Romer says in regard to yet another pending extension of unemployment benefits -- ". . .that absolutely has to get done....we've got to be supporting those workers, by supporting them we support the whole economy."
Is it in the best interests of the economic recovery of the USA to continue to extend unemployment benefits?
What are those people going to do when they stop getting unemployment?
Have you looked for work lately?
"Have you looked for work lately?"
Why would you if you knew you could stay home and get government checks indefinately?
For certain, there are many who work the unemployment system and stay on the dole as long as they can, working with the process becomes their job. And that's not new, I can recall it around me in the early 1980's, and I'd imagine the 'working' of the program is much more sophisticated now than then.
There are some areas with grossly high unemployment compared to others, and I'd imagine that even those who would agree to take a $9 an hour menial job are hard pressed to find even that menial job.
That said, maybe there should not be an across the board extension of unemployment benefits. Instead, it could be provided only to the specific counties in specific states where the distress is documentably the greatest. Viable?
Also, historically, people have relocated to find work, relocated to another continent if necessary to look after themselves.
This is a difficult question indeed. I guess there is an argument that the more people have money, the more they can inject back into the economy, because they can spend more.
But I am not sure.
My suspicion is that there is more abuse of the system in good times than in bad.
And I am assuming that, unlike in Canada, where we have been relatively shielded from the recession by the fact that our previous government had loaded the banking and finance industry with regulation, preventing them from indulging in either high-risk or predatory behaviour, the US is still going through a tough time...
This government doesn't care about what's right or what's best. they care only about power. Keeping people on unemployment handouts discourages them from taking jobs that might pay less, and only adds to the dangerous levels of indebtedness of our nation.
I have a friend who was laid off, he has a degree in industrial engineering. Most of the openings here call for 5 years experience so it has been hard for him to find work in his field..But instead of collecting unemployment he took a job doing general maintenance at a school for $9.50 per hour...There are jobs out there if people are willing to take them...some will say it wouldn't be worth it to take a low paying job or two and try to make ends meet. The maximum pay out of unemployment here is around $ 360.00 a week I think?? Which very few people get..I have heard the average is like $310.00... So a $9-10 dollar per hour job would be about the same. And I think it would look better to prospective employers seeing you have been working and not just taking unemployment and waiting for the right job to come to you.
Indefinite extensions of unemployment is insane. With regular checks handed to you for doing nothing, there is no incentive to find a job; there's no desire to get yourself going. Instead, why not give billions of dollars to small businesses. These are the chief employers anyway -- at least they used to be. Also, provide monies for people to retrain or to start an entrepreneurial effort. Obama wants everybody to be dependent on big government but that is not sustainable and never will be. Seems like it's time this country sidestepped D.C. altogether.
Isn't giving billions of dollars to small businesses (which, incidentally, would be just as open to abuse, I think) ALSO dependency on Big Government in DC? I don't see much of a difference.
What if unemployment cheques came with caveats, checks and balances, to prevent people doing nothing?
These are just ideas. Either way, surely it would be strange to announce no limit WHATSOEVER to the time people could stay on unemployment...
Actually, I think there are a sort of 'check and balances', at least it's my understanding you still have to present evidence that you sought work to keep the checks coming.
My little sister decided not to depend on an extension of benefits the last time this issue came up. She had continued to look for a job of course, and finally landed one at much less pay than she once made, but she's happy to have the work rather than the unemployment process.
I definitely think there should be at the least some kind of community service in exchange for the benefits, particularly if you're rocking on to three years taking a check. Not sure what would be appropriate though.
At this specific point in time, I definitely think the government should have done more for businesses in terms of tax cuts or subsidies or special programs, and less for Democratic interest groups, as the "stimulus" basically was. That is the kind of thing that will lead to long term growth--hand outs, not so much.
However, at the general level of the question, I think there is little doubt that we need sufficient unemployment benefits for everyone--we really can't have a modern economy without them, and that's why they were created in the first place many decades ago. The issue of proper incentives and effective management of public benefits is a perennially important one. Also, probably more money should be spent on retraining and re-education for workers.
"I think there is little doubt that we need sufficient unemployment benefits for everyone--we really can't have a modern economy without them, and that's why they were created in the first place many decades ago."
In order to provide benefits to 'everyone' we'd need a whopping higher tax on income or consumption. And I'm unclear as to why we can't have a modern economy 'without them'. Please explain.
By "everyone" I meant that everyone in the economy has a right to it if they need it, which is the current system, largely uncontroversial.
The reason we can't have a modern economy without unemployment benefits: when workers lose their jobs for cyclical reasons, they lose their main or (more likely) only source of income. In order to simply survive day to day and week to week, they need assistance. Without assistance, they would regress into ever deeper poverty, leading to a host of social ills--the stuff of which a third world economy is made.
So.......if 'everyone' finds them self without a job, then 'everyone' should get unemployment benefits, whether it puts the USA in so much debt they never recover. It's for the Greater Good?
And, just so you know, the current unemployment is not simply a 'cyclical' issue. And surviving day to day or week to week can be accomplished doing menial work that to this day still is unfilled. When I needed a job, I found a job. The worst job I had had a toilet so bad that I held my pea for an 8 hour shift until I could get to a clean toilet. I was so poor that I actually took toilet paper from the stall in one my college buildings. Work is always out there, maybe not the high life of work, but work, real work, is out there.
Until the menial work is filled, we'll never know what the true 'unemployment' is in the USA. And let's not forget Emerging Economies, moving a continent away for work is old hat, just requires some gumption. And yes, I'm a little irritable at the moment.
If everyone finds themselves without a job, I don't think we'll have much of a government in the first place, so the issue is moot. If everyone is without a job, then we'll have problems a little more serious than unemployment rolls.
And just so you know, I wasn't talking about the current unemployment. That's why I prefaced my initial point with "at the general level of the question..."
Sure, there is always "some" kind of work out there, but it's not very useful to the worker or to society if the worker still can't pay the bills with 3 or 4 jobs. By definition, in a downturn (cyclical or otherwise) there is less demand for labor, which means labor will be paid less--even when labor finds work.
And yes, everyone can pack up and go work in some richer country, but (1) what if that richer country is itself in a downturn, (2) the results for the home country will be and are often disastrous--brain drain, loss of labor and productive capacity, etc.
For those of you unfamilar with the system, unemployment insurance pays about 50% of what you were making when you were working. It doen't halve your mortgage or your electric bill or the cost of groceries. There's no place that gives an unemployment discount for gas.
Yoou have to be crazy to think that someone who goes from 50K per year to 25K is going to think this is a sweet deal while he has to hock everything he owns and say no to anything not essential to life.
Unemployment insurance is insurance. The workers and the employers kick into the pool which is generally sufficiant, but we are not in ordinary times. Take a man who worked for decades and deprive him of his livelihood through no fault of his own - and then pull all help from him to provide for the barest nescesities... The result is going to be higher crime rates and social chaos. They won't quietly starve - neither would I.
My sister, a Network Engineer, did, through no fault of her own, take a lesser paying job to support her self and her daughter, is everyone else so much better? They can't clean houses or do yard work? For sure I know they won't mend fences.
Unemployment INSURANCE? Ask your State if they are in the red or the black. Life is tough at times, as I well know, do you? Can you relate this to your own experiences?
The question of this forum is should we continue unemployment benefits for the good of the US economy as the simpering and smiling Romer said today. Answer that. I'm really struggling with that question.
We all know that folks making $50K plus really don't want to sling burgers or mop floors. That is not the question.
Unemployment is not a sweet deal. The long term unemployed is at its highest rate since 1948. There are ~2.5M jobs and ~15M+ job seekers.
Let's assume we filled all of those 2.5M jobs tomorrow. Millions of people will still be out of work for some time. We just had a monthly job gain of ~ 176K jobs. At this rate, it will take at least 3 years and 9 months to replace the 8M+ jobs that were lost since December 2007 or when the Great Recession began.
The money paid out in unemployment benefits helps stimulate the economy since it is spent for the most part.
Several people receiving unemployment benefits have lost their homes, vehicles, savings, and so on. These individuals want decent paying jobs instead.
I went from earning $2400 a week in 2009 to the maximum of $417 a week (maximum of $392 a week in Texas + $25 extra a week from federal government) for unemployment.
Luckily I received a severance, had savings, and low monthly expenses.
I accepted a new position in 2010 that now pays $1923 a week. However, it is a lot better than $417 a week for unemployment.
Until consistent monthly net job gains occur, there needs to be unemployment insurance.
Very true. I work part time representing claimants in unemployment compensation appeal hearings. I have yet to meet one who would not prefer working. I've met many whose homes have been foreclosed, been through bankruptcy, living in the basement of their inlaws, and so forth. A tiny minority game the system.
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