5/6/2014 12:35 AM
Posted by bad_luck on 5/5/2014 2:51:00 PM (view original):
Posted by mchalesarmy on 5/5/2014 2:39:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/5/2014 12:40:00 PM (view original):
Posted by silentpadna on 5/5/2014 12:35:00 PM (view original):
You should do what you think the market will do.  That's how markets work.  If the government told you you had to sell it for $100 and it's only worth $20, would you be able to sell it?
So, just to be clear, if I'm offering a product/commodity/service at a price and someone offers me less than my stated price and I refuse, I'm not a lazy *******, correct?
If you are sitting on your tail collecting unemployment and you refuse because the offer doesn't meet your expectation then yes you are a lazy *******.
So, say you were an IT professional with an advanced degree and a job making $90,000 a year. You get laid off and there aren't any current openings for a IT professional in your city and you can't relocate due to family issues...maybe you're a divorced parent with shared custody.

You're in Massachusetts so you collect the max, $674 a week.

You get offered a job hanging drywall for $10 an hour.

Should you take it?
Are you better off if you take it?
Is the city you live in better off if you take it?
Does anyone at all benefit from you taking that job?

I say no. I say taking that job is a net negative for everyone in this scenario (it's probably neutral at best for the contractor that hired you, since your most valuable skill isn't your back strength).

Arguing that unemployment is bad is arguing that the IT guy should take the drywall job.
That's slightly different than your example because you have now ventured outside of your "service being offered".  Actually by law you cannot refuse that job offer AND continue to collect unemployment. It IS a bit absurd for sure and definitely could be "fixed", but that's where we are now with most states.

Should the guy collect unemployment forever and NEVER get another job unless it meets his "stated price"?

A more apt example would be someone offering you a IT job for only 60K per year, but you think you are worth 90K.

Do you take THAT offer? Should you?
If not, how close to 90 would finally be worth taking? 
Or is it a mindset of 90+ or I'll stick with my unemployment check?
5/6/2014 8:51 AM
Anyone who's been unemployed, and offered a job at less than what they want, knows what you do.   You take the job and you constantly look for better employment if you don't think you'll reach your desired pay, in a reasonable time period, at said job. 

IT professionals don't get offered drywall jobs.   The person hiring knows he's getting someone who A) will be looking B) won't be happy.   So IT professional never gets past the application process.
5/6/2014 9:08 AM
Posted by mchalesarmy on 5/6/2014 12:36:00 AM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/5/2014 2:51:00 PM (view original):
Posted by mchalesarmy on 5/5/2014 2:39:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/5/2014 12:40:00 PM (view original):
Posted by silentpadna on 5/5/2014 12:35:00 PM (view original):
You should do what you think the market will do.  That's how markets work.  If the government told you you had to sell it for $100 and it's only worth $20, would you be able to sell it?
So, just to be clear, if I'm offering a product/commodity/service at a price and someone offers me less than my stated price and I refuse, I'm not a lazy *******, correct?
If you are sitting on your tail collecting unemployment and you refuse because the offer doesn't meet your expectation then yes you are a lazy *******.
So, say you were an IT professional with an advanced degree and a job making $90,000 a year. You get laid off and there aren't any current openings for a IT professional in your city and you can't relocate due to family issues...maybe you're a divorced parent with shared custody.

You're in Massachusetts so you collect the max, $674 a week.

You get offered a job hanging drywall for $10 an hour.

Should you take it?
Are you better off if you take it?
Is the city you live in better off if you take it?
Does anyone at all benefit from you taking that job?

I say no. I say taking that job is a net negative for everyone in this scenario (it's probably neutral at best for the contractor that hired you, since your most valuable skill isn't your back strength).

Arguing that unemployment is bad is arguing that the IT guy should take the drywall job.
That's slightly different than your example because you have now ventured outside of your "service being offered".  Actually by law you cannot refuse that job offer AND continue to collect unemployment. It IS a bit absurd for sure and definitely could be "fixed", but that's where we are now with most states.

Should the guy collect unemployment forever and NEVER get another job unless it meets his "stated price"?

A more apt example would be someone offering you a IT job for only 60K per year, but you think you are worth 90K.

Do you take THAT offer? Should you?
If not, how close to 90 would finally be worth taking? 
Or is it a mindset of 90+ or I'll stick with my unemployment check?
I think most people would take the 60k job.
5/6/2014 11:12 AM
Would most people in that situation apply for it?

I can think of multiple scenarios where people would not - especially given the idea that unemployment is now treated as welfare and not insurance.  Here's one:

My job lands me somewhere in the range of your IT example above.  If I got laid off tomorrow, I could start drawing unemployment.  Meanwhile, my wife, who works part-time at the local school decides to put her finance degree to work and make $50K, which she could do very easily (she's already had people contact her).  So I collect unemployment.  I know that right now, today, I could easily go get a $60K/yr job in my field at a somewhat lesser, but easier position.  It's a very plausible scenario for me to watch what congress does and then just apply for nothing but jobs I'm not qualified for and take the handout society supposedly wants to give me for producing nothing.  It's a microeconomic decision, based on incentives.

Now I would not do that personally because it's a moral issue.  I don't care what congress does, I do not have an inherent right to anyone else's production.

BL, you and I agree there ought to be a safety net.  I can tell you we entirely disagree on what degree and who provides it.  The minimum wage "issue" that started this thread doesn't do a thing to help that net, and more likely hurts it.  That, and many other ideas that throw money at problems in the name of "fairness" - however that's defined.
5/6/2014 11:23 AM
Posted by silentpadna on 5/6/2014 11:12:00 AM (view original):
Would most people in that situation apply for it?

I can think of multiple scenarios where people would not - especially given the idea that unemployment is now treated as welfare and not insurance.  Here's one:

My job lands me somewhere in the range of your IT example above.  If I got laid off tomorrow, I could start drawing unemployment.  Meanwhile, my wife, who works part-time at the local school decides to put her finance degree to work and make $50K, which she could do very easily (she's already had people contact her).  So I collect unemployment.  I know that right now, today, I could easily go get a $60K/yr job in my field at a somewhat lesser, but easier position.  It's a very plausible scenario for me to watch what congress does and then just apply for nothing but jobs I'm not qualified for and take the handout society supposedly wants to give me for producing nothing.  It's a microeconomic decision, based on incentives.

Now I would not do that personally because it's a moral issue.  I don't care what congress does, I do not have an inherent right to anyone else's production.

BL, you and I agree there ought to be a safety net.  I can tell you we entirely disagree on what degree and who provides it.  The minimum wage "issue" that started this thread doesn't do a thing to help that net, and more likely hurts it.  That, and many other ideas that throw money at problems in the name of "fairness" - however that's defined.
Hmmm, let's run those numbers. You go from a job making ~$1700 a week to making (I don't know what state you're in so lets use the average max unemployment benefit) $450 a week on unemployment. You're saying that you think most people would pass on the new job paying $1150 a week and instead stay on the eventually-going-to-run-out unemployment of $450 a week?
5/6/2014 1:19 PM
No I'm not saying most people would - never did.  What I am saying is that there are scenarios where people would consider doing that.  You didn't include the increase in what my wife would be making as a factor in the decision - or the value of my time and time with my kids.  Your response is without context.  You say unemployment will eventually run out, but there is zero evidence that congress won't continue to do what they have been doing in terms of the long-term unemployment issue - making it a political trap for conservatives.

I'm in GA.  The benefit is about $330/week (thankfully lower than most).  This is more than what my wife makes for her part-time job.  So, all things being equal - if it was economics alone, the decision is not a slam-dunk.  She works for, let's say $60K.  And I pull more than what she would have made working - all while being productive at home and having time with my kids.

As a matter of fact we could continue to game the system by switching who in the house is working each time one of was potentially laid off.

The point is not that I would do that - I would certainly not.  But together, we could reduce our total working hours and bring home somewhere in the neighborhood of where we were.  And collecting $13K per year from my fellow taxpayers for doing nothing.  That's gaming the system and we would not do it on principle.  But don't think people don't do that now.  The incentives are clearly there.
5/6/2014 2:30 PM
Posted by silentpadna on 5/6/2014 1:19:00 PM (view original):
No I'm not saying most people would - never did.  What I am saying is that there are scenarios where people would consider doing that.  You didn't include the increase in what my wife would be making as a factor in the decision - or the value of my time and time with my kids.  Your response is without context.  You say unemployment will eventually run out, but there is zero evidence that congress won't continue to do what they have been doing in terms of the long-term unemployment issue - making it a political trap for conservatives.

I'm in GA.  The benefit is about $330/week (thankfully lower than most).  This is more than what my wife makes for her part-time job.  So, all things being equal - if it was economics alone, the decision is not a slam-dunk.  She works for, let's say $60K.  And I pull more than what she would have made working - all while being productive at home and having time with my kids.

As a matter of fact we could continue to game the system by switching who in the house is working each time one of was potentially laid off.

The point is not that I would do that - I would certainly not.  But together, we could reduce our total working hours and bring home somewhere in the neighborhood of where we were.  And collecting $13K per year from my fellow taxpayers for doing nothing.  That's gaming the system and we would not do it on principle.  But don't think people don't do that now.  The incentives are clearly there.
I think most families don't have an additional $40,000 in income available on demand, your unique situation could allow you to do that. So what? We don't take it away from people who need just because there is a possibility that a few are gaming the system.
5/6/2014 2:43 PM
Posted by bad_luck on 5/6/2014 9:08:00 AM (view original):
Posted by mchalesarmy on 5/6/2014 12:36:00 AM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/5/2014 2:51:00 PM (view original):
Posted by mchalesarmy on 5/5/2014 2:39:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/5/2014 12:40:00 PM (view original):
Posted by silentpadna on 5/5/2014 12:35:00 PM (view original):
You should do what you think the market will do.  That's how markets work.  If the government told you you had to sell it for $100 and it's only worth $20, would you be able to sell it?
So, just to be clear, if I'm offering a product/commodity/service at a price and someone offers me less than my stated price and I refuse, I'm not a lazy *******, correct?
If you are sitting on your tail collecting unemployment and you refuse because the offer doesn't meet your expectation then yes you are a lazy *******.
So, say you were an IT professional with an advanced degree and a job making $90,000 a year. You get laid off and there aren't any current openings for a IT professional in your city and you can't relocate due to family issues...maybe you're a divorced parent with shared custody.

You're in Massachusetts so you collect the max, $674 a week.

You get offered a job hanging drywall for $10 an hour.

Should you take it?
Are you better off if you take it?
Is the city you live in better off if you take it?
Does anyone at all benefit from you taking that job?

I say no. I say taking that job is a net negative for everyone in this scenario (it's probably neutral at best for the contractor that hired you, since your most valuable skill isn't your back strength).

Arguing that unemployment is bad is arguing that the IT guy should take the drywall job.
That's slightly different than your example because you have now ventured outside of your "service being offered".  Actually by law you cannot refuse that job offer AND continue to collect unemployment. It IS a bit absurd for sure and definitely could be "fixed", but that's where we are now with most states.

Should the guy collect unemployment forever and NEVER get another job unless it meets his "stated price"?

A more apt example would be someone offering you a IT job for only 60K per year, but you think you are worth 90K. 

Do you take THAT offer? Should you?
If not, how close to 90 would finally be worth taking? 
Or is it a mindset of 90+ or I'll stick with my unemployment check?
I think most people would take the 60k job.
20K = "a net negative for everyone" 
60K = "I think most people would take (it)"

So where's the line where taking the job offer goes from "a net negative for everyone" to being the right move?

30K?
40K?
50K?
5/6/2014 3:05 PM
I see where your perspective is.  It's not a matter of "taking it away" from people.  It's a matter of their benefits running out.  It's in your paradigm.  It's a matter of those who get the benefit not exceeding what's been promised.  When the benefits run out, take the MW job - something.  If I get 1 year of $330/wk and I know it's running out, I better do something about it.

I just illustrated a scenario to you.  Scenarios like this are real.  Disincentives are real.  This is one of many such scenarios.  You seem to have some clue about certain economic theories.  Opportunity cost is more than a theory - happens in practice constantly.  Whether you are an individual or a business, your decisions are all about taking one opportunity at the expense of others (including the opportunity of doing nothing).

The government (or my neighbor) does not owe me a chance to stay in my home or to keep my car.  As a society we've tasked the government in replacing individuals for providing safety nets for each other.  As a result, we conveniently get to miss out on seeing ourselves actually take what we produce and go hand it directly to those who don't - for whatever reason (whether a good or bad reason).  It insulates us from having to deal with the fact that there are many who would take advantage of us.  If I was giving my neighbor a hand-out directly, do you think he'd sit on his *** all day in full view?  He'd more likely be motivated to do something in exchange for the help - or at the very least, attempt to find a way to stop receiving it from me.  Putting the government in the middle removes accountability from those being helped to those who are helping.

That is not to say there isn't a place for government to help; but it is completely broken the way it is now.  Raising minimum wage, extending unemployment, taxing the rich, spending on government "make-work" jobs doesn't do anything to remove the disincentives that exist in these perpetual programs.
5/6/2014 3:09 PM
I don't think either of you can put a number on it.    If you have a job, you have less time to look for a job.   If you require 90k to pay your bills, 60k is going to leave you very short.   Of course, if you've got some money in the bank, 60k buys you some time.   And that's not even factoring in the human feelings of self-worth and how that's tied into working. 

Making 20k and feeling good about yourself beats the hell out of collecting a govt check while feeling like a worthless bum.    Making 60k and feeling like **** because you know your going to lose your house/car if something doesn't change quick isn't any good, for anyone, if you spend the entire time trying to find a 90k job instead of doing your job. 
5/6/2014 3:20 PM
Posted by mchalesarmy on 5/6/2014 2:43:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/6/2014 9:08:00 AM (view original):
Posted by mchalesarmy on 5/6/2014 12:36:00 AM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/5/2014 2:51:00 PM (view original):
Posted by mchalesarmy on 5/5/2014 2:39:00 PM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 5/5/2014 12:40:00 PM (view original):
Posted by silentpadna on 5/5/2014 12:35:00 PM (view original):
You should do what you think the market will do.  That's how markets work.  If the government told you you had to sell it for $100 and it's only worth $20, would you be able to sell it?
So, just to be clear, if I'm offering a product/commodity/service at a price and someone offers me less than my stated price and I refuse, I'm not a lazy *******, correct?
If you are sitting on your tail collecting unemployment and you refuse because the offer doesn't meet your expectation then yes you are a lazy *******.
So, say you were an IT professional with an advanced degree and a job making $90,000 a year. You get laid off and there aren't any current openings for a IT professional in your city and you can't relocate due to family issues...maybe you're a divorced parent with shared custody.

You're in Massachusetts so you collect the max, $674 a week.

You get offered a job hanging drywall for $10 an hour.

Should you take it?
Are you better off if you take it?
Is the city you live in better off if you take it?
Does anyone at all benefit from you taking that job?

I say no. I say taking that job is a net negative for everyone in this scenario (it's probably neutral at best for the contractor that hired you, since your most valuable skill isn't your back strength).

Arguing that unemployment is bad is arguing that the IT guy should take the drywall job.
That's slightly different than your example because you have now ventured outside of your "service being offered".  Actually by law you cannot refuse that job offer AND continue to collect unemployment. It IS a bit absurd for sure and definitely could be "fixed", but that's where we are now with most states.

Should the guy collect unemployment forever and NEVER get another job unless it meets his "stated price"?

A more apt example would be someone offering you a IT job for only 60K per year, but you think you are worth 90K. 

Do you take THAT offer? Should you?
If not, how close to 90 would finally be worth taking? 
Or is it a mindset of 90+ or I'll stick with my unemployment check?
I think most people would take the 60k job.
20K = "a net negative for everyone" 
60K = "I think most people would take (it)"

So where's the line where taking the job offer goes from "a net negative for everyone" to being the right move?

30K?
40K?
50K?
First, do you disagree that a skilled worker getting laid off from a 90k/yr job and taking a $10/hr job is a net negative for everyone?
5/6/2014 3:30 PM
Posted by silentpadna on 5/6/2014 3:05:00 PM (view original):
I see where your perspective is.  It's not a matter of "taking it away" from people.  It's a matter of their benefits running out.  It's in your paradigm.  It's a matter of those who get the benefit not exceeding what's been promised.  When the benefits run out, take the MW job - something.  If I get 1 year of $330/wk and I know it's running out, I better do something about it.

I just illustrated a scenario to you.  Scenarios like this are real.  Disincentives are real.  This is one of many such scenarios.  You seem to have some clue about certain economic theories.  Opportunity cost is more than a theory - happens in practice constantly.  Whether you are an individual or a business, your decisions are all about taking one opportunity at the expense of others (including the opportunity of doing nothing).

The government (or my neighbor) does not owe me a chance to stay in my home or to keep my car.  As a society we've tasked the government in replacing individuals for providing safety nets for each other.  As a result, we conveniently get to miss out on seeing ourselves actually take what we produce and go hand it directly to those who don't - for whatever reason (whether a good or bad reason).  It insulates us from having to deal with the fact that there are many who would take advantage of us.  If I was giving my neighbor a hand-out directly, do you think he'd sit on his *** all day in full view?  He'd more likely be motivated to do something in exchange for the help - or at the very least, attempt to find a way to stop receiving it from me.  Putting the government in the middle removes accountability from those being helped to those who are helping.

That is not to say there isn't a place for government to help; but it is completely broken the way it is now.  Raising minimum wage, extending unemployment, taxing the rich, spending on government "make-work" jobs doesn't do anything to remove the disincentives that exist in these perpetual programs.
Look, we clearly see the world differently. In my view, any one of us could lose everything in a moment through no fault of our own. We could also fail at getting it back no matter how hard we work. Things like unemployment are good for everyone. People that lose jobs, businesses that sell food and gas and clothing and anything else to people who collect unemployment, people that work for businesses that sell food and gas and clothing and anything else to people who are unemployed, and so on.

The downside? Yeah, there might be some people gaming the system. Yeah, some people might be choose to stay home instead of working.

Seems like a small price considering the fact that reforming unemployment isn't going to lower anyone's taxes.
5/6/2014 4:31 PM
The problem is not that some people are gaming the system, or that some people are choosing to stay at home instead of working.  You'll always find people who will try to game the system.

The problem is that the current system encourages people to do that.  The current system makes doing that the only logical choice, as has been illustrated before.  "I think we should help people who need it" is a nice stance.  It does not constitute a reasonable defense of a broken system.
5/6/2014 4:58 PM
If people had to report, and do these menial minimum wage-type jobs, to get their unemployment checks, you'd see claims fall off really quickly.
5/6/2014 5:04 PM
Posted by examinerebb on 5/6/2014 4:31:00 PM (view original):
The problem is not that some people are gaming the system, or that some people are choosing to stay at home instead of working.  You'll always find people who will try to game the system.

The problem is that the current system encourages people to do that.  The current system makes doing that the only logical choice, as has been illustrated before.  "I think we should help people who need it" is a nice stance.  It does not constitute a reasonable defense of a broken system.
But it isn't the only logical choice. For most people, unemployment isn't anywhere near enough to replace the income they lost. In order to move forward in life, make another 280 mortgage payments, send your kids to college, not have your car repossessed, etc., most people need to get another job. Unemployment only gives them time to find that job.
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