September 4, 2015

The Charlotte Observer’s Harvard trained editorial page Editor Taylor Batten climbed his high horse the other day to condemn conservatives for passing a bill requiring the unemployed to make five job hunting contacts a week to get a check.

The paper wrote ”That’s a nice way of saying the jobless aren’t trying to find a job, which ignores the reality that the vast majority of people collecting unemployment are people who don’t want to be collecting unemployment.” (Charlotte Observer)

Mr. Batten must have been skipping class when Harvard taught fact finding and fairness or he would have seen the Harris Poll of the unemployed reported by CNBC. One in five don’t bother looking for a job. “Overall, nearly 1 in 5 (19 percent) said they spent no time looking for work in the week previous to the survey. Just 10 percent said they spent more than 31 hours looking.” (CNBC)

So what’s wrong with making people drawing a check look for a job? The Charlotte Observer just ignores data it doesn’t like.

For example, the unemployment checks do discourage job search according to the survey. “Nearly 9 of out 10 respondents (89 percent) said they would “search harder and wider” for work if their benefits ran out. Moreover, in a series of statements about benefits, the one that garnered the most agreement, with 69 percent, was that benefits were “giving me a cushion so that I can take my time in searching for a job,” while 59 percent said compensation “has allowed me to take time for myself,” 36 percent agreed that it “has allowed me to turn down positions that weren’t right for me” and 40 percent agreed “I haven’t had to look for work as hard knowing I have some income to rely on.”

That’s why conservatives insist on job search to get a check.

Nor did the Charlotte Observer comment on economist David Rosenberg’s report in Business Insider. “The number of Americans now outside the labor force is over 90 million — that exceeds the entire German population,” Rosenberg wrote.

“The share of the population that is out of work and not looking for work is quickly heading to an unprecedented 38%. The number of these folks that actually want a job is down over the past year and those who do not want a job even if one is available for them has begun to swing higher.” (Business Insider)

Rosenberg argues, a welfare system that can provide more for an individual in one year than a job as a full-time administrative assistant.

Conservatives believe the most people are helped with a strong economy creating jobs. And North Carolina is creating jobs thirty percent faster than the nation.

Five job searches a week is no hardship. Even if it doesn’t play at Harvard.

If you want to counter the left’s attacks with real facts, support Carolina Partnership for Reform.