The expectation that a capable American will do his best to find work rather than rely on the state is a healthy norm in American society.
Or it was. After suggesting that those who lost their COVID emergency unemployment benefits should go find work, Ted Cruz has been the subject of severe backlash on social media. Progressives have a corrosive need to portray workers as helpless victims of capitalism. One of the common complaints is that the positions available to aspiring employees are below them: unattractive work with “shit hours”. In essence, progressives childishly argue that there is more honor in being dependent on the government than in taking a job you don’t want.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with working as a cook, waiter, or front-end manager. Many of us have done this in our life. I see restaurants everywhere looking for help, offering bonuses and salaries above the minimum wage proposed by the left. These jobs are usually transitory. However, that aside, the fact is that most of the jobs available in the United States today are in professional and business services, followed by education and health, wholesale and retail, and then leisure and hospitality. There are nearly 11 million jobs in the country right now, over a million more jobs than the unemployed. There are more job opportunities in the country than at any point in our history.
There will always be those who are unemployed through no fault of their own. There will always be victims of circumstances and creative destruction. It is also probably true that some pre-COVID jobs are gone forever, as industries implemented efficiency during the pandemic. But the COVID emergency was the man-made recession. The biggest benefits for unemployed workers, especially when the check is bigger than a potential paycheck, were likely holding back the recovery. Stories about sunset benefits are littered with concerns about “dwindling options” for the unemployed. One particularly partisan Associated Press piece – “Jobless Americans will have few options when benefits expire” – selects a report from a couple of economists who tells us – contrary to the laws of economics and human nature – that emergency benefits do nothing to discourage anyone from looking for work. But the job market is booming. We are experiencing labor shortage. If we really do need emergency checks in a solid job market, that would mean we need them forever, which, of course, is the whole goal of those who take offense at the notion of “getting a job.”
Content created by David Harsanyi
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