Democrats like to argue that extending unemployment benefits somehow benefits the economy because, well I can't even remember an argument they presented that was coherent enough to merit repeating. The actual facts on the ground have proved difficult. First, hooray for Federalism, North Carolina went its own way on the issue of unemployment benefits.
A year ago, North Carolina became the first state in the nation to exit the federal government's extended-benefits program for the unemployed.The left and the media, but I repeat myself, were of course outraged, and outrageous protests of outrage ensued. Then, reality.
North Carolina didn't descend into the Dickensian nightmare critics predicted. For the last six months of 2013, it was the only state where jobless recipients weren't eligible for extended benefits. Yet during that period North Carolina had one of the nation's largest improvements in labor-market performance and overall economic growth.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of payroll jobs in North Carolina rose by 1.5% in the second half of 2013, compared with a 0.8% rise for the nation as a whole. Total unemployment in the state dropped by 17%, compared with the national average drop of 12%. The state's official unemployment rate fell to 6.9% in December 2013 from 8.3% in June, while the nationwide rate fell by eight-tenths of a point to 6.7%.Meanwhile on the national level we see the same scenario playing out.
Krauthammer noted that the sharp drop in unemployment has coincided with the end of emergency unemployment benefits. Obama and the Democrats, who insisted that the benefits be extended, wrongly predicted that their expiration would come as a calamity to the poor. Instead, their end has demonstrably had “precisely the opposite effect.”
“These six months coincide with a decrease in the medium length of unemployment from 17 weeks to 13 weeks — the largest six-month decline in the length of unemployment ever measured,” he said. “Which means the real problem of long-term unemployment was a function of this anomaly of emergency-extended unemployment, which should never have happened, and whose end has contributed to this excellent result. The debate on that extension is over, and the conservatives were right.”Thomas Sowell pretty much sums up the left's inability to see reason (although speaking about central planning):
But, by the end of the 20th century, even socialist and communist governments began abandoning central planning and allowing more market competition. Yet this quiet capitulation to inescapable realities did not end the noisy claims of the Left.By the way, under disparate impact theory, leftism is racism. Here's how: Unemployment disproportionately hurts minorities. Leftist policies exacerbate unemployment, therefore disparate impact, therefore racism. See how easy that was.
What You Should Be Reading.
- The WSJ editorial pages detail even more Democrat inspired race-baiting rhetoric. Just part of a scheme to have HUD replace your local zoning board, because, you know, racism.
- The bizarre U.S. corporate tax code is ensuring that may big, formerly U.S. firms become foreign owned. I note that Coors, Miller and Anheuser-Busch are all foreign owned.
- KTCat sums up the so-called compassion for illegal immigrants in clear concise prose.
- Unfortunately, not Dean at Beers with Demo, who seems to have taken an unannounced hiatus from blogging.