Odds are, you haven't seen it on the news - especially if you've been watching CNN - but there's currently an unemployment crisis in America. But not the kind that you might think. Instead of millions of workers vying for a shortage of jobs, the current crisis is comprised of thousands of businesses vying for a shortage of critical workers, many of whom are staying home for no other reason than because federal and state governments are paying them - and quite handsomely, I might add - to do absolutely nothing.
Writes Jillian Kay Melchior for the Wall Street Journal:
Lots of entrepreneurs are overworked these days. The National Federation of Independent Business surveyed more than 500 small businesses and reported last week that 42% of them had job openings they couldn’t fill. “As long as we’ve been conducting the survey, it’s never been that high,” says Holly Wade, executive director of NFIB’s research center. Some 7.4 million jobs were open at the end of February, according to an April 6 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some workers still fear they’ll contract Covid if they return to the workplace, and some parents are unable to take on full-time work because their children’s schools remain shut. But there’s another reason for the acute labor shortage: It pays to stay on the couch.
As Covid spread and the nation locked down last spring, Congress approved enhanced weekly benefits of $600, in addition to the usual state-administered unemployment payments, through July 2020. A working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 76% of those eligible for the $600 bonus could be given at least as much for being jobless as they’d earn by working. Lawmakers have since trimmed the enhanced unemployment benefits to $300 a week and extended them through September 2021. University of Chicago economist Peter Ganong says that even with the supplemental benefit halved to $300, “42% of workers are making more than their pre-unemployment wage.” And these analyses don’t count food stamps, rental assistance and other government help that may be available to the unemployed, or the stimulus payments that have gone to the employed and jobless alike.
Sure, some workers are probably still scared of COVID. But as vaccines become increasingly available to anyone who wants one - and we are almost at that point - that excuse is losing its steam, fast.
If you're under 55 & unvaccinated, you're going to be fine.— Omnipotent Moral Busybody (@OBusybody) April 26, 2021
If you're over 55 & vaccinated, you're going to be fine.
?? If you're sick, stay home
?? Eat well
?? Go outside
?? Hug people pic.twitter.com/AExJABaSl6
Take out COVID, and we literally have the government, an entity that *should* be protecting free enterprise, borrowing money from China or printing it out of thin air in order to bribe people to stay home while businesses die on the vine for lack of help.
This "Fox & Friends" discussion from Monday sums it up:
Fox News' @SteveDoocy, @ainsleyearhardt, & @kilmeade discuss a critical issue facing businesses right now.— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) April 26, 2021
"People will not come back to work because they are getting more money by not working."
Governments are literally borrowing money to actively harm small businesses. Why? pic.twitter.com/0AJS3NXR9B
As does this:
Fox News' @SandraSmithFox and @CGasparino discuss the paradox of high unemployment and businesses dying on the vine in their struggle to find workers.— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) April 21, 2021
"The governments are making it easy for people to stay home and get paid."
Fact-check: TRUE pic.twitter.com/ymta1zqHpN
Also, this exchange between former restaurant CEO Andrew Puzder and Fox Business host Stuart Varney:
We need more coverage like that, much, much more. In fact, in a sane world, a sane media would be shouting from the rooftops about the demise of small businesses at the hands of an insane government. But they aren't. I went into my media clipping service and searched the words "unemployment" and "hiring" in April and found only a few segments on Fox News even bothering to cover it from this critical perspective, and (unless I missed something) crickets from CNN.
When I'm not posting columns and articles for Townhall, I work during the day as a staffing industry exec, and I can testify firsthand that virtually every business, from factories to restaurants to call centers, are bending over backwards trying to raise their pay and benefits, and yet still cannot attract enough help.
Sure, the likes of Amazon and Walmart are having trouble too, but they have the wherewithal to survive. What about small to medium-sized businesses? How much more pressure can they take before they fold or severely downsize? What will life be like when prices triple, or when restaurants, amusement parks, and other places that make life more fun and interesting go out of business?
To be clear, I'm not blaming individuals for taking the money. Who WOULDN'T take free money to sit on the couch, no strings attached? No, this is purely the government's fault, and it began with Trump and the GOP.
And now, the Biden administration is talking about MORE free giveaways, as if there aren't good jobs available for people to fill. Are they purposely trying to end small businesses in America indirectly, without a smoking gun that can pin the coming economic catastrophe on them? If that's their goal, it's hard to imagine a better way to accomplish it.