atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4823: You get more of what you subsidize.

Karl Denninger talks about people who earn just enough money that they can get government benefits, and he blockquotes a recent article about the phenomenon:
Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and move them off public assistance. But there may be a hitch in the plan.

Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise – in a bid to keep overall income down so they don’t lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.
Anyone surprised by this is an idiot.

This has been a problem ever since welfare was established in the US. Formerly the payments were structured such that if you had any kind of income at all you'd stop receiving benefits--at minimum wage you'd earn less than you got from welfare!--so it was economically advantageous for people not to work at all and remain on the dole.

The welfare system has since been reformed, so now it's possible to work without denying yourself access to benefits...and yes, people are gaming the system to their advantage.

As Denninger points out, the best way to discourage this is to reduce welfare to "three hots and a cot"--which would naturally exclude iPhones, full sleeve tattoos, and so forth, but which would also tend to remove the profit motive from welfare.

I can envision what kind of environment would result, though. Build an arcology and fill it with people who won't work to support themselves--within a matter of days it would be a festering shithole. Build several and segregate the tenants according to their actions; put the violent in one, the addicted in another, and the honest citizens in a third.

Holy shit would the lawsuits fly!

The impracticality of Denninger's idea does not mean it's a bad one, though. Something needs to be done about welfare spending in this country before it bankrupts us all. Currently no one is even thinking about how to fix the massive deficit spending required to support the welfare state.

* * *

Meanwhile in Michigan:
Michigan is the only state that requires auto insurance policies to come with unlimited lifetime personal-injury protection, meaning that people who are hurt in car crashes get 100 percent of their medical expenses covered, sometimes for years or even decades. The protection applies regardless of who was at fault.
Michigan therefore has some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country.

Even better? Medical treatment costs 3x if it's prompted by a vehicular injury. Let's say Bill and Bob are identical twins. On Monday they both leave their identical houses and get into their identical cars and go to work at their identical jobs. Only on the way there, Bob gets into a wreck and breaks his leg. Meanwhile, Bill--unaware of his brother's plight--trips getting out of his car at work and breaks his leg in an identical fashion. Both brothers are taken to the same hospital in identical ambulances, where the same doctors and nurses oversee their care, and the same person in accounting handles their bills. Bob's medical care is billed at three times the rate of Bill's. Because auto accident.

This is, as Denninger notes, outrageous, and it would be illegal in any other industry.

* * *

Feds indict a sheriff's deputy who lied to get a search warrant that led to a baby nearly being blown up. Remember that story about the cops who wanted to no-knock a known druggie, only instead of arresting the guy--who wasn't even home at the time--they sent his 19-month-old nephew to the burn ward after they tossed their flash-bang grenade into his crib? Yeah, it turns out that one of the cops lied to a judge to get the warrant.

If you or I lie to a judge in court, we end up in jail. If a deputy lies, why, no charges are filed.

...but the feds are charging her with something that just might stick.

* * *

JayG just doesn't understand his place in the Apple ecosystem. Of course if his iPhone has a problem keeping accurate time he is the one who is supposed to adjust to its idiosyncracies. His mistake is not genuflecting in the direction of Cupertino several times per day; I do believe that's in the End User License Agreement....

* * *

I got off work today at 2--short day today, four hours--and came home feeling pretty chipper about that. I have a full "week" ahead of me, of course, which is good for my pocketbook, relatively speaking.

The job hunt is still going along. Still applying for full-time jobs, still hearing nothing. Today I broke down and applied for a job in the city even though I cringe at the idea of having to take the train into that festering shithole every day and exposing myself to the potential for becoming a "knockout game" victim, or worse. The place I applied to is within a short walk of Union Station, so I'd just ride the train from the Fungal Vale to its terminal in the city, which--hopefully--would help to shield me from the worst of the nonsense.

(In Adventures in Babysitting, the phrase "this is the city" is oft-repeated, with just that emphasis. There, too, they were talking about shit hole Chicago.)

Even so, I do not relish the idea of working in the city.

My afternoon thus far has been consumed with writing this post and tossing in a few more applications, but I really need to wash the dishes. I'm becoming discouraged enough that washing the dishes feels like a more constructive use of my time.

*sigh* Well, that's why they call it "a depression", you know, and not something more festive like "a party" or "a rollicking good time!" Because it's not fun; it's depressing.

I mean, unless you're Barack Hussein Obama, or one of his cronies, in which case it's a crisis you can exploit, while eating arugula and kobe beef and going to the golf course three times a week. John F'in' Kerry certainly isn't going to worry about paying his gas bill, you know? I'd bet that Hillary Clinton wouldn't know how to pump fuel into her car (if she even owns one, which I doubt).

Incidentally, the price of copper has hit a 6-year low and six years ago was 2009, the big crash that came in the wake of the subprime housing crisis--the one that gave us "too big to fail" and TARP and the rest of it. (Can-kicking by any other name....)

But be that as it may, I have a sink full of dirty dishes, and they will not get clean unless I go in there and wash them. Off I go.

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