McClaughry: Our Covid-era guaranteed income

By John McClaughry

The Labor Department recently reported that the economy had 10.1 million job openings in June. This comes amid a booming recovery as the pandemic lockdowns ease and there were 8.7 million unemployed workers in July.


Why work, when the taxpayers pay you not to work?

The next day the National Federation of Independent Business reported that small employers are worried about a shortage of workers. Forty-nine percent of the owners reported job openings they couldn’t fill in July, up three percentage points from June and a record high. The 48-year historical average is 22%.

The explanation is that millions of Americans are making more money by not working than putting in an eight-hour day. The $300 enhanced jobless benefit doesn’t expire until September, plus the expanded healthcare subsidies, child care payments, per child tax credits, food stamps, and more.

All of this adds up to a significant guaranteed income, with no requirement to work for a living so long as it lasts. Democrats said at the start of the pandemic that this would be temporary, but now they want to make it permanent in Bernie Sanders’ $3.5 trillion budget. No one should be surprised that when you pay people this much not to work, millions decide not to work.

This should shed light on proposals for a guaranteed annual income, which keep turning up in the US and most recently in Quebec. Why work, when the taxpayers pay you not to work?

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Flickr/

One thought on “McClaughry: Our Covid-era guaranteed income

  1. Now there’s a privileged point of view from your ivory tower.
    No one has done any studies of how many entrepreneurial Vermonters who found a hardscrabble way to make a living here, and support a family without working for insurance companies, tech companies, the healthcare industry, or big pharma or the state or feds – how many of those harder working than you (they don’t have time to write opines) are now facing homelessness, and having to move out of state because they can no longer afford to live here on any level?
    This is so snarky of you to write John.
    And oh so privelaged.
    And a perfect portrait of why we are facing a CCP run state government where only compliance with state orders gets you food and a roof over our heads.
    Oh and those pesky poison death jabs (NC reported a 25% increase in DEATHS from the vaccines in August) that are required to WORK, LIVE and PLAY now.
    You go with that.
    I hope the padding on your ivory throne is comfy while the rest of struggle in the mud at your feet.
    You have to live it to know it. Or you have to at least be willing to talk to people whose lives have been DESTROYED by the CCP model of ‘healthcare.’ AKA Genocide.
    Money to be made, money to be made. All that insurance to sell!

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