RALEIGH – One extremely reliable pattern among politicians is that whenever there is a problem, they’ll propose a solution of throwing more money at it. Your money.
In this case, the problem is that unemployment benefits have become so generous, that businesses are struggling to find workers to fill necessary positions. The businesses are competing with Uncle Sam. Why work for a living when the government will pay you to stay home?
The depressingly predictable solution suggested by lawmakers? More money for the unemployed; but only if they take a job. Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly are proposing to pay $1500 bonuses to those on unemployment benefits if they actually take a job and rejoin the workforce.
While the proposal may be aimed at getting people off the dole and back to work, it is also a giant slap in the face of every person that has worked their tail off to make ends meet while not taking a day off, forgoing so many pleasures of life, and scraping by in spite of the pressures of Pandemic Panic. Now their tax money is going to be directed to sweeten the pot for one that’s been sitting on the couch, collecting unemployment, and ignoring opportunity after opportunity for work because they’re paid more to be jobless.
To that end, the proposal contains provisions that make quite a bit more sense. The legislation would eliminate benefits for people turning down jobs, or skipping interviews, and, the requirement to actually be looking for work while accepting unemployment benefits would be restored. Great; this should have been done months ago and deserves a stand alone bill.
Back to the largess. Built into the proposal is a timeline goading people to move back into the workforce quickly; $1,500 cash payment for people who move off the couch and into a job in June and $800 for people that do so in July.
What about those people that took jobs long ago after the initial wave of forced layoffs and closures, even menial ones because it was all that was available, you ask? Oh, nothing for them. They made the mistake of taking responsibility for themselves — tsk tsk.
That’s not to say the labor struggles of businesses is not a real problem — it definitely is, and perhaps it requires government action. And providing people with an incentive to return to the workforce, instead of passing up work, is definitely the right idea.
A good incentive might be to CUT OFF THE HANDOUTS! The need to buy food, pay rent, and bills, as to not be starving and homeless, might just have a great many of those open jobs filled in no time.
Only in a clown world is the opposite idea even entertained as anything other than asinine and disrespectful to every working citizen in this Great State of North Carolina. If you have a job, and don’t make a habit of passing up work in favor of handouts, make sure to ask your state lawmaker when you can expect your bonus for staying in the workforce?