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The Economic Case for Extending Unemployment Insurance

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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The lapse in extended unemployment insurance benefits at the end of May has resulted in 2.5 million jobless Americans exhausting their assistance. If we do not reinstate benefits by the end of the month, this number will grow to 3.2 million. These losses are exacting an enormous human toll on families who count on these benefits as they continue to search for jobs.

As the President recently remarked: "Lasting unemployment takes a toll on families, takes a toll on marriages, takes a toll on children. It saps the vitality of communities, especially in places that have seen factories and other anchoring businesses shut their doors. And being unable to find work – being able to provide for your family – that doesn't just affect your economic security, that affects your heart and your soul. It beats you up. It's hard."

It is also bad for the economy. But unemployment insurance puts money in the pockets of the families most likely to spend the money – which in turn expands the economy and creates jobs. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has identified increased aid to the unemployed as one of the two most cost-effective policy options for increasing economic production and employment.

Missed unemployment insurance payments since May total over $10 billion – enough to have created 100,000 jobs. An abrupt and premature withdrawal of relief is not only something families cannot afford, it is something that the economy cannot afford at a time when the economy is at a critical juncture. The economy is finally creating jobs, but not nearly fast enough to close the 8 million-job gap opened by the recession.

Some opponents of providing relief to unemployed families have been making the fallacious claim that unemployment benefits are a cause of the unemployment we are face today. Some of them have even taken an article I wrote two decades ago, under different economic circumstances, and used excerpts out of context to suggest that I share their view.

This is a misreading both of my research and of the economic situation today.

In an economy that is as demand constrained as ours, whatever small changes in search intensity may be associated with unemployment insurance are not the reason for the persistence of joblessness. With five unemployed Americans seeking work for every job opening available, there can be little doubt that the overwhelming cause of unemployment is not a lack of will among the jobless to find work, but a lack of work opportunities.

Opposing extending unemployment benefits will do nothing to put people back to work. It will not result in an increased number of job openings to apply for. And it will not result in a higher level of employment. What it will do is create a more difficult situation for thousands of families hit hardest by the economic crisis and cut off a powerful channel for spurring economic growth.

That is why President Obama will continue to press Congress to extend unemployment benefits and pass commonsense measures to strengthen our economic recovery – like extending unemployment insurance and COBRA, supporting our clean energy economy, providing aid to state and local governments, and saving the jobs of thousands of teachers.

Lawrence H. Summers is Director of the National Economic Council

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
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oh yes, let's listen to a scumbag criminal. :rolleyes:


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Country: Vietnam
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What a crock. Just stop giving out money finally. We have gave out so much money so far and the economy is still at a stand still. Cut off unemployment benefits finally and the bums will have to actually go out and find a job. Everyone else can go out and get jobs but for some it seems why even try when they can get paid sitting at home. There would be an even bigger stimulus when they get a job that pays more than unemployment benefits and spend that money. Stop spending money we do not have now. I have to live within a budget.

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Endless UI benefits ends in endless unemployment.

FACT


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

Senator Barack Obama
Senate Floor Speech on Public Debt
March 16, 2006



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Filed: Country: China
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in the worst depression since the 30's, arpproximately 24 million people are out of work, if you include exaustees and those otherwise not eligeable for UC. with the number of jobs available actually decreasing (if you take out the false figures related to census jobs) and the number of immmigrants increasing, things are tough out there. that being said, a person with a critical skill set can still find a decent job.

persons without critical skill sets, and those whose jobs have been outsourced overseas or eliminated by overseas vendor competition, just have no alternative to chose from. many of these people are traditionally working poor, and have little safety net to fall back on. about 1/3 of these people are middle class, and have mortgages to lose. some of them were over-extended before they lost their jobs. some are still in decent shape financially. each person who has lost benefits since congress failed to renew funding in early june has an average of 1.4 dependents, so the number of people immediately affected just by this lapse in payments is more like 8 million, right now.

in any case, the unemployment rate is higher than at any time in past in which the fed govt has provided funding for extended unemployment since it began doing so in the 1950's. in earlier cases extensions did not end until the UR fell below 7%. in PA, right now, it's over 9.5%. state resources are dwindling in assistance programs, and people are goning onto the street, as everyone they were using UB to pay is losing that income. no new tiers are on the table, just the idea of allowing people who are not yet at 99 weeks to get what others have already gotten.

what is holding up the renewal of funding? political grandstanding and dickering over pork projects. the repubs agreed to extended UB if the funding can come from the 797 billion stimulus package. the dems have already earmarked that money for sweethart contracts for their home state political contributors. the governor of WV is delaying Byrd's replacement while positioning himself for election to the seat in november. the fat cats all have their own slice of the pie to protect while American families suffer and an incompetent president sits in his chair and whacks off.

such is life. there is no new thing under the sun.

Edited by justashooter

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
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Here is another idea. Stop confiscating money from people that earn it to give it to people that do not earn it and let THEM spend it on something. Why would the government assume that I or my wife cannot spend the money I earn as well as some out of work guy that sits on his @ss?

Out of work people will be better off to take almost ANY job than to collect unemployment. I will hire a guy that took a job working at McDonald's, for example, rather than a guy that was too lazy to get out of bed for the same amount of money. And if you don't like it...too bad. Laziness is a legal reason to discriminate.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
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These studies are so BS. It is saying that if we take water from the deep end of the pool, carry it in a bucket to the shallow end (spil some along the way) and throw it in, that somehow the pool will be improved. Preposterous.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Filed: Other Country: Afghanistan
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Here is another idea. Stop confiscating money from people that earn it to give it to people that do not earn it and let THEM spend it on something. Why would the government assume that I or my wife cannot spend the money I earn as well as some out of work guy that sits on his @ss?

Out of work people will be better off to take almost ANY job than to collect unemployment. I will hire a guy that took a job working at McDonald's, for example, rather than a guy that was too lazy to get out of bed for the same amount of money. And if you don't like it...too bad. Laziness is a legal reason to discriminate.

Statistically this post is wrong on so many levels.

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Filed: Country: China
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1.) Here is another idea. Stop confiscating money from people that earn it to give it to people that do not earn it and let THEM spend it on something. Why would the government assume that I or my wife cannot spend the money I earn as well as some out of work guy that sits on his @ss?

2.) Out of work people will be better off to take almost ANY job than to collect unemployment. I will hire a guy that took a job working at McDonald's, for example, rather than a guy that was too lazy to get out of bed for the same amount of money. And if you don't like it...too bad. Laziness is a legal reason to discriminate.

1.) coming from the guy who advocates dodging taxes while working overseas. just doesn't work for this guy who paid taxes on 750K of salary earned overseas on basis of principle.

2.) if i go to work for Mc'd at $250/week, is that smarter than collecting $600/week from UC? what does a guy who choses to do this feed his kids? what does he heat the cardboard box with when it starts snowing?


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Filed: Country: Philippines
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1.) coming from the guy who advocates dodging taxes while working overseas. just doesn't work for this guy who paid taxes on 750K of salary earned overseas on basis of principle.

2.) if i go to work for Mc'd at $250/week, is that smarter than collecting $600/week from UC? what does a guy who choses to do this feed his kids? what does he heat the cardboard box with when it starts snowing?

+1 :thumbs:

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