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Letters to the editor — Friday (12-14-2012)

Another perspective on jobless benefits

After reflecting on the editorial in Sunday’s paper, I thought two perpsectives needed to be addressed regarding unemployment insurance.

Unemployment insurance was originally enacted with three goals in mind: to provide support to the involuntarily unemployed; to allow the unemployed worker to not take the first job available but to find work similar in compensation to previous employment; and to keep the grocery store from closing if the mill closes. This third goal is a way to aid communities that are sufering from unusual high unemployment. Benefit dollars tend to be spent locally and support the local economy.

On the unemployment insurance tax end, a system needs to be in place to automatically vary rates as the unemployment costs vary. Rather than facing a tax increase argument every time the fund varies, having an automatic adjustment that takes rates up and down as needed makes a lot more sense over the long run. Washington state has a system that uses a number of tax rate tables, annually setting the table based on the condition of the UI trust fund.

At the start of our current difficulty, I suffered a long period of unemployment. Unemployment insurance provide the threshhold upon which I was able to survive. A lower benefit rate would have forced us to depend on public assistance, a cost to the general fund rather than the UI trust fund.

A cut in benefit levels and/or duration would adversly impact the general economy, not just the indivuals who are unemployed. The proposals I have heard seem to think a pittance of a tax increase is the equivalent to a major benefit decrease. In North Carolina, we need to support our workers and their needs; we compete with the nation for industry, not just the states with the lowest benefit levels.

— Will Jordan
Salisbury
Christmas Store spreads season’s joy

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Rowan Baptist Association for sponsoring the Christmas Store. I had an opportunity today to take a wonderful young mother of three shopping. I’m not sure who had more fun, she or myself.

In these incredibly hard economic times,I want you to know what a Christmas joy you bring to mothers, fathers and children. In addition, you offered the most beautiful counselling session and it was a pleasure just to be a part of this young mother’s experience. What a profound and solid Christian environment you provided for her. The respect and love shown to her was so beautiful. I so much appreciate it, and I so much want to help more with this endeavor every year.

My Baptist church is Milford Hills. Our members always go over and beyond helping and now it is evident to me that all our Baptist churches in the county do the same.

God has graced us with wonderful people everywhere. When sometimes we feel humanity has failed our God, stories like these remind me that there is a mountain of goodness in our county.

May God and all His Goodness bless you every single day. Your generous, loving deeds make a huge difference in so many people’s lives!

— Sarah Butler
Salisbury

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