Whose fault is it if you’re unemployed? Chances are, it’s your own damn fault. Not that anyone could make President Obama understand this, but it’s true and you know it.
And when it comes to the question of whether you should get yet another extension of your unemployment benefits, you know perfectly well that Obama’s characterization of you as just an unlucky, hard-working guy is Bolshevik.
Forget for a moment that Obama’s own budgets are saddling the nation with annual deficits in excess of $1 trillion for the next decade. Forget for a moment that when you sign up for unemployment benefits, you are told they will come in a limited duration, after which you had better be earning your own money somehow.
These things matter. The federal government cannot continue indefinitely extending unemployment benefits that are not designed to be paid indefinitely.
That will saddle the employers who pay into the unemployment insurance fund (full disclosure – I am one) with ever-rising cost burdens, and do so all the more to taxpayers.
But leave that aside for the moment. Let’s focus instead on one statement our economically ignorant president made when chastising Senate Republicans for refusing to spend yet another $34 billion the nation does not have on this latest benefit extension. He said:
“These are honest, decent, hardworking folks who have fallen on hard times through no fault of their own.”
Oh? How, exactly, does he know that?
Even in an economy as rotten as the one Obama has given us, with his toothless $862 billion “stimulus” and the business uncertainty brought on by his out-of-control spending and love of business tax hikes, 90 percent of the work force is still employed. If these people can stay on the job, what makes Obama so sure that the 10 percent who are chronically unemployed – so chronically that the government continually renews their expiring benefits – did nothing to deserve their fate?
Staying employed means that you produce something of value to your employer, and enough of it that the employer can turn what you produce into profit for himself. That’s how employment works in America. As long as you can do that, you will have a job.
Now, I will grant you that there are idiot employers, some of whom let people go who could be making them money. Others keep people who aren’t making them money, until eventually the entire enterprise fails as a result.
But for the most part, employers who actually stay in business don’t hold onto employees who are not contributing to their profitability.
So what makes Obama so sure that the 10 percent of the workforce that is unemployed right now doesn’t deserve to be? Does he know that they always showed up for work on time? Does he know that they produced at a high level? Got along with their fellow employees? Did not have disciplinary problems? Did not show up drunk or stoned? Did not charge personal expenses to the company account?
Most economists consider 5 percent unemployment (like, say, when George W. Bush was president) to be “full employment,” because there is always around 5 percent of the work force that is either between jobs or is just chronically unemployable – whether the reason is bad habits, drug addiction, you name it.
So when unemployment jumps from 5 percent to 10 percent, the worst workers among that other 95 percent are most in jeopardy. These are the people who don’t quickly return calls and e-mails from customers. These are the people who let important messages go to their spam box. These are the people who stand around the water cooler gossiping when they’re supposed to be getting work done.
When business is booming, companies can afford to hang onto these marginal employees, because maybe they do offer some decent contributions that make their downsides worth putting up with. But when times are tough, they’re the first to go.
They’re also the first to whine long and loud that this all happened to them through no fault of their own, and Barack Obama, who understands nothing about business and economics, is the first to believe them.
That’s why he is determined to take another $34 billion from the people who actually produce and send it to the slugs who stand around the water cooler wasting time. So if you’re still working, work harder! Obama has run out of money again, and you’re the only one left to re-fill the till.