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28 June 2010 2 Comments

1.3 million unemployed Americans are potentially losing their government aid due to the failure to pass an extension in Congress at the end of last week.  With Americans able to collect unemployment now for close to two years, the question we must wrestle with is: How Long Should People Be Able To Collect Unemployment Benefits? 1 year?  2 years? 5 years? Indefinitely?  With rising deficits and rising unemployment, this is surely a tough question to answer.  What do you think?


  • Jon said:

    It's my belief that with the economy the way it is and so many people unemployed with little chance of that changing in the immediate future that we have an obligation to provide for these people. We previously would have Works Projects (i.e., The New Deal) especially for manual labor and unskilled workers but since the government refuses to do anything of that scale I don't see where we have choice but provide unemployment. It's this or doubling or tripling the homeless & crime rates, not to mention the people that will wind up going without food or bare necessities. I don't want to live in a society that will let people starve in the streets.

  • wingtipwalker said:

    At least under The New Deal works projects there was some productive gain from the money. I personally feel that *most* people can find a job–it might not be the job they want. A lot of the people who are perpetually unemployed are waiting to replace the job they lost and are not willing to take a lower paying position and/or move.

    Before I get accused of being a heartless jerk out of touch with reality, I was laid off and received unemployment benefits for about 6 months in the fall of 2008. I ended up taking a considerable pay cut and changing industries, but knowing that I had limited savings and wanted to be off of unemployment welfare was a big motivator to search long and hard for a job. If unemployment benefits reach into perpetuity, it would be worth it to many to move to the coast and be "unemployed" for life.

    People have to realize that no job is safe, no career path is sure, and must live/spend/prepare for the certain uncertainties that will come. Our problem is the widespread reliance on the government to be there when something goes wrong. Having a job, two cars, and a house in the suburbs is not a constitutional right.