This evening [Feb 21, 2012,] speaking at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina, White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett said that folks getting and spending unemployment checks is a healthy thing . . . because it stimulates the economy:
“Even though we had a terrible economic crisis three years ago, throughout our country many people were suffering before the last three years, particularly in the black community,” Jarrett said. “And so we need to make sure that we continue to support that important safety net. It not only is good for the family, but it’s good for the economy. People who receive that unemployment check go out and spend it and help stimulate the economy, so that’s healthy as well.”As Jonathon M. Seidl from The Blaze said, “While the audio may sound incredible, the argument has been paraded out before. In August, Press Secretary Jay Carney said nearly the same thing:
“It is one of the most direct ways to infuse money directly into the economy because people who are unemployed and obviously aren’t running a paycheck are going to spend the money that they get. They’re not going to save it, they’re going to spend it. And with unemployment insurance, that way, the money goes directly back into the economy, dollar for dollar virtually.”
Let’s look at that a little closer. Unemployment checks -- the money you get for not having a job -- actually create jobs? Really? Money for not having a job creates jobs? Doesn’t that seem to be a bastardization of trickle-down economics, with a communist flavor? Aren’t businesses -- not the unemployed -- the job creators? And with that logic, should we just put everyone on the dole?Seidl points out that, then just a week later, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack went on MSNBC to make the case that food stamps are job creators:
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that the Obama administration has a jobs program already in place -- and it’s food stamps. When asked about new numbers that show one in every seven Americans now receiving food stamps from the federal government, Vilsack said that’s good news. Food stamps create jobs, Vilsack insisted, and managed to even come up with a new multiplier effect number:
Back at the time, Ed Morrissey of Hot Air asked:
So here’s the question. If food stamps create jobs, like Vilsack says here, and we’re putting record numbers of Americans on food stamps, then why aren’t we seeing record job creation? If every dollar spent on food stamps creates $1.84 in production, as Vilsack argues, and the number of food stamp recipients keeps rising, then why haven’t the GDP numbers reflected that fabulous growth?
There are two answers. . . The supposed multiplier effect does not take into consideration the cost of taking capital from the private sector, where it can be put to use for actual growth and job creation, for use by the government.
The other answer? The multiplier effect is completely bogus. For one thing, much of the money gets absorbed by the government bureaucracies that manage these programs. Second, as I alluded earlier, the evidence we see all around us shows us that we can’t get economic growth through government welfare programs. If what Vilsack said was true, we’d be better off seizing all income and handing out food stamps.
There are good humanitarian and social reasons for safety-net programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps, but economic growth isn’t one of them. The rise in both are indicators of failing economics.Which brings us back to, “Money for not having a job creates jobs? Doesn’t that seem to be a bastardization of trickle-down economics, with a communist flavor? Aren’t businesses -- not the unemployed -- the job creators? And with that logic, should we just put everyone on the dole?”
Yeah, I guess so... until you run out of other people’s money (thank you, Margaret Thatcher.)
How do you even talk to people who have logic(?) like this?
We’ve come to a point in time where Democrats and Republicans can’t even talk together anymore.
I truly believe that I’ll see a civil war in my lifetime. And it won’t be too civil.