Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cutting unemployment benefits in a depression is stupid

There aren't many in the libertarian blogosphere willing to say it out loud, so I guess I'll have to do it. Yes, state help for the unemployed should ideally be replaced by non-state institutions. But when you're in the middle of a severe depression (much of it state-caused) and the state is giving untold billions to finance crooks and other oligarchs, it is absolutely ridiculous to look at unemployment benefits and say, "Yup, those really need to be the first thing to go."

Let me use an analogy. Say we were back in old Western Europe living under feudalism, and there was some tiny joke of a welfare program to help the serfs. What should be the bigger "anti-statist" priority: ending the pitiful welfare program or ending the extensive state intervention upholding feudalism?

The idea that families dependent on unemployment benefits are somehow living high on the hog is ludicrous. They get what, $300 a week? Yeah, they must all be out buying luxury yachts and big screen TVs(btw, wouldn't the economy be recovering if that was the case?).

Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, that the conservatives are all right. Every unemployed person is a lazy moocher sitting in a pile of his own feces. You know what? I would pay for all the beer kegs and party gear they want before giving another penny to a sniveling politician or bankster. It's money FAR better spent.

The selective "anti-statism" of the Republican Party is so obviously spared only for the victims of the system (a system they are happy to continue) that I don't see how anyone can take it seriously.


  1. It is a disgrace when some of the same politicians in Congress who gave nearly instant support to the bailouts to help the "too big to fails" then vote against extending unemployment for a few more weeks.

    "Conservatives" and many libertarians (including those at Lew Rockwell) argue that when you subsidize something (unemployment) you get more of it. But in the current economy there are a couple things wrong with such an idea.

    First, most get half or much less than half of what the were earning when employed, so there is plenty of incentive to look for another job. Second, where are the damn jobs? I personally know people who have been searching for months for any job they can find, and they're still unemployed.

  2. I think they just want people to hurry up and die, thus reducing the surplus population.

    Some libertarians are actually willing to forego their thought experiments in lieu of the harsh reality we are facing? Color me shocked. You aren't insulted by the $5 Gucci knock-offs the welfare queens carry?

  3. Had our "thought experiments" been carried out, the crooks would received a trip to prison for fraud, not a bail-out. The government fluffers wouldn't have been encouraging their reckless behavior by dangling limitless money in front of them.

    It led to a disaster. Big surprise.

  4. Well said! The entire system has since its inception been constructed around exploitation. The premise seems to be to keep the 20 % at the bottom of society's pecking-order pacified (earlier by starvation or brute force, now it's hand-outs) and give the most of the riches to the top 20 %. The remainding 60 % (farmers before the 19th century, workers in the 19th and 20th centuries, middle class now) are milking cows, fed up to the point of maximal production and given freedom to roam only if it doesn't hurt the farmers profit.

    So come a crisis, big business is bailed out, the "bottom" 20 % is left out to dry (hang?, sorry, I'm not a native english speaker...) and the rest is taxated even heavier.

  5. Yeah, I'm sure without any government regulation, there would be nothing but a utopian land of caring corporations cleaning up after themselves and giving us quality products that don't poison us at reasonable prices...

    @ placebo: I think you're estimate is riduculous. It's more like the bottom 50% are held down while the top .1% feast on the fat of the land.

  6. Without the state, there wouldn't be any corporations at all. They are a creation of the state.


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