Why go back to work when you can make more on the dole?

We wondered aloud whether the congressional bailout bill giving the unemployed $600 a week would be a disincentive to return to work for many low-income workers laidoff due to the coronavirus shutdown orders. For many that will mean they will receive more income for staying home than they were getting while working.

The morning paper recently ran an op-ed by a Henderson businessman who calculated that his company was paying employees — now laidoff as non-essential — $12 an hour, but their unemployment benefits amount to about $300 a week plus the $600 a week from the federal government. He said this works out to $22.50 an hour. “So if we keep them on the payroll, they earn $12 per hour, and if we lay them off, they earn $22.50 per hour with no taxes owed. What would you do for your employees?” he asked.

How many would come back to work if his business reopens?

A man in the restaurant business in Oregon has the answer in an op-ed today in The Wall Street Journal. He writes that the takeout and delivery business has worked better than expected and the company started making calls seeking to get former workers to return. “When we asked our employees to come back, almost all said, ‘No thanks.’ If they return to work, they’ll have to take a pay cut,” he writes.

With unemployment and the fed bailout, he calculated that former workers at getting $1,016 a week, or $376 more than he or she made as a full time employee. “Why on earth would he want to come back to work?” he writes. The checks will keep coming until July 31. Reopen?


5 comments on “Why go back to work when you can make more on the dole?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Right on the money, Thomas. When conservatives vow, “America will never be a socialist country,” I say, “Open your eyes.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    This item on FAIR’s site highlights the continued sellout of American workers. https://www.immigrationreform.com/2020/04/22/foreign-workers-executive-order-immigrationreform-com/

  3. Anonymous says:

    2nd article now about the bottom rung getting some relief from the impacts of this scourge and of course none of the attacks on the party most responsible for them getting it (obviously the republican Senate, and the decider Donald a Trump also a republican)

    But absolutely nothing about all those big businesses that bilking the Ameeican taxpayer out of trillions of dollars once again like it always was, with of course the support of the republican controlled Senate and the republican president.

    Why is that Thomas?

  4. Steve says:

    In sit down restaurants, tips must be taken into consideration.

    Take out and delivery don’t capture anywhere near as much tipping income as a sit down restaurant at 20% of the subtotal.

    That $12 per hour base pay compared to unemployment at first seems like a pay cut, until you figure the tipping income on an average $50 subtotal times the number of patrons served in a shift.
    And don’t even get started on bartender tips.

    Open the taverns and sit down restaurants, those employees will jump at the opportunity to start collecting tips again. Even at minimum wage.


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