Congress has decided not to extend unemployment benefits. The argument from the right is that people are loafers who don’t want to work and that this will lead to more dependence on big government. They ignore the fact that to receive benefits you must be actively be searching for a job. They ignore the fact that benefits are much less that full wages. They ignore the fact that those on unemployment spend all of those benefits on necessities and as a consequence help improve the economy in hard times. Ok, maybe they don’t ignore that, as the want the economy to tank so they can regain power.
The reality is that in any recovery period, there is high unemployment, underemployment and low wages, simple because business can get away with it until demand puts the ball in employees court. The reality is that people on unemployment want to get back to work, and soon. They are not Reagan’s “welfare queens.”
This is more than a morality issue. It’s an fundamental economic issue.