MSNBC Discovers People Prefer Government Checks, Not Paychecks

After over a year of Democrats and their allies in the liberal media repeatedly demanding trillions of taxpayer dollars be spent on COVID relief and expanding unemployment benefits, on Friday, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle discovered people were deciding to rely on government checks rather than return to work. She even confronted a top economic advisor for the Biden White House about the troubling trend.

“We know people who’ve been out of work are getting the much-needed enhanced jobless benefits from now until September,” Ruhle remarked to White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein during her 9:00 a.m. ET hour show. However, she then revealed the downside of the government doling out that money: “But I want to share with you part of my conversation with a local florist….She is trying to hire some seasonal part-time workers and here’s what she’s up against.”

 

 

A clip followed of Ruhle talking to small business owner Alex Avdoulos about her floral shop:

RUHLE: So when you’re trying to hire people part time, what response are you getting from them?

ALEX AVDOULOS [CO-FOUNDER, PETALS AND ROOTS]: Basically, “We’d love to come back to work but we can’t lose our benefits to do so.”

RUHLE: But is the issue for them, they can’t take the pay cut?

AVDOULOS: That’s right, yeah. I can’t afford to pay them what they need to live, so – and they would be sacrificing their benefits.

RUHLE: Do you think it’s not correct that we assume people aren’t coming back because it’s health and safety, do you think it’s economic?

AVDOULOS: I think it is economic.

Turning back to Bernstein, Ruhle wondered: “Is that a problem we can fix?” Bernstein downplayed the “anecdote” and claimed that “from our perspective, we have to see it in the data. And thus far, it’s not something we’ve seen.” Moments later, he asserted: “Now last time we looked at this a few months ago, we couldn’t find much of a correlation between enhanced UI benefits – ”

Ruhle cut him off: “But Jared, a few months ago, or even last month, the economy wasn’t really open. So now you have all of these businesses starting to reopen, as we get vaccinated, and try to hire shift workers, low-wage workers, service workers, and they’re saying they can’t.”

Of course conservatives and Republicans have been warning about this negative impact for months. Rather than take those concerns seriously, the leftist media have routinely rejected them. Back in February, an MSNBC.com article dismissed the argument completely:

There was similar talk along these lines last year, with some GOP lawmakers arguing that more generous benefits for the unemployed will discourage the jobless from re-entering the workforce.

The problem with the argument remains the same: given the scope of the economic crisis, and the number of businesses that have been forced to close, there’s little to suggest there are vast job openings simply waiting for qualified applicants. It’s not that the unemployed want to stay home relying on benefits; it’s that there are simply aren’t yet enough job opportunities.

It creates a dynamic in which, for many households, there’s a choice between jobless aid and nothing, not jobless aid and a paycheck.

Well, now it’s clear that the job opportunities are out there, but people are bringing in more money from unemployment checks than they would from a job.

In addition to scolding GOP opposition to massive entitlement spending, hosts like Ruhle constantly pushed propaganda on the absolute necessity of passing Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, which included the latest unemployment benefit expansion. Her lobbying on behalf of the legislation was so blatant that Bernstein actually expressed his gratitude during a January appearance on her show: “Thank you for your advocacy.”

Days later, Ruhle wailed that the choice was either spend trillions or watch the country “bleed to death.”

At least now she’s aware that making American workers dependent on government welfare has a cost that can’t always be calculated in dollars.

Ruhle’s epiphany was sponsored by Progressive and Fidelity.

Here is a transcript of the April 16 exchange:

9:39 AM ET

(…)

STEPHANIE RUHLE: We know people who’ve been out of work are getting the much-needed enhanced jobless benefits from now until September. But I want to share with you part of my conversation with a local florist for a Nightly News story coming up. She is trying to hire some seasonal part-time workers and here’s what she’s up against.

So when you’re trying to hire people part time, what response are you getting from them?

ALEX AVDOULOS [CO-FOUNDER, PETALS AND ROOTS]: Basically, “We’d love to come back to work but we can’t lose our benefits to do so.”

RUHLE: But is the issue for them, they can’t take the pay cut?

AVDOULOS: That’s right, yeah. I can’t afford to pay them what they need to live, so – and they would be sacrificing their benefits.

RUHLE: Do you think it’s not correct that we assume people aren’t coming back because it’s health and safety, do you think it’s economic?

AVDOULOS: I think it is economic.

RUHLE: Is that a problem we can fix?

JARED BERNSTEIN: Well, first of all, I think we have to distinguish between anecdote and data. They’re both important, by the way, and I’m not dismissing anecdotes. But from our perspective, we have to see it in the data. And thus far, it’s not something we’ve seen. I mean, last month we created – I should say the American economy – created over 900,000 jobs. And you reported earlier that the unemployment claims have been coming down, you know, fairly greatly, still at an elevated level, but coming down pretty reliably in recent weeks. So people are leaving unemployment, people are coming back into the job market and getting jobs at a pretty hefty clip. Now last time we looked at this a few months ago, we couldn’t find much of a correlation between enhanced UI benefits –

RUHLE: But Jared, a few months ago, or even last month, the economy wasn’t really open. So now you have all of these businesses starting to reopen, as we get vaccinated, and try to hire shift workers, low-wage workers, service workers, and they’re saying they can’t.

BERNSTEIN: Yeah, well, so this is – that’s exactly why we need to continue to look at this. Thus far, what we’re seeing is robust job creation and we’re not seeing a great deal of differences between places where, you know, enhanced benefits have more of an impact than places where they don’t. It’s also the case, though, that we have some hot spots where variants of the virus are rearing up, and so I do think people trying to remain safe is also in the picture. Sorting all of this out is important. And you’re right, Stephanie, we can’t just rely on analysis that’s stale, we have to continue to watch these developments.

RUHLE: It is a dynamic situation.

(…)

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