Saturday, July 3, 2010

Do conservatives believe deep down that the unemployed are really deadbeats?

Last night on the PBS News Hour there was a debate about extending unemployment after the Senate failed to approve a bill that would have mandated it.

William Beach of the Conservative Heritage Foundation stated that if you extend the benefits people are less likely to look for work:

JEFFREY BROWN: Right. But we also heard that there is longer -- people are unemployed for longer periods.

WILLIAM BEACH: Indeed. Indeed. And we have created a bit of a problem by extending unemployment beyond that 26 weeks.
We know that that changes the behavior of people who are unemployed. They don't look for work as much as they otherwise would be. If you have got that 26th week looming ahead of you, all the academic studies show that you go out and you really begin to make an active job search.
Not as much job training is undertaken or education, so there are some incentives that are put in place that are rather perverse...

The full transcript is here:

Of course no matter how active the unemployed are at looking for work, you can't hire five people for one job opening. 5-to-1 is the current ratio of job seekers to employment opportunities among the officially unemployed (when those who are not receiving unemployment benefits are counted the ratio is higher).

So, what about retraining? Well, I've been a software developer for over 20 years and just a few years ago my profession was the sort of job people were retrained for. Now there are many unemployed technology workers and if those like myself who have a college degree and years of experience have trouble finding work, what chance do the retrained have?

The fact of the matter is that businesses throttle the rate of employment, not workers.

I wonder. Can I be retrained to be a smug political pundit? There seems to be a lot of demand for them.

1 comment:

  1. Some politicians live in a different world. Once they are elected, they think that they are set for life, because in their eyes getting elected is an end in itself. The people that got them there soon becomes a far off memory. Others soon forget what it was like to be a hard working citizen with a basic need to survive. At this day and age staying alive means having food to eat and a roof over your head. Instead of finding solutions for us - too much time is spent by politicians on bickering amongst parties and conquering the world.
    It is striking how similar daily life in America became to a country like South Africa.
    Instead of putting resources into small business start up, the big companies just get bigger. (I do take note of the latest Business development bill passed in USA)
    All the experienced people without work are prime candidates to be nurtured into setting up theis own business and employ people.