CNN thinks so. http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/12/news/economy/us-economy-big-problem-tyler-cowen/ So does Tyler Cowen, economist.
The author of this piece and our economist could not be more wrong. I loved reading this piece yesterday because not only are the contributors well off the mark- but in typical CNN fashion they start in on the Trump bashing which I am so sssiiiccckkk of reading. Fuck. I only click on CNN Money to look at commodity prices. I wasn't planning on reading another inaccurate editorial dressed up like cutting edge news.
Years ago my friend Billy quoted the title of this blog today. When he said it- I remember thinking how profoundly simple and undeniable that statement was. He said that every one of us is trying to do precisely that. Make the most money with the least amount of work.
What's killing American productivity?
I love the Yellowstone Park "Feeding the Bears" analogy. In Yellowstone Park, the rangers don't want you to feed the bears. Bears quit being bears when they are being fed. They quit hunting and foraging. Instead they become dangerous. they expect free handouts. They clog up roads and act like bums. When the bears don't get a free lunch, they tear up campsites and cars. Once in awhile they tear up a human being.
When your government is handing out billions in food subsidies, billions in rent subsidies, billions in health and utility subsidies- then your people have no need to work. You are meeting their needs for food, shelter, and health. They quit trying to be productive because they are like animals in a zoo or park. Your government has been killing American independence for decades.
I have a friend, perfectly healthy, one of the laziest bastards I have ever known. He has spent a lifetime suing everyone that he can and he even gets disability payments and insurance from medicaid. He told me flat out that he simply de-frauded the government over a make believe back problem from a car wreck which he settled for 100k. More importantly, he has offered help and advice to three other deadbeats who are doing the same types of things he does.
We have over 10 million people receiving disability payments- they skyrocketed under Obama. http://www.iwf.org/blog/2796127/Americans-on-Disability-Skyrocket-%E2%80%93-Especially-Under-Obama
Next let's turn our binoculars and focus on the productive class. Those people who would work if the government hadn't allowed the corporate oligarchy to outsource millions upon millions of jobs. Here's a CNN article that claims we have lost 5 million jobs since 2000. That's bullshit. I think we have lost every bit of 15 million jobs. Those were good paying manufacturing jobs with benefits. http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/29/news/economy/us-manufacturing-jobs/
So not only are we losing jobs overseas, but government is allowing the corporate oligarchy to remove jobs here with the H1B visa program. They in source foreigners. Corporate America hires foreign workers at a fraction of the cost of American workers using the visa program. Boeing is famous for this. Here is an article, four years old on 800,000 H1B visa holders- undoubtedly we are well over a million by now. http://insights.dice.com/2013/05/14/how-nearly-800000-h-1b-workers-came-to-work-in-the-u-s/
Those are the legal job holders. How many illegal aliens are here working and taking American jobs? And please don't tell me they are the jobs Americans won't take. In our little casino town near here, there are at least 500 workers in both casinos from both legal and illegal parentage. They are primarily Mexican people, hustling drinks, working in the pit, serving and cooking in the restaurants. Here is an article which cites among other things- that the increase in competitive hiring pools has driven wages and benefits down. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/magazine/do-illegal-immigrants-actually-hurt-the-us-economy.html
This article says there are 11 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. I think the number is far higher, I have seen 20 million quoted several times. http://www.dailywire.com/news/13360/how-many-us-immigrants-are-illegal-and-where-do-amanda-prestigiacomo We lose jobs and we lose money. I remember years ago, all of these check cashing and wire money shops opening up all over town. Why? The Mexicans were taking every job that they could get, mostly in landscaping and construction, and wiring the money home to their families in Mexico, Peru, or South America.
We have 2.2 million people in prisons and jails. They certainly aren't working. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States
I cannot begin to tell you how many people have simply quit working because we are taxed to death or there are no benefits to working. Why would I waste my time working in a ten dollar an hour job with no benefits so that I can give a third of that money to some government entity? I won't. My retirement checks are wholly sufficient and I have paid off all of my debt and I will soon pay off my house. Taxation is theft. It is completely out of control. I believe that I pay a full third to 40% of my income to the feds, the state, property tax, sales tax, gas tax, Hell I pay a grand a year for water,sewer, and trash. So the only way to replace that lost income is by paying off all of your debt. It's like giving yourself a raise without increasing your tax burden.
I have a friend who threw in the towel on his drywall business. He couldn't afford all of the payroll taxes, and most importantly, the workman's comp insurance- made mandatory by the state. What does he do now? He works for cash, reports next to nothing, and gets free Obamacare. Pretty slick huh?
I have another friend who quit his practice in Mississippi because he could not afford the 88,000 a year in malpractice insurance forced on him by the state.
Many people are working for cash and simply not reporting it. Lots of bartering too.
So are Americans lazy?
No. They can do the math. You cannot place a heavy regulatory burden on people and expect them to overcome it. You cannot tax them to death despite the cleverly disguised taxes that government is forever creating. You have to create and support an environment that is conducive to productivity not one that takes that incentive away. There is a nexus, an invisible line, where each and every one of us says "screw it, it just isn't worth it." More and more of us are crossing that line. Thousands are even fleeing our shores. Our government has created an environment where work is simply no longer worth it. I shall leave you with a quote from The God of the Machine. It fits here nicely and I believe- it is always right. It is government in a nutshell. That is the optimist in me.
Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.