Extended Unemployment and Unfilled Jobs: Another Take
Last week, in another post on this site, Beau posed the following question: "At what point do we pull the plug on extended unemployment?" Beau's asserting that extended unemployment is causing people to pass on jobs to collect unemployment. And maybe they are. I wonder if he, and many others who share the same feeling, are asking the wrong question though.
Maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is: Why aren't the jobs being filled? And if extended unemployment is paying more than a full time job, boy, the pay at those full time jobs is poor. As someone whose had to avail himself of unemployment from time to time, it's not like the government is writing fat checks and putting the unemployed on easy street.
I don't care what someone does. Whether they work fast food, work for a superstore, man a convivence store counter, make widgets in a factory, whatever. If they are employed by anyplace full time then they should make enough to lead a modest life and be able to get a decent benefit plan for themselves through their employer.
I get it, some will immediately point to how it will hurt small business. Some will point to how things at the superstore will cost more. How that $1.29 cheeseburger will disappear. Ok, maybe it will.
But isn't there something wrong when part of the successful business equation includes paying people a wage they can't live on? Isn't there something wrong when big superstores and fast food places pay a wage so low employees qualify for food stamps, Medicaid and welfare?
Business should be able to make a profit. From the fast food franchisee who saved his or her money and bought a place after working their way up in the industry for twenty years. To the person who had an idea for a business that worked. Yes, they should enjoy the profits and the pay offs from their hard work. However, it shouldn't come at the expense of employees who help make that business successful. If it does, maybe the business plan needs to be rethought.