09.19.2011 2

Unemployment benefits stifle the unemployed

By Rebekah Rast — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has reached its highest level in the past three months.

The economy is not growing like it needs to for Americans for find work, which is why in the past three years Americans have collected $319 billion in jobless benefits.

A tanked economy explains well the reasons for an initial surge in unemployment.  Businesses must adapt to a new climate and so often downsize while at the same time consumers consume less.  But when the economy fell in 2007, it was expected to recover well before it has.  This begs the question, why hasn’t America recovered and where are the jobs?

A CNN article raises some of these very questions citing the U.S. Postal Service as an example.    The article states the real culprit to the demise of the post office and the threat of cutting jobs and even limiting mail delivery, is email.   “People are sending 22 percent fewer pieces of mail than they did four years ago, opting for electronic bill payment and other net-enabled means of communication over envelopes and stamps,” writes Douglas Rushkoff for CNN.

So technology in part is to blame for the lack of jobs returning to America? Yes.  As America becomes more innovative and efficient, it is likely jobs will become not only more advanced and elite, but also fewer in number.

For three years and counting, businesses have been faced with tough, expensive, almost-impossible-to-meet regulations coming from this White House.   For those companies that have survived new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demands, ObamaCare mandates and the looming threat of tax increases, new methods of efficiency is what has kept them alive.  A job that once took 10 people to do, might only take one.

Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG), believes that these regulations are hurting job creation.  “As Obama has increased the cost per employee, business is looking for ways to increase productivity without increasing the number of employees; effectively, Obama’s own regulatory policies are forcing businesses to not replace workers who have left.”

Better efficiency and technology can in some cases mean fewer jobs, not something that the 9 percent of people who are unemployed today want to hear.

But it’s OK because President Obama has extended unemployment benefits to 99 weeks for many of these people—almost two years—so they have plenty of time to find a job.  Yes, they have ample time to find work, but the problem is, while they are out of the workforce businesses and those in the workforce are quickly gaining new skills and bettering today’s technology.  By the time the unemployment benefits run out and they go looking for a job, they’re not going to be the least bit qualified.

You see, many of the jobs that were around before America’s economy collapsed might not still be around.  But because the federal government so freely gives its handouts, unemployed Americans will continue to look for work in a field that has changed or no longer necessary instead of adapting to the kinds of jobs that are available.

For example, when automobiles started to take the stage in the early 1900s, those who manufactured buggies and carriages didn’t stand a chance to compete.  Having no safety net of unemployment insurance, buggy and carriage makers had to learn the automobile or another trade to stay employed.

“The sad fact is that no matter how well intentioned, Obama’s unemployment benefit extensions have locked people into a near-permanent state of dependency, which will be very difficult for them to recover from.”

Adding to government dependency, President Obama’s proposal in his American Jobs Act bill extends unemployment benefits for the most recent group of unemployed up to 99 weeks as well, which will cost taxpayers another $62 billion.  And will likely result in more Americans unable to find a job for a long period of time.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and NetRightDaily.com.  You can follow her on twitter at @RebekahRast.

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