The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette takes a long look at whether unemployment benefits keep persons from applying for jobs. In a lengthy article, they explores the pros and cons of the issue. Given all the shouting, the piece is worth a read. Here’s a bit:
“I have not heard a single person in our group say, ‘These benefits are great, I’m going to stay at home,’” said Ms. Deutsch, who also is the director of worker justice campaigns at the Center for Popular Democracy, a progressive advocacy organization based in New York. “They don’t want to experience the shame of being unemployed. They know that even under the best-case scenario, these benefits will not last forever.”
I doubt seriously that many persons would choose unemployment benefits over gainful employment and suspect that those who do are likely battling other issues, such as drugs or alcohol or personal issues or lack of means of transportation to and from work.
The key phrase, of course, is “gainful employment.”
I believe that what underlies the claims by employers that persons willingly choose unemployment benefits, which are meager at best, is that employers would rather pay meager wages than living ones. So they point their fingers elsewhere to take attention away from the starvation wages they are offering.
But that’s just me.