This first came up (recently at least) with the Hostess workers:
Interviews with more than a dozen workers showed there was little sign of regret from employees who voted for the strike. They said they would rather lose their jobs than put up with lower wages and poorer benefits.
“They’re just taking from us,” said Kenneth Johnson, 46, of Missouri. He said he earned roughly $35,000 with overtime last year, down from about $45,000 five years ago.
“I really can’t afford to not be working, but this is not worth it. I’d rather go work somewhere else or draw unemployment,” said Johnson, a worker at Hostess for 23 years.
Yes, old news. But I came across this today:
In the recent past we noted the somewhat startling reality that “the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045.” … the painful reality in America is that: for increasingly more Americans it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work. … there is an earnings vacuum of around $40k in which US workers are perfectly ambivalent toward inputting more effort since it does not result in any additional incremental disposable income.
An interesting note is that the graphic comes from the PA Dept. of Public Health. It’s a slide from a whole presentation about welfare’s failure.
I recall a story from a friend of mine who used to run a mechanical company. He had a nice lady working at the office whom he gave a raise. She took her new pay stub and dutifully notified social services. As a result of the modest raise she was going to lose her housing voucher. So she had to go back to work and say, “Thank you very much but can you please take your raise back. I need to keep my housing voucher.”
The system is broken. Very very broken.