As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, August 03, 2009

Government Cheese

Is Michelle Malkin supposed to be a patriot for suggesting that millions of Americans are so lazy that they'd rather sit home and live off the public teat rather than work for a living?

Malkin: If you put enough government cheese in front of people they are just going to keep eating it and you're just kicking the can down the road and just to hammer this point about the unemployment benefits extension again it was Larry Katz, who's a chief labor economist under the Clinton labor department who came out with a study and there are a lot of these economists who say this that if you keep extending these "temporary" unemployment benefits you're just going to extend joblessness even more.

Stephanopoulos: I don't know if I follow that though

Malkin: That was a Clinton economist who said it George...

Stephanopoulos: Choosing to take the unemployment benefits when a job is available?

Malkin: Seventy nine weeks already and then they're going to extend it by another thirteen weeks and what happens is according to these economist who have seen it including this Clinton economist is that people will just delay getting a job until the three weeks before the benefits run out.

Tucker: Well, that might be true when there are jobs out there that are available, but there are very few jobs available at the moment so I don't think people are using that unemployment benefit to be lazy instead of going out and searching for jobs...

Malkin: I'm not making a moral judgment, it's an incentive problem.

Tucker: But when businesses advertise the few job openings they have, they'll advertise twenty openings, they have six thousand applicants so I don't think that's the problem...

Hunt: If Starbucks were hiring, suddenly you'll see lines around the block. Anecdotally George, I have a kid who has some friends from college and many of them don't have jobs and boy, they are looking.

Stephanopoulos: And there are other states especially that are hard hit.

So many things wrong with this tableau. First of all, unemployment benefits are not enough to live on, that's probably as good a place to start as any. You'll need the kind of savings most Americans on unemployment don't have to sustain yourself. Second, what exactly does Michelle Malkin do all day that's so vibrant, other than get her husband to write her columns and books that get bought in bulk and pulped? They don't call it wingnut welfare for nothing. Regnery-purchased cheese! Third, the fact that George Steph is confused when he, you know, booked Michelle Malkin on the show and shoudl know what he's getting. Fourth, Malkin bangs the drum for Clinton economist Lawrence Katz throughout the segment, then learns that he actually supports temporary unemployment insurance extensions, and she turns on him like a good little rage addict and quotes the Heritage Foundation. Whither bipartisanship?

Paul Krugman notes that at least Malkin's not alone with this view - it's also expressed by professors at major universities like the University of Chicago.

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