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Monday, January 30, 2023
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Couch Potatoes Reeling in Big Welfare Bucks for Not Working

'A key policy question these days that has befuddled federal lawmakers is why so many millions of Americans have not returned to the workplace in the post-Covid era... '

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) Able-bodied Americans who have dropped out of the labor force can in dozens of states earn at least the national median household income through unemployment benefits and Obamacare’s insurance subsidies.

In a study titled, “Paying Americans Not to Work,” the Committee to Unleash Prosperity found that Americans in 24 states can earn as much from welfare benefits than as from holding a job that pays the national median income, Hot Air reported.

About 16 states pay the equivalent of a $20 per hour wage for a full-time job.

Three Left-wing states—Washington, Massachusetts and New Jersey—offer welfare benefits in excess of $108,000 per year for a family of four with two unemployed adults.

Washington topped the list at more than $122,000 per year.

In 14 states, including a few red states like Utah and Kentucky, health insurance subsidies and unemployment checks provide the same income as a working head of the household who earns $80,000 per year plus benefits.

The federal and state government pays Americans who have voluntarily chosen not to work more than the median high school teacher who earns $81,000 or the median construction worker, electrician, firefighter, trucker, or machinist, who all earn between $60,000 and $70,000.

In most of the country, being unemployed and on government assistance offers a better living than the average blue collar job.

These generous welfare checks without work have had a predictable effect: the labor force participation rate has fallen 1.3% since March 2020, from 63.4% to 62.1%.

“A key policy question these days that has befuddled federal lawmakers is why so many millions of Americans have not returned to the workplace in the post-Covid era,” University of Chicago economics professor Casey Mulligan and Heritage Foundation research fellow EJ Antoni wrote in the study.

Some people view these benefits as part of trend to turn working-age Americans into docile, pot-smoking, couch potatoes who will unquestioningly submit to digital currencies, vaccine passports, lockdowns and other totalitarian measures.

But others see the decline in the labor force participation rate as an unfortunate but foreseeable consequence of excessive welfare benefits.

“The U.S. is “missing” more than three million workers of working age that could be working and were working prior to COVID but are not today,” the researchers wrote. “This study shows that one factor contributing to the dearth of workers is the generous benefits paid to families without workers.”

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