MINOT, N.D. — It is a deep irony in American politics that many of the very same people who will rant reliably about the evils of “big business” will simultaneously and unwittingly promote policy outcomes that entrench the very sort of large business enterprises they revile.
The debate over the pandemic era’s expanded unemployment benefits has broken down into two camps. One holds, correctly, that the benefits have removed the impetus for many of the unemployed to find work, thus contributing to a labor shortage that is hindering our post-pandemic economic recovery. That was the reasoning deployed by Gov. Doug Burgum when he announced that North Dakota would end its participation in the federal expanded benefits program on June 19.
The other holds that these expanded benefits ought to be made permanent and that if employers want workers back, they should pay more.
Let’s consider how this is playing out in the real world.