Monday, August 30, 2010

Amy Alkon: Do Unemployment Benefits Keep People Unemployed?

I would definitely say "yes" to this question, having seen those who get unemployment checks over the years wait to look for a job (or just not try very hard) until benefits run out.


Blogger pdwalker said...

Does the Sun rise in the East?

Pay people to do something and you get more of it.

8:42 AM, August 30, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

Yeah, give someone a check for something and they will do more of it. It is a new term called "reinforcement."


9:43 AM, August 30, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

Fear and hunger can be a great motivator. Make unemployment too comfortable and you'll get people doing everything they can to stay on it as long as possible, as is happening nationwide. The same applies for workmens compensation insurance. My wife does case management for workmens compensation. She tells me of the abuses she encounters daily, often prolonged by that special breed of lowlife, the lawyers.

9:55 AM, August 30, 2010  
Blogger KG2V said...

I think it depends.

I was laid off back at the very end of January, and I've hit the streets every day since. Until last week, I found nothing - I start a job the 13th - 30% cut in pay, but what the heck, the expenses are lower, and it's still better than being a mooch off the state.

Being laid off was OK for about the 1st 7 days, then it was "OK, that's the longest I've been off in 33 years, time to get back to work".

I guess it depends on your individual work eithic

10:16 AM, August 30, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

"I guess it depends on your individual work eithic."

Agreed. Ben Franklin agreed with us too. "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."


11:11 AM, August 30, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bit before I become a miserable, dying, regret-filled lump; somebody PLEASE hit me over the head with a 2x4. Much appreciated, Bill

11:14 AM, August 30, 2010  
Blogger jimbino said...

When I was forced into the unemployment system by virtue of being a "captive employee," I made sure to game the system by remaining unemployed until the checks ran out.

Of course I "actively looked for jobs" during that period, but for some reason I didn't interview well and never got hired. For some reason that all changed once the socialist funds ran out.

5:04 PM, August 30, 2010  
Blogger Alan said...

Of course it does. It's given me the luxury of declining to pursue jobs that don't pay close to what I was earning before the layoff and leaves my weekdays free so I can travel on short notice and interview during the week.(Nashville and Tampa are lovely in the summer.)

Unfortunately it's also given me an incentive not to pursue lower paying contract work in the evenings or on the weekends. I've heard horror stories about people with 20 weeks of benefits left taking short term seasonal jobs and having their unemployment cut in half when the seasonal job ends.

Like most luxury goods it is nice to have but the cost really isn't worth it.

7:56 PM, August 30, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

Recall those Hogarth prints with that depicted the horrible alcoholism and problems caused by gin? Turns out, they were caused by a tax. The British heavily taxed malt, so the price of ale went way up. Gin was sold a penny a pint while ale was much more expensive. Hence the problems of Gin alley.

Taxes and subsidies have unintended consequences to people who are unfamiliar with basic behavioral principles.


1:13 PM, August 31, 2010  
Blogger Amy Alkon said...

Thanks for the link! What a nice surprise!

There's a real difference between how the self-employed like me and people who can take those 99 weeks (two years!) sucking off the government teat act in looking for work.

For me, my savings are my unemployment fund.

4:01 AM, September 08, 2010  

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