COVID-19 Stimulus / Government Watch / History & Culture

Goodness in Work

work

First job, age 12, 40 dollars a week – toilet scrubbing, dirt shoveling, box stacking, lawn mowing – for a summer camp. Loved the work. Why? Got trusted to do things, got them done, felt good about it. Met people, earned, learned, advanced. That experience is why today’s “labor shortage” – created by mass state and federal payments to “stay home” – some over $1000 a week – is hard to fathom.

Even with federal add-ons dropping from $600 to $300 per week, states like Massachusetts offer a weekly payment of $771 dollars. These are on top of $1400 COVID checks. Many states are paying able-bodied citizens over $600 to stay home. See, e.g., $300 Unemployment Bonus: How Much Could You Receive In Your State?.

The point – This is madness. As the Biden team spins poor economic news, facts speak volumes. Due to excess federal unemployment payments, employment remains 5.7 million jobs below February 2020. Due to excess federal spending, inflation just hit 5.4 percent in July – more bad news.

Now, to lure people back into the labor force, Congress plans “bonuses” – with your tax dollars – to get people to reconsider working. “Enhanced” federal unemployment benefits may soon end, but will they?

If extended, we could see tax dollars for “bonuses” that compete with tax dollars for unemployment top-ups over free rent – after Biden (unconstitutionally) extended the eviction moratorium.

Again, this amounts to the mad economic policy since job openings jumped to 10.1 million in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. See Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. That rise in job openings suggests anyone who wants work can get it – even as the federal Government disincentives it.

Adding to labor market madness, federal policies that encourage people not to work are now pushing the private sector – which faces higher taxes, inflation, supply chain disruptions, and COVID restrictions – to push up wages. Private non-farm wages rose $0.20 in April, $0.13 in May, and $0.10 in June.

Sometimes common sense is needed. If the Federal Government continues to reward those who choose not to work with tax dollars from those working, and if the private sector is punished by competing with a federal government that pays people not to work, the corporate and individual tax bases both shrink.

Worse, under increasing pressure, more small businesses will go bankrupt – and more individuals will choose “easy street,” leaving their jobs for well-paid non-work. To those who say this will never happen, facts say otherwise: In June 2021, those leaving jobs voluntarily rose by 164,00 to 942,000.

Defenders of Biden giveaways for non-work offer several comebacks. First, they say the federal unemployment benefits will run out. Second, they say the Federal Reserve has studied it and thinks people will choose work over non-work. Third, they say only some get more money from non-work. Finally, they say many will not go back to work, even if benefits cease.

To this, one response – bunk. If federal unemployment benefits end, which they may not, other federal largess continues (i.e.. no rent, no eviction, debt relief). What the Fed thinks, often as not, is dead wrong; life teaches that people pick luxury overwork. If some get “more” from non-work, many get “same” – and pick that. Finally, arguing benefits must continue since people will not work – is lunacy.

Missing from this entire discussion is the pride, self-respect, a sense of purpose, productivity, can-do, day’s mission, outcome sought and achieved – the powerful, purposeful impact work has on our lives.

Sages for the ages have told us –, and we know from personal experience – that work is good for our soul, mind, heart, family, and society. Laziness – being paid for doing nothing – is corrosive. Wrote Thomas Edison, to whom we owe light by which we work, “There is no substitute for hard work.”

Wrote Ginger Rogers, light on her feet, “the only way to enjoy anything … is to earn it.” Wrote Stephen Hawking, who finally explained light, “Work gives you meaning and purpose … life is empty without it.”

In politically skewed times, giants of our recent past agree on work. Wrote Martin Luther King: “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well … A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.” Likewise, Ronald Reagan, who trusted America’s love of work – reminded us to value work, our self-respect, self-reliance.

On the humorous side, Reagan wrote: “Government’s view of the economy is … if it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.” Biden is doing all three.

The contrary view is to trust yourself, love your work. Biden, Congress, and those subsidizing non-work should stop this government-funded madness, let the labor market – and Americans – work.

Returning to my youth, $40 dollar per week did not buy a lot, but it taught what it ought. I learned that hard work is a blessing, a privilege, a chance to excel, get ahead, and take pride in what you do. No amount of government spending, not a mountain of benefits, can replace what the human heart longs to feel – the satisfaction of a well-done job. Edison, Rogers, Hawking, King, and Reagan knew it. So do we all.

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Jeanette
3 months ago

This administration wants people to depend on government for their needs.. Socialism; Communism…whatever name is put on it destroys our Republic! This administration is the worst in my lifetime..Im 84. CRT has got to go too!

Becky
3 months ago

Of course we know it. But is it accepted in practice? Not any longer. Communism only rewards failure. Until it slaughters all its ‘failures’, that is.
The ride down is getting very bumpy.

Wanda
3 months ago

The more dependent the people are, the easier it is to control them….making communism easier to do in America and we have a bunch of commies in power right now. They started this with Obamacare, the unconstitutional law whereby you have to purchase something that you do not want…the continue with the experimental gene therapy jab called a vaccination….they push as far as they can as long as they can. If we ever give up our guns, which I never will, America will become Nazi Germany in 1938…and remember 6 million people were slaughtered by their own government.

Bev
3 months ago
Reply to  Wanda

We should all agree that the loss of six million was terrible. But beyond the Jewish people, it was actually hundreds of thousands more – mentally or physically handicapped, violent criminals, functional, hard-working individuals such as dwarfs, etc. suffered unbelievably from “medical experimentation” that included unnecessary surgery without the benefit of anesthesia (or even choice in the matter!). We could go on and on – but it is too heart-breaking.

Judi
3 months ago

I still remember my first job. I got married young, and my husband was sent to Vietnam. He wanted me to live with his family while he was deployed. To keep busy and make a little money, I found a job on an egg ranch. I “picked” (gathered) the eggs, candled them and packed them. The owners were a very nice couple from Yugoslavia and their teenage son. I was the only employee, and they treated me with kindness. I went from that job to another family egg business, and they were wonderful as well. I will never forget that experience, and I really enjoyed the work. I have worked my entire adult life at a large variety of jobs, and just recently retired from my part-time job at 74 years old. If not for the Covid I would probably still be working.

Sharon Harrigan
3 months ago

i have worked since age 13 to provide my own spending money, school lunches, etc. Even to help my mom sometimes. These giveaways are stupid and will cause people to depend more and more on welfare and the government. God had a welfare program. but,the receivers had to work for what they got. They had to go and gather the leftover grains that were left in the fields. no one got something for nothing. Read the Book of Ruth in the Bible. Parents need to teach their kids to work for their own spending money. I could go on and on, but, never mind. Please pray for revival in our county, that America will return her heart to the truth of God and His Word.

Mimi
3 months ago

Work is a good thing, a very good thing. My son has six children. He is a mechanic and works hard to provide a good life for them all. However, when they are 16 and can get a work permit they are required to do so if they want a car, get a job, want designer shoes, get a job. As a right of passage, each one of them has followed this model. They got jobs, learned to work hard and get promoted, saved their money, bought cars, and have learned to save up for the things they want. All while going to high school and maintaining above average grades. Now they all (the three oldest) have great jobs, earn above average incomes, and have been great roll models for their siblings. The youngest are now looking forward to their time of work and the rewards that come with being a good employee. Conservative America is alive and well!! God bless America!????????

Bill on the Hill
3 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

Thanks Mimi… Your story has an all American ring to it!
Bill on the Hill… :~)

PaulE
3 months ago

RBC,

Very good article. The value of work is indeed many fold. No one becomes a millionaire or a billionaire by waiting for the next government check to arrive in the mail, while one sits on his or her a$$. You get out of life what you are willing to put into it. Nothing more.

That the left continues to be so intent on destroying the work ethic in this country, in favor of a creating permanent government dependency class that is far easier to control and manipulate, should be a flashing warning light to all as to their long-term intentions. Yet sadly, many in the younger generations only choose to see the near-term prospect for a “free check” from the government for sitting at home on the couch playing video games.

Carol
3 months ago

I have a friend who’s husband just turned 60 and has been looking for work for over two years! He told me that he’s willing to do manual work as well as managerial since he has a lot of management experience but no college degree. He told me most places say he is overqualified or not the right type of person (identity quotas still exist?). I wrote this to say not everyone is unemployed cuz they choose to be but outside of a lawsuit, which is too expensive, how does one get work when the work environment seems to be hostile to certain people? You would think anyone willing to work should be able to find a job!

PaulE
3 months ago
Reply to  Carol

Hi Carol,

First off, age discrimination does indeed exist despite all the laws against it. It never went away. It just got papered over in creative ways by corporate HR departments. Once someone is over 50 years old, the prospect for finding work in most fields becomes problematic. Add in today’s woke culture, that seems to have infected a large number of mid and large scale companies, and you have a rather high wall to climb over for anyone.

Depending on the skillset of your friend’s husband, he may want to consider either contract work (what they used to call temp work) or starting a small, home-based business on his own. In both cases, the lack of a college degree is far less important than whether he can actually do the work well. In many cases, a college degree is simply a check box on the job application form and has little to do with whether the job actually requires it. Hope this helps.

Barbara
3 months ago

Instead of giving lazy people an extra $300. a week to stay home. How about giving it to seniors on Social Security? I’m not making it on my monthly SS check of $1600. And for all you B S…ING politicians my SS check is our money NOT YOURS!!!!!!

PaulE
3 months ago
Reply to  Barbara

If the government were to give you an additional $300 in SS, they would also find a way to take it away from you with their other hand. SS was never envisioned to be one’s sole means of financial support in retirement. If it were, it would have been designed radically differently from the start.

I remember asking my grandparents decades ago why they never went anywhere or did much in retirement. Their answer was “because with SS, we can barely get by on what we get”. SS was their sole means of financial support, so the family chipped in regularly to supplement their meager income so they lacked for nothing. That was over six decades ago by the way, so today’s complaints about how hard it is to get by on SS alone are nothing new. It’s just most seniors today never had a frank discussion with their grandparents about what they thought of SS and the reality of what it actually delivered.

Bill on the Hill
3 months ago

The value of hard work should never be taken for granted…It does indeed begin in youth & when it is properly channeled, sometimes with a little parental guidance, it forms that lifetime understanding of what hard work means in terms of not just money earned but pride in a days worth of work…
I’m 67 years young now, but I learned these values at a very young age, it started when I was 11 or 12 years old. I got a job at Young’s apple orchards, not picking apples, but cleaning out double decker chicken coups that seemed to go on forever. I earned $1.25 cash money per hour & kept track of my hours worked after a couple weeks of mucking out chicken s**t…Before heading back to school, I had earned $500.00 over the summer doing other odd jobs, i.e. mowing lawns, raking leaves, shoveling snow, etc. & I banked it…My dad used to call me a tight wad Scrooge in a loving way of course. I was probably the only kid in school that always had a $20.00 bill in his pocket…To this very day I still have my most favorite hunting rifle I bought with all that money as it sits in my cabinet full of guns, i.e. a Marlin 336C in 30-30 Winchester, purchased at Barker’s Dept. Store for $69.95 back in ’66 at the tender age of 13…Each time I handle that carbine, it brings back youthful memories & it reminds me what hard work in youth taught me now as an adult…
Bill on the Hill… :~)

Patriot Will
3 months ago

As a teenager, I would chuckle listening to many of my classmates complaining about returning back to school. My summers were spent weeding, mowing lawns, stacking hay, shoveling knee-deep cow manure, etc. I was overjoyed to be in school, doing schoolwork and playing sports. My 4 years in high school were paradise, compared to the summers full of farm chores. Even today, I thank God each day for my health and good fortune. Because of my attitude, I am never bored. Even when I am doing nothing, I feel as if my life is constantly full of enjoyment and peace of mind. It’s very sad that so many people do not appreciate the little things of life. Too many Americans are soft and expect to be entertained.

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