24th January 2013
Why are Americans working less? While there are a number of factors, the phenomenon is due mainly to a variety of public policies that have reduced the incentives to be employed.
My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.
Compare 2010 with October 2012, the last month for which food-stamp data have been reported. The unemployment rate fell to 7.8% from 9.6%, and real GDP was rising steadily if not vigorously. Food-stamp usage should have peaked and probably even begun to decline. Yet the number of recipients rose by 7,223,000. In a period of falling unemployment and rising output, the number of food-stamp recipients grew nearly 10,000 a day. Congress should find out why.
When you pay for something, you get more of it. When you pay people for being unemployed, you get more unemployed people. Economics 101.