How the Government Provides a Disincentive to Work?

The Story of Bob and Joey By Don Sinkov{2:6 minutes to read} Bob and Joey have worked at the same job for 30 years. They are getting ready to retire. Joey’s plans are:

I’m not going to work anymore. I’m 55. I want to play golf, get up late, read the paper, go to the gym. I don’t want to work anymore.  

Bob, on the other hand, started another career, invested his money for retirement, and plans to continue working.

Joey’s thinking is:

  • I don’t have to work because if my income is under $75,000, my property taxes are going to be cut in half.
  • Because my income is going to be low, my kid gets free college tuition.
  • I’m entitled to several government programs because I’m low-income.
  • Although my child is over 26, my low income gets him free healthcare under Medicaid.

I’m able to work but I don’t feel like it, so why should I?

Bob, on the other hand, because he is working:

  • Will pay his full property tax
  • Has to pay full college tuition for his child
  • Is entitled to no government programs
  • Gets reduced social security payments
  • Pays lots of taxes

So what’s wrong with this picture? I thought the American Way was working hard, paying your bills, paying your fair share, and saving for retirement. When did this change? Joey is retired at 55 and no longer feels like working, and the government programs he is now eligible for make this possible.

Have I awakened in some kind of alternate reality? Is the government “enabling” people who don’t want to work and sanctioning those who do? Is the government creating a disincentive to work?

What do you think?

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: