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Can't get a call back from Contractors now: RE: unemployment benefits


LongHaul
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I have a small welding job at my house.  4 different welders bid on it. 

All have now flaked out after I called them.  I was polite to all.

So much for super high unemployment. 

 

Contrast that with a teenager who recently started a power washing business as his lifeguard job was closed this year.

The Teen got right back to me, easy to deal with did a quality job.  (BTW: good opportunity for your teen to make more money than a typical teen job)

 

Summary:  I am NOT supporting extra unemployment payments for people.

Humans are extremely resourceful and able - let them work for their money and find opportunities.

 

There is still a TON of opportunity in this country if people want to go after it. 

That is a choice that people make.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Summer months are always incredibly busy for contractors. There is excess capacity in winter months. It would be a poor allocation to direct resources based solely on high volume seasonality.

 

It would be like buying a company based on peak earnings without looking at the entire cycle.

 

Also for trades positions, these are career paths - they require apprenticeships. You cannot expect a bartender who was laid off in April to be welding your gate together in July. This is the definition of frictional unemployment and is exactly what unemployment benefits are partially used for.

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I agree on the $600 extra in weekly unemployment benefits being a powerful disincentive to go back to on-the-books employment for the lowest income workers.

 

I also seriously doubt that had anything to do with the contractors flaking on your small residential welding job.

 

Maybe the power washing teen could grab a harbor freight welder and get you hooked up.

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$600 extra was a very blunt instrument and was basically guaranteed to produce a few odd unintended consequences, although those who have studied it with some rigor did not conclude that it is producing a meaningful effect.

 

Also, this is the rather odd and unusual situation in which if someone sits at home doing nothing and collecting an unusually large unemployment check, that actually might be good if the cost is less than say the cost of rioting angry mobs or the costs of an uncontrolled epidemic because people have no choice but to go back to work.

 

Ironically the cheapest solution of all would have been to just tell people to wear masks, then we could have had lower unemployment transfer payments and a higher level of economic activity without the associated public health costs of an uncontrolled epidemic.

 

Also, though these are interesting anecdotes and I appreciate Longhaul sharing them in a thoughtful way, choosing housing contractors as an example is probably a poor choice because you've chosen one of the few areas of the economy that is doing extremely well and therefore extrapolating about the broader labor market based on the response from relatively unaffected contractors (some of whom have likely seen increased demand) who are able to work outside in one geographic area is probably not that meaningful.

 

The 70% replacement income proposal is much less likely to have unintended consequences, but I think they cannot be faulted for choosing speed over accuracy at the beginning. Hopefully we can do better in the future though.

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Very good points.  Thanks for the responses.

 

Housing has remained strong - and it is summer. 

Many often have trouble getting contractors to be responsive - although they seemed more so in 2010.

 

I would rather hustle and get a job with a skilled profession than collect unemployment (I did at 18) because I would learn a ton more about a skilled profession and life. 

 

 

 

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Not sure where you are, but on the east coast, or in blue states, most contractors I know have so much work they dont know what to do with it all. Partly, this is seasonal, and a lot of it is backlog from the lockdowns. In NY/NJ, now add storm damage. Typically, at least the ones I know, they will get back to you with outrageous quotes, if you dont take it, they dont care. If you do, they'll find a way to fit you in.

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I forgot to say that I thought LongHaul's story about the lifeguard's switch to pressure washing was the more valuable of the stories, even if only because it's inspirational and a good reminder that we all should be seeking to be positive and creative during these times:

 

Contrast that with a teenager who recently started a power washing business as his lifeguard job was closed this year.

The Teen got right back to me, easy to deal with did a quality job.  (BTW: good opportunity for your teen to make more money than a typical teen job)

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