One of the best examples of the profligacy and perverse ideology of the modern Democratic Party can be found in the latest Covid “relief” bill, which purported to allocate some 1.9 trillion dollars to helping the poor souls impacted by the ongoing shutdowns ordered by government officials.
Instead, this was a bald-faced sop to Democratic special interests, a cynical vote-buying ploy, and a way to incapacitate a large swath of low-wage workers, the same people whom the Democrats claim to want to help (often with tears in their eyes and quivering mouths).
First, it is vital to know that the vast majority of the funds are not going to Covid relief, direct or indirect. Most is going to various progressive and blue state causes, such as state government debt relief, student loan forgiveness, subsidies for Obamacare, and other such liberal wish-list items. Biden’s irksome spokesperson, Jen Psaki, admitted as much when she claimed the bill was actually “most progressive piece of legislation in history.”
So much for fair dealing and transparency. But that is par for the course for our Democratic friends, who “never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” We know they chronically use the suffering of normal Americans to shove more government control and ideological conformity down our collective throats.
But what’s particularly galling about this bill is its extension of the additional federal unemployment benefits through September 2021. Granted, the weekly amount was reduced from $600 to $300, so they did seem to make some concession to common sense, but that is not the case in the end.
I will even grant that extending these benefits was done by many Democrats for sincere reasons, but that does not excuse them from failing to properly consider the impacts of such policies and making the most responsible choice for Americans, especially the ones putatively intended for the assistance.
What this provision actually did was to discourage workers making less than about $18 per hour from working. Heck, even if you make $20 or $22 an hour, it’s got to be enticing to sit at home for a slightly lower wage.
First, realize that the US national unemployment rate is 6%, which is higher than it was before the pandemic (it was at an all-time low of 3.6% due to Trump’s economic policies). But it’s not anywhere near the 15% level it reached in April 2020 due to the government-mandated shutdowns.
In fact, Georgia’s unemployment rate is down to 4.6%. We do not have a situation where an unprecedented number of people are chronically unemployed. In fact, we have the opposite: businesses are unable to find entry-level and low-level workers because those workers are being incentivized to stay home.
If the unemployment benefits were ended or even limited only to those people who were directly laid off due to Covid shutdowns, I could understand. But these benefits are available to anyone who lost their job for any reason, and the newest Democrat-only passed version even extends the benefits to people who quit their jobs.
Yes, that’s right. You can go work someplace for a month or whatever, quit, and file for unemployment.
Now, I was young once. I understand why certain people in the lower wage cohort would make the somewhat rational choice to stay home and make the same if not more money than going to work. Talk about easy money! But what does that do to those people long-term?
First, it sends the very clear signal that the Democrats will give them free money for doing nothing. If that’s not a blatant — yet cynical — ploy for buying votes, I don’t know what is.
But they are buying these votes at the expense of the voters’ independence and dignity. This policy is actually encouraging people to avoid work, to avoid the dignity and propriety of working to support yourself and others. It is encouraging dependence, laziness, and bad habits.
That kind of lesson for a young person, who may be struggling with a lack of education, self-esteem, motivation, or potential, can be absolutely devastating. It sends the exact wrong signal and tells them it’s OK to play the system in order to receive moneys you did not earn, moneys which, by the way, are being taken from people who are working.
In other words, it creates the expectation that government will, by taxing the productive members of society, provide for the needs of those who choose to be unproductive. Not those who can not be productive due to some unavoidable condition. This is aimed at those who may make a bad choice if presented with it, and in this case, it’s the Democrats who are presenting that option and encouraging them to take the easy way out.
What are the possible outcomes from this situation?
For sure, that person’s desire to work and fend for themselves will be diminished to a varying extent, harming their future ability to be responsible and increase their earnings through hard work.
This will make it harder for them to get married, support a family, or pursue further education. It will make it hard for them to earn a real “living wage,” as the Democrats prattle on about incessantly. Why work hard for these things if the government will give you money, one way or the other?
The people receiving this largesse will definitely be more motivated to vote Democratic, for those are the people making this all happen. It’s natural self-interest. But don’t be mistaken: this is the Democrats using your money to buy votes. It’s truly deplorable.
It would be more understandable if they used the millions of dollars they raise for their campaigns to pay people off to vote for them. At least then the money comes from willing participants, but the Covid bill buys votes using the money of people who did not vote for them, and was not intended for such a purpose.
Another possible result is that this extra unemployment benefit will be extended indefinitely. When September rolls around and these payments are ending, the Dems will crank up their crocodile tears and tell us they must continue these payments for the sake of those poor souls who still can’t find work…due to the shutdowns imposed mainly by Democratic regimes. Once this “temporary” measure becomes permanent, the fix is in and the ruination of the individual work ethic for a large swath of the population will be set in stone.
Economically speaking, the economy’s potential growth will be hindered because companies can’t find workers to support it. I have a friend in a large company who are actively reducing their growth plans because they cannot get enough workers right now.
Another way to put it: the Democrats are hindering economic growth by encouraging workers to stay home, thus harming the funding mechanism required to pay for these additional benefits. It’s hard to make up this stuff!
This situation was of course worsened by the “stimulus” checks, which represented another unearned, unnecessary cash giveaway, which many economists believe will lead to inflation as the money supply increases artificially and chases fewer goods. When those people finally do go back to work, assuming someone will hire a person who voluntarily stayed home, the money they earn will buy fewer goods and services, thus discouraging them from working and making them rely, again, on government assistance in some form.
Do you see how pernicious this is? It encourages laziness; it will make workers who opt for this program much less attractive to future employers, hurting their chances for future rewarding work; it limits economic growth; it results in Democrats getting more votes that they bought with taxpayer money; it encourages dependence, not independence; it will likely increase costs for all of us, which will disproportionately hurt the poor.
All of this is obvious to anyone who studied basic economics or understands human nature. Even if there are some legislators who don’t naturally understand such things, they should have been responsible and availed themselves of the facts and the theories that explicate such a scenario.
But they didn’t because, again, this move just helps to secure their power, make them seem compassionate, and render an ever-greater portion of our population dependent on their whims.
That, my friends, is what this is really about. And the politicians and their friends in the media could care less about how much this harms the country as long as they are the ones who will be in charge of it. Better to be a king of a crumbled nation than a peon in a free, prosperous one.
Peachtree City, Ga.
Folks, there certainly must be a better use for your considerable time and talents. Step outside and enjoy the day 🙂
Commenting on an article that was written almost 2 .5 months ago, you know, you have a lot of catching up / reading to do.
Trey – You can’t be serious that politicians take stances and then vote on legislation merely to win votes. Oh please, say it ain’t so!
The next thing you know we’ll be seeing opportunistic legislators cynically passing bills to repair nonexistent voting problems merely to capture majorities in the next election. What is our country coming to?
So much to unpack in today’s missive from Trey! And so glad to know (from his last note) that he is averse to learning anything new or examining his ideas and beliefs in the least, so he will not be reading these comments, so I don’t need to worry about hurting his feelings.
I can’t tackle all Trey’s complaints about how the Democrats ruin America (and it’s so odd, isn’t it, that 8 years of Pres Bill Clinton and 8 years of Pres Barack Obama didn’t ruin America — while 4 years of President Trump oversaw the tragic and avoidable deaths of half a million Americans from COVID-19, a dramatic economic downturn including unemployment in double digits, racial unrest on a scale heretofore unseen, and more divisiveness and stark division than I can remember?), but he focuses a lot of energy on his angst over the extended unemployment benefits and the ways they harm the recipients.
I will address these concerns by pointing Trey (oh, wait, he doesn’t read the comments!) to many studies on Universal Basic Income, the concept that a government pays its citizens just to be its citizens. Every single person gets a paycheck in the same amount (some studies pay a lesser amount to children, which their parents manage for them).
What these studies overwhelmingly find is that giving someone free money in a regular amount on a regular schedule does NOT cause the recipient to be lazy and choose to stay home drinking and playing video games. In fact, in general, recipients either continued to work their regular hours, worked more hours, and/or used their extra money to begin their own business or invest more freely than they would have without the money. Further, studies show that people were happier, healthier, and had a more positive view of their society’s equity and justice.
I would link you to the studies, but the Citizen doesn’t allow that in the comments. You can look it up though; look for UBI or Universal Basic Income. It is a pretty rosy picture that, taken to its logical conclusion, would mean we probably could actually do away with all welfare and all unemployment and save money in the long run by simply paying everyone in the USA an equal universal basic income. Giving away money IS the answer.
So we don’t need to worry that extending unemployment is making people lazy or causing them not to look for work. Probably it is helping them keep their families fed, make their house payments, and put shoes on their children’s feet. All good things, really.
Another letter that pretends Democrats are somehow different from Republicans. They’re just two different brands of fearmongering statist politician.
Start voting for Candidates, not parties.
How can any of us living through the past year not be moved by
the plight of so many whose lives have been upended? People of
all faiths (and none, for that matter) have come together in
sympathy and solidarity to offer aid. That are not, I maintain,
evil and conniving, in league with a political agenda. They are
brothers and sisters of one universal family; sheep, as Christians
say, of one flock.
I am sure Trey knows the parable concerning the commendable
sheep and the hard-hearted goats–
“Then the goats are going to say, “Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless
or shivering or sick in prison and didn’t help? He will answer them, “I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to anyone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me–you failed to do it to me.”
Do I need to add– “But Master! Trey said you’d just sit around
the house, waiting for the stimulus cash to flow in! Must be nice!”
I can’t decide if it’s the blatant heresy, the complete misrepresentation of corruption as an economic good, or the partisan supremacist attitude… but there’s definitely something here that is more wrong than the rest of it.
To tell you the truth, I’m not sure exactly what you mean; but okay.
Am I a heretic because I take seriously
the parabolic lesson to care for all in need,
without vetting or expecting recompense?
A heretic of indiscriminate Love…yep.
Is “misrepresentation of corruption as an economic good” believing that we can be
channels of our abundance, assuring that
all have decent lives?
A heretic of shared wealth…yep.
Does “partisan supremacist attitude” mean I consider myself, as a progressive Democrat, a better person than a
Republican? By no means. Perhaps a bit less afraid; willing to take a chance on the
basic goodness and worth of every person and happy to invest in their lives.
A heretic of the Universal Christ…yep.
I can live with that.
Do I need to add– “But Master! Trey said you’d just sit around
the house, waiting for the stimulus cash to flow in! Must be nice!”
Oh well done, Suz!
And then PTCitizen:
“I can’t decide if it’s the blatant heresy, the complete misrepresentation of corruption as an economic good, or the partisan supremacist attitude… but there’s definitely something here that is more wrong than the rest of it.”
Let’s try to figure out what’s wrong, shall we?
– “Blatant heresy.” Is that the part where Suz quotes Scripture that is very clear in its meaning (feed the hungry, help the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned), etc, but we don’t like the obvious implication that it means WE the white middle-class majority ought to be doing these things, so we label it heresy?
– “the complete misrepresentation of corruption as an economic good.” Is that the part where Suz makes it clear giving unemployment benefits in a crisis time is helping keep people from hunger and homelessness, but we don’t like the USA using our taxpayer dollars to do it, so we call it corruption?
– “partisan supremacist attitude.” Is that the part where Suz’s compassion for people in need is allied with her being a Democrat, and she seems a much kinder, more caring, and loving person than Trey the Republican, and we don’t want Democrats to come off looking good, so we call it “supremacist”?
– “there’s definitely something here that is more wrong than the rest of it.” Yes, there definitely is…
I understand your feeling that neither Democrats nor Republicans have it all right, PTCitizen, and in a kinder, gentler time, it might have been more feasible to vote for candidates, not parties. But once Mitch McConnell used the Senate like a juggernaut to ram through only GOP legislation, even employing the once unthinkable “nuclear option” to keep Democrat proposals off the Senate floor, and once Pres Trump broke all the unwritten rules for the behavior and decorum of US politics, bipartisanship fell by the wayside, and in today’s climate, you have to choose the party that’s doing the most of what you want because partisanship is the only way to get things done.
I will admit it–unlike Trey, I read the comments and replies!
And I’m always happy to see yours.
Thank you for your thoughts and your time
to share them. I appreciate our shared
vision for a kinder world.