All of us have heard the anecdotal stories of how somebody’s brother-in-law is unemployed but yet won’t try to get a job because he’s making more money collecting an unemployment check.
Some politicians even use these stories to explain the high unemployment numbers. “If they weren’t getting paid,” they say, “they’d be taking all these jobs that are available.”
This blame the victim talk might have been easy to sell when most unemployed were receiving benefits as they were early last year when 75% fit that description. But not now.
Unemployment data now shows that there is so much chronic unemployment that only 48% are still receiving benefits. The rest have timed out at 99 weeks or even much less depending on the state.
This trend will continue to get worse even if Congress once again passes the needed extension of federal unemployment benefits to continue to allow those looking for work to have some income for up to 99 weeks.
More unemployed without benefits will mean less money on Main Street. Less money on Main Street means small businesses will not be creating jobs and will probably have to let employees go due to lack of customers.
It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken. Since the big corporations sitting on piles of money won’t help, then government must step in to help create jobs. Call that any name you want but I call it rescuing our small businesses that didn’t create this financial mess in the first place.