Wednesday, June 06, 2012

EI Isn't Perfect & That's Why Reforms Are Wrong

Employment Insurance isn't perfect, and that's why the Conservative reforms are wrong.

EI's very purpose is to give money to people without jobs, it is a program that gives the unemployed incentive not to find work. The only reform that will ever fix that is getting rid of EI, anything else is just increasing government's size and control.

The current Conservative government has argued that their proposed EI reforms will remove the disincentive for the unemployed to find work, but just as before people will be able to abuse the system, to not work when they can. The only benefit, and that term is being used loosely (well actually sarcastically), of the Conservative reform is that the jobless will be forced to move to find employment, with the only cost being a more bloated government.

Since the 16th century, most notably with the English Poor Laws, society has attempted to balance helping the unemployed with making them work which often has led to increased government intervention that only made things much, much worse.

Though this new reform does not reconstitute dickensian work houses, it does unconservatively reduce the choice of employment and of where to live and, not to mention, is also very costly. This proposed reform is $21 million for just the first two years, with additional unaccounted costs in more monitoring, more complexity, and more bureaucracy.

If we as a society think EI is a good idea, and we should, whether we like it or not we have to put up with the small problems and stop making bigger ones.

Employment Insurance isn't perfect and never can be, but the proposed Conservative reforms only make it worse.

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