Nancy Pelosi isn’t the only one who believes that extending unemployment benefits is actually “one of the best ways to grow the economy.” For this reason, she opposed letting extended unemployment benefits expire. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is right with her.
Senator Rand Paul voiced his opposition to turning unemployment benefits into yet another welfare program. He stated the following:
“I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they’re paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers. You’re causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy.”
Paul is, not to put too fine a point on it, full of it. You only get federal unemployment benefits if you are actively seeking work, and the millions of Americans who are unemployed, they are, by and large, not choosing to be unemployed. Right now, there are almost three unemployed people for every job opening. Long-term unemployment is at its highest level in 30 years. In fact, what congressional Republicans are doing right now is entirely unprecedented… Now, the reason Congress has never failed to extend federal emergency unemployment benefits with unemployment this high is that the program actually keeps people in the labor force.
Whether these benefits encourage recipients to find work or not completely depends on the beneficiary’s work ethic. Does he actually want to find work, or is he actually only interested in getting paid to do nothing?
As I’ve said in a previous article, I’ve known people who’ve gotten fired on purpose or tried to get fired just so they could collect unemployment. And in order to keep getting that unemployment money, they have to continue to “look for work,” which as another author here noted, could be going from business to business, asking if they’re hiring and having an employee of each business sign a form “proving” that that individual is “looking for work.” Obviously, the person in this example wasn’t actually looking for a job. He was just jumping through the easy hoops in order to keep his unemployment welfare coming.
I don’t doubt that unemployment benefits have helped people. I don’t doubt that other forms of welfare like food stamps have helped some people. But it all depends on each person’s objective in life. Generally speaking, those who are sure of their particular calling won’t turn to government welfare, because they strive to work hard all their lives to achieve their goals. Those who are unsure or apathetic about such things tend to take full advantage of “free money” wherever they can. And those people also tend to vote for more socialism. Sometimes more than once.