Analysts say that America's unemployment rate could soon drop by a full half point, representing many hundreds of thouands of people off the official unemployment rolls. It's all thanks to one neat policy trick.
That would be: Congress's decision to end federal unemployment benefits last week for anyone who's been out of work more than 26 weeks. This penurious act against our nation's most desperate citizens is a stunning success, statistically speaking! The Wall Street Journal reports:
The unemployment rate is the share of the total labor force that is out of work but actively seeking employment. To receive jobless benefits recipients need to keep applying for jobs. But once the government deposits stop flowing, they may be less motivated to look for work and thus drop out of the labor force.
By ending benefits for more than a million people, Congress will successfully sap their will and demoralize them enough to stop looking for work entirely—thereby lowering the official unemployment rate. The same effect could be achieved by shooting up the long-term unemployed with Thorazine, or chaining them in basements.
Tough love really works!