It seems in Natchitoches Parish the stimulus checks are having a negative impact on the willingness of the workforce to work.
This morning, a local reader sent the two photos regarding the inability of a retailer on Keyser Avenue in Natchitoches, Louisiana to open for business. Their sign seems to speak volumes!
On the National news yesterday, a reporter asked the President if he thought the stimulus package was hurting local business with respect to an unwilling labor force. The President responded, “not that I have seen…”
This look at “free cash for all” just might just be a sneak preview of a government program being tested now in some parts of the country called Universal Basic Income (UBI). UBI is a government program in which every adult citizen receives a set amount of money on a regular basis. The goals of a basic income system are to alleviate poverty and replace other need-based social programs that potentially require greater bureaucratic involvement.
In March 2021, a Quinnipiac University poll found that 68 percent of American adults were in favor of the free cash stimulus proposal with 24 percent opposed to it, but that sentiment seems to be changing here in Natchitoches Parish. Today, the Journal visited a few local businesses that were open and found they all said the same thing: “We don’t need any more free checks; we need employees to open and operate.”
As one Senator told reporters, “If you give people more unemployment insurance, well, they’ll be grateful but they won’t work, and you need people to work. That’s what makes the economy go.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has indicated its concurrence. U.S. Chamber of Commerce executive vice president and chief policy officer Neil Bradley said in a statement on Friday, “The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market,” .
“One step policymakers should take now is ending the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit passed down to the states and delivered through the state unemployment programs. Based on the Chamber’s analysis, the $300 benefit results in approximately 1 in 4 recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working.
The States of South Carolina and Montana have already announced cutoff dates in June for their participation in the federal unemployment program. Perhaps the time has come for the State of Louisiana to join their ranks and get our businesses booming again.