Friday, July 27, 2012

Annals of Idiocy – University of Chicago Economist Casey Mulligan Claims Americans are Unemployed Because They Do Not Want to Work

An Idea Debunked Decades Ago Still Has Shelf Life Among the Idiotocracy

France is always a wonderful target for Conservatives because, well because the country is so ‘French’.  And Conservatives frequently point out that because the French family income is less than the U. S. family income on average, there is something inferior about the French.

But An American economist, Casey Mulligan believes that the reason there is unemployment in America is that the unemployed in America are French at heart.

They are unemployed because they just want more leisure time.

There’s a school of thought that says unemployment is largely voluntary, because people could find work if they didn’t ask for so much money. University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan argued in 2009 that unemployment rose in 2008 because the labor supply curve “shifted to the left.” In other words, people became less willing to work. Maybe they deliberately earned less so they could qualify for mortgage modifications, or to get the IRS to ease up on collecting back taxes, Mulligan speculated.

Yes, after one chokes down the vomit that rises in one’s throat from reading such a piece think about what Mr. Mulligan is saying.  Poor unemployed people are that way deliberately, so they can get mortgage modifications and escape back taxes.  Anyone who thinks that going through a foreclosure process, or having the government tax collectors harass them is the pure pleasure that Mr. Mulligan thinks it is should try it.

America's Leisure Gap
That Person on the Beach is Unemployed, and
has all that leisure time to enjoy life while her counterpart
slaves away at the office.

And despite the fact that Mr. Mulligan is associated with one of the best Universities in the country, it seems he has trouble getting even a coherent sentence out on the subject.  Everybody read this and see if it has any intelligible thoughts.

Asked how much of today’s unemployment he considers voluntary, Mulligan responded by e-mail: “I’m not sure what voluntary means. Is someone voluntarily unemployed if he receives and rejects a job offer that is not suited to [his] skills or interests? Is someone voluntarily unemployed if he fails to apply for positions that are not well-suited to his skills or interests?” He added: “I estimate that half of the drop in the employment-population ratio came from an expansion of the social safety net.”

Even more, it seems that all that leisure time people who are unemployed have is really a great life style.  The fact that they are not working means that time to visit Europe, take a cruise to the Bahamas, sail on the Queen Elizabeth and vacation in Hong Kong.

Mulligan isn’t alone in asserting that the unemployed and underemployed get at least some enjoyment out of their free time. “As long as leisure has some positive value,” then focusing just on the superior material condition of well-educated people who work long hours “will overstate the true inequality in well-being” between them and less-educated people with more leisure time, says a 2012 paper by economists Erik Hurst, Orazio Attanasio, and Luigi Pistaferri.

Yes, an unemployed person struggling to keep the house, to get health care and to just pay the utility bills doesn’t understand how much more enjoyable life is than the person who has a job.

But there’s a simple test, simple enough for even someone like Mr. Mulligan to understand.  Place a half page help wanted ad in the local newspaper or local employment web site.  Advertise for jobs paying, say, $10.00 an hour with no benefits.  Then wait and see how many applications you get.  Just be prepared to count the number in the thousands.  All coming from those lazy Americans who just want to live off life in the safety net. 

1 comment:

  1. With burnt pastures and stunted corn, we have sold the cattle to pay the feed bill. I wouldn't mind a 10.00 an hour job, but I am enjoying my leisure time cutting firewood, hauling water and selling manure to pay the bills. A little rain and a job would be nice, but I reckon only one will happen anytime soon. I wonder if Mulligan can figure out which will happen.