Freeloaders, get a job

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“We’re hiring.”

I see the signs everywhere I drive these days.

Yet, businesses are struggling to find workers.

One waitress I recently spoke to said despite reopening 100%, her manager cannot fill positions. In fact, the night I visited the restaurant, there were empty tables because of employee shortages.

No surprise.

Extra federal unemployment benefits have turned the United States into a country of freeloaders.

Who wants to work when you’re given money hand over fist every week to sit on your lazy tail and watch TV?

What’s even worse is North Carolina stupidly introduced an incentive bill that awards unemployment benefit recipients a $1,500 bonus if they accept a job within 30 days or $800 after 30 days. The idea is to help struggling businesses hire employees and give residents who need a nudge to return to work.

Thankfully, the state legislature plans to shoot that down.

The unemployment pay increase provided temporary assistance because of COVID-19. Now that North Carolina has almost completely reopened, these folks have become a serious impediment to the state’s economic recovery.

Stop giving them money.

That will nudge them to find a job, and pay their bills to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Taxpayers have footed the bill long enough — nearly 18 months to be exact.

Now, I understand there are folks who need unemployment.

I have a very good friend who has an extremely rare cancer and is in remission. When the virus first surfaced, he and his doctor had a long discussion about his health options.

He’s a waiter and bartender, and loves being around people. They both knew the wrong germ could endanger his life and possibly kill him.

Unfortunately, he’s been a hermit since the pandemic. The extra cash has allowed him to help his roommate pay certain bills while he’s been unemployed. He’s deposited the remaining money into a savings account.

He’s itching to work again.

In fact, his former employer wants him to come back since their business has returned to 100% capacity. Although he’s fully vaccinated, he hasn’t committed to his boss and continues to weigh his options regarding his health.

At least he’s willing to work.

Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at rcoggins@mountolivetribune.com.

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