Letters to the editor — Saturday (1-18-2014)

  • Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 12:16 a.m.

U.S. should heed lesson on extended jobless benefits

The president and several members of Congress are proposing to fund the extension of unemployment benefits again. Before they do that, they should look at Denmark’s studies on unemployment benefits along with our own experience.

Denmark did studies on unemployment benefits that were formerly granted for four years. Denmark learned that the longer the period of unemployment benefits, the longer individuals stayed out of work. Those obtaining and accepting jobs spike near the end of the unemployment benefit period. The results was repeated again when they studied the benefits that were granted for five years.

The United States is experiencing the same employment cycle that Denmark experienced. The longer the unemployment benefit cycle, the longer individuals will remain unemployed. Most of our unemployed will not accept a job until near the end of the benefit cycle.

The United States must do two things with unemployment. First, we must return to a reasonable and sensible unemployment benefits period. Second, we must establish a declining unemployment benefits rate schedule. At some point unemployment benefits must be below the minimum wage level. The only way to encourage many individuals to return to work is by eliminating unemployment benefits, or by reducing the benefit to less than what can be earned in an entry level job at minimum wage.

Rather than keep extending the unemployment benefit cycle, our politicians must start looking at ways to wean our citizens off the unemployment benefit cycle and entice them to return to work. Each day an individual is not applying the skills needed in the workplace, those skills are deteriorating and become less and less valuable to the prospective employer.

It is time to put our citizens back to work rather than creating citizenry that becomes further dependent on the government as their means of support.

— Ray Shamlin

Nash County

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