Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

Want more jobs? Stop paying people not to work

Do extended unemployment benefits perpetuate joblessness? In theory, this makes sense. If you pay people not to work, they’re incentivized to stay home. After all, as Reagan once said, “If you want more of something, subsidize it.” But our neighbors in North Carolina put this theory to the test in 2013 when the Tar Heel State became the only one in the nation to ditch the federal extended unemployment benefits program.

As John Hood, my counterpart at the John Locke Foundation, wrote in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, the plan worked. Despite ridicule from the indignant Left, North Carolina’s plan put its residents back to work. As Hood notes: 

 “For the last six months of 2013, [North Carolina] was the only state where jobless recipients weren’t eligible for extended benefits. Yet during that period North Carolina had one of the nation’s largest improvements in labor-market performance and overall economic growth.”

Indeed, after its exodus from the stagnant extended benefits program, payroll jobs in North Carolina rose at double the rate of the national average. Fortunately for job seekers and taxpayers alike, the program expired for every state earlier this year, before any other state took note of North Carolina’s foresight. Hopefully next time—when Washington inevitably tries to go back to this failed policy again—more states will take a cue and show D.C. how policy really can changes lives for the better.

-Justin Owen


July 7th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Recent News

Warnings to a Young Conservative

Warnings to a Young Conservative

Many of you have likely heard of conservative author Dinesh D’Souza’s breakout book, Letters to a Young Conservative. Written in 2002, Letters was meant to help encourage budding leaders in their journey with a compilation of anecdotal notes on how to continue to win the battle of ideas and keep one’s endurance throughout in the grueling process.

However, the times, they are a’changing and right-leaning college graduates these days face a much different climate. The right to the “pursuit of happiness” has morphed into a license to make irresponsible choices that have both personal and societal consequences. And unfortunately, we’re becoming a nation that can no longer afford to pay for indulgent pursuits because we’re mortgaging our future.

Student debt is the fastest-growing debt category in the country, tripling over the past decade to an astronomical $1.11 trillion.

As we prepare to welcome the classes of 2014 fresh from their commencement ceremonies into a stagnant job market, and a new generation of college-goers prepare, here are my warnings to a young conservative that perhaps can serve as a prequel to D’Souza’s Letters. I’ll call this the “We’re Broke” edition:

  • Understand the difference between a profession and a hobby. Think about what’s marketable—not just what sounds fun—and find a way to contribute using your unique talents.  Reuters notes a recent report showing unemployment rates across careers and found that graduates from technical fields or those who serve growing parts of the U.S. economy fare better. “Healthcare and education graduates had lower unemployment rates of about 3 percent and 4 percent respectively… liberal arts and social sciences majors experienced the highest levels of unemployment of 7 percent to 8 percent.”
  • Be willing to leave a bad economy with limited opportunities for greener pasture. Currently, we are experiencing mass migrations of Californians and New Yorkers to states like Tennessee, Texas, and Florida. In the 2014 Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, California and New York ranked in the bottom five among the fifty states for economic competitiveness.

YIELD: Federal healthcare dependency, social welfare programs, increasing national debt, unsustainable personal debt, and decreasing participation in the workforce are dangers that lay ahead. Watch for the warning signs and stay out of the ditch.

-Lindsay Boyd

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June 18th, 2014 | Beacon Blog, Feature, Recent News

Union bosses threatened by homegrown freedom-fighters

In a recent article, the New York based Olean Times Herald highlights the work of Beacon to stop the infiltration of Tennessee’s workforce by the United Auto Workers.

When executives at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga recently pressured employees to join the United Auto Workers, those workers had the help of the Beacon Center, a Tennessee think tank that not only provided much-needed research on the harms of unionization but also held town-hall forums to fight pro-union propaganda.

The UAW expected to win, but lost 712-626. Many groups deserve credit, but the Beacon Center played a key role because it was a homegrown effort to help workers beat back the UAW.

Formerly called the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, the Beacon Center is only a decade old, but it has already significantly affected those workers, and the entire state, as well as adjoining states where the UAW is working furiously to extend its influence.

Read the entire article here.

April 17th, 2014 | Recent News

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