Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Conservatives' advice to the unemployed increasingly bizarre

Laid off from your job? No problem. Just offer to work at your old job for half the money. That's the advice of Jeff Miron of the conservative Cato Institute. In a debate on The Nightly Business Report about extending unemployment benefits, Mr. Miron said the following:

"The broader thing is it creates the wrong incentive. There's clear evidence that people who are unemployed tend to leave unemployment just before their unemployment benefits run out. It's not just a question -- it's not the right way to think about it -- are there jobs? The right way is are there jobs at what wages? If people lower their wage demands, if they offer to take say their old job for 50 percent of what they were getting, there would be a lot more jobs out there. That's the adjustment that needs to happen in many cases. But unemployment insurance and especially very, very long-term unemployment insurance impedes that kind of adjustment."

Full transcript is here: http://to.pbs.org/d3tLvb

Perhaps Mr. Miron has never been laid off or has no experience in HR. If he did, he'd know that being laid off isn't an opportunity for negotiation - it's about completing some paperwork before you're escorted off the premises. After that you're persona non grata at your former place of employment. They will talk to you about the bureaucratic aspects of being terminated such as your 401K or Cobra, but they're not interested in talking to you about positions in the company.

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