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Recent Numbers Show Why a Welfare State Doesn’t Work, but God’s Ways Do

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Published on: February 2, 2015

Economists of the Austrian School and the Christian right have been screaming the truth for years. Those who do not provide for themselves will not work even when they are able. It seemed as though these cries had fallen on deaf ears. Even as they made this argument, the welfare system grew rapidly. Now, almost half of all Americans are on some kind of subsidy.

Now, the Washington Examiner is reporting:

Sixty percent of job creation in 2014 was caused by the expiration of unemployment benefits, according to a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

This demonstrates that the people who have been saying this for years are not heartless. These Austrian economists are not just austere and mean. Christians are not uncaring. These people do not want to see people hungry and in the cold. No, they want what is best for these people and their family. What is best is that the unemployed go back to work and earn their way. Most will not provide for themselves if they receive it without working.

Why would you go and take a less paying job if you can sit at home and make more money? The fact of the matter is people will take what is free over what they have to earn.   This bears true in the study.

The Washington Examiner continues:

The new working paper found that the expiration of benefits was responsible for the creation of over 1.8 million jobs. Nearly 1 million of those jobs were created by workers who would have otherwise stayed out of the labor force if unemployment benefits had been extended. Overall, almost 3 million jobs were created in 2014.

They quote the paper:

“The negative effects of unemployment benefit extensions on employment far outweighs the potential stimulative effects often ascribed to this policy,” the study said.

It found that “the dominant impact of the benefit cut on employment was not driven by a contraction in the labor force —unemployed dropping out of the labor force because they were no longer entitled to benefits — but instead by those previously not participating in the labor market deciding to enter the labor force.”

When their benefits ended, they did not give up and throw in the towel; they went and got a job. America was built by people who are willing and able to overcome obstacles and worked hard for what they have and want. They are not those who have to have things handed to them by an omnipotent government.

Just as we see in God’s Word, charity can sometimes be the opposite of compassion. When God makes provisions for the poor, he does so in a way that they still have a sense of earning what they need. In Lev. 19:9-10, God instructs that the farmer and vineyard owner leave parts of the harvest for the poor and the stranger.

God does not tell the farmer or vineyard owner to collect it and distribute the goods to the poor. There was still the need to collect the goods and the poor had to get permission and pick the gleaning. There is no shame in working for what you receive. Without this principle people will not seek to do better.

The research proves that God’s way is the most compassionate.


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