Louisiana should end stimulus checks

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.


54 thoughts on “Louisiana should end stimulus checks

  1. It seems everyone has forgotten that you don’t start work as a CEO. You have to work your way up the ladder. Name me one company that starts new workers at the same pay as someone that has been working there 20 years. A new worker is not as valuable as an experienced worker to a company. Remember if a business doesn’t show a profit it will not be a business very long.

  2. Big government (spell that SOCIALISM) has been tried many times all over the world for centuries. It has always failed, as it will here. We have several effective COVID vaccines because of Capitalism. Have you noticed that no Socialist society has produced one? Capitalism works!!! The booming economy during the previous administration is being destroyed. Ron Brown

  3. No one should forget that the 7.25 or 10.00 per hour is not the cost employers pay. They are on the hook for employment taxes. Federal and State.

  4. Great to be able to pick up and move if you want or need to do so, especially to try to find a better job. Some have a rental agreement for a certain length of time. They’d have to pay that off, have saved enough to pay first, last month rent and security. And they’d have to do all that on $7.25 a hour. How feasible is that? Just raise the minimum rate.

  5. If was hard to find people that want to work long before stimulus checks came along, now it is almost impossible. Yes wages are low, but everyone wants cheap stuff, that why we have so many dollar stores, it can’t be both ways.

    If we get past using the dollar store as the barometer then we can deal with the real issue. The root cause is a total lack of work ethic, and lack of pride and the inability to function at an eight grade level. Maybe we should have classes on how to come to work on time, present a neat appearance, putting in a best effort, etc

  6. This country use to be the best country in the World, but not anymore. It’s gone to hell in a hand basket. Although, that notice was put up its not because people are getting UI. Its because of the mistreatment of the employees thats been going on for sometime now. The shit finally hit the fan! An you people get on here an don’t know the full story an you run with it.. As far as UI some people do need that, especially in Natchitoches. Mim. Wage is whats killing us. For the ones who are saying work your way up, you don’t know what these people situations are. If a 40 year old wants or chooses to work at Burger King or McDonald’s It’s their choice. You don’t down them. Yall don’t know what you want. If they don’t work yall complain, an if they work fast food yall complain. I’ll tell anyone do whats best for your family an you. I hope management/ Owners start treating their employees better,then yall precious dollar store can open back up. Find out whats the problem before yall getting on here talking. It has nothing to do with unemployment Benefits.

  7. This is what happens when jobs don’t pay people enough. They get more to stay home, why not? Also, the writer didn’t name himself? Why not? Why not stand behind your words?

  8. `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.”’

    The author’s evidence that the sentiment of Natchitoches Parish adults is changing is based on talking with a few business owners and managers. I expect that business owners and managers who rely on poverty wages are never interested in their pool of workers having the option of generous unemployment benefits.

    • Here is the deal Natchitoches. Pay your employees a fair rate. If they make more from their unemployment then it’s not hard to understand why they would not want to take a pay cut to start a new job. I mean think about it…I am the first to agree that there are no free meals and it’s a fact that there aren’t. When employers put more value in their employees by paying a wage that a person can live on it will reciprocate to the business. A higher rate of pay doesn’t fix lazy employees that has to come from within and they have to be dealt with because they are holding a job that a good worker could have. A fair salary and a caring employer will attract more of the self motivated employees that are self driven. If only more employers could do their best to show the importance and value to these type employees. So no I don’t agree that people should just be getting paid to stay home, but I do understand why. This would be the perfect time to improve our employee base which will improve customer care which will improve the viability of business.

  9. People are looking at these types of jobs all wrong.. these types of jobs r for the youth, a starter job while your in high school r struggling in college.. if ur 40 and still working min wage jobs u need to take a long look in the mirror bc the problem isn’t society or the system being broken, it’s you!!

  10. Stop blaming wages……..only the LAZY does that! Be a roll model for your kids, parents, spouse or who ever and work for what you get!

  11. I don’t receive unemployment, I should’ve been able to but I didn’t. I also don’t agree in working for $7.25 an HOUR! Louisiana sucks, so yea people are goin to want that extra money each week! I don’t blame them. Yes, I can agree some don’t have a work ethic even if the pay was higher but again our minimum wage has been $7.25 for HOW LONG NOW????? Since what I think 2010 maybe. ITS RIDICULOUS!!! So maybe somebody should do something about that! I’m so sick of the poverty! People need to be paid MORE THEN MAYBE THEY WOULDNT CARE ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT! Our regular unemployment is what $244 cap a week. Somethin like that so when a person is receiving $544 a week yes they’re goin to want to keep that! It’s common sense! RAISE OUR DAMN MINIMUM WAGE!!

    • Here is the choice: Start at the bottom, work your way up into that company, or work your way up to a better job some where else. Stay away from drugs, get to work on time and work with your heart in the job. If you are a good worker, you will be highly recommended. You will succeed in the long run. You are independent. This is capitalism.

      Or you can become totally dependent on a federal government that is now spending trillions that they do not have. Trillions like I would spend hundreds. Can this be sustained? Can we all be equal with the same amount of money? Equalization that comes from excessive taxes so that in the long run everyone has nothing except those in power. This is the lie of socialism.

      So an increase in the hourly wage? Ok, there is inflation now. But not $15.00 an hour. At that rate, you would have workers, but you wouldn’t have any customers.

      Choose wisely.

      • Best comment I’ve ever heard on npj!! Nobody wants to work unless they start at the top

      • Old RN, and I do hate to call you Old RN, you should be Wise Retired RN or something to that effect. You have a way of telling it like it is and you are always spot on. I have no objection to an increase in the minimum wage, but decisions must be considered wisely. If experienced workers are making $30 per hour and they have been on the job say 15 or 20 years, you don’t pay an untrained worker who is just starting out $15 per hour. Plus the fact, people who have worked normally only get a 1 1/2% to 3% cost of living increase per year, if they get anything. Times are hard for everyone, and right now we also need to consider owners of businesses who have barely held on for the past year, while they were forced to be closed during the pandemic. Many companies are still not back on their feet, and are not able to pay $15 per hour. Increase minimum wage to a more reasonable amount, and maybe more people will be in favor of it.

        Another thing. These people are grumbling about the fact that they don’t make enough, and I agree. But who made the decision to not get any training for the future and any job situation? Who thought school was stupid, didn’t pay attention, didn’t study, and the possibly dropped out? I know not all kids are cut out for college, but there are fine trade schools in the country, and you can get a might good paying job if you learn a skill. Plumbers, electricians, carpenters and many other skills learned in trade school will get you a future. Then there is the Military where you can get a job, have good benefits and see the world. You get training and a chance to qualify for money for a college education.. So please, if you didn’t apply yourself as a young adult and can’t get a decent paying job, you maybe should look in the mirror to see who is to blame for your present situation.

        I am not saying this applies to all people, for I know there are always other things that happen in life to mess it up. But I do say it applies to a large majority of the people living, or trying to live on minimum wage.

        • I like the idea of increasing wages as they gain experience. That would give hope that they are not in a dead end job. Also that helps with inflation costs.

          As always- try to find ways of preparing for adulthood at an earlier age. There are many opportunities out there.

          Thanks MEWHP. Have a nice day.

  12. Money has nothing to do with the situation right here. This story is them guess why. The whole management team walked out with all stockers and cashiers except for two. There is a story but this is way off base. We will give the story if the news wants it. If not we as a team will stick to our original plan.

  13. It is not the responsibility of the working people to provide a comfortable existence for those that don’t nor is it the responsibility of businesses to pay more for labor than the market will bear. Don’t like the pay? Use those unemployment benefits to train for higher paying work or move to where your entry level skills are in greater demand. BTW $15/hour won’t change your station in life nor will it fix an unreliable worker. In other words labor is a commodity just as any other commodity subject to supply and demand and government intervention in that concept distorts the market and not for the better.

  14. I agree those who are able to work should definitely get off their asses and work. But this is a state of poverty and you get what you pay for. For instance take an older worker 50+in age with impeccable work ethic and dependability, due to age and the threat of Covid in older persons, employers will not take the chance of an older employee getting ill. Even if all precautions are taken. Or that disabled person who nit only can’t get unemployment but cannot get the PUA assistance either. How are those persons suppose to pay a house mortgage or rent. Or but food or gas for a family. What about that person they don’t derserve to lose everything they worked hard fir for many years!!!

  15. I agree and than I don’t, some people are taking advantage of the system it’s plenty of paying good paying jobs out their but they rather get free money long as it’s out and while other’s trying to help keep the community going some people are being selfish it’s really been hard for the workers who want to work it’s plenty of available jobs out there if ths pandemic never would happen these people would be working doing anything for their families by all means now don’t get me wrong some of these comments are true some of these company’s make million and billion and are under paying worker instead they over work you with out a TY they should be paying thier worker’s more money but instead the use their worker’s so for the people who want to work has it really hard right now with lack of workers some people are really using the system believe it or not some companies should really wake up and pay more attention since we open back up my job has been short of employee but the economy has been booming spending unnecessary money on clothes instead of food what’s needed if you see what i see instead my company had pick up million od dallors instead of Thanking us they give us more and more work under pay it has really been hard and watching some of these customer’s get free money and talk about it make you just want to up and leave and get free money like everyone else we are working hard under pay but somebody have to help to keep things going but it’s been really hard I motivated myself by saying Im working for the Lord not the owner everyday i think about all the free money as well so yes it’s a good and bad situation and some people are making more free money than working so why go too work while workers had it hard right now with lack of worker’s and you hear some people talk about and see then misuse the money on unnecessary stuff companies really need to wake up and pay their employee before this get worse

  16. Whoever write this article, try this. First throw out your degree. You have a high school diploma, maybe a G.E.D. Ok, now pick yourself up a B.S. felony, something like a possession of Marijuana or something. A crime that isn’t a crime in almost half the Union. Now, you try to find a job that is going to pay you enough to pay your bills and live on. Good luck with that!! People should work to live not live to work. The system is broken.

    • Why throw out his degree? He earned it. He made the choices to get it. Why do something you know is a crime? Doesn’t matter how trivial you think it is, it is still a crime. Make reasonably good choices. You want “professional wages” for wait staff as you find in Europe? Ok, then train to be a professional. The staff in Europe speaks multiple languages, know all about their food, their business, their community, and strive to make the customer happy. It is a career for them, but they earn every penny of the higher salary they make. There is also fewer of them. You want more money, expect fewer jobs.

    • Kyle, in Louisiana, possession of Marijuana only becomes a felony when you have 60 pounds or more of it. In Texas, it’s 50 pounds before it’s a felony. Now let’s look at a more liberal state, Colorado says if you have 13 plants or more, they will charge you with a felony. Possession of 12 oz. or more, will get you charged with a felony, but if you have 2 oz or less on you, there is no offense.

      I didn’t look up any other stats on this, just checking things to verify your claim of “now pick yourself up a B.S. felony, something like a possession of Marijuana or something. A crime that isn’t a crime in almost half the Union.” I think there is more to your story than you claim.

      Just sayin”!

  17. Please keep in mind it doesn’t matter how hard you work on unemployment it won’t put anymore money in your pocket. When I worked I would come home dead tired and go to work the next day just as tired. My husband and worked hard each day to support our family. We did this because we didn’t want to live on food stamps. All it did was tear down my health.

  18. Glad to see the working class in this town finally have the bargaining power they needed to demand better wages! Maybe if business owners would offer something better than poverty level wages, then people would work for them. Don’t let them convince us otherwise. This is what happens when people vote for a government that focuses on improving the lives of the working class.

    • That a lots of bull that people in Natchitoches, Louisiana is saying. They don’t want to give people jobs unless you’re white or they can pay you less then minimum wages. These racist racist white people here don’t care about nothing but themselves.i have gotten no check at all.

      • Thats it blame it ON Race! Thats just a big excuse not to go out and get a job! Every business in town are looking for employees! But most think these should walk in to a management position work 8-5 off weekends and make 80,000 a year. And those with a degree want even more. Go get a job of any kind work your but off and move up. Most companies promote with in the company.
        Or you can sit and wait until the democrats decide to cut your not wanting to work self off. Then you can run around like rats trying to find anything you can. This is just what President Trump said was going to happen and here we are. And on top of that LAZY DON’T PAY THE BILLS!

      • Johnny Price, I think you are offering a HUGE excuse for not working when you played that race card. I think you should try going into more businesses and restaurants and look at the people who are working there. That race card you played is like the JOKER, totally worthless.

  19. To continue to pay extended unemployment benefits is nothing more than Socialism. We’re not for that right?

  20. I don’t know what idiot wrote this editorial, but if 300 bucks a week is more than you’re paying your employees then YOU are the problem

  21. I agree with all the above comments. Pay more than minimum wage & people would more than likely go back to work. But the government as in The Governor, doesn’t want minimum wage to be higher because that would mean he would have less money to put in his pocket. He doesn’t do shit for this state and he still gets paid.

    • Vickie,

      Governor’s don’t pass laws, that’s the legislature’s role. All the governor can do is veto a law after it has been passed by both houses of the state legislature and Edwards has publicly endorsed a minimum wage increase.

      Unfortunately, the legislature is currently controlled by the opposing party and that usually means that they intentionally stall the most publicly popular legislation because it would make the current governor look good.

      If you’re really interested in a higher minimum wage you should direct your energies toward Louie Bernard and Kenny Cox, state senator and state representative for Natchitoches respectively.

      Respectfully,

      L

      • The biggest problem in regard to minimum wage not being increased is LABI (Louisiana Association of Business and Industry). As long as they own the legislature no bills for minimum wage increase or equal pay for equal work will ever be passed at the state level.

  22. Y’all don’t even be trying to hire folks but on the media crying for “help” don’t nobody feel bad because y’all can’t get someone to come into work. As of matter fact, who wants to work for minimum wage anyways? Nobody.. up the pay!

    • That’s exactly what I was about to say they talking about needing employees but don’t want to hire

      • There’s signs all over town with signs up saying help wanted! Have you stopped in and interviewed and see what their paying?

        • Checkers/SouthernClassic/DollarTree/McDonalds 7.25-8. Walmart 11-15 but the bs level at Walmart is outstanding. And honestly $300 a week is $7.50 for a full time 40 hr a week job. Come break my back and be woefully disrespected for $7.50. Or Stay home and take a gvt funded vacation for the same amount. These are perilous dangerous times. Stay home if you can. The productivity of the American working class has risen every year generating a profane amount out money for the rich. Minimum wage has stayed the same. And the price of EVERYTHING has risen. I love dollar tree but I’m not going in there now that i Know the workers are basically boycotting them for being shit employers. I hope whatever they’ve demanded they get, and if i go in there and don’t see the usual faces I’ve come to enjoy, im going to turn around and walk out of that establishment. I Stan a good protest. And that’s exactly what’s happening. We should all join in.

          • I’m just going to use one of your examples walmarr 11-15 an hour! But to much bs, well welcome to the work force! You just want a pay check and thats it! You don’t want to work,you just want to go to work get a check and go home! Where ever you received your education CAN’T fix that! Unless you and most don’t change your work ethics you’re in for a hard time in the business world and in life. I started at the bottom with walmart and worked my ass off taking night shift, extra shifts and volunteered for every crap task that came my way. 6 months I was promoted to asst. Manager later to Store Manager making more than most of you college grads. The ones i didnt became doctors! A job is what you put into it! I degree doesnt make you automatically worthy and free of the bs of any job! Lol YOU will learn this very quickly! Wish I was there to watch when your expectations are CRUSHED!

  23. If these businesses would pay a salary above the poverty level they might entice people to work! Chamber of commerce is a Republican run outfit.

  24. Yes easy for you to say, I’m sure you have a great paying job! The only jobs available are minimum wage jobs, poverty level. Instead of stopping unemployment, try getting Americans a better wage they can live on! That would solve all the problems, maybe you should try living on minimum wage, let’s see how you do🙄

  25. So you’re saying that the supply of workers is low but demand is high? Last time I checked when that happens with products you raise prices. So maybe, just maybe, don’t pay these people pennies on the dollar when a better alternative is available. These people are trying to do the best they can.

  26. The argument seems solid, especially if the goal is only as simplistic as what is best for the operations of business. Hungry, needy people will choose even less than minimum wage, even poor working conditions, and many times will accept self-righteous management. Free money and vacation time. Lol. Yeah. I guess maybe we should also ask, “Why doesn’t business mean more to the worker than money?” Include that in the discussion. Now, we can talk beyond what interest the people with real money.

  27. If the businesses were paying a livable wage, they would not have a problem finding or retaining employees.

  28. If your business has no employees because unemployment pays better, then that isn’t an employee shortage, that is a fair wage shortage. Perhaps people are tired of working for poverty wages while CEOs of the companies they work for make millions or billions off their backs. For example, the CEO of Dollar Tree makes over 10 MILLION dollars a year. While his employees can’t pay their bills. Interestingly enough, without those employees, he has no business. Strange how that works, isn’t it? Same with the restaurant industry – they are complaining about not having employees, but restaurants in general are notorious for paying their employees horrible wages and the employees have to deal with rude customers and bad work environments. Maybe these companies need to be better and do better for their employees. People want to work where they are appreciated and appropriately compensated.

    • Bingo. And they are sometimes stuck in the city where they live. They may have to pay off their rental agreement. Then they’d have to have enough saved (on minimum wage) to pay first, last month plus security. Some on here can never understand.

  29. People would go back to work, if they were not getting paid more on unemployment. Why not focus on the businesses needing to pay more instead of focusing on the people that need the extra income. Oh wait this is Capitalism and that’s how it works. Business redirect blame to the workers.

    • 3 thoughts:
      1) Anonymous articles? I expect more NPJ.
      2) Without the “stimulus” to UI benefits the MAXIMUM benefit is $247 in Louisiana. Look at your monthly budget and see how far that gets you. It could be less.
      3) What wages are being offered? Either the author isn’t knowledgeable enough to understand that this is crucial to their point and didn’t ask, or they know and didn’t share because they know it would disprove their narrative.

      • Dane, you have some good thoughts:
        1) Anonymous articles? Maybe this was not written outside of the NPJ offices. This info has been going all over town, and others are just being made aware of it. So, why exactly does the author of the article matter?
        2) Without the “stimulus” is not the current situation. As I understand it, stimulus money and UI benefits from the Federal Government are two different things. Everyone who filed tax returns got stimulus money. UI benefits are for those who lost jobs during the pandemic, not for everyone. So at this time, people are getting more than the $247 you mention that Louisiana is paying. Please feel free to correct me if I am misunderstanding you. I’m retired, so I admit that things may have changed in UI benefits in the last few years.
        3) What wages are being offered? Probably just as they have always been. I have seen instances where wages offered were about the same as the UI benefits currently offered by the Federal government, and people still took the UI benefits over the job offer.. What they don’t think of is that they get no additional benefits with UI, and they might with a job where they have to work. Some people only want easy money, and sit on their butts.

        We have known for years that Natchitoches does not pay good wages. It’s a shame because the housing market in the town is at a high rate and income is at a low. When that happened to me in the past, and I could not get a good paying job where I grew up and lived, I moved. I found a job in another city, and made a future for my self there. Sometimes you have to grow up and do what needs to be done in order to succeed and support your family. What makes people so special that it’s ok to take a handout all your life rather than go to where the money is. It is the smart things to do. Maybe the people complaining about wages here should try that. I know Houston and Dallas both have great job markets and you can get decent paying jobs, and there are probably a lot of other places. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do instead of taking the easy way out.

          • Yes, I should have corrected that as we know that there are usually exceptions. However, I do stand behind the fact that UI and stimulus money are two different things.

      • Dane, thank you for your 2 cents. Maybe you should have spent that 2 cents to pay on your mortgage and all the other properties you lost in foreclosure.

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