Economic Disincentives: Woopi Goldberg and Dr. Ben Carson

There has been a lot of talk about economic disincentives recently, most of it confusing.

Recently Dr. Ben Carson appeared on The View. He and the ladies on The View, especially Woopi Goldberg, engaged in a debate that was quite significant. The problem is that they, and all the commentators I have heard, saw their views as polar opposites when they should have seen them as opposite sides of the same problem, a critical one for our nation.

Because there seems to be so little understanding of economic disincentive I thought I might share a little insight to help our readers understand what it really is and what it means.

What Economic Disincentive Is Not

Economic disincentives do not facilitate an option to do something better, or at least more pleasant, with your life. They will not free you up to become an artist or stay at home mom if you cannot afford it otherwise.

Neither will economic disincentives enable a person to avoid employment in order to loaf or be irresponsible. Some few may exist at a minimal level trying to do so, but ultimately there is no free lunch.

These are common if totally opposite assumptions. Both are totally incorrect. Both perceptions, however, heavily influence public policy and cause a lot of grief for some of the most impoverished people among us.

What Economic Disincentive Is

Man with weight on his back.

Economic disincentives are factors that discourage people from working, but they are not positive or welcome to the person feeling their impact. They restrict a person from taking constructive economic steps in their lives even when they want to.

These factors make it harder for people to do what they want to do and what they need to do. They keep people virtually enslaved by social programs intended to help them.

To better understand how economic disincentives work I encourage you to read my article, The Truth About Economic Disincentives. It may open your eyes to an important area of economic thinking you have not encountered before.

Why We Should Care About Economic Disincentives

Economic disincentives are worth knowing about because they are powerful enemies of the good life for many of our friends and neighbors and a drag on our economy. We need to work hard to eliminate as many of them as possible.

In addition, we need to learn how positive economic incentives do just the opposite—encourage and enable steps toward financial success.

When possible we need to learn how to convert disincentives into incentives. This is truly one of the most pressing needs of our economy.