There are more jobs available right now in America than there were before the pandemic began last March. Still not many want to return to work.
We know why. The government is handing out free money. Unemployment checks have been rolling in for months. The federal government added extra money to state unemployment benefits. In some states, people were collecting over $1,000 per week. So much so that 34% of all personal spending right now is from federal payments.
That's a record.
Today, Governor Doug Ducey is attempting to get unemployed workers back to work. On July 10th, Ducey is removing Arizona's extra unemployment benefits that kicked in during the pandemic. Instead, Arizona's Governor is going to offer people who return back to work full-time a $2,000 bonus so long as the job pays less than $25 per hour.
Part-timers returning to work will receive a $1,000 bonus.
Sounds like good news. But, there is much more to this story. Many people are out of work in the first place because politicians declared an emergency, shutting down businesses on a whim, without any proof of COVID spreading in those businesses.
The shutdowns caused fear and panic. One of the questions asked was how were people going to make money to pay their bills?
The government answered that question by borrowing money against the country's future to pay them. That decision allowed people to stay home instead of getting back to work even while the government blamed people for gathering inside their homes. They said that was the main source of COVID spreading. The CDC enacted eviction moratoriums to government response, providing even less incentive to get back to work.
Factories were shut down because there weren't enough workers. Supply dropped. Lack of supply increased demand for lumber, chicken wings, and computer chips. Free federal money caused bidding wars, driving prices up. In Phoenix, prices are up 4.9% year over year. Gas prices here are up over 30%. Used cars prices are up 20%.
All of this was exacerbated by politician's shortsighted decisions, including decisions made by Ducey. Decisions that help them in the short-term. In the video above Ducey quotes President Ronald Reagan saying, 'the best social program is a job.'
There's another President Reagan quote that sums up the reason we have to pay people to go back to work. 'In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.'