Government Supported Laziness

   Do not think about, write about or deal with  human behavior without determining the effects of incentives.

    Below we see a black and white consequence of government handouts. Workers will not put in 40 hours for an increase in weekly wages of $100.00 or $2.50 per hour. Those without pride can do this calculation, but politicians, either won’t or don’t care.

National Post

Creating a culture of sloth

A New Brunswick entrepreneur heads to Maine, because locals don’t want to work

This week, the Edmonton Journal reported on a remarkable phenomenon unfolding at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), which provides courses in technical training and skilled trades.

Registration tickets for a course in crane operation — where students learn to “service and operate the hoist and swing equipment used to move machinery, materials and other large objects” — were to be issued on Thursday night. On Monday morning, at 7 a.m. sharp, the first applicant arrived to camp in the hallway for the four-day wait. By Wednesday, another 60 applicants had joined the line, bringing sleeping bags and blow-up mattresses.

“It’s the short-term pain for the long-term gain … you have to do what you have to do,” said Terri Tacink, one of the early arrivals. “My parents are cutting their vacation short to come home to look after my kids.”

Meanwhile, across the country in New Brunswick, Cory Guimond was bemoaning the closure of his family boat-building operation after 60 years. Unable to find local workers willing to sacrifice unemployment benefits for the sake of a job, he recently moved across the border to Maine, where he now has 10 employees and expects to have 20 in another month.

Better pickings in Alberta is one reason for New Brunswick attitudes, he told the National Post’s Joe O’Connor, but rich jobless benefits are a big impediment. “When you can also get $400 a week back home for doing nothing, why would you go to work for me for an extra hundred bucks? That’s the mentality back home.”

New Brunswick has Canada’s highest youth unemployment rate, and at 10.5%, it has one of the highest general unemployment rates, as well. Alberta and Saskatchewan have the lowest rates, at 4.7% and 3.4% respectively. The strong Western economies clearly act as a lure for people looking for work, especially those willing to accept some inconvenience in return for a decent job. (The first person in the line-up at NAIT, reported the Journal, was Robert Croteau of Montreal. He’s looking to train for jobs that start at about $63,000 per year.)

Prince Edward Island has a jobless rate of 11.7%. When Ottawa introduced stricter new EI-eligibility rules last year, a single mother went on a month-long protest after being denied benefits for refusing to commute from her home in a small town. Marlene Giersdorf said she couldn’t find a job in her hometown of Montague, P.E.I., which has a population of about 2,000, and didn’t want to make the 40-minute drive to Charlottetown because she lacked a car. Her benefits were reinstated after her case drew national attention.


      My poor planning resulted in no transportation. No transportation results in helplessness which must be subsidized by people with good planning. Makes sense in a “social justice” sort of way.

It’s no news that these small provinces have weak job markets. But there also is a cultural element at play here: Over time, many Canadians in these areas have come to accept the idea of long-term dependence on government handouts as a normal and non-stigmatized way of life — even when jobs are available. Mr. Guimond once employed close to 30 people, but found it increasingly difficult to hold onto workers who found they could live on part-time work and unemployment benefits. He’d still be operating in his home province if he could find people who were culturally conditioned to work for a living.

In February, a report out of Nova Scotia warned that the province faces a threat to its “basic economic and demographic viability” because of its innate suspicion of free enterprise and preference for government programs. Nova Scotia has had the poorest performing economy in the country for the past 20 years, it says, and could see its population fall by a further 100,000, as young people leave in search of work.


   Those who stay will have highly developed skills in search for government handouts.

The report suggests, among other proposed solutions, an overall change in attitude. Even if new government money were available, “there is little evidence from past experience that … this would dramatically improve our economic performance.”

As the Atlantic provinces struggle with this crisis, there is a lesson for the country as a whole: Governments don’t “create” jobs by pouring money into make-work programs, nor do they spur long-term growth by propping up struggling industries. At best, they manage the decline while crowding out the free enterprise operators that make a more lasting difference. Those who stay at home learn to live on limited budgets and government subsidies, while the more ambitious souls line up in Alberta hallways for a chance at a more self-reliant future.


    We have class warfare indeed. It’s not between the haves and the havenots, it’s between tax producers and tax consumers.

Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Days of Songs and Mirrors: A Jacobite in the ‘45.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: