Matthew Yglesias’ father told him this:
To this day I remember when I was in eighth grade and my father first explained to me that there was a man named Alan Greenspan who ran a government agency that watched with an eagle eye for the day when there might be an insufficient number of unemployed people. If too many people had jobs, he was supposed to swoop in, tighten the money supply, and make sure some people lost their jobs. Otherwise, wages might get too high!
It’s important to remember this whenever people start talking about how people on welfare need to go out and find jobs, that we don’t need universal health care, and we need to get rid of “entitlements”. We have an economy managed by a central bank that tries very hard not to let unemployment get too high — or too low. Combining that with a federal government that refuses to extend aid to the people who we, as a matter of policy, keep out of work seems cruel.