When everyone checks out of the labor market the unemployment rate goes down. It’s not unlike the management of “medical populations” we reported on over the weekend. If enough sick people die the overall population becomes healthier.
For a large swathe of the middle of the country the recession lingers on big time. But a couple of other things to consider as we look at these numbers is the degree to which food stamps have become deeply ingrained in the very culture of some areas, and also the degree to which a low cost of living in some parts means that a larger portion of the population qualifies for such assistance. The two factors probably compound each other. Then a poor economy just amplifies the dependence even more.
I am all for the liberalization of marijuana laws, as I have written many times before. The prohibition of cannabis is simply wrong in my estimation for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it is a crony capitalist construct. For years millions (really billions) have been made off of keeping weed illegal. From prison unions to Big Pharma lots of interests wanted to keep the inexpensive, relatively innocuous drug in the illegal category. I think legalization of pot is a good thing.
I was taken with this article. As one who lives in a prosperous town which is tucked up right next to the Blue Ridge Mountains the world Kevin D. Williamson writes about in the National Review is not that far away. It’s still far, the Appalachian Mountains where I live have vineyards, orchards, and prosperous cattle farms on their flanks. One of the world’s great universities is just down the road. But the bleak, welfare dependent rural ghetto isn’t that far. An afternoon’s drive and I’d be in the heart of it.
Fifty years after President Johnson launched his “war on poverty,” it is time to stop pretending and start doing something real for the poor.
Our farm system is totally rigged for generally very wealthy (made wealthier with our tax dollars) agribusiness participants. But the Republicans won’t attack this kind of welfare because it benefits constituencies in rural and generally Republican districts – at least the constituencies which tend to write checks to their congressperson.
Dr. Paul isn’t the only medical doctor who is completely fed up with medical central planning. I’ve talked with a few and each one is deeply concerned about how it will impact care.
This is not sustainable. When more people receive means tested government benefits (not Social Security, veterans benefits) than there are people working full-time jobs, there is a problem.