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[Politics] My suggested changes for unemployment benefits

One of my best friends has been unemployed for the past 10 months. He’s had a few small business job offers that have come along, but has had to pass them up. Why? Because they don’t pay as much as the unemployment benefits. So it is plain and simple, a financial decision.

Probably something we’d all do.

You can lecture all you want on the intangible virtues of being employed, the camaraderie, the growth, the satisfaction, but at the end of the day, he’s going to do what we all would do. I mean,  why take a job paying $8-$10 an hour, when staying on unemployment pays $12 an hour? He has a family to take care of, and that extra $2-$4 an hour makes a difference.

I take issue with this for so many reasons. Not with my friend–because from a purely numerical view, he is making the financially responsible  choice–but I take issue with  financially rewarding and incentivizing people to stay unemployed. Isn’t this a tremendous waste of  tax money? Isn’t this ensuring that many qualified workers are staying at home, looking for something closer to his pay?  He’s not alone, there are countless people making the same, calculated decision. This makes a very qualified, educated workforce, who are essentially on the bench.

So here is my suggestion. In this case, if $12 an hour is the recommended compensation set forth by the Dept of Workforce services, then do this: For someone who is unemployed because of a corporate lay-off, then pay them the difference between whatever they are collecting at the new job, and the $12 an hour.  This does many things:

  1. Provides the employer with a very qualified employee–which could go a long way to contribute to business growth
  2. Provides the employee with the opportunity to be a part of the workforce, which leads to overall satisfaction, networking opportunities, and possibly advancement into a higher paying position.
  3. Eliminates any resume gaps
  4. Decreases tax-payer contribution
I know there are many complexities to unemployment law, and this solution may not address everything. But as a business owner, I’d love to hire some of the highly qualified, competent people out there who are available and would make outstanding contributions to my business, even if it is only temporary.
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1 Comment

  1. I say I think you’re on to something. Lets vote on it!


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