"Where is the invisible hand of the market when you need it?" inquires Beiser, who likewise asks why farm wages are apparently stagnant despite increased demand for labor.Sorry. Most of these people have been on the dole for close to 99 weeks. Cut them off and force them to take the agricultural jobs! I'm all for unemployment benefits. God forbid I ever get laid off but at least I know it's there in case I need it. But payments doled out to someone for YEARS when there is work to be had? And we're paying them with borrowed dollars - money we don't even have.
While the demand side of the equation may be a mystery to Beiser, the supply side isn't. Unemployment benefits represent an obvious disincentive to journey elsewhere for wine grape-picking work - even as such benefits may be beneficial for one's employment prospects in the long run.
"People who receive unemployment benefits search harder and smarter for jobs than people who aren't covered," say economists Rick McGahey and Teresa Ghilarducci. "They tend to find long-term positions that suit them."
We call that freeloading.