How to Help the Jobless, Libertarian-Style
From a representative presenting Libertarian Party beliefs, explaining libertarian views on the subject. The application of libertarian philosophy expressed by the party or others may or may not universally represent libertarian beliefs on the topic for all adherents.
By Chuck M Burns
This morning, I wake up, and see that a CNN journalist is claiming both political parties, the Republicans, and the Democrats, have abandoned the jobless. Well... Of course, this progressive just means with regards to free money from the government. He thinks government handouts actually help. However, we libertarians all know that when you give something unearned, it only winds up making the recipient dependent on more handouts.
However, a libertarian way of helping the jobless is to create an economic atmosphere where employers wish to expand, and therefore hire more workers, and where entrepreneurs take a risk, and start new businesses, and create more jobs.
First, we change unemployment compensation. I am in favor of removing it completely, but, again, pragmatism dictates that you simply cannot yank it away.
Instead, you begin to ween the people off of it, instead of getting a flat sum for every week you are unemployed, you get progressively less and less. The longer you are out of work, the less "free money" you get. This gives one a serious impetus to go find a job, even if it's going door to door, offering to cut people's grass.
Just doing this is not enough to completely change the landscape, where employment opportunities are concerned, but they are a good start. The issue most progressives have with this, is that it takes power away from their precious government solutions, and puts it in the hands of people they can't really control.
"But Chuck, what happens when the employer begins to screw its employees?" Good question. If there are more entrepreneurs starting businesses, then, by extension, there are also more places to go to work. Free markets reign supreme, and the job market is no different. "I can't find another job I like, that pays this much, in this city, but that treats me better." Maybe not, but look somewhere else, or take a pay cut. A few more dollars an hour is worth it to some people, to put up with crap from work. It's not worth it to others. If it's not worth it to you, maybe you do not deserve to earn quite as much.
Ideally, there would also be no income tax, but instead a consumption tax, such as The Fair Tax, or similar. If there must be an income tax, due to not enough support for the former, then get it as low as you can. Let everyone keep more of their own money.
Just something to think about.
Chuck is the owner, and main (currently ONLY) author at The Southern Libertarian. A blog that focuses mainly on politics, with an occasional post about tech goodies. He is, after all, a high-tech redneck. :) http://thesouthernlibertarian.com/
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