Just How "Unemployed" Are They?

By Proof

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Is that a hammer on your tool belt, or are you just glad to see me?

A friend of mine sent me a link about unemployment cheats.

DENVER - He's got jobs to fill, yet one local employer says many applicants will only take the work if the pay is in cash. That cash, he says, would be paid under the table so the worker can continue to collect unemployment benefits.

A few local industrial companies are starting to see more potential employees trying to cheat the system. Ed Sleeman, owner of Colorado Drywall Supply, posted two new jobs eight months ago. Dozens of applications later, Sleeman still can't find two qualified truck drivers willing to load and unload building supplies, despite Colorado's 8.4 percent unemployment rate. And it's not that all of the jobseekers have been unqualified. Sleeman says about 40 of the applicants have admitted they're unemployed, and are hoping to double dip. "They'll come in and say, 'Well, I'd look at the job but if you could pay me cash I'd take the job so I could keep my unemployment,'" Sleeman said. Sleeman says he isn't the type of business owner to pay under the table. "There's no way we would do that," he said. Sleeman says he's aware double dippers have been approaching other businesses in the industrial sector.

And the unemployed aren't the only ones to game the system.

What's worse, he says, he's heard of companies willing to pay under the table to avoid extra costs, like health benefits

It doesn't surprise me. If there's a system to be gamed, someone will game it! Employers, the unemployed, you name it. One of my favorite talk show hosts was talking about some ideas he'd heard and liked for solving the insolvency of unemployment insurance. He thought that, perhaps the income of the household could be looked at as a way to identify those most in need of unemployment compensation.

He used an example of a husband a wife, one makes $100K/year, the other made $50K and was laid off. "Surely the household could survive on $100k annually?", he asked.

Just as many an unwed teen remains unmarried to keep the welfare coming in, and some divorcées have remained unmarried to keep the child support alimony* coming and oldsters have been known not to marry lest it decrease their Social Security benefits, I'm sure that this, too, would prompt people to game the system by legally keeping separate "households" to remain eligible.

Better to lower the tax rates to free up capital and eliminate the crippling effects of too much government regulation that keep small businesses from creating the very thing that would eliminate much of the strain on the unemployment insurance system:

Cross posted at Proof Positive

*Friends don't let friends write sleep deprived.


  1. A-ha! The old General Theory of Liberalism rears its ugly head again!

    What? Incentives matter?

  2. When a woman re-marries she loses alimony, but child support is only removed when the children hit the age of 18. And yes, I do know of a woman who between alimony and child support was receiving over $60K a year and it did weigh very heavily on her choice of whether to remarry or not. My ex never got alimony, but she's remarried and the child support payments I'm making haven't decreased one iota.

  3. Magson: You're right, I meant alimony, not child support. Before I added the divorce example, I used the words "child support" to refer to the out of wedlock mother, but that didn't look right either.

    (I wonder if only having three hours sleep in the last two days has anything to do with it?)

  4. as far as i'm concerned you cited enough reasons to do away with all income taxes.

  5. We all work (and stay idle) for the government now.

  6. "The system" oxymoron? Govt once again at it's finest... The big picture here is, why work when you can get your money for nothing... Govt is the problem.

  7. Some Rule 5 Linkage http://tinyurl.com/2vzac99


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