Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review & Outlook: How to Keep Workers Unemployed - WSJ.com

Review & Outlook: How to Keep Workers Unemployed - WSJ.com: "House-Senate negotiators are close to a modest budget accord to avoid another government shutdown, but suddenly the White House is introducing a last-minute demand. Five years into an economic recovery that President Obama often hails as miraculous, he wants to extend unemployment benefits one more time.

Maybe it's time to consider whether the big expansion of unemployment insurance has increased joblessness. In 2009 the Obama Administration and Congress extended jobless benefits for up to 99 weeks. The point was to help people through the recession, but now the jobless rate is 7%, down from 10%, and the White House still wants another extension.

That would add some $25 billion to the deficit with no compensating economic benefit. The Administration claims that every $1 of jobless benefits creates $1.80 in economic growth, based on the notorious "multiplier" in Keynesian economic models. This is the theory that you can increase employment by paying more people not to work, and that you can take money out of the private economy by taxes or borrowing without cost. If that theory worked, the government should pay everyone not to work."

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