General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Is the federal unemployment subsidy causing some workers to shun possible employment?

Asked by crazyguy (3189points) 1 month ago
60 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

As most of you know, the first bill passed by the Democrats and signed by Biden, was the American Rescue Plan. One of the features of the $1.9 trillion package was a federal subsidy to state unemployment benefits; the subsidy was originally $400, but, thanks to Senator Joe Manchin, was cut down to $300.

Even at $300, the subsidy ensures that the average unemployment compensation is in excess of $15 per hour.

In other words, the small Mom and Pop small businesses now have to compete with the Federal Government to hire their minor needs.

Do you think this is happening? And is it fair?

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stanleybmanly's avatar

If it’s true, SO WHAT? If some knucklehead conservative believes I should work for $7 an hour and risk covid as my reward then fk him!! If the Federal government chooses (for a change) to help the little guy on the ground as opposed to the usual bankers, corporations and fat cats, my assessment is that IT’S ABOUT TIME!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

News flash there is a Pandemic, @crazyguy !

Yes people are having a tough time re-opening and some cases their businesses have been impacted but so have the people making restaurant wages of $2.35 in my state, if they get tips.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, my DIL got exactly three weeks of unemployment before going back to work. Nothing beats having income plus benefits.

JLeslie's avatar

I think some people are not going back to work because of the money being given to them.

They aren’t going back either because they are afraid of covid, have children who haven’t been in school consistently, or just because it’s easy money. All sorts of reasons.

Plenty of people who could have stayed on unemployment have gone back to work. They need their job.

I heard if an employer calls an employee back and they don’t come back the employer is supposed to report it to unemployment. Not sure if it’s true.

I think some people are taking advantage of the situation. They are filing when they don’t really need it. Especially small businesses owners can pay themselves less or slow their business. I think I probably could have collected, but I didn’t try.

For sure too much money has gone out between Trump and Biden. After the first stimulus and easy-to-file-for unemployment, there should have been more targeted help from the government.

Real estate is ridiculously inflated, people who never needed the money received money. Foreclosures are being held off (is that for second homes or just first??).

What is going to happen?

@YARNLADY A lot of small businesses don’t give any benefits to employees.

@stanleybmanly But should you get $14 an hour when you usually earn $7? I think that’s part of the gripe. Granted I think everyone should make more than $7, but that’s not the point of my question. We have people who make $50k getting stimulus who always lived fine on their $50k before. That makes no sense.

@Tropical_Willie By law they can’t eat just $2.35. That’s their wage plus tips, and if the tips don’t add up to minimum wage the employer needs to make up for it. It’s very rare a waiter makes less than whatever the regular federal minimum is and the employer has to pay out anything extra.

ragingloli's avatar

Oh no! People do not want to:
– be paid sub-subsistence level wages
– be treated like shit by their employers
– be treated like shit by their customers
– risk their health and lives during a pandemic by Karen’s who think it is an affront to their liberty to be expected to have the common courtesy of wearing a mask.

Shocking, I know.

kritiper's avatar

Some have answered, “Yes.”

elbanditoroso's avatar

That was a matter of discussion on CNBC Thursday – Janet Yellen and other economists were talking about the unemployment payment effect on jobs.

Although this is a common talking point for Republicans, apparently statistics (US Department of Labor, the Fed) don’t support that theory.

The overwhelming reasons why there isn’t full employment:

1) lack of child care (for states where schools are not open)

2) fear of infection – employers aren’t doing enough in the workplace to make employees feel safe

3) food service workers—in particular in states with low vaccination rates (i.e. Florida) that have ‘reopened’—don’t want crappy low paying jobs with unvaccinated people.

JLeslie's avatar

@Tropical_Willie There’s a typo in what I wrote. It should be waiters can’t just EARN $2.35 an hour. Here’s an explanation

elbanditoroso's avatar

@crazyguy your math is wierd.

The way I do the math, $300/week at $15/hr = 20 hours. Most people work a 40-hour work week, meaning $7.50 / hour.

Are you comparing apples to oranges? Or lying to make a point?

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Is the $300 on top of state unemployment? I heard $15 an hour also and no one corrected it during the interview I saw. Maybe they were talking about the $600.

JLeslie's avatar

I just watched the video on the link the OP provided and it is the state and federal combined that gives the approx $15 an hour.

flutherother's avatar

The slow uptake of poorly paid jobs in the fast food business is due to workers not wanting to expose themselves and their families to Covid. In addition many workers with children are looking after them at home as schools are closed and they cannot afford child care. Having failed to protect the country from Covid19 the government now has the responsibility to protect its people from the economic fallout, moms and pops included.

seawulf575's avatar

Yes, it is happening. I interact with many bar, restaurant, and convenient store owners/managers. They tell me that many of their workers are making the same or better money sitting at home so they refuse to come back to work. All they have to do is say they are scared of the virus and voila! they continue soaking up “free” money.

KNOWITALL's avatar

We have tons of great-paying jobs open in Missouri but few employees. Here it is mostly due to covid travel restrictions with student workers.

JLeslie's avatar

Lots of jobs here too. On a Facebook thread someone wrote they work part-time at Sam’s club collecting carts from the parking lot for $15 an hour.

I think part of the current situation is people want jobs back in the job they were doing previously, which I can understand, and so they are in a holding pattern if it hasn’t come back yet.

I think everyone wants to help people who lost jobs because of covid, but many of the people I know took “advantage” of the offerings so at least in my circles we are more annoyed with how it’s being doled out at this point more than anything else.

I personally am really annoyed people received a whole bunch of money and then took vacations. If you’re afraid of covid I really don’t want to hear you flew on a plane or went to Thanksgiving with 20 family members. If you’re claiming your livelihood is ruined and jetting to the palm trees and renovating your house (true story) pretty horrible in my mind.

Zaku's avatar

“Do you think this is happening?”
– In some cases, yes, but it’s not something to get your underpants twisted about.

“And is it fair?”
– It’s quite fair enough. Maybe not for the impossible and preposterous backward standards of confusedly jealous right-wing types who supposedly love work but spend so much time scanning hawk-like for anyone they think might be getting a handout.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I wonder if @seawulf575 would get the same answer if he asked the employees (as opposed to the bar owners and managers).

It is in the interest of the bar owners to give that answer. I wonder if it is objective and based on facts, or simply the opinion of the managers.

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso I know for a fact that a few of the owners/managers have gotten the answer from their “unemployed” staff. But one thing you said makes no sense, in my mind. That it’s in the interest of the bar owners to give that answer. When you are talking to a delivery guy, does it matter? It isn’t in their interest to give me any particular answer.

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso And one clarification. I haven’t heard one single owner/manager disparage the workers. They recognize that when a person can make more money sitting home than working it takes away the incentive to work, but it is a no brainer for the person.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The questioner here hasn’t even a clue that this question is insulting in both its insolence and arrogance. Let’s word this question properly: Is it fair that the Federal government provide millions of working people the opportunity to avoid contracting and spreading a lethal disease? The OP is asking whether it would be better that the government allow those millions the choice between running the risk of a likely shot at gruesome suffering or death against the alternative of assured financial ruin. To my mind, it’s high time the working man in this country could finally catch a break. This is the first time in decades the government has made a decision leaving that man without a gun at his head.

crazyguy's avatar

@YARNLADY That is how unemployment insurance is supposed to work. For the short time one is out of work.

However, if one can make $15+ per hour just for sitting at home, when his/her job pays $12 per hour, how can you blame the person for saying: Why on earth wold I go back to work?

@JLeslie Precisely. But should you get $14 an hour when you usually earn $7?

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli I agree with you. Let us pay them all a living wage and thereby force all small businesses out of business.

@kritiper And what do you think?

@flutherother Oh yeah. The covid bugaboo. The same excuse used by our famous teachers for keeping schools closed; and that in turn forces potential employees to seek day care; and then going to work makes no sense.

@KNOWITALL Supply and demand can work wonders, even in Missouri. Reduce the federal subsidy to zero, then watch the employment numbers surge.

@JLeslie Our hard-earned tax dollars being used by the Democrats for leveling the playing field or some crap like that.

crazyguy's avatar

@Zaku As far as I am concerned, if even one small business is forced to shut down because the owners could not compete with the federal largesse, it is one too many.

@elbanditoroso I hope by now you have confirmed my math.

In my opinion, you do not have to ask anybody. JUST USE YOUR HEAD. How can you beat $15+ per hour for sitting at home. By the time you add commuting costs, childcare costs and the inconvenience of having to work, you probably would not accept any job that pays less than $25 per hour.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

News flash there is a Pandemic, @crazyguy !

zenvelo's avatar

”....are making the same or better money sitting at home.”

In other words, they don’t pay their employees dignified living wage.

ragingloli's avatar

If your business can not afford paying your employees a living wage, you should not have a business.
I have said it before, and I will say it again:
If you pay your employees so little, that they are forced to apply for government assistance tp survive, it is your business that is getting a government handout by virtue of the state paying part of the wages for you.

At the very minimum, a full time job should pay enough to not operate at a loss. Meaning it should pay for shelter, heating, food, and a basic standard of living.
If being a waiter truly was worth less than that, then it is not worth doing, at all, by anyone.
Frankly, you would be better off being a starving artist, or back alley prostitute living under a bridge, because at least then you would be doing something you enjoy.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I’m not exactly sure what you mean by leveling the playing field. I am for a higher minimum wage. Surely people making $350k a year plus bonuses could make make $300k and pay 5 lower level people an additional $10k a year. Now take someone making $1m a year plus bonuses, and free health insurance. He definitely can give up some money.

Do you want the rich and the poor? Or, do you want what I think of as an American value, a large middle class. Do you want a poor ghetto surrounding the gated neighborhoods? Or, do you want varying levels of middle class with some wealthy thrown in? Americans used to brag about having a large middle class and how we were different than the third world because we valued workers, educated everyone, had safe neighborhoods. That’s all in jeopardy because we are walking away from the formula.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Walking away is understatement This man’s attitude is posed in direct defiance of any concept of best outcome for the good of all. It is about as destructive and self centered rejection of equity you will ever see in print. This guy is one big barrel of laughs. You just know he must be popular as hell and one big hit at cocktail parties.

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo Government handouts that have no correlation to a person’s ‘market value’ are a sure way of failing the system. Socialism, that ideally guarantees every citizen a living wage, has collapsed without foreign interference in more countries than I can count. For one simple reason: a socialist economy cannot compete with a markets-driven economy.

As I have stated on many occasions, wages are set by simple supply and demand. Right now supply has been reduced substantially because of interference in the marketplace by Biden and his fellow Democrats; therefore there is a tremendous pressure on wages. Any business owner that wants to stay in business has to pay more. However, government interference in the labor marketplace is necessarily a short-term phenomenon. I say short-term because even the Democrats realize that they cannot leave the spigot on forever.

Perhaps Biden is hoping that some of the illegals he is letting in will fill the employment needs at the low end. Or maybe, he doesn’t care about this country at all.

@ragingloli As I have stated many times before, wages are set by supply and demand. Even a job requiring C Suite experience pays only what is determined by simple supply and demand. In other words, if you have executives crawling out of the woodwork, you can bet your bottom dollar that executive wages will drop.

You say: a full time job should pay enough to not operate at a loss. Meaning it should pay for shelter, heating, food, and a basic standard of living. That is the most socialistic statement I have ever seen on this board; it makes the current debate about minimum wage seem like kindergarten.

You want to set a minimum wage that is defined as adequate for shelter, heating, food, and a basic standard of living. No matter that one person’s definition of a basic standard of living includes two cars. You, my friend, have delusions of socialistic grandeur, and are probably better off in some other country.

@JLeslie I have asked the question many times what a sustainable method would be for reducing wealth and income inequality. Your suggestion would solve income inequality on a one-time basis, but would it be sustainable?

I don’t need all the money I have right now; but if I were to give half of it away, how long would that gesture solve the problem of wealth inequality?

Zaku's avatar

@crazyguy “As far as I am concerned, if even one small business is forced to shut down because the owners could not compete with the federal largesse, it is one too many.”
– And how concerned are you about small businesses which are forced to shut down because of:
* Inability to compete with WalMart?
* Inability to handle business taxes that mean even the smallest businesses pay a flat 30% (IIRC) while the most profitable businesses and individuals are given subsidies and ways to avoid paying?
* Problems during COVID for which they did not receive help from the CARES act, while hundreds of dubious companies collected millions in PPP loans, including companies owned by Trump and Kushner?

ragingloli's avatar

It is not “socialistic”
It is basic capitalism.
As an employee, your business is selling your work, your time, and your expertise to someone else.
Shelter, food, etc, are your expenses, that your income must cover. Being able to save money is your profit margin.
To sell your work and your time below cost, to operate your business of selling your service at a loss, is bad business.

Equally, if you run a company, and you rely on what is essentially free labour and outside subsidies in order to stay afloat, that is bad business.
If your employee requires government assistance to survive, the government is subsidising your company.
If your employee is working additional jobs for someone else in order to survive, that other company is subsidising your company.
If your employee is a teenager still living at home and you pay them pennies, their parents, and by extension the parent’s employers are subsidising your company.

Imagine you had a manufacturing company, and you decided to pay your parts suppliers only half of what the parts are worth, with the justification that the parts are worth less to you than they cost to make.
They would tell you to get fucked by a cactus-dicked gorilla.

ragingloli's avatar

And it also is not just about supply and demand, but it is also about leverage and power differentials when it comes to the employer – employee relationship.
Employees have very little leverage and power when it comes to negotiating compensation.
(Which is why unions are such an essential part of a modern society: collective bargaining gives employees more leverage)
It is the same reason why slaves in the south were abused, raped, and murdered in the “normal” master-slave relationship: They had no power or leverage to “negotiate” humane treatment.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Personally, if I have the good fortune to be in good shape financially, I’m not going to fault Biden for at least attempting to provide a little relief for those more precariously situated than myself. Sure it’s unfair that those of us who don’t need it or simply prefer to hide from the disease benefit, but at least THIS TIME those on the bottom visibly and meaningfully are included. And if it’s a mistake, it’s finally one for which I can rest assured I will not be ashamed of my government.

Pandora's avatar

Apparently, 12 is the average after March 14, 2021. It depends on each state. Twenty-one is the highest I saw, which is Massachusettes and is gets as low as 6 and 7 dollars for Alabama and Arizona. So it seems it’s rated by cost of living. Also, unemployment can still be denied. When I lived in N.C and lost my job years ago, I had to prove I wasn’t at fault to receive my benefits, then I had to do 40 hours a week of job searching and making calls and going to interviews to continue to receive my benefits. I was approved but before I could collect I got another job which was great because I would be working more than my original part time job to constantly go out to jobs I apply for or jobs they sent me out to go interview. It’s not so simple as you would like to think it is in every state. If they call someone and find out you didn’t show up for the interview but say you did, then you lose your benefits. Point is you have to prove you don’t have a job because of covid. Not that you quit your job. And I’m sure most states make sure that people are actively looking for work or they won’t recieve the benefits.
Now if its due to illness because you caught covid then that may be a different matter.
I also don’t believe the mom-and-pop stores are struggling to hire. If they are it is because covid has slowed business down and so they aren’t hiring because they can’t afford to hire anyone. Most of the mom and pop near are still opened so I imagine they are surviving if they can still keep their doors open and the lights on. I’m sure that isn’t the case in every state but Mom and pop stores fail more often than they survive under even normal circumstances.

Also, our employment numbers continue to climb.
Just so you know, I’m not going to debate you on this. I think you are simply trying to feed into the corporate and right wing nonsense of, this is going to hurt the little guy, who we really care about. Also, people will get lazy and won’t work for them unless they can afford to pay them more than 15 dollars an hour. Mom and Pops would do better if more people could afford to actually shop in their stores and pay the higher prices than go to places like Walmart who can sell their stuff cheaper.

JLeslie's avatar

The problem is, there are people receiving from the government who don’t need it. Republicans know it, some Democrats know it, but some Democrats don’t want to see it, or won’t say it, and instead talk about those who really need the money or those who should be getting paid more in the first place. As long as Democrats sound like they aren’t acknowledging some money being spent is unnecessary the conversation goes nowhere.

Saying employees should be paid more anyway is helping the Republicans in their song that Democrats are using covid to push their real agenda. Some interpret that agenda as higher wages, and some push it as socialism.

I’m in the market to buy a house, and right now I don’t see how a first time home buyer could buy anything in many parts of the country. The inflation on housing is insane. This will help along the division in the social strata. Not good. Not even $15 will help right now in a lot of cities. Also, my prediction is food is about to go up. Gas prices are climbing and that’s always an excuse to raise prices whether it’s necessary or not.

@crazyguy It has to be more than just giving people a lot of money as a one time gesture. Earning more money is better than giving people money in my opinion. At least during prime working years, let’s say she’s 20–50. I’d be thrilled if everyone could retire at 50. Not forced, just could financially.

Socialized healthcare would do a lot to solve some of the problems. Put some of the money there.

People earning more creates more middle class behaviors. Americans hate to talk about social class, but once people have more discretionary income they can save, start worrying about future (because they are now able too). More family planning, nicer neighborhoods, safer neighborhoods, better schools, future for children, maybe one of the parents can have more time with the children, no more working two jobs. Calmer households, less stress. Should lead to more marriages also, rather than single parent situations. That last one I’m not sure if it would play out as expected.

crazyguy's avatar

First of all, let me thank the recent posters for actually tackling the issue instead of the OP!

@Zaku: If a small business gets big by gobbling up the competition, or by rapid expansion into small business areas, I have NO problems with it. As long as every business operates on a level playing field. A level playing field includes all federal and state laws. So, to answer your question directly, if a small business cannot compete with Walmart, they have two choices: shut down, or sell out.

About business taxes: They are part of the playing field of federal and state laws. If one business sets up so as to benefit from these laws, while another one cannot, the laws should be changed according to whatever the majority of legislators think is fair.

COVID Relief: As far as I know, there were procedures set up for all businesses to obtain PPP loans if they met the criteria. Perhaps the criteria favored one type of business over another; since when is that illegal?

crazyguy's avatar

@ragingloli I agree that an employee’s time, expertise and work are the commodities involved in a wage negotiation. However, I think where we start to disagree is that the country owes it to all its citizens the right to make a profit in the transaction. Each potential or current employee needs to make his/her own calculation and change the equation as best as possible.

By the way, I love your finish: get fucked by a cactus-dicked gorilla. LOLLL

In your second post you bring up the power of unions in wage and benefit negotiations. Keep in mind a union boss has just one goal: GROW. Employee betterment is just one possible way to grow. The reason unions negotiate better wages is because they can use the success to lure more members.

The ultimate success of a union is determined by monopoly power. Have employers over a barrel. Become the only game in town. How exactly is that different from a Walmart? Or even a Facebook? A Google? An Apple?

In order to be perceived as fair by the country as a whole, the laws governing unions have to be passed and enforced in accordance with the prevailing mood of the country. We know that the Democrats recently scored a substantial success; however, the country did not give them any kind of mandate. In fact, the Democrats actually lost seats in the House. Therefore, the Democrats, in order to try and stay in power (my prediction: they will not) is to cater to all sides.

@Pandora Please clarify that the numbers you are talking about are the average state unemployment compensation basis. The number I used was a nationwide average of State Unemployment benefits + the federal subsidy.

I have dealt with the Unemployment rules and regulations before COVID (a new meaning for BC!). You said: I had to do 40 hours a week of job searching and making calls and going to interviews to continue to receive my benefits. I never had to do a fixed number of hours, but I did have to enter names of companies that I contacted for a job each week.

Because of COVID, most states no longer require unemployed people to submit proof of a continued hunt for work, although some are in the process of changing that provision. Therefore, the calculation is very straightforward for most unemployed people.

Option 1: Stay unemployed, collect about $15–16 per hour for watching TV or whatever.
Option 2: Go to work, incur commuting expenses, put off daily household chores, and bring home less money.

What would you choose?

JLeslie's avatar

Business taxes are tricky. Biden has been talking about closing loopholes, but I don’t know exactly what the plan is. Business taxes need to be low enough to keep big business in the country, but also not have so many loopholes business winds up paying no taxes. Raising the tax rate on zero profit is just zero again.

Very small business are often S corporations and the owner pays like it is all regular income. Usually a portion of their car, phone, internet, home office (if they are at home) sometimes some of their clothing, and other expenses are written off under the business. In fact the problem with business owners is they write off so much income they get a big shock when it comes to retirement and social security if they don’t plan correctly. Someone simply earning a wage, going into work every day, is not getting any of the write-offs. The really big nightmare is healthcare, but if their AGI is low they get a government subsidy through ACA.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie That, my dear, is an awesome answer. I flagged it as a GREAT ANSWER.

The only part of your answer that caused me some heartburn was: their song that Democrats are using covid to push their real agenda. You can guess which word caused me heartburn. I am certain that Democrats are using covid, and that is the reason they are still trying to keep covid alive.

I love the middle class panacea you describe.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Loopholes are targeted incentives for types of businesses. Sometimes, if the law is written badly (AND I know just how hard it is to write a tight law), the loophole gets used by other businesses (unintended consequences). Sometimes the law is written by particular lobbyists and the consequences are intended.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy You love the panacea, but do you want to attempt to keep it alive? Part of our large middle class was from labor unions pushing for higher wages and benefits. Suburbs grew (I would argue not all of that growth has been good, it needs to be planned better for environmental reasons and more convenience).

A lot of Republicans don’t seem to want to grow the middle class. They want to allow public schools to fall apart (in the name of free market) they want people to work two jobs to pay their basics. They want people to demand higher wages when some markets the worker has very little power.

You do see that a lot of Republicans go along with and repeat the mantra that it’s just fine if we have a lot of rich and poor in the country. They don’t see to understand what it looks like to have a small middle class, and lack of access to education, and when the government does almost nothing for the people.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie You are a thinking person. Let me ask you the same question that I posed to @ragingloli.

The ultimate success of a union is determined by monopoly power. Have employers over a barrel. Become the only game in town. How exactly is that different from a Walmart? Or even a Facebook? A Google? An Apple? I am anti-Union for the same reason I am anti-monopoly. It interferes with supply and demand. If the only way to create a middle class is through UNIONS, please count me out.

Fortunately, there is another way. It is called supply and demand. By squeezing down on illegal immigration, you reduce the pressure of excess supply of unskilled labor. That forces UP the wages for jobs that Americans would never do, and suddenly you will find Americans lining up for those jobs.

AND THAT WOULD BE A SUSTAINABLE MIDDLE CLASS. Unlike the one created by excessive Union demands at one time that could never be met in leaner times!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Middle class cannot be made and supported by unskilled labor wages. The $ 14,500 a year is not middle class income.

I live in an agricultural area, last year and so far this year the farmers are having a hard time getting a crew of unskilled labor to pick their produce and the crew is legal. None of your hypothetical “middle class” are running out to get in the fields. So supply and demand is not working, most of the farmers ar paying more than minimum wages.

zenvelo's avatar

This is a false premise: ”...The ultimate success of a union is determined by monopoly power.”

The success of a union is not determined in having monopsony over the supply of labor. It is determined by being able to represent a majority of the workers to prevent vindictive labor practices and to assist in developing a safe workplace that pays a decent wage.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The simplistic explanation on the futility of unions in lean times misdiagnoses the fact that the lean times THEMSELVES may well be due to the syetmatic demonization and relentless attack on unions in this country. In fact the history of this country indicates vividly that it was the lean times of the depression that promulgated the explosive growth and greatest power of unions this country ever experienced. This is precisely why to the present day the movement has been under incessant and relentless harassment by corporate elites and their entrenched Republican toadies. The present plight of working people is the direct reflection of the LOSS of union power in the face of the REAL monopolies.

crazyguy's avatar

@zenvelo Union success is determined by being able to represent a majority of the workers to prevent vindictive labor practices and to assist in developing a safe workplace that pays a decent wage. Try that in a right to work state with an unlimited supply of illegal immigrants.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@crazyguy . . . “with an unlimited supply of illegal immigrants.”

Why do you keep dragging out this falsehood??


E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

E-Verify is a voluntary program. However, employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause are required to enroll in E-Verify as a condition of federal contracting. Employers may also be required to participate in E-Verify if their states have legislation mandating the use of E-Verify, such as a condition of business licensing. Finally, in some instances employers may be required to participate in E-Verify as a result of a legal ruling.

E-Verify, which is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, is currently the best means available to electronically confirm employment eligibility.

Zaku's avatar

@crazyguy What that says to me is that, although you seem hyper-concerned about the “fairness” of unemployment benefits somehow impacting small businesses, you don’t care about other types of struggles small businesses face that seem to me much more unfair and indicative of actual government corruption and manipulation by huge businesses.

crazyguy's avatar

@Zaku I answer your criticisms point by point, and you choose to respond in generalities. Why does that not surprise me?

Zaku's avatar

Because you’re trying to waste lots of everyone’s time here, and you’ve noticed that eventually even those of us who respond to you eventually stop responding in as much detail?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@crazyguy You aren’t wrong about a right to work state.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy The problem is free market doesn’t play out exactly as people idealize. Neither does socialism or communism for that matter.

Monopolies and oligopolies do wind up happening and then they can charge unreasonably high prices. When there is just a few in competition they sometimes collude rather than compete by lowering the price. Pharma is an example. Small towns with very little choice for employment another example.

When employers take advantage and push employees too hard the blowback is unions or regulation. If you don’t want a union, then treat employees reasonably well in the first place.

Really, if everyone just acted with some integrity the free market could work in most circumstances, but that doesn’t happen all too often. Making multimillions in profit, paying executives millions, gouging customers who will be extremely ill or die without your product, and paying lower level staff barely enough to keep a roof over their head is not a model built on integrity in my book. Probably no one in the pharma industry is making minimum wage. In that example it’s the gouging price that’s a problem. All of society suffers paying that bill.

Capitalism in its pure form has problems. It needs to be tweaked with controls and giving the employee some power and rights.

In the end it’s about integrity. Treating employees fairly, using the golden rule. Also, treating the customer well, and not taking advantage to the extent that it hurts society.

Too many Americans seem to not understand that we are supposed to care about each other to keep our society prosperous and healthy.

dabbler's avatar

@JLeslie “The problem is, there are people receiving from the government who don’t need it”
Please explain why this is a problem.
Is there ANY system you use in your life that is 100% efficient? any?
Is there any system you use that there is no waste?

My metric for an assistance is : did all the people who really need help get help?
If they did them I have no problem to tolerate some level of parasites and crooks.
Of course there should be structural features to any program to deter fraud but not having a program because it isn’t perfect misses the point of having government in the first place, to benefit and enable the largest number of citizens possible.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@dabbler what is need, in your context?

I will start getting Social Security in a year or two. Technically, I do not need that income. I have saved enough over the years to live well. And of course that money comes from the government through my (and others’) contributions for the last 50 years.

Social security income is a government obligation to me. But again, it will be nice to have although not strictly necessary? Should I feel guilty?

JLeslie's avatar

@dabbler I basically agree with you, it’s impossible to make the system perfect. There will always be a certain percentage of people getting funds or services who don’t need it or are actually committing fraud. The most important thing is the people who need it get it.

That doesn’t change that people who usually make $9 are getting $12—$15 on covid unemployment. I used minimum above, but very few people only make the federal minimum wage. That’s setting up unemployment so people get more than their normal wages. MORE. Ok, let’s just say it, it is a way to drive up wages. Businesses are competing with the government. I saw Sonny on The View saying people want to work they want jobs, like nobody is simply taking advantage of the situation. Give me a break. It’s not nobody, even you would agree with that from what you wrote.

Aside from getting $15 from the government rather than the $10 they were making working, there is the separate issue that some people are taking advantage of it who aren’t even really unemployed. They are just pushing off being paid or taking a vacation.

You are admitting there are people who take advantage, a lot of Democrats want to say it is not happening.

The latest stimulus and unemployment supplements could be set up better to lower fraud and waste. Our government doesn’t have the money! Stimulating the economy is inflating it, and it might burst. That is a horrible roller coaster that I’m tired off. People are worried about the psychological effects of staying home during covid. Try when the stock market backslides and real estate bubbles burst and companies cut back on staff. Depression and suicide goes way up.

The Republicans know there is fraud and waste because they are taking advantage of the current systems themselves. They talk about “Democrats” or pick on a minority group, but the truth is it is also about themselves. There are lawyers here who give lectures on what to do with your money so your kids get it and you will be able to use Medicaid for long term care. Or, just how to give your kids your money tax free. Less need for those lawyers now that the exempt amount is something like $12 million per person.

dabbler's avatar

@elbanditoroso I have no problem whatsoever with you receiving SocSec even if you don’t ‘need’ it. That system is made for everyone not just the desperate.

For programs that are aimed at the desperate, My metric is whether or not all of the desperate people are getting help. If there are a few dirtbags who skirt controls and qualifications for an undeserved break then I consider that undesirable but tolerable.

@JLeslie Yes, indeed, there is fraud and waste. I consider that undesirable but tolerable as long as the people who need COVID relief are getting it.
As far as people getting more from COVID relief than their normal wages. I know the amounts are not huge so it tells me that there is a problem with their normal wages.

“Stimulating the economy is inflating it, and it might burst.” Right now there is not much sign of inflation, yet, and there is plenty of things the Fed can do to help if it gets above acceptable levels. Yes, that’s possible but no need to respond to that if it doesn’t happen.
“Our government doesn’t have the money! ” Are you kidding? Keynesian theory has been proven correct that deficit spending in downturns is the best way for a government to respond. What has been missing repeatedly is the willingness to pay that debt when the economy is back to going well. Instead we get tax cuts for the tiny fraction of the population who already have more money than God. Somehow we have money for that? ...and not to bail out the economy?

Again, if all the people who need help desperately, because they had no work for most of a year and still had to pay rent and feed themselves, get the help they need, personally I don’t care if 5% of the money goes to people who should not get it.

JLeslie's avatar

@dabbler I agree we should have been paying the debt when the economy was doing well. I keep asking Trumpers why they were ok before covid with the economy doing well and Trump did nothing to pay down the debt. He lied.

I also agree with the first covid stimulus and unemployment help including basically no worry about people getting it who didn’t need it. It’s the second and third stimulus and current unemployment benefits I have a problem with.

I’ve heard all the expert economic lines you just said, and I have my own way of looking at it. I agree with some of it, but simply not all. Giving money to people who don’t need it does not stimulate the economy. We put the money in the bank. People who have been working, or who live financially comfortable in retirement, we have saved more money than usual, we have plenty of discretionary income right now. In 2020 they even allowed people to not take their required retirement distributions, and so a lot of people didn’t.

Also, any adult can get the vaccine now. Do you feel vaccinated people should feel comfortable going back to work? Is the pandemic no longer a reason to not work?

seawulf575's avatar

@dabbler Where is it written that the purpose of government is to benefit and enable the largest number of people possible?

zenvelo's avatar

@seawulf575 To benefit the greatest number of people, it is written here:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America

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