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A Conservative's Defense Of Unemployment Insurance

As expected, the issue of extending the already extended long-term unemployment benefits has become a political football.

Politicians and blowhard pundits on both sides of the political spectrum are using the hardships of honest Americans to either trash one party as fiscally irresponsible, or the other as lacking compassion.

Republicans, and a few Democrats, say they would pass the extension as long as it is paid for and does not add to the debt.

Fair enough.

There are plenty of useless programs and pork-laden bills (including the balance of unspent "Stimulus" money) from which this and all prior extensions could be funded.

The main theme from most Democrats now, aside from shamefully exploiting individual American's stories to tug at the heart strings, is that unemployment benefits help to expand the economy.

Horse hockey.

These benefits are not disposable income. The overwhelming majority of people who have had to grudgingly avail themselves of unemployment do not spend this money on trinkets, luxuries, or wanton pleasures. The amount of money received by these individuals just does not allow that. It is spent on the financial necessities most all of us have like mortgages, utilities, and food. The average national amount of a weekly unemployment benefit is $293, hardly enough to allow these people to "live it up."

To receive unemployment, a person has to be terminated from their employer. Purely quitting a job does not make you eligible for these benefits. You have to be fired, due to company downsizing, elimination of positions, inability to perform your job due to medical reasons, etc.

Politicians on both sides have now tied the extension of the Bush tax rates (not tax "cuts") with the unemployment benefits extension, using each as a bargaining chip. Both issues have merit, but the only thing they have in common is each holds Americans financially hostage in a political game of chicken.

This is despicable.

The current tax rates have been in place for almost a decade. Their implementation increased revenue taken in by the government during the Bush years, helping to reverse the recession during the early 2000's.

The yearly average rate of unemployment from the time President Bush took office to his departure was 5.25%. A far cry from the current 9.6% under Obama. This disparity is all the more astounding considering the negative economic impact of 9/11 and the prosecution of two wars. Not until Democrats swept Congress in 2006 and Obama was elected did this rate start to drastically increase.

Recently, there has been a push by some members in Congress to eliminate the seedy practice of earmarks. How often have we heard about the steering of tax dollars to ridiculous projects through this abused, disgusting practice? How many earmarked projects did the late Senator Robert "KKK" Byrd obtain for his home state of West Virginia, many of which he arrogantly named after himself?

The elimination, or at least the regulation, of the earmark process would have been a substantial, meaningful, money-saving action. It would have stopped a practice which consistently adds to the national debt. Its elimination was, predictably, voted down. Struck by many of the same members of Congress who also claim any further extension of unemployment benefits should be paid for before passing them. Sounds fiscally prudent enough, but, certainly not at the expense of their precious ability to pass earmarks for their own self-serving political gain.

That is shear hypocrisy.

This jump in unemployment claims hasn't happened because formerly gainfully employed people just wanted to take a break from working. It happened due to factors beyond their control.

The health of the economy, policies enacted by an anti-business administration, high corporate taxes, and yes, greediness of company decision makers all contributed to this decline of the American workforce.

Many companies unjustly use the perception of a bad economic climate to justify the elimination of formerly productive positions. They will downsize their workforce while heaping more responsibilities on less people while cutting back on salaries and benefits, claiming these decisions as necessary to maintain competitiveness and profitability. The easiest way for a company to help their bottom-line is to cut labor. Those who remain employed have no choice but to feel "lucky" they still have a job, though the effects to their financial situation and self-worth have been substantially and negatively altered.

As workers in this country, we are forced to pay taxes, some of which contribute to unemployment programs. It is akin to paying for mandatory insurance. As with many forms of insurance, most of us will remain fortunate enough to never need it, even though it means that money, our money, is lost to the black hole of government. We will never see any return on that forced "investment."

Many people who now find themselves requiring unemployment have been paying into it for decades, never believing they would see the day when they may be in the unenviable position of actually needing it. Many have been paying into the system much longer than those who arrogantly and erroneously degrade these fellow citizens as "freeloaders."

As workers, we base our lives and our futures around how much we can monetarily afford. Some people are more financially responsible than others, saving a nest-egg for emergencies, investing properly, or just living within one's means.

Simply put, people need the money they've earned from work. Whether that need is satisfied from pay check to pay check, or lessened by some financial cushion, it ensures security for them and those who depend on them.

Do people who disdainfully look down on unemployment recipients really believe these people want or enjoy being unemployed, depleting their savings, draining retirement funds, and, in most cases, losing their health coverage (which then becomes another tremendous financial burden draining an already thin trickle of income.)? Having both parents work three McDonald's-like jobs each, paying for day care, and still not able to meet their financial obligations is a frightful and demoralizing position in which to be.

These benefits are not "freebies." All too often people on the outside looking in reduce one's use of unemployment insurance to a comparison of receiving welfare. This is unfair. Though sometimes people really do need the assistance of welfare for drastic reasons, there is no denying that welfare fraud exists far too often, with able-bodied individuals lacking a basic work ethic, and some going so far as to have more children for the disgusting practice of milking the program for more money.

Yes, there are those collecting unemployment funds that deserve our disdain for abusing this system. I personally know two people, both in construction, who will work for 6 months, become eligible for unemployment, and tell their foreman to lay them off (who is only too happy to oblige them so he can save on labor costs.). They then loaf around for 6 months until the benefits run out, and start the cycle over again.

They are the ones who deserve to be denunciated, not some poor 50 year old father who has been dutifully working at the same company for 30 years, only to be let go due to "the economy," when, in reality, his bosses just want an excuse to replace him with someone younger for half the price.

If you don't believe that type of action happens, then you are ignoring reality to justify some misplaced sense of ideological moral outrage.

I'd rather that father use benefits to which he's honestly contributed, then have that same money spent by a reckless bunch of politicians and bureaucratic goons.

Don't be too quick to levy blanket scorn and judgment on people who have fallen into extremely frightening and unenviable circumstances through no fault of their own.

Vote your anger at the politicians who sank us into this economic quicksand in the first place.

And pray you and your family never find yourselves unemployed victims of their reckless actions.


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Comments (33)

"Simply put, people need th... (Below threshold)

"Simply put, people need the money they've earned from work." Yes, and the insurance policy for unemployment has a set value, 26 weeks. Extending it to 99 weeks makes it no longer an earned reward.

"These benefits are not "freebies." After 26 weeks, yes it is a freebie.

"They are the ones who deserve to be denunciated, not some poor 50 year old father who has been dutifully working at the same company for 30 years, only to be let go due to "the economy," when, in reality, his bosses just want an excuse to replace him with someone younger for half the price." Seems like someone has a case of liberal "progressive" union drone mentality going on. If the 50 year old spent his time forcing up his wages far beyond what the job skills and job activity are really worth, then why would a company not take the opportunity to lay off the overpaid person and hire a younger person with more potential to fill the position? A bad economy is the best time to pick up the best employees possible. It is economics and there is nothing wrong with it. The 50 year old will have to reevaluate what he is worth. Giving him unlimited duration unemployment only delays the time when he finds his true worth. Just like propping up the housing market only delays the day when a recovery can ever happen.

I just came off of 51 weeks of unemployment back in July. I had a savings before becoming unemployed, I had 0 balance on all my credit cards, I had two vehicles nearly fully paid for when I became unemployed, and I did not collect one penny during that 51 weeks of extended unemployment. I only got what my employer paid into the system for me, 26 weeks. At the end, my savings was down to just enough to pay for the move to my new job, something that your poor 50 year old would never contemplate while receiving benefits he never paid for. My credit cards were around 80% max and I had to refinance both of my vehicles and will be paying for the next 5 years to get back to where I was. I do not support extended benefits, particularly beyond a 52 week limit.

The conservative case for unemployment is that it is a paid benefit of limited duration to help someone get by for a few months if necessary in order to find a different line of income. Instead, unemployment has been changed into unlimited welfare benefits.

You say that we should vote out the people who caused the financial and economic meltdown, but it is very same bribe that will keep people these people in office as they use the santa clause method of keeping power. So, whose side are you on? Obama's or the side of American prosperity?

Because unlimited unemployment will prevent many people from regaining gainful employment or working towards creating their own company, as it will not get them to face the desperation required to get them active again. Do conservatives think people should never be in desperate circumstances? I do not think so.

"Its elimination was, predi... (Below threshold)

"Its elimination was, predictably, voted down. Struck by many of the same members of Congress who also claim any further extension of unemployment benefits should be paid for before passing them."

One more thing, 8 out of 42 republicans does not make a "Many" argument justified.

Wow, astoneril, it's great ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Wow, astoneril, it's great that you have a new job, and didn't get hurt any worse than you did by your stint on unemployment. Not everyone, though, is a Horatio Alger type like you.

Some people DON'T have any savings before they get laid off. Oh, they try to put a little aside, but a family of 4 making, say, $40K-$50K/yr will have great difficulty saving anything at all. A couple of car repair bills, an accident or some other medical issue, even a home repair will wipe out whatever modest savings they manage to put away. They never seem to get ahead.

Some people DON'T have a zero balance on their credit cards, either. Many people, especially working poor folks, don't have any credit cards at all. What are they supposed to fall back on?

Some people DON'T find a new job after 26 or 51 weeks, either. Let's take Mr Mallow's hypothetical 50 year old father. If he gets laid off, he is NOT getting a new job soon. Don't think he can get a job at McDonald's - McDonald's ain't hiring. At least, they're not hiring 50 year olds who, they assume, will quit as soon as something better comes along.

It's kind of amusing, in a sad and pathetic way, that conservatives such as yourself and Mr Mallow find enough empathy to support benefits for people who are in EXACTLY the same circumstances you found yourselves in. You found a job in 51 weeks, therefore you support unemployment benefits for a maximum of ....52 weeks! Those who take longer to find a job? They must be freeloaders! Such is the sociopathic mindset that is the basis of modern conservatism/libertarianism.

It's also sad that you take the side of employers who, these days, are taking every opportunity to squeeze every freaking nickel of productivity out of their existing employees, then expect them to be grateful to even HAVE a job that almost - but not quite - pays the bills (that is, IF one has a spouse that also works full time.) And if those employees have loyally served for years, earning merit raises and benefits, you say they must reassess what they are "truly worth" when the economy hits a rough spot and their employer decides that no loyalty is due to them, that this is the best time to "pick up the best employees possible."

Hey, I have an idea - why don't we close a few military bases in one of the 75 or so countries in which we have them? Pay for an extension that way. Or maybe cut out all crop subsidies - that's a New Deal program conservatives ought to hate, but they continue to support because, despite what it does to the deficit, it's popular in farm states.

I think, astoneril, that your comments reveal the basic flaw in the conservative mind - the inability to imagine anything beyond your own experience. No empathy. No regard for the consequences of your ideological dogma. When benefits run out for the 50 year old dad who has been unemployed 99 weeks and who CANNOT GET A NEW JOB no matter what wages he is willing to settle for, what is he he supposed to do? Give his children to Social Services? Live in his car, if it hasn't already been repossessed? Rob a convenience store? What would YOU have done if that new job hadn't come along after 51 weeks?

So the conservative defense... (Below threshold)

So the conservative defense for (what amounts to be) unlimited unemployment benefits is that 'they need the money'?

"Many people who now find themselves requiring unemployment have been paying into it for decades"

And in almost all cases, their benefits are far more than the premiums they've paid. Unemployment taxes usually amount to a very low percentage (2% in my case) of the first $8,000 or so of a worker's annual pay... a whopping $160 or so per year per worker... so someone getting $293 a week for 26 weeks would have had to work for almost 50 years to have paid into the fund what they're taking out. Once someone has received more than they've paid, it's welfare.

Many companies unjustly use the perception of a bad economic climate to justify the elimination of formerly productive positions.

What a crock. It reads like something I'd see on a liberal blog. 'Perception' of a bad economic climate? Yeah, it's all in our heads. To 'justify'? Yeah, managers sit around looking for reasons to get rid of productive people ("gee, if only sales would tank, I could get rid of a whole bunch of productive people").

"...some poor 50 year old father who has been dutifully working at the same company for 30 years, only to be let go due to "the economy," when, in reality, his bosses just want an excuse to replace him with someone younger for half the price."

Sorry, but that is life. If you want to keep your job, you better not be charging more than someone else is to do the same job, and especially not twice as much. If you do so, by definition, you've priced yourself out of the market... just as anyone - or any business - would be if they tried charging more to do a job than someone else. If anything, 'the economy' forced the business to accept that it isn't sound business to keep paying more in labor (or anything) than they need to pay. And that's the way it should be.

Don't bother responding to ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Don't bother responding to above. Old and hackneyed recycled stuff. Believing that stuff is what has us in this mess.

I meant it for Bruce, not s... (Below threshold)
epador:

I meant it for Bruce, not steve.

What epador really means:<b... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

What epador really means:
"I don't have a good answer for what Bruce wrote, so I'm just gonna call it 'old and hackneyed stuff' and pretend it should be ignored."

And that's fine, Dr Epador. Just be honest about it.

Bruce (in fewer words): soc... (Below threshold)

Bruce (in fewer words): society should pay for unlimited unemployment because it's not their fault.

Not their fault that they haven't saved any money. Not their fault that they spent everything they earned, leaving them next to nothing in case of an emergency. Not their fault that they chose to have kids despite making only enough to take care of them if everything worked out. Not their fault that they didn't so anything to increase the value of the services they provided to their employer. Not their fault that they took merit raises and benefits that made them overpriced compared to others willing to do the same work.

And Bruce, there is no such thing as loyalty as you portray. People stay at jobs because they feel it is in their interest to do so... and they leave when they think it is the best thing for them.

No, the fact that it's not ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

No, the fact that it's not their fault is only part of my argument.

Keeping a strict limit on how long unemployment benefits can be extended and re-extended makes sense when the economy is near full employment. But it won't help to cut help off when there are no alternatives for those receiving it. Cutting off that help not only hurts the unemployed and their families; it hurts all the businesses those people are still able to patronize, as well as bringing local property values down when their homes get foreclosed, etc.

And, even if our hypothetical 50 year old dad HAD done everything you suggest - had 6 months or a year's worth of income saved, a zero balance on his credit cards, limited family size, lived entirely within his means - how would that help if he had been unable to find a job after 99 weeks?

And make no mistake - McDonald's aint hiring 50 year old dads who are qualified to do something else.

As for not taking raises after years of service, what is one supposed to do - stay voluntarily at entry level pay forever? Yeah, let's all race to the bottom and cut each other's throats to get and keep jobs at the lowest wage employers can get away with! That'll make this country prosper!

Bruce Henry has a very long... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Bruce Henry has a very long history here at Wizbang of missing the point of the post. How do we pay for it?

It is time government responds responsibly to needs that arise. Our government cannot give one more thing away. We are on the verge of a serious situation with our debt. But Bruce, the typical liberal says, "damn the torpedoes, give it away" etc. We have to be compassionate but with responsibility. ww

As is the case with most th... (Below threshold)
PBunyan:

As is the case with most things the govenment does, the solution is to privatize unemployment insurance.

Everyone buys their own policies if they want them. If they don't buy it and they loose their jobs and have no family or friends to help them out then the safety net is food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters.

People who are more likely to become unemployed will have to pay more and those who are less likely will pay less--thus we will no longer reward sloth and punish productivity as the current system does.

Employers will no longer have to fear hiring people in an unpredictable economy.

Everyone wins but the slackers (even though the slackers will still be better off overall) which is why Bruce and the rest of the Marxists would never go for it.

Right, Mr Bunyan. Are there... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Right, Mr Bunyan. Are there no workhouses? Merry Christmas, you lazy bastards!

Yes, let's let the two million people who will be cast aside THIS WEEK go to soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Because, after all, extensions of unemployment benefits must be paid for! Otherwise ZOMG the deficit!!!

But let's be sure to extend tax cuts for zillionaires that'll add $700 billion to the deficit, because it's only fair!

Never mind that, in this comment section, I've offered two suggestions that would more than pay for another extension of unemployment benefits, while conservatives don't have any explanation for how the tax "cuts" will be paid for.

But my original comment here was not meant to be an overall defense of unemployment benefit extension, simply a response to the fact that Mr Mallow and astonerii seem to feel the pain of others only insofar as it matches up with their own experience. No empathy.

I have a pretty good idea that Mr Mallow wouldn't be defending extending unemployment benefits if he hadn't recently had a personal brush with misfortune himself, am I right? And this astonerii person thinks 52 weeks, max, is OK, because he himself recently spent 51 weeks unemployed. In other words, "I got mine, all I needed, because I'm more self-reliant than thou," but anyone who finds himself in greater need is a bum and a "slacker."

Bruce,There really... (Below threshold)
PBunyan:

Bruce,

There really are slackers out there who abuse the system. I have personally delt with this recently as I had an employee who was basically worthless, but I wasn't allowed to fire him until I had an un-employment compensation proof reason. Luckily I caught him stealing from the company, but that took months and hurt a whole lot of people--mostly the poor and needy persons we help, but also me and my other employees who had to make up for his worthlessness.

Conservatives are not without compassion, but we believe it is far more compassionate to teach people to fish than to enslave them by giving them fish.

Private un-employment insurance would solve all the problems with the current system. Sure some people, the slackers, would be a slightly worse off, but the vast majority would be so much better off. And even the slackers would benefit because in a thriving economy the food pantries, etc. would have a lot more voluntary support and would be better fit to adress the needs of those who rufuse to take personal responsibility.

We can agree, Mr Bunyan, th... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

We can agree, Mr Bunyan, that there are, indeed, slackers out there. I've managed and owned restaurants in the past - I know what you're talking about.

Your proposal for private unemployment insurance is worthy of debate, and has merit, I'm sure. But it won't help the people we're talking about on this thread. Nor does it increase Mr Mallow's and astonerii's empathy levels, which is what I was originally addressing.

Bruce,I'm not enti... (Below threshold)
PBunyan:

Bruce,

I'm not entirely sure who you mean by "the people we're talking about on this thread", but I would argue that extending unemployment benefits will do a lot more harm than good for everyone. Right now the economy has sort of leveled off at the bottom of the pit (or more likely has found a ledge to rest on and temporarily keep from falling further), but right now most employers are simply afraid to hire new employees and a big (maybe the biggest, maybe not) part of the reason is that they fear the goverment will keep extending unemployment benefits indefinitely and they they will be on the hook for what could be forever. I know that's the case with my company and with ever other employer I personally know. Yeah, they fear the massive tax increases, too, but being on the hook to pay for unemployment insurance for an indefinite period of time is a bigger fear that keeps them from hiring even though they could use the help.

That needs to stop here and now.

I mean the people whose ben... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

I mean the people whose benefits are being cut off this week, Mr Bunyan. And those whose benefits will run out next week, etc. Your proposal will take time to debate, pass, and be implemented. Years, maybe.

Look, I don't have all the answers. I just got a little pissed reading astonerii's comment, and decided to take him to task for his lack of empathy. I was defending Mr Mallow's newfound discovery that many recipients of unemployment benefits, even longterm recipients, are not slackers at all, but honest people who didn't wish for this to happen and who have no desire to milk the system.

"Seems like someone has ... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

"Seems like someone has a case of liberal "progressive" union drone mentality going on. If the 50 year old spent his time forcing up his wages far beyond what the job skills and job activity are really worth, then why would a company not take the opportunity to lay off the overpaid person and hire a younger person with more potential to fill the position? A bad economy is the best time to pick up the best employees possible. It is economics and there is nothing wrong with it. The 50 year old will have to reevaluate what he is worth." -astonerii

"Sorry, but that is life. If you want to keep your job, you better not be charging more than someone else is to do the same job, and especially not twice as much. If you do so, by definition, you've priced yourself out of the market... just as anyone - or any business - would be if they tried charging more to do a job than someone else. If anything, 'the economy' forced the business to accept that it isn't sound business to keep paying more in labor (or anything) than they need to pay. And that's the way it should be." -steve

astonerii,

Who the hell said anything about unions?

These two comments are stunning.

Steve, you make it sound as if the employee controls the company purse strings.

So an employee who has remained with the same company, contributed to its success, contributed to the company's ability to pay its corporate taxes, and earns raises based on merit, should deserve to be shit-canned and replaced by cheap labor?

You must support outsourcing, H1-B visas, and illegal immigration.

And Bruce,

Just because I happen to have my own opinion about a subject that you decide runs counter to my usual political leanings does not mean that opinion is swayed by some self-serving personal experience.

Try thinking for yourself once in a while. It's fun!

-Shawn

OK, Mr Mallow, I guess you ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

OK, Mr Mallow, I guess you told me!

For whatever reason you wrote it, Shawn, it was a pretty good article.

Astonerii, it's great you m... (Below threshold)
John S:

Astonerii, it's great you maxed out your credit cards and wiped out your life savings in a 51-week quest to find a new job... but what will you do next year when that new job goes to India? I expect you will do the right thing and refuse unemployment since you used up your lifetime 26-week benefit.

This recession is permanent. We should all plan on being forced to start over every other year or so. And each time expect a 50 percent cut in pay. (Even more if the Republicans cut the minimum wage.) And you're obviously not 50 years old... after that it's game over. I did beat those odds and finally found a minimum wage, part time, no benefits job, but it wasn't McDonalds--they wouldn't talk to me.

Shawn: The employe... (Below threshold)

Shawn:

The employee doesn't control the purse strings but he sure controls whether he sticks around or not. If he chooses to accept all those years of what you call 'merit' increases, but which in reality drive his pay above the market, then he doesn't get my sympathy if economic conditions force the company to have someone else do the job cheaper.

And darn right I support outsourcing.. there is no economic justification for paying someone in house more than it costs to have someone else to the same job. But I don't support illegal immigration (what was your logic in assuming I did???)

In any event, this string has gotten off track. Most of the current unemployed aren't unemployed because their employer replaced them with lower paid workers, they're unemployed because the employer couldn't afford to have someone in their slot, period.

Shawn, thanks for your cons... (Below threshold)
Mike G:

Shawn, thanks for your conservative defense of unemployment insurance. You're right that the hard working 50 year old father deserves the insurance he paid into when he loses his job thorough no fault of his own.

I would add that our economy is supported and does grow by spending on necessities such as food and housing. Spending on housing and food keeps Americans employed and our country moving forward. For example if I buy a new iPhone, it's made in China, but if I buy lettuce from the farmer down the road, we both eat. Unemployment insurance payments are not enough to live on, but they help people get by while looking for work. They also keep them off other social programs and keep them spending their money in OUR economy.

"But it won't help to cut h... (Below threshold)

"But it won't help to cut help off when there are no alternatives for those receiving it. "

And that sir is why the idea is not conservative. Your view is that existing and only existing companies can create jobs. That those desperate for income will not eventually work towards creating their own jobs. Filling niche needs of the community. Perhaps creating a better google, or an improved lawn care service, or a more friendly recycling center.

The disincentive to creativity that unlimited unemployment creates damages the nation in future productivity as well as moral hazard. Your argument is not conservative, it is purely liberal "progressive" feelings based only dribble far worse than simply worthless to conservative thought. Liberals refuse to understand the business cycle, they do not understand financing, they do not understand incentives beyond bribery, and unemployment benefits given without earning is in essence a bribery and if you are 52 weeks unemployed and an election is around the corner, who you going to vote for, the guy promising more unemployment benefits or the guy saying that your earned time is up and your going to have to sacrifice even more? Obama has the look ahead to think, if I can keep people on unemployment, slaves to the government dime, then when 2012 comes around I will have not only 90% of the black vote, but 90% of the unemployed white vote as well. He will keep destroying the economy, as he and his congressional cohorts have been doing.

All his plays are not over so long as democrats control the senate, because that blocks any and all legislation to bring his executive branch overreaches into check.

"Who the hell said anything... (Below threshold)

"Who the hell said anything about unions?"

It is actually the fact that you support what the unions demand. That outdated, low productive people should have a permanent job that gives pay increases until the employee earns far more than they create. Easy to follow? I hope so.

This is why the car companies cannot make money, because too many people have fallen for the myth of a permanent jobs with ever growing salaries where people do not have to create as much wealth as they are paid.

Steve,There is not... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

Steve,

There is nothing I can add to what you have said in your last two paragraphs that will show just how convoluted your opinion is on this.

That's some warped shit you got there.

As far as my bringing up illegal immigration, using your logic, you should be just fine with companies hiring illegals. Instead of outsorcing cheap labor and jobs, they insource it.

Aye-ca-freakin-rumba.

"It is actually the fact... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

"It is actually the fact that you support what the unions demand. That outdated, low productive people should have a permanent job that gives pay increases until the employee earns far more than they create. Easy to follow? I hope so." -astonerii

I ask again, who but you said anything about unions?

I don't like unions. I used to belong to one and it was worthless, unless you were a union rep who made $150,000 a year.

By your statement, we can conclude you believe everyone on unemployment consists of "outdated, low productive people."

Frankly, you are displaying some ignorance unmatched only by your arrogance.

In your scenario, if you started working for your company in 1980, you should expect to be making the same salary now as when you first started. And you should be happy about that, all your hard work be damned.

Most businesses and employers realize giving raises is a benefit to their operation. It creates incentive for employees to be productive, creates a sense of loyalty, and helps to keep trained workers around.

Companies don't like it when they hire someone, spend money to put them through a training process, pay for employee health insurance, only to have them leave. It's a waste of money.

And have you ever heard of cost of living increases? That's actually a real phenomenon. It effects both worker and employer.

"if you are 52 weeks unemployed and an election is around the corner, who you going to vote for, the guy promising more unemployment benefits or the guy saying that your earned time is up and your going to have to sacrifice even more?"

I'd vote for the guy who has conservative values as close to mine as possible. If that is the case, that candidate will have the best economic plan for the country.

Who would you vote for? Stalin?

-Shawn

Anybody who tries to force ... (Below threshold)
steve:

Anybody who tries to force a 'if you're okay with outsourcing you're in favor of illegal immigration', and especially so after being told that wasn't the case, is so stuck on stupid that it's not worth continuing.

Addressing the group as a whole, however, can anyone trying to defend a so-called 'conservative' defense to unlimited unemployment benefits please explain how being out of work creates a right to reach into someone else's pocket? Isn't that one of the textbook definitions of liberalism, the 'I need, you have to pay'?

Steve,I'm not forc... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

Steve,

I'm not forcing anything in my interpretation as per your thinking on outsourcing. I merely posited an analogy based on your stated support of it:

One is sending jobs to other countries, employing non-American citizens for cheap labor. (Outsourcing)

The other is giving jobs that exist here to non-Americans from other countries for cheap labor. (Let's call that "insourcing.")

Speaking purely in terms of employment, the result is the same.

"...can anyone trying to defend a so-called 'conservative' defense to unlimited unemployment benefits..."

Reading comprehension is not one of your strong points.

I never claimed my opinion to be a "conservative" defense.

I said it is "A Conservative's Defense..."

Meaning one Conservative. My own opinion. Being Conservative (or liberal) doesn't mean one needs to think like an ideological automaton on every subject.

Your opinions reek of thick-headed, prismatic thinking.

And nowhere have I supported the idea of "unlimited unemployment." That is your way of not-so-slyly attempting to brand my position as extreme or "liberal."

Nice try.

-Shawn

"I said it is "A Conservati... (Below threshold)

"I said it is "A Conservative's Defense...""

Then you are not a conservative with respect to this. If you are willing to admit that your ideas are "progressive", then my argument is pointless.

As for unlimited unemployment, I think it was you that stated that as long as the economy is in the dumps, paraphrased cause I am not going to look for the quote. Effectively that means unlimited in many parts of the country.

so you're not for unlimited... (Below threshold)
steve:

so you're not for unlimited unemployment benefits... you just want them to go on and on and on and on and on and on.

sorry for misrepresenting your position.

"The current tax rates have... (Below threshold)
Highlander:

"The current tax rates have been in place for almost a decade. Their implementation increased revenue taken in by the government during the Bush years" - Shawn

Can you prove this, Shawn? GO ON, I DARE YOU!!!! Yeah, prove that beloved notion of Republican-Fantasyland that the more you deprive the government of revenue, the more revenue the government will wind up with.

Before replying, you might want to leave your Fantasyland and consider this:

"The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has estimated the 10-year revenue loss from extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts beyond 2010 at $2.9 trillion, with an additional $606 billion in debt service costs (interest), for a combined total of $3.5 trillion"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget

If the CBO foresees a loss of revenue due to extending the Bush tax cuts beyond 2009, wouldn't it be safe to say that the Bush tax cuts were depriving the government of revenue in 2008, Bush's final year as president? What do you think, Shawn???

So at what point does it be... (Below threshold)
Rich K:

So at what point does it become 'Welfare'?
Im asking because it is now reaching that point and tears aside,it cant go on forever.Oh Wait, in europe it does exactly that.And those folks are swimming im jobs ,Right!
Sadly you tried to make it work out but reality just has to deny you. im kinda sad really.

"Before replying, you might... (Below threshold)

"Before replying, you might want to leave your Fantasyland and consider this:

"The non-partisan Congressional Research Service has estimated the 10-year revenue loss from extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts beyond 2010 at $2.9 trillion, with an additional $606 billion in debt service costs (interest), for a combined total of $3.5 trillion""

Just to be clear who is in Fantasyland here. The method used for making CBO estimates of policy is to imagine that changes in policy will cause no changes to actions by companies and individuals. McDonald's serves 50,000,000 people per day, This is very similar to the idea that McDonald's could make $500,000,000,000 in one day by having a single day where instead of having a sale price, they have screw the customer price of $10,000 for each meal. Just imagine, it is that simple. The government could pay off the national debt and all they would have to do is raise taxes on every single person to 99.9% for just one year.

While these are extremist thought ideas, the whole thing goes all the way down to as little as increasing the price of the dollar menu items to $1.19. Even trying to make dollar menu items cheaper (smaller) fails frequently to earn fast food chains any additional profit.

I have a neighbor who lost ... (Below threshold)
Don:

I have a neighbor who lost his job in early May 2010 but has not looked for a job--and now would probably stay unemployed for a total of 3 tears collecting his $440/month

Why should he work when an unlimited welfare program is offered by the government




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