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posted: 1/22/2014 5:00 AM

Reasonable opinions needed on jobless benefits

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Over the last couple of days two letters have displayed a remarkable level of idiocy in order to justify not passing social legislation. Both were regarding extension of unemployment compensation.

In the first, the writer asserted that since the stock market has gone from 6,000 to the current 16,000, the need for extended unemployment benefits has evaporated. The problem here is that you have recovered on paper (if you were able to get through the recession without liquidating your IRA's, 401(k), etc. just to keep a roof over your head), the "recovery" has not reached you and will not for many years.

If you are unemployed you are still without income. Only the most naive think that the Dow Jones average has any real relationship to the reality of day-to-day real people economics. At best it's a future source of income.

The second letter asserted that "people on unemployment do not really look for work until the unemployment runs out." Perhaps the people who travel in his social circle have that level of irresponsibility, but I do not know anyone who is on unemployment who is not actively applying, interviewing, checking ads. Unemployment compensation does not even approach the salary that was lost, so it doesn't make sense for large numbers of people to have that attitude. I am sure that there are some who are living with parents or are independently well-off who do that, but I suspect that they are few and far between.

It's fine to have an opinion, but it should be based on facts, not the Kool-Aid-generated babblings of the irresponsible right wing.

James Prescott


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