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.