Maryland Bar Owner Melony Wagner Claims Employees Not Returning to Work Because They Make More Money from Unemployment

Maryland Bar Owner Melony Wagner Claims Employees Not Returning to Work Because They Make More Money from Unemployment


Democratic ideas always sound like good policies at the time. 

After all, they just want to "care" for people.

But the problem is that sometimes the government safety net gets turned into a hammock.

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A Maryland bar owner has made headlines for claiming that her employees no longer want to return to work.

Why? 

Are they scared of contracting COVID-19?

That would be the reasonable guess, but no…

Melony Wagner says her employees don't want to return to work because they make more money sitting at home and collecting unemployment checks from the government, she claims.

"Why would you want to come back and actually work and make half as much money and you're working as you can get to stay home?" Wagner asks.

She says she's not even mad at them and she understands the human nature of their decisions.

However, it's not just Wagner.

This has been a concern that Republicans have had about the stimulus.

As states continue to reopen around the country, this is a scenario that is likely to repeat itself over and over again.

More details below:

Unemployment is not meant to fully replace one's income.

It's supposed to provide a safety net so that Americans can take care of the basics while finding another job.

Yet... there have been multiple reports of people making more from unemployment than they did at work.

This is exactly what Maryland bar owner Melony Wagner is claiming is happening with her employees.

According to the Daily Mail:

A bar owner in Maryland said her employees won't come back to work because they make more money from coronavirus relief aid.

In the days leading up to Maryland's reopening, Melony Wagner hoped to unlock the doors to Charles Village Pub and Patio in Baltimore.

But she told WBFF her staffers who are collecting unemployment aid aren't eager to come back to work.

'They don't want to because it's less money. I'm not even angry or upset, I understand,' said Wagner.

'Why would you want to come back and actually work and make half as much money and you're working as you can get to stay home?'

Under the $2.2trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed as part of the CARES Act, unemployed residents receive an additional $600 a week.

The provision is set to end in July, but Democrats in Senate have pushed forward a second coronavirus stimulus package worth $3trillion that would last through January.  It was approved by the House on Friday, but is unlikely to pass the senate in its current form.  

Economist Anirban Basu admitted that federal aid has made it hard for businesses in the private sector hoping to bring back staffers.

'Because the federal government's unemployment benefits are reasonably generous, $600 a week on top of ones state unemployment insurance benefits there might be some folks who decide I'm not really going to go back to work until August,' he said.

Basu anticipates more employees will be willing to return to work once federal aid runs dry.  

Wagner hopes that her employees choose to come back.

'It's a very difficult position to be put in right now honestly. I know everybody loves the extra $600 a week it's really had the opposite effect of what I think they were hoping it would have,' she said.

As of Saturday evening, Charles Village Pub and Patio's Facebook page revealed the bar was performing take out carryout orders this week.

It's unclear how many staffers returned to their post at the pub after Gov. Larry Hogan allowed Maryland to reopen on Friday.

It's true: the American government should protect American lives and livelihoods.

However, we were not designed to be a nanny state where the government takes 100 percent care of you.

Democrats appear to be attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic to grow big government and make people more dependent on the federal government than ever before.

Meanwhile, Republicans seem to support allowing the economy to safely reopen and giving people the ability to exercise personal responsibility and freedom.

Adam Schiff even claimed that "mass unemployment is a policy choice."

He's right... but not for the reason he thinks it is.

It's a policy choice because he and his colleagues have chosen to lockdown the economy indefinitely!

Nate Silver's Five Thirty Eight confirms that Americans are making more from unemployment than they were at their jobs.

In fact, multiple economists are acknowledging this fact.

Five Thirty Eight explains how people are able to make more from unemployment than work:

As a result, though, many people may now be eligible for substantially more money while unemployed than they made while they were working. A new analysis by Peter Ganong, Pascal Noel and Joseph Vavra, economists at the University of Chicago,1 uses government data from 2019 to estimate that 68 percent of unemployed workers who can receive benefits are eligible for payments that are greater than their lost earnings. They also found that the estimated median replacement rate — the share of a worker’s original weekly salary that is being replaced by unemployment benefits — is 134 percent, or more than one-third above their original wage. A substantial minority of those workers, particularly in low-wage professions like food service and janitorial work, may end up receiving more than 150 percent of their previous weekly salary.

The research underscores one of the central — and most politically explosive — tensions of our economic crisis: What’s the best way for our battered unemployment insurance system to keep jobless workers afloat during a historic downturn with no end in sight?

The idea behind a $600 payment was simple: In 2019, the national average unemployment payment was $370 per week and the national average salary for unemployment recipients was $970 per week.3 The additional $600 per week is meant to make up the difference, providing enough money on a weekly basis to fully replace the average unemployment recipient’s salary. Other analyses of estimated average wages and unemployment benefits have already shown, though, that replacement rates likely vary quite a bit by state.

But looking at average wages doesn’t tell the whole story, because the country’s significant income inequality means that more workers fall into lower-wage categories. To address that problem, the new analysis simulates benefits for the median — rather than the mean — unemployment-eligible worker, drawing on Census Bureau labor supply data.

This data comes with a few important caveats. One is that because government data lags, the sample of workers the researchers drew on for the analysis does not reflect the much larger pool of people who are unemployed right now. If anything, Ganong told me, that means the researchers’ estimates may understate how many unemployed workers will be eligible to receive more than their original salary during the current crisis, since the effects of the economic shutdown have disproportionately hit lower-income workers.5 Plus, the fact that workers are eligible for unemployment insurance doesn’t mean they have the benefits yet. Delays in applying for and receiving unemployment payments have been widely reported across the country, and some workers are still struggling to get through their state’s system.

The analysis illustrates how something that seems like a simple proposition — replacing jobless workers’ salaries while a public health threat persists — is not something our unemployment insurance system was built to do quickly or easily. Most of the experts I spoke with agreed that back in March, when the unemployment insurance expansion passed, a flat payment was the most feasible solution. Unemployment benefits are always inconsistent across states, though, since each state sets its own rates. And now, those inequalities are even more pronounced. The median unemployment-eligible worker in Massachusetts is eligible for an estimated 125 percent of her former salary, compared to 166 percent in Mississippi.

The researchers uncovered other kinds of inequality, too. In some professions, like janitorial work, people who are employed by essential businesses are continuing to show up to their jobs under hazardous conditions. But in doing so, they may be eligible for less money than janitors who have been laid off or furloughed by a nonessential business. In an ideal world, Ganong said, the people who have kept working at hospitals or grocery stores would be receiving some kind of hazard pay. “But that’s generally not the reality, which means there’s a weakness in the current system,” he said. “We’re giving more money to certain workers to stay home than to other workers who are putting themselves at risk by going to work.”

YES -- it is important to protect Americans!

And we're glad that there are safety net programs to ensure that no one is left behind.

However, people should NOT be dependent on the government.

We are country where anyone can climb the ladder of success.

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ANYONE can pursue the American dream!

But creating blanket nanny state programs undermines the hard work that millions of people do every day.

Perhaps Democrats should retake basic economics courses. 

A government that spends other people's money recklessly and endlessly will eventually run out of money to spend.


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