Unemployment Compensation, Good or Bad?
To be fair, part of this was from frustration with the lack of available jobs in his field. For the few jobs that did come up there were a lot of applicants and the wages had decreased considerably. He became one of the millions of people who have stopped looking for work. I remember talking to him a couple of weeks before his unemployment ran out. He told me he did not want to lose the last couple of weeks of unemployment so he was waiting to look for work.
His case is the most extreme I know of personally. I know others who have been laid off and continue to look for employment. However, the question that comes to mind is whether a person who is unemployed becomes too dependant on unemployment compensation? Would a person who is unemployed become employed sooner if they were not receiving unemployment for up to 99 weeks? There is a debate as to whether extending unemployment benefits actually contributes to longer unemployment. An argument can be made that a person without a job and no unemployment benefits would be willing to take any job available, whether part-time, full-time or seasonal. This person may be willing to work multiple part-time jobs in order to make ends meet. What does a person do if there is no unemployment? Are we prolonging the dependancy on this government program?
There is no simple answer. We are in economic times not seen since the 1930's. Millions of people are without work. A compassionate person wants to help. But where do you draw the line? Unemployment compensation for 99 weeks is almost two years. It would seem to me that a person who has been out of the work for that long is less marketable than a person who is employed or has been out of work for less time. An employer compares you to others that are applying for the same job. If you have been out of the workforce, an employer will want to know how you spent that time. Did you do things that increased your value as an employee? Perhaps you went back to school or started your own business or learned new skills. You need to have done something to improve your marketable skills.
The normal term for unemployment compensation was 26 weeks (six months). Do to the nature of our economic circumstances, it would be reasonable to extend benefits. However, I would change the way the extensions are being done. I would give an additional 12 weeks (three months) under the current plan and allow additional weeks that would be given as a low interest loan. This may seem controversial to some but I do not believe that this is unreasonable. This system would provide short term help to those who are between jobs briefly. Long term help is still provided, but the person receiving the aid would be required to pay the money back. This is similar to a student loan. The student receives the benefit of an education but has to pay for that benefit over time. In the case of an unemployment loan the person is receiving benefit of financial assistance for living expenses.
Some will not doubt disagree with me. Some may even think I have no feelings for people who are struggling. This could not be further from the truth. If nothing else, maybe we can have an intelligent discussion. Who knows, we may even solve the world’s problems.