November 25, 2011

Notice anything missing?

An op-ed in the NYT:
The Age of the Superfluous Worker 
By HERBERT J. GANS 
AMERICA, like other modern countries, has always had some surplus workers — people ready to work but jobless for extended periods because the “job creators,” private and public, have been unable or unwilling to create sufficient jobs. When the number of surplus workers rose sharply, the country also had ways of reducing it. 
However, the current jobless recovery, and the concurrent failure to create enough new jobs, is breeding a new and growing surplus pool. And some in this pool are in danger of becoming superfluous, likely never to work again. 
The currently jobless and the so-called discouraged workers, who have given up looking for work, total about 15 percent of the work force, not including the invisible discouraged workers the government cannot even find to count. ... 
Meanwhile, new ways of increasing surplus labor have appeared. One is the continued outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries; the other is the continuing computerization and mechanization of manufacturing and of services not requiring hands-on human contact. 
Continuing increases in worker productivity add yet more to the surplus. So does the unwillingness of employers to even consider hiring people who have been unemployed for a long time.

Good points! But, could there possibly be a fifth reason for the increase in surplus labor? I realize that adding roughly 50,000,000 people to the population through immigration policies is totally trivial compared to the four reasons Gans mentions, but I just wanted to toss it out there for completeness sake.
When the jobless recovery ends and the economy is restored to good health, today’s surplus will be reduced. New technology and the products and services that accompany it will create new jobs. But unless the economy itself changes, eventually many of these innovations may be turned over to machines or the jobs may be sent to lower-wage economies.

Not to mention bringing tens of millions of low wage workers to our economy, but it's considered in poor taste to mention that, so forget I ever said it.
In fact, if modern capitalism continues to eliminate as many jobs as it creates — or more jobs than it creates — future recoveries will not only add to the amount of surplus labor but will turn a growing proportion of workers into superfluous ones. 
What could be done to prevent such a future? America will have to finally get serious about preserving and creating jobs — and on a larger, and more lasting, scale than Roosevelt’s New Deal. Private enterprise and government will have to think in terms of industrial policy, and one that emphasizes labor-intensive economic growth and innovation. Reducing class sizes in all public schools to 15 or fewer would require a great many new teachers even as it would raise the quality of education. 
In the long run, reducing working time — perhaps to as low as 30 hours a week, with the lost income made up by unemployment compensation — would lead to a modest increase in jobs, through work sharing. New taxes on income and wealth are unavoidable, as are special taxes on the capital-intensive part of the economy. Policies that are now seemingly utopian will have to be tried as well, and today’s polarized and increasingly corporate-run democracy will have to be turned into a truly representative one.

Maybe this sounds crazy, but we might even try the popular anti-corporatist policy of restricting immigration!

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

And there's a sixth reason: generous unemployment benefits. If you subsidize something, you get more of it. That's Econ 101.

Anonymous said...

I recognized the byline--he's a sushiologist from way back; type of fellow likely to end up on a Glenn Beck daily list thing. But if you pasted him into a double-blind w/ Gunnar Myrdal I doubt if I could tell which was which.

Svigor said...

Good points! But, could there possibly be a fifth reason for the increase in surplus labor? I realize that adding roughly 50,000,000 people to the population through immigration policies is totally trivial compared to the four reasons Gans mentions, but I just wanted to toss it out there for completeness sake.

There's that whole shitbird journalist (but I repeat myself) thing again. If a journalist wants to be honest (like Steve), bye-bye, job prospects.

Anything in PR, really. Politician, journalist, actor, media personality...shitbirds.

I mean really now, what are we to think of a profession where someone can do that (omit immigration when it's patently obvious it should be mentioned)? If you ask someone on the street, they're likely to mention immigration. If you ask someone in the career of "truth-telling and informing", the standard answer excludes it.

We're supposed to take these people at all seriously?

Prostitutes have more dignity.

Anonymous said...

Oh no Steve you're completely wrong. The way to stop illegal immigration is to eliminate free emergency medical care, free K-12 schooling, welfare, unemployment benefits, food stamps, Medical, Federal Aid to education, and disability.

The one thing we shouldn't do is control the border or simply stop illegals from coming here. We just can't do it, its just unpossible. Because, y'know - Ron Paul needs an escape route.

Anonymous said...

You're crazy Steve. I can't see any connection between millions of immigrants coming in every year and the unemployment rate in this country.

Its as if there's a connection between the number of job-seekers and the unemployment rate.

I read the NYT, WSJ and watch CNN and PBS and no one ever says that, so it can't be true.

Anonymous said...

Gans (goose in English.): "...Tax income AND wealth...". Well that's taking coveting of other people's money to another level. But you know, if you let people keep money they've already earned and paid tax on, it will lead to inequality and disparate impact. And you just know who will be hardest hit.
Gilbert Pinfold.

Baloo said...

Splendid stuff. Ex-Army likens it to the puzzling horse manure problem HERE.

Anonymous said...

"And there's a sixth reason: generous unemployment benefits. If you subsidize something, you get more of it. That's Econ 101."

$200 a week ain't generous.

Even granting that a huge proportion of the unemployed are lazy slackers, there are currently so many unemployed that the diligent ones are more than enough to fill the meager number of new jobs that are being created.

At this point, cutting off unemployment payments will raise the unemployment rate by reducing demand.

We'll see who is right in a couple months. Barring some unforeseen deal, federal unemployment benefits are going to expire at the end of the year. People will only be able to collect state benefits, which end after 6 months.

Anonymous said...

"But if you pasted him into a double-blind w/ Gunnar Myrdal I doubt if I could tell which was which."

A double-blind? So, the authors also wouldn't know who you were?

Luke Lea said...

Not to say that new labor-saving technologies themselves create "surplus" labor. Immigration restriction is only part of the answer. A shorter standard workweek is another. Restrictions on imports from low-wage countries overseas yet a third -- though at least this third one has an alternative solution, namely, tax the earnings of capital to subsidize market wages.

Multifactoral reasoning, is that the term for it? No matter, there will never be agreement about matters economic. People are not wired to think that way.

Eric said...

Even granting that a huge proportion of the unemployed are lazy slackers, there are currently so many unemployed that the diligent ones are more than enough to fill the meager number of new jobs that are being created.

Calling them lazy slackers is a bit unfair, but there are jobs. The problem is the economy is going through wrenching structural changes, and a lot of people who used to have relatively high-paying jobs aren't going to find anything that pays what they used to make.

That's a hard thing to accept. So people in that position generally won't take a lower paying job until their benefits run out, hoping against hope something better will turn up.

TGGP said...

I thought I recognized that name. And sure enough it's the sociologist that Randall O'Toole recommends as a corrective to Jane Jacobs. I planned on reading the books mentioned or "Deciding the News", but never got around to it.

theo the kraut said...

unrelated--notice anything funny?

German weekly Der Spiegel reports of a mother, 40 years old, weighing 240 kilo, native of East-Berlin, giving birth to the family's 14th child. (quite overweight with 6 kilos) The father, Lebanon-born Mohamed Yaghi explains that his new son's name, Jihad, isn't related to holy war--it's about fulfilling one's obligations toward Allah. The article's title: Bundle of Joy

Season's Greetings

Mark said...

"Even granting that a huge proportion of the unemployed are lazy slackers, there are currently so many unemployed that the diligent ones are more than enough to fill the meager number of new jobs that are being created."

Figure about 300 million people in the USA, about 60% of whom are int he labor market - 180 million people, 9% of them (16.2 million) unemployed. Each 1% = 1.8 million jobs. There are about 11-12 million illegals in the country, about 7-8 million of whom are working. Send half of them packing (3.5-4 million) and the unemployment rate goes down by 2% to 7%, and Barack Obama gets re-elected and Nancy Pelosi is Speaker again.

And the fact is, even the mere threat of real enforcement would cause businesses to lay them off.

$200 a week ain't generous.

$200 is the tip of the candy wrapper for welfare and jobless benefits. Food stamps go up to $6,324 a year for a family. Then there's subsidized housing, school lunch, school breakfast (making you wonder what the food stamps are for), and various state, local, and church charitable programs, like for gas, electric, and even cell phones. Anyone dipping into the till for any one of those programs doesn't feel much guilt dipping into the rest.

Anonymous said...

"At this point, cutting off unemployment payments will raise the unemployment rate by reducing demand."

The "unemployment" rate will skyrocket as all of these people suddenly enter the jobs market again. Currently if you haven't actively searched for work in the past 3 weeks, you aren't unemployed as per I think U3.

Hail said...

Svigor wrote:
"what are we to think of a profession where someone can..omit immigration when it's patently obvious it should be mentioned?"

Mayor Bloomberg has demanded more lax immigration in the past years because immigrants create jobs, according to the NY-Times and similar publications. That's right: More immigration as a solution to unemployment.

Let us strike at the root, here: NY-Times-sanctioned journalists aim, consciously or subconsciously, to inculcate and perpetuate a sense of Nonwhite Moral Superiority, of which "they do jobs we don't want" is one variety, and the more-novel "Immigrants create jobs" is another, more insidious, variety. ("We are not capable of picking ourselves up, we need Nonwhite Immigrants").

Anonymous said...

As you once said, Steve, the current globalist neo-con American paradigm has one feature that immediately strikes the student of political theory - they have almost proved Karl Marx right after all these years!
You see the real backbone of Marxian thought is his concept of the 'reserve army of labor or 'reserve army of unemployed'.According to Marx capitalist societies inevitably keep a large proportion of the proletariat workless, desperate and starving as a consequence of economic organisation.This reserve army of labor ensures that the proletariat can never, ever get away from the trap of extreme exploitation, misery and economic and political impotence, since in a vicious feature of the system, the proletariat is perpetually in competition with itself, beating down wages to the lowest possible level, whilst wealth is concentrated with the capitalists.
Thus leads the crisis of over production, in which the proletariat simply does not have the wherewithal to purchase capitalist production.
In the USA, the resrve army of laobr is apparently infinite and inexhaustible - and blessed by both political parties.

Anonymous said...

Nations with no unemplyment benefits have higher and more persistent levels of unemployment than the USA.
The poster is talking crap.

Anonymous said...

$200/week?! In MA it maxes out at $700/week with COBRA subsidized 80%.

For some, unemployment doesn't pay much less than work.

Anonymous said...

"Continuing increases in worker productivity add yet more to the surplus. So does the unwillingness of employers to even consider hiring people who have been unemployed for a long time."

Perhaps the reason why so many laid off middle income folks enroll in community college programs. Better to take courses in basket weaving to fill up the jobless years so you can tell future prospective employers that you weren't out of work, rather you chose to go "back to school to enhance your skill set." Also, better to take basket weaving for a couple of years than step down a few rungs of the pay ladder. You're only as valuable as your last paycheck so that stint at Home Depot means your next gig won't elevate you much higher than office manager at Western Dental.

Anonymous said...

The mass unemployment the USA has suffered the past half decade or so is due to the collapse in the money stock instigated by the minority mortgage disaster.
Simply put unemployment is and has always been a function of the nation's stock of money.
Those who say anything otherwise ie that 'unemployment benefits subsidize unemployment' are just displaying their ignorance.
In the 30s the money stock collapsed absolutely due to bad policy decisions.There was no unemployment benefit, yet rates of unemployment averaged around 30%.

NOTA said...

Mark:

Citation needed. If lots of unemployed people are also using all those other programs, surely you can cire some numbers.

NOTA said...

My guess is that you're not dealing with conscious lying by omission here, you're dealing with ideological blind spots. The writer and his sources' models of the world don't include the idea that immigration costs natives their jobs.

It takes some effort to think outside the way everyone around you thinks. A little pressure to keep you away from thinking those things (via demonizing anyone who does think that way) is probably enough to keep most people from ever even thinking the issue through. I think you can see the same phenomenon when talking about performance gap in school.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"Nations with no unemplyment benefits have higher and more persistent levels of unemployment than the USA. The poster is talking crap."

So if the USA didn't have unemployment insurance and Somalia did, Somalia would have a lower unemployment rate?

Somalia lacks unemployment insurance because it's full of retards who would abuse any government welfare program they had, if they even had enough bureaucrats with the smarts to run such a program.

The conscientiousness and intelligence it takes to maintain an effective government welfare program without abuse gurantees that only those countries which would have low rates of unemployment anyway will have unemployment programs at all.

Ceteris paribus, nations with more generous welfare coverage tend to have higher rates of unemployment. European unemployment rates have long been higher than unemployment rates for American whites.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"NY-Times-sanctioned journalists aim, consciously or subconsciously, to inculcate and perpetuate a sense of Nonwhite Moral Superiority, of which "they do jobs we don't want" is one variety, and the more-novel "Immigrants create jobs" is another, more insidious, variety."

As I recall, during the first years of the Clinton Administration, when illegal immigration wasn't a big issue, "conservative" news outlets like the Wall Street Journal used to routinely make the argument that anyone middle class or below was a net tax drain, costing the government far more than they paid in taxes. When illegal immigration became a big deal again they stopped making that claim.

Illegal immigrants with 3 kids making $12 an hour are somehow net contributors while American citizens making $15 an hour with only 1 kid are net sucks.

It was an argument very common on "the right" during the early 90s. It's still there, just below the surface when goons like Grover Norquist advocate for lower taxes on the rich, but they dare not raise it now for fear people will make the connection to the fact that illegal immigrants are the biggest tax sucks of all.

NOTA said...

Being at the bottom and being economically exploited sucks, but it's far preferable to being of such low value that there's no point in exploiting you. My sense is that this is basically the state of a lot of people in the worst of urban ghettoes---nobody even wants to hire you at bottom-tier wages. I think it's possible that this will expand, with or without mass immigration, though surely faster with it. There are two possibilities:

a. As tecihnology advances, there are ever fewer things that are cheaper/better done by humans than by automation of some kind.

b. As technology advances, there is some subset of things that remain best done by humans. (As we grow wealthier from better automation, we may even want more and more of them.)

Right now, a stand-in for a lot of automation is outsourcing--from the boss' perspective, it's all the same whether he's paying $X/month for an automated customer service system or one built on low-wage English speakers in India or Ireland or Mississippi. Over time, it may be that more and more of the service uses computers instead of people--what does the boss care, as long as he's paying a known amount and getting an acceptable result?

The place where immigration comes in is in the jobs that are hard to automate and require local presence. Construction may eventually be done entirely by robots, or future houses may be even more manufactured offsite and pieced together quickly, but right now, those are jobs that need human workers, and for the last decade, where I've lived, those workers mostly were recent immigrants from Mexico or Central America. That was the cheapest and best way to get the work done, but it meant that people who weren't going to make it as lawyers or scientists, or even as clerks or schoolteachers, didn't have those jobs available to them.

Anonymous said...

One of Bob Newhart's earliest bits concerned his short-lived job at the Unemployment Office. He complained -- ever so gently -- that the recipients collected just $5 less than he got for a week's work, and they only had to show up once a week. It has been ever thus.

Anonymous said...

Massachusetts is the most liberal state in the country. It's nowhere near that generous in California.

The average UI benefit is $200/week.

beowulf said...

One economist who does get is the Korean-born Cambridge don Ha-Joon Chang. In his book "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism", he writes:

Wages in rich countries are determined more by immigration control than anything else, including any minimum wage legislation. How is the immigration maximum determined? Not by the 'free' labour market, which, if left alone, will end up replacing 80-90 per cent of native workers with cheaper, and often more productive, immigrants. Immigration is largely settled by politics. So, if you have any residual doubt about the massive role that the government plays in the economy's free market, then pause to reflect that all our wages are, at root, politically determined...
http://books.google.com/books?id=qUqoS7MTwPwC&pg=PA5&dq#v

Any politician or pundit who doesn't acknowledge this reality is either a moron or a crook.

Anonymous said...

And there's a sixth reason: generous unemployment benefits.


America does not have "generous unemployment benefits".

The states all have their own unemployment programs, and they're quite restrictive.

Henry Canaday said...

Gans’s argument is such an intellectual mess it is almost being over-dainty to notice the absence of immigration in it. It is Luddism 13.0. Technology or free trade is destroying jobs so we must: a) wreck machines; b) protect domestic markets; c) ration employment; or c) create make-work jobs to compensate for job destruction.

The fundamental driver of employment is that people are willing to work to support themselves and their families. Everything else about the economy – education, the organization of business, the banking system, Federal fiscal and monetary policies and other government policies – simply facilitates or hinders this urge, preserving or diminishing the incentive for work.

Immigration may operate something like excessive regulation on employment rates. Regulation adds costs to economic activity, so it reduces the productivity of labor, at least as traditionally measured. It thus reduces compensation per hour. There are always some workers on the margin, choosing work versus other alternatives, such as retirement, going back to school or relying on public or family support. So regulation may reduce employment slightly by reducing the reward for work. And other policies, such as extending unemployment compensation that can go as high as $400 per week, tilt the choice toward unemployment.

Immigration reduces the compensation of work that the immigrants do, although it may raise the real compensation of work that immigrants cannot do, because it reduces the prices of products and services immigrants produce. Thus illegal immigration in America today probably reduces the employment rates of native-born un-skilled Americans. But it may actually increase employment of skilled Americans who do not compete with illegal immigrants. And, of course, illegal immigrants may have a quite high employment rate because they do not have as many or as attractive alternatives as the native-born. The effect on the overall employment rate is uncertain.

Matt Strictland said...

Beyond the multi-cult and the cheap labor issue, there is a real big reason business and "government" tend to support immigration.

Simply, a consumer driven society demands new consumers. Its really as another blogger put it, a kind of Ponzi scheme.

if we made durable, lasting quality goods and controlled our population growth it would be impossible to support large companies, big government or a lot of the things our surplus buys.

Capitalism basically would cease to function very quickly. And yes this would include the military industrial complex as well. Thus the system has to have new people, even if they are inferior too the existing ones and even if in numbers they don't add up.

Its a stop gap measure.

Anonymous said...

One of Bob Newhart's earliest bits concerned his short-lived job at the Unemployment Office. He complained -- ever so gently -- that the recipients collected just $5 less than he got for a week's work, and they only had to show up once a week. It has been ever thus



You're citing a comedy routine by Bob Newhart to support your argument?

That's funny all right, but I suspect not what you were aiming for.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"Citation needed. If lots of unemployed people are also using all those other programs, surely you can cire some numbers."

What, you think they're NOT using them? Spare me. If you're collecting an unemployment check then you're almost certainly collecting food stamps and a host of other benefits. No one collecting $15,000 a year in unemployment is going to leave $6300 of food stamps on the table. Federal government spending on various welfare programs, including unemployment, was up 58.6% in 2010, to $571 billion.

No one here's been citing any fucking numbers. So I will. According to this chart from 2 years ago, the LOWEST weekly unemployment benefit was in Mississippi, at just under $200. The AVERAGE was higher, and according to the chart is probably around $270-300, or $1170-1300 a month (4 1/3 weeks per month).

Of course unemployment and welfare benefits aren't the only factor driving unemployment rates. What they are is an enabler.

Anonymous said...

European unemployment rates have long been higher than unemployment rates for American whites.


I doubt that very much. It's more accurate to say that the US counts the unemployment rate in a fashion which makes it almost certain to be lower than the unemployment rate in Europe. There are masses of people in America at present who do not have a job and also do not show up in the government statistics as being unemployed.

And you're almost certainly wrong about the "whites" bit. The current unemployment rate in Germany is 5.8%. The official unemployment rate for US whites is 8%, but adjusting it to measure the same thing as is measured in Europe would push that north of 10%.

jody said...

"When the jobless recovery ends and the economy is restored to good health"

i would not be too sure of that. the current situation could be the new normal.

Anonymous said...

Captain Aubrey

Not true.American unemployment is higher than the eU average and higher than the welfare generous Scandinavian states.
Throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the USA was cgaracterized by a much greater level of unemployment than western Europe.Europe economically stagnated in the 70s and 80s - and unemployment became persistent from then onwards.Deflationary measures imposed by the EU to bring in the Euro didn't help.
Anyway, as many people have said the *real* rate of unemployment in the USA is likely around 20%,Only some basket-case Europen nations like Spain or Greece match that.
The northern European states with generous unemployment pay have modest levels of joblessness.

Anonymous said...

NOTA,
Median wages in Ireland (despite the economic crisis), are substantially higher than American median wages.
This is 2011 and not 1971.

Abe Fauxman said...

Mr.Sailer, your abhorrent racist views reach a new low.

I wish you'll instead feel empathy towards my fellow co-religionists who, despite being affected by unique sufferings like aging, dying or having neighbours replaced by foreigners, manage to really appreciate being surrounded by this rich diversity.

Anonymous said...

Henry Canaday,

You've got it all wrong.
Before the minority mortgage meltdown sh*t hit the fan in 2008 (Steve Sailer's name in history will forever be honored for making the right call on this, one Steve is worth a billion 'economists'), US unemployment during the housing boom was very low and falling.Hell, trucking companies and the like were scouring the street for drivers - THE symptom of THE classic economic boom.
If we trace all phenomena back to their causes, we see that monetary expansion (ie the whole subprime sh*t ultimately based on imported money) drove the boom.A worker can only be paid if the employer has the actual cash to employ him, at that time America was awash with cash and awash with jobs.
After the sh*t hit the fan, bank credit dried up and the money supply tanked - look at graphs of M3 for that period.The employment rate mirrored M3 in lock-step but with a time lag.It is THIS and only THIS that dtermined today's unemployment, blaming unemployment insurance and lack of 'flexibility' or another other crap just displays economic illiteracy of the highest order.
Granted there are some workers who abuse unemplyment pay - but they are not many.

Henry Canaday said...

“You've got it all wrong.”

I understand, as I think everyone does, that the change in conditions was a drop in demand. The question is what to do about it. So far, increasing demand with more expansionary fiscal and monetary policy has resulted in about half inflation and half real growth and increased jobs. That should not be happening at 9%+ unemployment, according to standard models.

So perhaps we ought to look at other remedies. The macro-economy is never just a demand problem or a supply problem. Both supply and demand factors are always operating simultaneously.

beowulf said...

Of course unemployment and welfare benefits aren't the only factor driving unemployment rates. What they are is an enabler.

Enables them to eat. The last numbers I've seen (for August) were 4.6 unemployed workers for every job vacancy. Its BS to call unemployment benefits "an enabler" when the jobs simply aren't there.

ben tillman said...

"Citation needed. If lots of unemployed people are also using all those other programs, surely you can cire some numbers."

What, you think they're NOT using them? Spare me. If you're collecting an unemployment check then you're almost certainly collecting food stamps and a host of other benefits.


You're wrong. Many (or most) unemployed people have a spouse who's working. And if your spouse is working, you're not getting food stamps or any of the other freebies you mentioned.

Andrea Muhrrteyn said...

Note to Mr. Sailor, posted as comment to: Notice anything missing:

Please take note of the following article: Steve Sailor's conservative hypocrisy: A critic of liberals who persecute conservatives, while he covertly endorses NYT persecution of white Africans.

As a blogger who practices honourable constructive criticism; you are provided the opportunity of response, and your response shall be published in full; should you wish to discuss the allegations against yourself.

27 November 2011 17:20 (GMT+2)

Anonymous said...

Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the labor participation rate is 58%.

Gee, if the chicks stayed home, maybe the guys could do the work. Oops, that is hate speech. Women need to be working to keep the native population from increasing and leaving no room for immigrants who have among their human rights, the right to come to the US.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that you're not dealing with conscious lying by omission here, you're dealing with ideological blind spots. The writer and his sources' models of the world don't include the idea that immigration costs natives their jobs.


Capital looks at all people as consumers of their products. Since they get the profits from what is consumed, the more people the better. It doesn't matter if the profits come because people are spending earned wages or unemployment or welfare benefits. Money is money and the poor spend every dime, saving nothing. They are the optimal consumers.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

In Spain the unemployment rate is 22.6%. In Ireland it's 12.5%. In Portugal it's 14.2%.

So what people here are saying is that different countries may be at different points in their economic cycles at various times. Go figure. But over the long-term, adjusted for race, workforce particpation is lower in First World countries with generous welfare benefits.

For a white person $1000 or so a month in unemployment compensation (plus $500 or so in food stamps, etc.) may not be much. It's not generally a disincentive for work. But for blacks and Hispanics the disincentive is much stronger. Everyone knows people who mooch off the system, who get by on government benefits they don't need or deserve. Everyone knows people who only work for the health care benefits. Who would not work at all were the paid for by the government (= lower workfore participation, which is not technically unemployment). The lure that higher welfare benefits provide to economic parasites - the Wisconsin Effect - is well known.

There are jobs out there for the taking that the unemployed are refusing to take. They are being filled by ~8 million illegal aliens. Employers have no incentive to raise wages or improve working conditions to attract unemployed Americans, and Americans collecting unemployment checks have no incentive to take them. Subsidized unemployment is having a huge effect on America's present, not to mention its demographic future.

beowulf said...

"Subsidized unemployment is having a huge effect on America's present, not to mention its demographic future."

You're missing the point, until the illegals are deported (or encouraged to self-deport) there's not much the unemployed can do. If there are far more unemployed workers than there are job vacancies. The jobs simply aren't there regardless whether or not the unemployed are being "subsidized".
And since there should be at least one post on this thread to cite actual statistics (instead of quoting "what everybody knows"):
There were 4.6 unemployed workers for every job opening in the United States in August, according to new data from the Labor Department.
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/for-each-u-s-job-opening-4-6-unemployed/

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"You're missing the point, until the illegals are deported (or encouraged to self-deport) there's not much the unemployed can do. If there are far more unemployed workers than there are job vacancies. The jobs simply aren't there regardless whether or not the unemployed are being "subsidized"."

Do we really have a point? I'm not even sure what the debate is about anymore. That there shouldn't be unemployment benefits? I'm fine with unemployment benefits. It's the generosity of the entire welfare state itself, and not just unemployment insurance, which leads to lower workforce participation and higher unemployment rates.

Too many unskilled workers have preferred non-employment to working the only jobs they could qualify for, and too many businesses have preferred hiring cheaper illegals to their American counterparts.

As for the effect of illegal immigration on employment opportunities: there are about 8 million illegals working in the country. There are about 16 million people out of work. They are disproportionately young and/or minority, and unskilled. In theory if you kicked out all of the illegals that would be 2 jobs for every opening. The stat you cite (4.6 seekers per opening) does not take into account jobs filled by illegals or guestworkers.

Anonymous said...

There are jobs out there for the taking that the unemployed are refusing to take.


Oh, shut up. This nonsense is why the right lacks credibility.


For a white person $1000 or so a month in unemployment compensation (plus $500 or so in food stamps, etc.) may not be much.


As a white person looking for work, I'd be delighted to know where I can either get one of those jobs which you insist are everywhere, or else get that "$1000 or so a month in unemployment compensation". You're living in a fantasy world of your own creation.

NOTA said...

Also, some guy with an underwater mortgage and two kids to get through school who lost his $60K/year job as a sales rep may not be too interested in taking a $20K/year job washing dishes, because that won't solve his current problems (like wanting to pay his mortgsge and send his kids to school, which he can't do on a dishwasher's salary..

Some years ago, I spent about six months out of work. I took unemployment (but got no other government assistance) and watched our savings drain at an alarming rate till I got a new job in my field, not washing dishes or picking fruit or something. This was a win all around--amng other things, I am surely paying more taxes now than I'd be if I'd wound up entirely out of my field selling luggage or something.

Anonymous said...

Captain Aubrey,

Spain and Portugal were long time economic basket cases - since the times of Franco and Salazar at least.Their unemployment rates have always been stellar and yet unemployment compensation is meager in both nations.
Ireland is an outlier - no other western economy in history has risen so high - and fallen so low in such a short time.
The lowest levels of worklessness in Europe are found in the north European continental states with high levels of social welfare, strangely enough.

Truth said...

"... I took unemployment... and watched our savings drain at an alarming rate till I got a new job in my field, not washing dishes or picking fruit or something. This was a win all around--amng other things, I am surely paying more taxes now than I'd be if I'd wound up entirely out of my field selling luggage or something."

LOL. I think you miss the entire point there, Ron Paul: You were supposed to eschew government aid (that's for blacks dummy, white people don't need it), and take a job as a dishwasher WHILE looking for a job in your field.

Great to know the GOP will be getting your vote against that Evil Commie next year!

Anonymous said...

The more absurd the MSM becomes, the more people look for real answers. Thus, I welcome and encourage articles such as this one. :)

Mr. Anon said...

"Truth said...

LOL. I think you miss the entire point there, Ron Paul: You were supposed to eschew government aid (that's for blacks dummy, white people don't need it), and take a job as a dishwasher WHILE looking for a job in your field."

Nothing says "desperation" to a potential employer like the resume entry "current position: dishwasher". To say nothing of the fact that looking for a job can be a nearly full time job in itself.

That is, if you have a real job, not something that only requires a J-school degree like yours.

Nitwit.

Truth said...

When did I ever write that this gentleman should put the job on his resume, Barack?

The point is that real Republicans DON'T ACCEPT SOCIAL SERVICES. They pull themselves up by the bootstraps, and if that means washing dishes at night, gosh darnit, that's what you do!

Mr. Anon said...

"Truth said...

When did I ever write that this gentleman should put the job on his resume, Barack?"

Try leaving a gap on your resume. See how that works. But I'm sure you're such a stellar employee that you have never been out of work, er, I mean, out of a job. After all, the nation needs high-powered J-school grads like you.

Idiot.