Piece by piece, Republican governors are dismantling the political and economic apparatus constructed during the coronavirus pandemic — and their states are thriving because of it.
The latest to go is a $300 weekly federal unemployment payment, with Florida becoming the 23rd GOP-run state to eliminate the handout that many blame for continued stagnation and shortages in the labor market.
The state’s Department of Economic Opportunity announced it would withdraw from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program beginning June 27, Fox Business reported.
The news came Monday on the heels of a dismal Labor Department report that revealed just 266,000 jobs were added to the economy in April.
That figure is well below the one million jobs some analysts were predicting, and far too few to complete the target of two million jobs President Joe Biden hoped to hit in his first 100 days in office.
While the problem of joblessness is multifaceted, many contend that the issue isn’t too few jobs, but too many people receiving more money to stay home.
This federal subsidy coupled with state unemployment benefits that average about $330 per week amount to out-of-work Americans making $32,000 annually — twice what they would earn working a minimum wage job.
Florida’s weekly jobless benefits top out at $275, so cutting federal payments will have benefits.
Florida will continue to cover its freelance and other workers often excluded from unemployment insurance and extend the state’s payments once they’ve run out.
It’s hard to deny that these continued handouts don’t account for at least part of the problem that has some employers so desperate for workers, they’ll pay candidates to sit for an interview.
A March Labor Department report revealed there were a record 8.1 million jobs open in America, suggesting unemployment benefits are disincentivizing people from re-entering the workforce, The Hill reported.
There’s something to that theory when an announcement about benefits ending in Florida led to at least one establishment’s sudden boom in applicants.
“At Oceanside Bar and Grill, the owner shared job applications are pouring in after the governor’s announcement yesterday that federal pandemic unemployment benefits will come to an end June 26th,” News 13 reporter Nicole Griffin wrote in a tweet Tuesday.
At Oceanside Bar and Grill, the owner shared job applications are pouring in after the governor’s announcement yesterday that federal pandemic unemployment benefits will come to an end June 26th @MyNews13 #News13Flagler pic.twitter.com/aBODWIba4A
— Nicole Griffin (@NicoleNews13) May 25, 2021
The problem is that Democrats appear to want to keep people on the government dole indefinitely, which would secure their political dominance forever.
It could also just be that they are unable to pivot and change course with new information, and instead choose to cling to outdated coronavirus restrictions.
After all, they demonized Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his handling of the pandemic that included keeping schools open and refusing a statewide mask mandate, even as the state did better than others with draconian lockdowns.
They smeared Texas for neanderthal thinking due to eliminating its coronavirus restrictions — all while coronavirus deaths continue to decline in the state.
Republican governors are allowing their citizens to move by taking way incentives not to, and Democrats don’t like that.
Most Americans are ready to get back to their lives and get back to work, but some who have become dependent on the flow of government cash just need an extra push out the door — and that’s exactly what Florida is giving them.
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