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Peter Schiff: You Don’t Need Jobs If You’re Spending Printed Money

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Everybody expected the jobs report last Friday to show a big increase in employment. It didn’t happen.

Instead of the 978,000 new jobs created in April that economists expected, nonfarm payroll increased by just 266,000. On top of that, the Labor Department revised the March number down from 916,000 to 770,000. The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1%.

As Peter Schiff put it in his podcast, you don’t need a job to spend printed money handed out by the government.

Peter said nobody should be surprised by this awful report.

If you look at the reason for the so-called recovery, why is the US economy recovering? Well, because a lot of people are spending money, even people who don’t have jobs are spending money. People are spending more money unemployed than they used to spend when they still had jobs. How is all this being made possible? It’s being financed by massive deficit spending that is being enabled by the Federal Reserve monetizing all this debt.”

You also have the added wealth-effect of the stock market bubble, a real estate bubble, and a cryptocurrency bubble. There’s even a baseball card bubble.

We are flooding the economy with fiat money, and so people are spending it.”

Why would anyone think this scenario would lead to robust job growth?

You don’t need jobs if you’re printing money. If people are just getting money from the government what’s the point of working? Why bother?

In a normal, healthy economy, people have to work to earn money to spend. But that’s not true today. You can just stay at home and the government will send you money.

When you have an economy built on spending printed money, that type of money doesn’t require a lot of actual work.”

Of course, somebody has to produce. But as we’ve been reporting, that’s happening abroad. The massive trade deficit in goods reveals exactly what’s happening in the US economy. Americans are spending money to buy things being imported from overseas.

That’s where all the jobs are being added. They’re being added in all the countries that are making all the stuff that we’re buying with all the money that the Fed is printing.”

Peter said the problem is this whole thing is temporary.

Now the jobs are overseas. Later, the purchasing power is going to be overseas. Because you cannot continue to run an economy on a printing press. The whole thing is going to collapse as soon as the dollar crashes and ends this party.”

Even though jobs aren’t being created, wages are increasing. Analysts expected hourly wages to remain flat in April, but they were actually up 0.3%. So, we’re seeing upward pressure on wages even though we’re not getting as many new jobs. This makes perfect sense when you consider employers have to compete with enhanced unemployment benefits in order to get people to come back to work.

For a lot of people, the return on being unemployed is far higher than the gains from being employed. So obviously, if you’re an employer and you’ve got to convince somebody to take a job, you’re going to have to pay them a lot more money now given the alternatives that they have.  You know, most people prefer leisure to work. And therefore, if the government is paying people to take vacations, well, you’re going to have to pay them a lot more to give up those vacations and come into work.”

Both President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen insisted that the enhanced government unemployment benefits are not incentivizing people not to work. Peter said this notion is absurd.

Only government economists could fail to understand this obvious relationship. There is a preference for leisure over work. People would prefer to have leisure than work. The only reason they give up their leisure to work is because they need the money. Because otherwise, they can’t pay their bills. They can’t pay the rent. They can’t put food on the table. So, even though they would prefer leisure, they have to work. Well, if the government says, ‘No, you don’t have to work. You can have the leisure that you prefer and we’ll replace your lost income. In fact, we will actually give you more money to take a vacation than what you would earn if you gave up that vacation and went back to work.’ How can anybody not realize that there is a link here between these lucrative payments not to work and so many people choosing not to work?”

Incentives matter. The government is incentivizing people not to work. People aren’t working. The numbers bear this out.

In this podcast, Peter goes on to talk about how this jobs report might influence the markets going forward.

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