For the last 10 years, Larry and Roxane Maggio ran a deli—Ludovico’s—in downtown Haddonfield, a borough in New Jersey.
Last month, however, they prepared their final catering orders. The couple decided to close their business—“and not because business is bad.”
“We just can’t find anyone to work,” Roxane Maggio told the Philadelphia Inquirer last week.
Similar stories can be found across America, where businesses are struggling to find employees. In Spokane, Washington, job postings “appear to be around every corner,” but employers simply can’t find people to fill the jobs.
“It’s been challenging,” said Matt Jensen, who serves as Director of Sales and Marketing for Davenport Hotels, just one of many businesses in Spokane searching for dozens of employees.
A Record Labor Shortage
These anecdotes are no aberration. Data show that small businesses are reporting a record number of job openings.
“I think we’re seeing rising evidence of labor shortages,” economist Lawrence Summers said in a recent Bloomberg interview, which highlighted a recent National Federation of Independent Business survey.
“You can see that in small business surveys, where we’re at record levels in terms of difficulties of finding labor. You can see that in terms of the data on job vacancies, which are at near record levels,” said Summers, a former president of Harvard University.
When Summers was asked if the government “went too far” in its latest relief package, which included supplemental unemployment benefits, which in many cases resulted in Americans receiving more income by not working, he did not hesitate.
“Yes,” responded Summers. “If we give people more money for not working than they were getting when they were working, then they’re going to stay on the sidelines.”
Summers, who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations, went on to describe the move as a “misdesigned” policy by the Biden Administration that could have far-reaching economic implications.
Law of Unintended Consequences?
Some might chalk up the unemployment backfire to “the law of unintended consequences,” as David Westin did in his interview with Summers.
While the consequence may have been unintended, it was not hard to predict. Indeed, it was precisely what many economists said would happen.
“Expanding unemployment benefits during a recession has a predictable result: slower employment recovery,” Texas Tech economics professor Alex Salter told FEE’s Brad Polumbo back in February. “We should be helping people get back to work—not making it more financially attractive to stay home.”
This is why Summers called the move an “unforced error.” It was the obvious consequence of juicing up unemployment benefits.
After all, it’s kind of hard to blame people for not wanting to go to work when they can make more money staying home writing that dream novel, playing Call of Duty, reading Jane Austen, or trying to become the next TikTok star.
Economist Lawrence Summers said the Biden administration's juiced-up unemployment benefits have created a record labor shortage.
It was “an unforced error,” Summers said. “If we give people more money for not working…then they’re going to stay on the sidelines.” pic.twitter.com/eCyTW1CXKw
— Jon Miltimore (@miltimore79) May 5, 2021
There’s a famous adage among economists: incentives matter.
Nothing harmonizes incentives better than markets, which create incentives indirectly. Directly created incentives, on the other hand, often result in perverse consequences. For example, economist Dwight Lee has pointed out that the former Soviet Union suffered from all sorts of perverse outcomes by directly creating incentives.
“Managers responded to incentives to increase the production of shoes, for example, by making only a few sizes, hardly caring which sizes best fit consumers,” Lee noted. “Such incentives affected people’s behavior, but they failed to promote the social cooperation necessary for a productive economy.”
This is a stark contrast to markets, which do not actively “create” incentives, but allow them to arise naturally.
“The market economy is the ultimate example of how a set of rules can create a setting in which private incentives motivate social cooperation,” Lee wrote. “The most important incentives come from the subjective desires of individuals: the incentive to find love, to earn respect, to make the world a better place, to provide for their families. Markets are the rules of conduct that harmonize these various incentives by making it possible for people to communicate their desires to others.”
The supplemented unemployment benefits were essentially a double whammy. Not only were they an example of a directly created incentive, they directly incentivized something undesirable: unemployment.
In doing so, they created a labor shortage that put Larry and Roxane Maggio—and no doubt many others—out of business.
The supplemental unemployment benefits will go down as yet another cautionary tale about what happens when lawmakers meddle in labor markets. The only question now is how adverse the consequences will be.
‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are on track to be short by about $4100 per month in order to maintain operations.
The second way to help is to become a partner. We’ve strongly considered seeking angel investors in the past but because we were paying the bills, it didn’t seem necessary. Now, we’re struggling to pay the bills. We had 5,657,724 sessions on our website from November, 2020, through February, 2021. Our intention is to elevate that to higher levels this year by focusing on a strategy that relies on free speech rather than being beholden to progressive Big Tech companies.
During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
We’re heading in the right direction and we believe we’re ready talk to patriotic investors who want to not only “get in on the action” but more importantly who want to help America hear the truth. Interested investors should contact me directly with the contact button above.
As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report going.
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JD Rucker – EIC