COVID-19 Shutdown A Reminder Government Welfare Is A Failure

We often see people run to the government for welfare programs when times get tough. The problem is, government is usually the one causing the tough times. Most recently, we see over 30 million people unemployed now due to their jobs being deemed non-essential by governments across the United States. No, COVID-19 made few unemployed, but government overreach has cost 30 + million people to go on unemployment.

The federal government pretended to help by adding $600 in weekly pay to anybody who recently lost a job due to the events during COVID-19. The $600 comes entirely from debt and burdens future generations with higher taxes. The federal government has showed that our unemployment system is completely flawed. We see this occur every recession and now shut down. The average state unemployment pays at most $511 per week or $2044 per month, while most people receive around half this benefit with $250 per week or $1022 per month.  That’s not even rent and a car payment for most people. What shocking is this is before they take taxes. Yes, your unemployment is taxed. The government taxes its own welfare system’s income to continue to kick people while they’re down. There’s very few unemployment people who could actually keep afloat that don’t already live relatively impoverished. We see the poverty line currently at $12760 or ironically only $240 less than what the average person makes on unemployment. Considering most people can’t live off $13,000 per year, how is it even supposed to keep someone afloat between jobs? It’s a failed program from the start and yet taxpayers see their employers shoving out billions in taxes to support unemployment programs.

Right now, we see millions of people living on unemployment and their state benefits are keeping them only $4.61 above the poverty line every week, which isn’t anything to live on. The federal government is adding $600 per week until July 25th in which that expires and people go back to the regular state income levels. If we see this carry on for many months more, will the federal government continue to pump in an extra $600 per week funded by national debt or will people just lose their businesses, home, and cars? What’s the purpose of having these state level unemployment programs if they’re so flawed they have to be bailed out by the federal government to be anything substantial? Now you might be thinking, it’s better than nothing. If that’s your argument, let’s assume 90% of your paycheck is now gone to government welfare programs and taxes. Are you still going to say it’s better than nothing? How much of your hard earned money must be lost for you to realize that government programs have a long history of failing while spending your paycheck in the process? Let’s not forget the fact, about 50% of people live paycheck to paycheck. These unemployment benefits have been taking 2 plus weeks to be received by applicants. Two weeks of being unemployed and you’re now broke and waiting for your poverty level benefits to pick in! Why? We see government showing its inability to do almost anything effectively and with low cost.

Unemployment Website

The unemployment levels we currently see wouldn’t be nearly as high if the shutdown had never occurred. No, we don’t believe COVID numbers would have been much higher without a shutdown. The problem with the COVID pandemic is government has talked about all of the enforcement, citations, and jail times they will give people who don’t follow the new orders put in place. The government has spent less time trying to educate people as to why they should wear a mask and practice social distancing. We see our governments run immediately to creating laws and issuing orders that limited our rights to free movement and to even work or open our businesses.

The government is only friends to the government and major campaign donors. We saw the federal government bail out corporate donors in March with over a trillion dollars of our money. We see thousands of small business owners across the country unable to open their “non-essential” business while major corporations remain open. Over 30 million people right now cannot go to their “non-essential” jobs because society has been shut down by the government. Unemployment would be a seldom issue if government stopped over regulating, interfering with business, and taxing everything in sight. Still not convinced the government and specifically your state government isn’t your friend? Governors shut down businesses and made million unemployed. Their solution was providing poverty level unemployment benefits supported by debt fueled unemployment benefit increases from the federal government. Both the states with income tax and the federal government are now going to tax your income while you remain unemployed and forced to stay at home because of them. If your governor issued an order deeming a business non-essential, they’ve shown their authoritarianism, and how they’re not your friend.

November is the opportunity to vote out politicians who took away your income and locked you in your home. Our government should never be strong enough to destroy our economy with forced shut downs and rampant unemployment. It’s time to elect libertarians and reduce the size of government. Are you left wondering what would happen without a government welfare system? That’s a topic for another article, but in the meantime, take a read into food pantries and you’ll see how private charity beats out government food programs. It’s one great example of how private charity can replace government welfare. 

Chase Renwick

Author: Chase Renwick