John Stossel on Unemployment Benefits
- 2010/07/22 15:18:55
- Read all 24 opinions
Unemployment benefits are popular with the public, so I understand why
even Republicans say they support this handout “if it’s paid for.” But
this is not good policy
Unemployment checks lead people to delay seeking work. I’m told that
it’s cruel to say that, but it’s just true. When you subsidize
something, you get more of it...
Also, government benefits crowd out private charity. America used to
have hundreds of “mutual aid societies.” Neighbors helped neighbors.
That worked much better than government checks. The neighbors knew who
needed a helping hand vs. who needed a kick in the butt. Government
handouts undermined such private charity. Mutual Aid societies
A 2005 study in the Journal of Public Economics found that: “Church
spending fell by 30% in response to the New Deal, and that government
relief spending can explain virtually all of the decline in charitable
church activity observed between 1933 and 1939.”
The most free and prosperous places in the world, like Singapore and
Hong Kong, offer no unemployment insurance. Yet they are great places to
find work. Singapore’s unemployment rate is just 2.2%.
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