As the country recovers from the forced lockdown of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, state and federal officials are finding novel ways to kick start the economy, but in the process they are distorting the economic structure of a capitalist society and creating the potential for rampant inflation that will only increase the economic pain for the country.

Last week N.C. House of Representative Chuck Edwards, a Republican representing the western counties of Henderson, Transylvania and Buncombe, proposed that the state incentivize the unemployed to seek work with a $1,500 check should they find employment by June 1. He went further, suggesting that any other unemployed residents who find work by June 30 receive an $800 bonus.

As Rep. Edwards was making his proposal, N.C. Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order requiring recipients of the state’s unemployment benefits to prove they are actively searching for a job by registering with the state’s workforce system, NCWorks, in order to continue receiving those benefits.

Both of these proposals represent the typical response of throwing money at the problem with no realistic solution, just to make the problem disappear.

David Bass, a contributing reporter for the Carolina Journal, noted that in a recent letter from the North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) the hospitality industry alone is in need of easily 70,000 employees. That letter goes on to note, “Furthermore, there are 250,00 people in North Carolina currently receiving unemployment benefits each week….Yet NCWorks lists over 200,000 current job openings in the state, and this does not include every opening since not all employers utilize the system.”

The need for employees is so great that many businesses are offering their own incentives. A recent help wanted sign posted at Murphey gas stations promotes flexible schedules with an added offer of educational assistance. Some fast food restaurants in the area are so desperate that they are offering signing bonuses of upwards to $500 for anyone who is hired.

With the number of job openings equal to, if not exceeding, the number of people seeking employment, why is there a need for added government incentives?

Part of the answer lies with the need to spend new-found federal Covid Relief Funds amounting to $5.6 billion for North Carolina. In an effort to find recipients of these monies, programs such as Rep. Edward’s proposal are being presented. But throwing money at people to incentivize them to seek employment is the wrong approach

Unemployment benefits are designed as a safety net for those who have lost jobs, as occurred in the past year’s pandemic quarantine, providing a financial bridge for a finite period of time as new employment is sought. Granted the new found jobs may not be what the individuals are seeking, but a pay check is a pay check and that should be the first consideration.

Jobs are available and employers are already finding it difficult to get jobs filled because many potential employees are still concerned about their health resulting from contact with the public since the pandemic is not totally defeated. The federal government’s confusing message about the value and benefits of face masks, which has only heightened fears for would-be employees returning to the workforce, is not helping the matter.

State and federal government emergency programs are compounding the problem for private sector employers by either incentivizing the employees to stay at home with unemployment benefits that are equal to or greater than their wages, or by setting up an incentive package that could be expanded if the unemployed decide to wait for a larger bonus check.

Ironically, the private sector is competing with itself since these benefits that are incentivizing unemployment are financed through unemployment insurance which is supported by the employers.

All of these government incentives will lead to increased costs that invariably will lead to demands for increased wages which in turn will lead to increased costs. And the cycle will continue. This circular pattern is better known as inflation, which results in economic disruption penalizing the average American.

The concept that finding work should be incentivized by a government check, no matter state or federal, is inherently destructive. Dame Margaret Thatcher, the first woman and longest serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century, clearly understood this fact when she said, “Once you give people the idea that all this can be done by the State, and it is somehow second-best or even degrading to leave it to private people…then you will begin to deprive human beings of one of the essential ingredients of humanity- personal moral responsibility.”

The best thing for the economy, for society and for the state is that government should step back, conserve the finances on hand as a contingency for unexpected events, and allow the private sector and individual initiatives to work. That will do more to put North Carolina back on the road to sustainable recovery.

(15) comments

David Collins

That is too simple an answer . These politicians need this “ bribe “ money for their next election . Need to be able to say , see what I did for you so vote for me . They do it because it works .

drewski

"N.C. Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order requiring recipients of the state’s unemployment benefits to prove they are actively searching for a job by registering with the state’s workforce system, NCWorks, in order to continue receiving those benefits.

Both of these proposals represent the typical response of throwing money at the problem with no realistic solution, just to make the problem disappear."

I understand your need to trash a dem gov. no matter what he says or does, but surely you can do better then this?

Would the editor explain how requiring folks to register with nc works and search for jobs is " throwing money at the problem"?

It sounds to me like the opposite The gov is requiring folks to actually apply for jobs rather then sit home collecting checks.

Sheesh!

mpjeep

I understand the bad taste it leaves in some folks' mouths to pay folks to go back to work. But the truth is, liberals caused this problem and can’t figure out how to get out of it other than bribe payments.

The requirement to look for work should be part of the process rather than toes in the water, a$$ in the sand, while sipping margaritas on taxpayer money.

I doubt there are 200,000 jobs available in many NC small towns, plus to expect folks that may have been making $20/hour to accept $10/hour is unrealistic as well.

And to arbitrarily cut off federal unemployment that has been promised is just a jerk around move and may pull the rug out from under folks that truly need it. I’m not a fan of that strategy.

But not to worry, blue-collar Joe will figure it out.

DeadBolt

oh.... ps..... Cooper basically pointed his guns at you folks, instead of outward, right from jump street, also of note, less then 2 weeks ago, in front of the State live, he had the nerve to call the State of NC 'racist' to the public, while , of all things Lt Gov Mark Robinson, (a black man) , was 5 feet behind him presiding, and did not even acknowledge him?????!!!!!!!! RUN HIM OUT PEOPLE.

(Edited by staff.)

DeadBolt

Must have been too close to the truth in my prior post, but, it does sting abit. So, i'll rephrase, since i was removed of the post for making observations that are in fact true. Government, both fed and state as well as local just committed, and assisted , and still are assisting or committing acts of ECONOMIC SABOTAGE in your Country, State, County, and Town's across America. Thee SERVANTS through the courts and bogus laws are beyond reproach for damages . They are still causing widespread economic gridlock , and emotional damage in your school system with fairy tale theory's and pure EVIL lesson's for your children. (YES THEY ARE AFTER YOUR KIDS MINDS, AND HOPE TO LEAVE THEM PERMANENTLY DAMAGED) . You all have witnessed this over the last year and a half, and if thats not enough, just you wait. You all see your Alzheimer's Presidential figure , Creepy , sleepy , JOE B, a fella 47 years in the swamp , simply read someone's orders to him, just like he's done his whole career. Your local SERVANTS , during a time of pause in the fake scamdemic , kept kicking you all with taxes the entire time, and doing some underhanded stuff, the entire event! The brilliant SERVANT MAYOR OF BLOATFORT , made a weak attempt to place a roadblock at 1 entrance to our town, like a circus stunt, as if people actually cared, lol, all the while just making himself look like a real jack/@$$! (oh, yea, btw, now he wants a shot at a senate seat, when IMO, he needs a child safety seat. ) MAD MAXINE WATERS A FEW YEARS AGO , screamed to her small minded base of zombies to MAKE LIFE IN PUBLIC NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR EVERYONE SHE DISAGREES WITH POLITICALLY! Well, turnabout seems fair enough, and all these 'beyond reproach servants' may enjoy WE THE MASTERS turning on them a bit, eh? PUBLIC means PUBLIC , not 9-5. Remind these servants when you see them their not living up to their promise. Their not done with you folks, don't allow them to slide on you! Just remember, 10's of thousands of businesses in NC have been shuddered, family's have been uprooted , and torn apart for their viewing, or pleasure, or some money, so, turnabout is fair play. Your churches were breached and your rights were removed, as if anyone ever ceded these rights to a servant? Take your family's back folks, bury the past and a few SERVANTS with it. Don't forget the enforcement of these ILLEGAL PAPER EDICTS AS WELL.

mpjeep

It seems to me, and maybe lots of folks, that the only war that our government (local, state, and federal) is fighting these days is against Taxpayers. Actually, it’s a war against our kids and grandkids.

It can only get worse with over half of the country wanting free handouts like stimulus checks and getting paid not to work. It used to turn most of our stomachs, but even the most worried of us (with a few exceptions) about the deficit enjoyed the handouts.

dc

Some red states are telling JB they don't need or want his bribes for votes. Cover for blue leftist states' bail out.

Sleepwalker

Trust us...we’re here to help... we’re from the government.

David Collins

Fundamentally changing our country into a European welfare state funded by those that actually earn the money . That will destroy the concept of free enterprise and lead to a burgeoning underground economy . Think paying bribes for virtually everything . Just like across the pond .

drewski

Except it would not be much of a change. 45% of folks pay no federal income tax, either through poverty or wealth. If you add up all the benefits: child care credits, welfare, food stamps, medicaid, section 8, utility assistance, and 30 others i am forgetting. there are always going to be folks with ambition and folks willing to just get by on the charity of others. As the employment situation moves more and more to automation, and the population continues to grow there will be less and less unskilled jobs available. one solution is Mr. yang's universal basic income. Those with ambition will continue to excel and those happy to sit home will sit home.

dc

Leftists will love the reformed Hukou System.

Sleepwalker

Ski... I agree. Eventually there will be too many folks riding in the wagon and not enough pulling the wagon. When Detroit when bankrupt and the outsiders started drilling down into the ugliness, one of the things they discovered was that only 40% of the known residents paid city taxes.

David Collins

So true , drew . Why should we add to the layabouts ? Cheap votes for the easy rides ? Supposedly we are all in this together . Perhaps not . Trump had his faults , just like the rest of us but what we have now is nuts . So glad I will nor live long enough to see the total collapse , or perhaps not . Will fight for mine all the way as long as I can . Can you speak Chinese ?

DeadBolt

Life in North Korea, you people could really take a lesson from this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yqa-SdJtT4

dc

"The government creates yet another division among Americans". By Joe Strader. And, the Ds believe it's justifiable and want more of it. Might even be good for votes.

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