Sunday, September 27, 2009

Editorial: Jobless benefits have two edges

So I'm having a nice relaxed weekend (four gigs in three days plus home improvement work), and the Courier interrupts my endless leisure with with a brain-bending exercise in antilogic.

It fascinates me how ideologues can mentally remake the world to fit their ideas about it. Today the unnamed Courier editor asserts that extending unemployment benefits hurts businesses by adding costs, which could cause them to reduce employment further. This might be a concern, except that extending benefits does not change costs to business by a penny. The government offers extended access to the pool of money that businesses supply, reducing the pool, but the businesses pay at a constant rate. (With employment down by around ten percent, businesses are currently paying that much less in unemployment insurance, in point of fact.)

Businesses that have laid off personnel pay longer to assist those employees, true. But those are clearly not the businesses that might want to hire. They have reduced costs by reducing personnel, and the unemployment is a chip off that reduction. They're still ahead, cost-wise.

This is a laughable and truly desperate reach to find a way of blaming unemployment support for reducing employment. The editor is still fighting the advances in labor conditions of the 1930s.

1 comment:

Mia said...

Thanks for this. That was a really strange editorial.