open cereal boxes in every cupboard, for social justice.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:13 | 2457667 spooz
spooz's picture

Hard to believe somebody spreading propaganda such as yourself, with your ridiculous recollections, gets any thumbs up at all.  Now its $1800?  Because somebody else told you thats the max in Cali?  Are you the type that makes up stories for the greater good? Just goes to show people are looking to confirm their biases.  Its hard to look at your misconceptions and realize you've been wrong.  

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:10 | 2457496 johnnynaps
johnnynaps's picture

Nj is $560 a week. Great feeling passing up shit jobs to do whatever the fuck one wants!

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:09 | 2457656 spooz
spooz's picture

wiki says unemployment benefits average 36% of average wages.  Where do you get 60%?  

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 12:34 | 2458165 memyselfiu
memyselfiu's picture

it's 60% in Canada up to a max $350 per week I believe

So after I recover from the cheese gratering my brain took from reading this fucking lame article, I calculate that unless you make less than $12 CAD per hour, you're better off working instead of collecting EI (that's employment insurance for those not indoctrinated to doublespeak).

That being said EI is there like any other insurance program (in Canada at least) and it makes money- hell it wasn't but a few years ago the Liberal government transferred 40 billion to the national debt and just last year the conservatives did the same.

What Canadians should be miffed about is that the government is treating this EI as another tax instead of cutting the payroll deduction rate to balance accounts.

I know nothing about the american unemployment system so I can't comment on it.

EDIT: Btw, our EI system also covers maternity for up to 1 year. For either sex.


Thu, 05/24/2012 - 11:25 | 2458963 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

A lot has changed, but it's easy enough to look at the relevant information.  I'm in NYS, and as I mentioned somewhere, it's been awhile since I collected.

"We calculate your original benefit rate based on your actual high calendar quarter* wages. Your weekly benefit rate is 1/26 of the high quarter wages paid to you in your base period."

So on a gross salary of, say, $30,000, you'd expect to grossing roughly $576 per week, and the UI payout would be about $288/week, assuming you didn't have a "fat quarter" where you earned significantly more because of overtime or bonuses or whatever.

You should be able to find the details if you can find a way to access the Internet.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:47 | 2456933 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

I don't know of any states that have that high of a benefit payout, but that happens everyday, and even with a somewhat high standard of living, I wouldn't mind getting $3,500 to sit on my ass. 


I saw a old classmate last week who was recently laid off due to the plant he worked at closing.  I asked if he was job hunting and he told me no.  He said that all his buds from the plant were just collecting UE due to the fact that there are no jobs that pay anywhere near what they were making.  He is not going to worry about it until his benefits run out.  Why work for $300 a week when unemployment is twice that.  No plant jobs for him to get at the moment.  Sit at home and relax with his old coworkers grilling and getting high sounds like a good plan to me.


When/If they get hungry $8 an hour will look good if you can forget the $18 you once made.  Unemployment is nothing more than a paid vacation, and until they sort that had wage discovery will not be found.  The other thing holding back a true wage discovery is our welfare state.  If those people had to work, and we abolished minimum wage, we could compete on a global scale.  There are a lot of people who would work for $5/hr, or less, if there wasn't food and a roof for free over their head.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:50 | 2456944 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

karma buddy, I hope you dont face life taking a shit on you, but on the other hand I sort hope it does.  You need to find some humility and some empathy.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:21 | 2457167 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

Only thing in my life that can take a shit is my health, which i take decent care of, and never for granted.

As far as a job, if there are hospitals, I've got one.  You can apply that to if there are roofs to be replaced, engines to be fixed, etc.  I live a life of skill building and learning, chose degrees based on security, and have lived so far below my means that, like many here, it becomes a game.  I cannot empathize for those whom have chosen to be one trick ponies.  I don't wish ill on anyone, but our welfare system is a simple problem of multigenerational abuse and it will only continue to get worse.

Minimum wage is really just another form of welfare.  I've never paid an employee minimum wage, but to me, it is basically like saying "well, i'd pay you less because you probably aren't worth it, but the government has mandated you be paid this amount." 

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:59 | 2456962 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

     There are a lot of people who would work for $5/hr, or less, if there wasn't food and a roof for free over their head.

Yeah, but if you can't afford food and a roof over your head for $5/hr, you're still fucked.

And guess what: you CAN'T afford food and a roof over your head for $5/hr in most of the US.  The figures just don't work.  This shouldn't be a problem, except that in many parts of the US, you'll be *arrested* if you try to live in your van or your tent or under a bridge.

Until the real-estate market corrects to the current wage-structure, it's just a pipe-dream.

OR....we could ditch all the laws against vagrancy and such and let people live on the streets wherever they want, and they can compete with your grandkids for $1/hr jobs.  That might work.

I think self-storage facilities are the obvious targets as modern dormitories in the USA.  Just dig a trench in the back as a latrine and trap some rainwater for the occasional toothbrushing or to dampen some rice.  Shit, lots of those places are even air-conditioned.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:34 | 2457028 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Please stop with all of your facts!  Pursue_Liberty was quite happy to pick up the Bob Asholia's ball of fake facts and run with it to make more fact-free arguments. 

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:17 | 2457321 BigJim
BigJim's picture

 Yeah, but if you can't afford food and a roof over your head for $5/hr, you're still fucked.

And why do you think you can't afford food and a roof over your head for $5 an hour?

Try to think a little more deeply. Government mandates strict housing standards... pushing up the cost of housing (there's a reason there used to be riots when governments raised housing standards - it was because the tenants knew their rents would go up, and the chances were good they'd have less to eat after paying their upped rent). Furthermore, our governments have sponsored an artificially cheap-credit housing bubble, also pushing prices up.

Would you rather be homeless, or working a job that paid 5% less than minimum wage? Because THAT is what government setting minimum wages results in. Work that is only economic at (say) $9.50 an hour is no longer economic at $10.00, and everyone doing that work gets laid off... and the work migrates to China.

Meanwhile, our debt-to-GDP ratio keeps climbing. And, yes, if we didn't spend so much money gratuitously blowing up dark-skinned people, we could afford to be more generous in our domestic wealth-transfer schemes. But look at Europe - even 'healthy' Germany has a government debt-to-GDP ratio of something like 80%... and climbing. And once the PIIGS default on their debt, it'll be a lot, lot higher.

The current system is completely unsustainable, and the voters' entitlement mentality is a very big of the problem.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:26 | 2457355 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

Pretty much right where I was going with it.

We lost a lot of decent jobs our welfare class could be working due to minimum wage.  Wage inflation also increases money supply in a way that can cause inflation in goods.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 01:28 | 2457949 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Wage inflation would have been the result of monetary inflation, not its cause.  Increases in wages, the natural sort, come from increases in productivity.  Minimum wage does NOT increase wages on the whole - it actually creates unemployment by legally pricing those not worth minimum wage out of the market.  

If a company cannot survive in a competitive environment because it cannot find suitably priced labor, it will move to where it is more advantageous to operate (Southeast Asia, for example).  At that point, the jobs that were in country now must be replaced through innovation...and that's a whole 'nother ball of wax.  Point is, the country with the lowest opportunity cost MUST be allowed to do the job.

Additionally, consumers (that still have jobs) benefit due to lower prices and have additional money to spend elsewhere in the economy.  This provides successful industries with additional cash flows that may or may not justify expansion and the creation of jobs.  

The irony, as is with all government meddling, is that local labor in an attempt to save their own skin will demand tariffs/fees/quotas/etc on the newly imported goods thus driving their price up.  As a result, the aforementioned creation of jobs never happens.  Money is simply mis-allocated to the industries with the best lobbiers.

Here is the take away one should remember >>>>>  It is easy to see people starving and imagine babies crying because daddy no longer has unemployment benefits; it's tangible, it's real, there's no denying it exists.  It is very difficult to see the jobs never created and lower standards of living for the majority.  One must consider BOTH the seen and unseen if they want to participate in an economic discussion.

This is what some on this board do not understand - they use inductive thought processes that limit their field of view.  ANY time money is forcibly taken by the State to give to unproductive people, waste is created and opportunity is lost.  It's really that simple.  If people practiced thrift above spending every dollar they get, they would find themselves well prepared for temporary unemployment.  Unfortunately, those that don't prepare are able to vote.  ;)

I challenge anyone to argue that the State can allocate resources more wisely that its people.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:05 | 2457640 spooz
spooz's picture

Free trade and multinational corporations have hurt our economy.  Wage arbitrage drags us down to third world levels instead of lifting up the third world. But why should the sheeple expect a living wage?  They are replaceable labor units to be used as needed by the 1%. Let them eat cake.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 02:09 | 2458022 Bohm Squad
Bohm Squad's picture

Please support your argument.

Free trade allows the countries with the lowest opportunity costs to do the job.  This lowers the cost of goods and services for all...your computer is probably a good example of how lower costs occur due to "somewhat" free trade.  Free trade hasn't hurt our economy, just the opposite >>> internal controls have hurt our economy.

Wage arbitrage is self-correcting.  When one is priced out of the market because their opportunity cost is too great (see above), one will obtain new skills or (better yet) innovate something valued by the marketplace.  To assume a human being is a static entity is just plain silly.  A human being is not a buggy whip, they are capable of change and innovation.  It is up to the individual to do so.  Wage arbitrage does not drag us down, lack of innovation and freedom does that.  

People should expect a living wage...not really, "People should have the freedom to earn a living wage."  They should earn it by adhering to Say's Law...production comes before consumption.  Are you arguing that it's OK for a living wage to be achieved even when it's in violation of this principle?  The only way for that to work is to take from those who are productive and give to those who are not.  Is this your argument?  Robin Hood?  Unproductive people, which I define as those who consume more than they produce, are by definition squandering their discounted labor.  Do we really need anecdotal evidence of this in the form of McMansions and Hummers?  Or Budweiser and Lotto Tickets?  If they live in an area too costly, they must find a way to overcome that obstacle:  Moving, better skills, help from others, etc.  Again, not static.

Replaceable labor units?  See wage arbitrage above.

Let them eat cake?  As long as they don't put it on the credit card, then yeah...grab a fork.

You complain about things you's also the things you don't see which are just as important.  I'm certain this post was in vain...but oh well, my opportunity cost was low.  On retrospect, I should have outsourced it to India.



Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:10 | 2457494 toady
toady's picture

Just go full-on Pol Pot.

You will work till you drop as long aa there is a gun in your back.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:00 | 2457623 spooz
spooz's picture

so if your "friend" is making $600 a week on unemployment, his old job must have paid almost $90,000 a year (since unemployment benefits average 36% of your average weekly salary).  Pretty high paying job.  It would be hard to go from making $90000 to making $31,000, but considering the usual expenses of people making that much (mortgage, car payments, raising family) it is better than the minimum wage part time jobs that are available.  I doubt many would be happy with such a change of circumstances, in any case.  

Now, you say "$18 you once made", but figuring his pay based on the $600/week representing 36% of average pay, he was making $40 an hour.  Something is off with your numbers.  I love how people like to make up these examples to prove their fascist points.

Thu, 05/24/2012 - 16:55 | 2460203 Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

I love how rats like to quibble over numbers to obfuscate their eating of other peoples' food.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:51 | 2456946 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

i think that welfare and EI are a form of bribery so that some of these people dio no resort to crime to support their need.  its like handing out free weed to make everyone too dumb and lazy to go steal somthing.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 19:39 | 2457065 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Close.  It is a bribe to prevent the public from waking up before it's too late.  So long as most people can eat and have a roof over their heads, or blame welfare queens for their current woes, they don't care that the top .01% has destroyed the fundamental fabric of our society.  By the time we reach critical mass, we will be in a complete police state control grid.  Then the welfare gets cut-off and most of the anti-welfare queen Red Teamers will likewise realize that they are fucked too, and it's hello pure hell for the vast majority.  But on the bright side those lucky enough to have accumulated dynastic wealth during this period will live quite well forever more, as will their children.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:02 | 2457122 midtowng
midtowng's picture

The maximum you can collect on UE in California is $1,800 a month. And that's in a high-income state. Places like Florida max out around $1,100 a month.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 20:17 | 2457152 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Please stop with the facts!  Ideological rants about fake conversations are so much more convincing when facts are left at the door.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:31 | 2457376 XF
XF's picture

No facts? Ideological rants?

I've yet to read a post from you that isn't a fact free marxist rant.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 21:21 | 2457332 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

Just to show how out of whack cali is, you can get $2100 in ohio, which, as you know, is like $5k a month.


If you are on unemployment there are many other programs you may be eligible for, including but not limited to, free cell, free food, subsidized electric for your McMansion, etc.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 23:52 | 2457777 Prometheus418
Prometheus418's picture

$1452/mo in Wisconsin- Never collected it, myself, but it was easy to look up.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 22:18 | 2457511 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

The 3500 is a disgusting fantasy. My state caps it at about 1200 max. A bit more if you have kids.. oh wait...

Now, there is great truth that no one has mention yet.

Unemployment pays at least or greater than the GROSS before taxes on a shit mc job at minimum wage.

THINK about that.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:41 | 2456904 crawldaddy
crawldaddy's picture

What a load of shit this article is.  First off, people pay INTO unemployment as well as do employers.  Its a small temporary safety net and in NO WAY has caused ANY Of the problems we now face as a nation.

The welfare companies get is a hundred fold above any and ALL welfare individuals get in this country. Some crumbs tossed to us peasant in ways such as unemployment insurance and the like, is but that CRUMBS.  You want to find the real problems of this country, look to the small handful of greedy assholes eating the whole fucking pie.


The author of this article is either disengenious or a complete moron.

Wed, 05/23/2012 - 18:46 | 2456929 Global Hunter
Global Hunter's picture

exactly, the author can wake me up when the government stops giving money to banks and other favoured industries

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