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Of course business groups want Abbott to cut off unemployment payments

Completely on brand.

The Texas Association of Business and more than three dozen other business groups are pushing Gov. Greg Abbott to cut the additional $300 in federal benefits currently going to unemployed Texans.

Nearly 1 million Texans remained unemployed and dependent upon benefit payments for income in March.

In GOP-led states, rescinding the extra pay is considered a way to force workers back into the job market to address labor shortages as the economy recovers from the COIVD-19 pandemic.

GOP governors in at least 16 states have announced plans to cut benefits: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.

“Employers believe that supplemental [unemployment] benefit payments from Washington is disincentivizing work and resulting in many good Texas jobs going unfilled,” the Texas business association and 38 chambers of commerce and business associations wrote in a letter to the governor and the Texas Workforce Commission, the agency that oversees jobless benefits.

“With COVID-19 on the decline and job openings on the rise, we believe it is time for Texas leaders and the Texas Workforce Commission to re-examine unemployment benefits, unemployment insurance work-search requirements and Texas’s role in federal supplemental unemployment benefits,” the letter said.

[…]

Critics of the decision to cut the additional unemployment pay argue it would hurt people who can’t work because they’re sick, caring for a person with COVID-19 or can’t find adequate childcare.

In response to Montana’s decision to rescind the benefit, worker advocacy group National Employment Law Project’s executive director Rebecca Dixon said return-to-work bonuses “can become a tool to coerce workers to accept substandard jobs, rather than enabling workers to pursue quality jobs that provide financial security.”

This is a lousy idea for the reasons stated above, and also because the states that have jumped on this bandwagon are among the worst at getting people vaccinated. Texas fits comfortably in that group, and yes there is a strong correlation to Republican-ness, since Republicans are less likely to want to get vaccinated, and as the people in charge are less likely to expend much effort to get vaccines to the lower-income, mostly people of color, that they’re now demanding go back to crappy jobs. As it is practically our state’s motto that the interests of bidness come first, I’m sure this will happen in short order. You already know what I’m going to say about that, so let’s just stipulate and move on.

UPDATE: Even faster than I expected.

Governor Greg Abbott said Monday that Texas will end federal pandemic-related unemployment assistance, effective June 26. This includes the $300 weekly unemployment supplement from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

“The Texas economy is thriving and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state,” Abbott wrote in a letter to the Department of Labor. “In fact, the amount of job openings in Texas is far greater than the number of Texans looking for employment, making these unemployment benefits no longer necessary.”

These guys sure got their money’s worth, didn’t they? The Trib has more.

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9 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    I’ve talked to a couple of restaurants and coffee shops in my neighborhood that said they have had trouble getting enough people to work, and that people have come and applied and then had the cafe sign their unemployment application so that they could prove they’re “looking” for work. Just nonscientific conversation that I had with them.

    Now, I did read that Foodarama will close because their property was sold by the landlord. I was in Foodarama and said to the people that I was sad that they are closing. and the people said, “no it’s not closing.” They had a meeting just the other day with corporate, and there was no mention of the store closing.

    You’ll be proud that first thing Monday morning, I got on the horn to the Foodarama HQ at store number one on Post Oak. I told them that it was unconscionable that they haven’t informed the employees of the plans. I kept going, laying it on, and the woman said wait, who are you? And I said, I’m a customer, and I noticed that most of the employees are minorities and you aren’t telling them the plans that will affect their employment. And she said, yes, we did tell them, and no we aren’t racist, and if you are a customer, that is not your concern, this between the company and our [email protected]!!

    At that point, I started going off on this woman, I said haven’t you heard the motto “we’re all in this togedder?” And I said, there is no private anything anymore. You have to display your vaccine records, companies must be woke to be allowed to do business, and the Great Reset is here. I just kept going at the poor lady, saying that Maxine Waters said we need to be out there, burning down the country, smashing things, yelling, blocking traffic and access to businesses. I told her I ought to report them to Biden’s militia, the Dog Face Pony Soldiers. Finally the lady said she had a meeting and hung up on me!

    I must say, that I now see the addictive pleasure of being woke! Being able to harass and attack others with the cover of righteousness! Instead of choosing to be happy, choosing to be unhappy, and ignore my blessings, while instead of working to change the things about myself I don’t like, blame it on others! Just smashing down what others have built, taking stuff and breaking stuff but it’s OK, because it is for the right cause. It is kind of an addictive rush.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    “Critics of the decision to cut the additional unemployment pay argue it would hurt people who can’t work because they’re sick, caring for a person with COVID-19 or can’t find adequate childcare.”

    These are legitimate issues, but they are NOT what the unemployment insurance system was designed for, or is supposed to be used for. It’s UNEMPLOYMENT insurance, it’s forced government insurance, paid for by businesses, that pays out when someone becomes unemployed. It’s not a social program to pay people to sit at home and take care of grandma or take care of their children.

    The rules for collecting unemployment are clear…..a recipient must both be actively looking for work, and AVAILABLE for work. If you’re not willing to leave grandma or the kids to go earn a living, then you shouldn’t be entitled to unemployment benefits.

  3. Souperman says:

    Newsflash: if unemployment is “disincentivizing work and resulting in many good Texas jobs going unfilled”, maybe those “good Texas jobs” aren’t so good for the ones you want filling them? It’s like the old meme where the boss says to his employees, “I just bought myself a new Lamborghini. If you put in the hours, work really hard, go above and beyond… I might get a new one next year, too.”

    If your poverty wages are worse than unemployment, sure, it is a disincentive to work. Pay your people a living wage, offer better working conditions, and if you’re still having an issue, then whine.

    (And, no, not bothering with the troll above me.)

  4. C.L. says:

    Dr. Hochman, props to you for (taking a break from dispensing medical advice and) hanging on that telephone line and giving the Foodarama folks a bit of your mind. FWIW, I would have hung up on you long before their Secretary did.

    On a slightly different note, you’re gonna hafta come up with a new schtick. Your above missive is the same bullsh** diatribe you sent to The Leader Newspaper.

  5. mollusk says:

    Who’d have thought that “the beatings will continue until morale improves” would become an actual business model?

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    C.L., thanks for your loyal and continued readership! However, please note that I do not give out medical advice. Unlike, say, the mainstream news, I read the Science, and present the Facts, allowing everyone to make their own decisions, with the best information available. For example, with something like 800 Covid cases in Harris County, that would mean that well less than one percent of the population is infected Your chances of encountering a sick person, much less contracting the illness is thus very low. The governor just banned schools from requiring masks. As you may recall, I was one of the first to call for masks, based on the possibility of asymptomatic spread and the erroneous study from Taiwan, but then, when the Science showed that they make little difference, I was one of the first to move on from masks.

    I thought that I had a different diatribe in the Leader. I think that was the one where I said that the Democrats are getting rid of all of the businesses that might have things that minorities would buy. The Foodarama will be replaced by a White Palace.

    And that is not the fault of Foodarama. The property was sold by the owner. My objection is not telling the workers the truth. The current diatribe is about the pleasure of being woke. Using righteousness to go off on other people, and blame them for the problems of the world. This is the way that they stole the freedom of the people, but making them feel righteous: “Anyone who can appease a man’s conscience can take his freedom away from him” I saw that on the X Files.

    Please refresh my memory of the Leader diatribe. Thanks

  7. C.L. says:

    Dr. Hochman, when you’re posting some much drivel that you can’t remember where or on what platform you’re posting it on…

  8. Donald M Coxwell says:

    What is wrong with politicians. Last year they were fighting over relief for the American people the very people who pay their salaries. I watched people lose their homes being evicticed and this was no fault of theirs the pandemic has ruined america And Donald trump along with ever last one of those sorry no good people we trust to represent us need to pay for this tragedy toner the people. I’m sick a d tired of politicians throwing we the people under the bus for corporate greed . We the people voted you boobs in and we the people can get rid of you all in the next election. It’s time we the people all races and colors throw each and everyone of them on a slow boat to china get out of our country. Now we have the Republicans throwing us under the bus . I have been run over backed over ran over by these boobs in Washington untill I can’t take anymore of their bullshit . Governor Abbott needs to worry about next election. We the people want him gone those buisness people you threw us under the bus for will not be voting for you we the people will and out you go . It’s a sad day that a politician will take care of big buisness over the people be was sworn to serve and protect. .good bye america these boobs have ruined everything good about america. With out unemployment I will lose my place I have struggled to stay a float so c this pandemic. I have worked for myself for over 30 years and when this all started and unemployment benefits were paying 600 a week on top of everyone else’s normal unemployment I did not think I was eligible so I have spent all my savings to stay afloat I had to sell my truck to pay rent utilities and bed. Threatened by the place I live to be evicted dispute the moritorium not to . Finally I applied for unemployment took forever and was approved for 207 every 2 weeks 414 a month that doesnt even cover my rent let alone food utilities. Wow what is wrong with our government. Now here i go having to worry about where this is all going to end up me o. The streets . I can’t take anymore I was counting on that unemployment until September as promised by these boobs in Washington now the boob in texas cut it off will boob kiss your ass goodbye

  9. […] here for the background. Those $600 checks also largely kept the economy from cratering a year ago. […]