Republican politicians have conflicting explanations for high unemployment, as
points out using recent comments by Sen. Jim DeMint. On the one hand, businesses are afraid to hire people because Obama will somehow penalize them for this through regulations. On the other hand:
DEMINT: I have talked to a lot of businesses in South Carolina who can't get employees to come back to work because they are getting unemployment and they're getting food stamps and they say call me when unemployment runs out. [...]
There are a lot of people who desperately need it and we need to make sure that we have that safety net in place, but we also have to realize there are a lot of people gaming the system right now. And we need to do better than we have done with just extending benefits, there have to be incentives for people to get back to work. These have to phase out in a way that we haven't done it before.
Any business owner who legitimately has trouble finding employees in an economy that has one job opening for every 4.5 unemployed workers should think really, really hard about what exactly those jobs entail. For instance, "I offered several people with decades of experience minimum wage to do a highly-skilled job and they dared say no" is not a real sympathy-grabber.
Equally likely, though, is that either DeMint is lying about what he was told or the people he talked to told him lies. Because if there's one thing unemployed people are not saying en masse, except in vague anecdotes told by Republicans, it's that they don't want jobs.
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