Accessibility Tools

Skip to main content

Government Assistance Better than Work for Many

Written on .

Many wonder why at least 3 million fewer Americans are at work today than there were in 2019.  Economic rationality is one reason.  In some states today, unemployment benefits are the equivalent of a $100,000 job when direct payments and the value of other benefits are included.  Families earning as much as $500,000 annually are eligible for ObamaCare subsidies.  These two benefits - unemployment and Obamacare -- are unusual in the sense that they are not limited to low-income people.  Unemployment benefits are limited to six months in most states, but workers may move in and out of the unemployment system and thus work enough months until they again qualify for benefits.

Some would argue that programs that discourage work benefit the families receiving welfare.  Work usually is associated with more financial security over time, and a higher level of health, happiness, and even life expectancy.  Further, the success of societies is heavily influenced by the proportion of the population working.  The fewer working, the less taxes are raised to support those not working.  In addition, the loss of productivity from those not working harms the economic success of society as a whole.

Individuals can't be blamed for making rational economic choices that are in their own self-interest.  But government policies that reward passivity and penalize industry will not promote a healthy society in the long run.  The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 was designed to promote self-sufficiency by removing barriers to employment.  It would be good for our lawmakers to consider whether other programs should be reviewed to do the same.

This article is part of our June 2023 Newsletter.

View newsletter online

Download the newsletter as a PDF

Related Content

Get Email Updates

Receive newsletters and alerts directly in your email inbox. Sign up below.
webinar promo graphic: Religious Accommodations

Sometimes We Just Have to Talk About It: Navigating New Rules on Religious Accommodation

Join us for an informative webinar where we dive into recent Supreme Court decisions that address the often delicate issue of religious a...
webinar promo graphic: avoid forced unionization card

How Employers Can Avoid Forced Unionization Through the New NLRB Card-Check Case

On August 25, 2023, the NLRB issued an extremely important ruling basically forcing a union on employers who have committed any unfair la...
person handing a card to another, indoors with a window in the background

New NLRB Case Forces “Card-Check” Analysis on Employers

Probably no National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concepts scares employers more than the concept of the “card-check.”  This is a concept...
bird caught fish, in water

Employers Caught in the Middle for Attacks on DEI Programs

As a result of the Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action in college admissions, employers seem to be caught in the middle in the deb...
woman at a computer sitting at the desk indoors

Big Labor Is Front Page

Big labor is flexing its muscles, and the nation should be concerned.  While the most pro-union President in history touts organized labo...
pages of a book fanning out, indoors

NLRB Sets Forth New Standard for Judging Legality of Handbook and Other Employer Policies

Employers have been long awaiting the Biden National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB's) view of what types of employer handbook and other p...