Additional benefits for anti-unemployment vax? Really? – Twin Cities

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020 and the federal government began using special measures to support workers, households, and businesses, Republicans have been concerned that opening Broadening conditions and the generosity of unemployment benefits could slow the recovery and keep workers on the sidelines.

So why are some Republican-led states now extending unemployment benefits to workers who lost their jobs because of non-compliance with vaccine regulations, while others are considering the follow?

The answer is that some Republican politicians put opposing culture wars ahead of sound economic policy, traditional conservative principles, and the best interests of their members. The result will be more marginalized workers in Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas and Tennessee at a time when labor shortages are affecting the ability of many businesses to operate and are contributing to record inflation – all at the same time prolonging the duration of the pandemic.

State officials cited precisely these concerns when they stopped participating in a federal program that made unemployment benefits more generous.

It seems they were right — states that reduced their unemployment benefits generously last summer led relatively more unemployed workers to find jobs. But these states are expanding unemployment compensation on the one hand while restricting it on the other, creating a new kind of restriction for the unvaccinated while also cutting the size of the payments. and told contract workers that they were no longer allowed to receive benefits.

Unemployment benefits are a social insurance program. Employers pay into the system on behalf of workers, who ultimately bear the cost of those premiums in the form of lower wages. Workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own – for example, mass layoffs due to the economic downturn – and who are actively looking for work are eligible for benefits. An employee who is fired for reason or voluntarily quits cannot receive benefits, just as a person who intentionally sets his home on fire cannot obtain his homeowner’s insurance policy.

Workers who do not comply with the employer’s vaccine policy will be fired for cause. Are workers fired for not following the company’s dress code eligible to receive unemployment benefits? Is not. Nor should workers who choose not to follow the company’s vaccine policy.

The economic nationalism and conservative populism that are weaving their way through the political right create a story of complaining and being victimized. But these laid-off workers are not victims. They are adults who make choices about their work environment, and they are responsible for those choices, including the loss of income while looking for another job.

Conservatism promotes economic freedom and argues that employers should be given broad authority to set company policy, and that the terms of the employment relationship should be respected. These relationships are entered into voluntarily by workers and businesses and would probably not exist if the agreement did not make both parties better off.

This is a traditional argument against the high federal minimum wage. If I am willing to be paid $12 per hour and a business is willing to pay me that, then why should the government step in and judge that $12 is too little?

The same logic applies to vaccination tasks. It’s okay for employers to require their employees to get vaccinated, and everyone has the choice of whether or not they work for an employer that’s mandated to get vaccinated. There is no good reason why workers who do not want to be vaccinated should receive compensation for choosing to act on that preference. Conservatives should remember that that compensation comes from tax revenue – other people’s money.

Further complicating the situation are consumer prices, which are rising at a faster rate than in four decades. These Republican-led states are keeping more workers, which is making it harder for businesses to find workers, pushing up nominal wages and putting pressure on consumer prices. Resistance to vaccine mandates should go back in time to attract employed workers and control price increases.

Many reasons to oppose the extension of unemployment benefits to those who lost their jobs because of the vaccination mandate include ending the pandemic faster, increasing employment, upholding the value of individual responsibility. and promote economic freedom, fiscal responsibility, and limited government.

What are the reasons to support this policy? Nothing is attractive.

Michael R. Strain is a Bloomberg Opinion journalist. He is director of economic policy research and Arthur F. Burns scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the author of “The American Dream Doesn’t Die: (But Populism Might Kill It).”

https://www.twincities.com/2022/01/14/michael-r-strain-extra-benefits-for-anti-vax-jobless-really/ Additional benefits for anti-unemployment vax? Really? – Twin Cities

Sarah Ridley

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