It pays to work, but it just might pay more to go on the dole permanently, especially in Nevada.
Perhaps, that is one reason Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
The Cato Institute has compiled a 52-page report titled “The Work vs. Welfare Trade-Off: 2013.” It details state by state what one can be paid for working and from the panoply of welfare benefits, if one were take adavantage of everything from food stamps, to housing assistance to Medicaid to tax credits. Cato’s Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes calculate welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states.
The incentive to choose the dole over work is even higher since the Obama administration told states they could waive work requirements contained in a 1996 law signed by Bill Clinton.
Cato’s analysis found that in Nevada — where the minimum wage of $8.25 an hour is a dollar higher than the federal minimum — a person on welfare could rake in the equivalent of $14.34 an hour, the 14th highest in the nation. A Nevadan drawing a full boat of welfare benefits could fetch 91.3 of the state’s median wage, not the minimum that a low skill person could expect, but the median of all those employed, the 15th highest in the nation.
The residents of eight states can get paid more than 100 percent of those states’ median income.
Nevada’s welfare benefits puts one at 160.8 percent of the poverty level. Only eight states have welfare benefits that leave someone at less than 100 percent of the poverty level.
Thanks to Cato’s Dan Mitchell for the heads up on the report.