Tuesday, January 19, 2010

UC should not be an endless trough

Found an interesting column in Time Magazine arguing that unemployment compensation benefits should not be extended for eternity. Nina Easton, a Fox News contributor, thinks that the numerous extensions create a continuous cycle of unemployment.

I agree with her argument. Although I am thankful for the unemployment extension we received recently, I do not believe that we should be allowed to keep spinning the welfare wheel. At some point, the benefits have to end and we must make difficult decisions on how to proceed. Whether that be taking a lower paying job, slashing every non-critical expense or selling the house.

But I'll let you read Easton's column and decide...

A Limit to Compassion

By Nina Easton
Jan. 19, 2010

Have a heart. It's what Democrats like to think they do best. So President Obama's reaction to the economic crisis has been a predictable spending of trillions to soften the blow. But compassion can have consequences that aren't so compassionate — a nettlesome economic truth that now needs to be applied as Congress plans to extend unemployment benefits for the fifth time since the dark fog of recession settled in.

Continually easing the pain of jobless Americans, it turns out, can contribute to high jobless rates by warping incentives to look for work. "The consensus estimates show that unemployment benefits do prolong unemployment spells by quite a bit," says University of Chicago economist Bruce Meyer, who has produced academic studies on the issue dating back to the recession of the early 1980s.



  1. People seem to forget that the tab for unemployment compensation is picked up by employers and workers. The money comes in handy for those on furloughs, and I surely would have benefitted from a extension when I stood in line for the checks under Reaganomics.

  2. While I agree that UC should not be forever, it certainly doesn't do anyone any good to set an arbitrary time limit on it. If the economy is still LOSING jobs on a monthly basis, then it should be a no-brainer to continue to extend benefits. If we are creating jobs month in and month out, at THAT point, it is not unreasonable to say "time to sink or swim."

    At a time such as this, where there are 6 applicants for every available position, it's not "motivation" that job seekers need...

  3. I agree that motivation is not the key when benefits run out. Instead, I think desperation is the appropriate word.

    Case in point: I'll probably be working at The Home Depot or Shop n' Save when my benefits expire.