Barro’s OpEd:
The Folly of Subsidizing Unemployment


Barro’s argument shredded:
Robert Barro Needs to Check His Facts – Joe Weisenthal


Does Anyone Believe That Unemployment Would Be Just 6.8% If Obama Hadn’t Extended Jobless Benefits?
by Joe Weisenthal
Aug 30, 2010 01:35pm EDT

Category: Employment, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

10 Responses to “Does Extended Jobless Benefits Impede Employment ? (No)”

  1. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    I believe that there has been a massive misallocation of resources and it is begetting even more massive misallocation of resources. Which in turn will make our Humpty dumpty economy come crashing down. Do you believe that we can just keep on supplying massive amounts of simulus on top of simulus in whatever guise???

  2. sb101 says:

    5 job seekers for every available job. Right, jobless benefits is the problem. Fortunantly, some folks understand.


  3. prismatic_prism says:

    Right, now im convinced: “stimulus money” should ever only be spend in a downturn on two fronts;

    1. Extentsion of unemployment benefits. That will put money in the hands of people who will spend it instead of goverment spending that is at best a shot in the dark, at worst full of corruption.

    2. Strategically, by the goverment in research in new areas of potential mass employment, ie. Manhatten project for renewable energy.

  4. cdosquared5 says:

    By definition, unemployment is increased by subsidizing it. It is simply a question of the magnitude of that effect. Ergo, your headline is technically incorrect.

  5. me says:

    And the jobs are WHERE? Future jobs are WHERE? Some people talk out their butt because their mouth knows better.

  6. Jojo says:

    cdosquared5 said “By definition, unemployment is increased by subsidizing it. It is simply a question of the magnitude of that effect. Ergo, your headline is technically incorrect.”
    By WHO’S definition?

    I’m always astonished by the people on the Right side of the political spectrum who think that someone making say $800-$2,000/week is comfortable and happy as a pig in the poke collecting that average $330 /week unemployment check . Sigh.

  7. triplec says:

    The problem isn’t that unemployment spends a lot of money or demotivates unemployed folks, it is that it can disguise a lot of suffering. When the economy is doing so badly that we look to extend unemployment benefits, we should really be doing something more.

    I think the problem with unemployment insurance and COBRA insurance subsidies is its unevenness. Those entering the job market for the first time don’t get it. People who’ve lost businesses don’t get it. People who have been working a lot of low-paying jobs don’t get it. Unemployed who were self-employed do not qualify. Independent contractors and freelancers don’t qualify.

    After 26 weeks the benefits are essentially paid with federal tax dollars for example the extended compensation written into the stimulus bill by Congress. The amount available should be the same for all to cover food and shelter yet low enough to motivate looking for better pay. Currently in Arizona the maximum amount is $240 a week whereas in Massachusetts it is $650 a week. After the first 26 weeks those amounts are paid using the same federal money.

  8. cdosquared5 says:

    whose, Jojo, not who’s.

    I meant by basic economic theory or simply common sense.. “I pay people to be unemployed, all things equal, that has some effect on making unemployment relatively more attractive than employment, unless people are completely indifferent to money.”

    http://www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2010/el2010-12.html . See this study from the federal reserve bank of san francisco: “Our analyses suggest that extended UI benefits account for about 0.4 percentage point of the nearly 6 percentage point increase in the national unemployment rate over the past few years.”

    I’m always astonished by people on the Left side of the political spectrum who simply pick the easiest strawman for the Right’s arguments, dismiss it and then believe they have proven the superiority of their political beliefs in all cases and against all arguments. Sigh… but keeping reading Kos, I’m sure he quotes Fed studies a lot.

  9. Jojo says:

    @cdosquared5 – yeah, hate that there is no editing or delete function here (or thumbs up/down or threading).

    The best cite you could come up with was that FED study, which IF accurate, would change the current 9.5% unemployment number to 9.1%? That’s not much of a strong supporting “definition” by any metric.

    I also wish more people would use common sense. The Right seems to be particularly lacking in this area.

  10. DL says:

    One question here is, if you’re going to run large deficits during a period of high unemployment, what gives you the most “bang for the buck”…? Providing unemployment benefits would be high on my list.

    Certainly, anyone who supports bailouts or “stimulus” has no business complaining about the cost of unemployment benefits.