Monday, April 20, 2009

how many things are wrong with this article?

Where's Waldo?
He's easy to find this time...

Here's Stephanie Steitzer in the C-J with news about the federal government allowing KY Governor Steve Beshear to extend unemployment benefits.

Start with the headline: "Kentucky to extend jobless benefits". That's somewhat troubling, but the way we allow our government to redistribute income, this is not that big of a deal. If you have a problem with redistribution, this is one of the last places you'd complain.

Next the sub-head: "U.S. changes stance, says Beshear can act". Well, thank you very much. Why is the federal government telling Kentucky what it can do? If it's federal monies, then the strings are not surprising-- but then the whole thing is regrettable. Why is money taken from people in other states to give to our unemployed? If it's state monies, then the federal govt should have no pull.

The key problem: Beshear was in a position to use his "executive powers" to unilaterally extend benefits-- "because the state General Assembly had failed to change a state law during its most recent session". The term "failed" implies that this was, well, a failure. But more accurately, one would say that they decided not to change the law-- whatever the reasons behind the decision.

Bottom line: unemployment is one of many dubious redistributive programs run by the government. Once in place, the state legislature and the governor should make decisions about it. The federal government should have no role in such matters. Leave it (and a lot of other stuff-- and a lot of taxpayer money)-- to the states (and to private citizens).


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