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As I See It

We need to provide incentive to work, not to stay home

Scott Robert Shaw

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There is no question Americans are hurting from the economic impact of the coronavirus. The unemployment rate is expected to reach or exceed 20%, a rate not seen since the Great Depression. While the number of jobs lost is slowing, we’re told double-digit unemployment rates will likely still be with us into next year. The federal government did step in to help the suddenly unemployed with expanded $600 weekly benefits. But that boost is to come to an end July 31. Many will still be out of work then, but will still have to pay their rent and pay other bills. Congress has been stuck on how or whether to help more, but now top Republicans say they do favor extending those benefits. That is good news. But how should they do it? Under the current system, many who have been laid off are happy to collect the increased benefits. Many are making more to not work than they did while working.  What is the incentive for them to go back and rejoin the workforce if they can make more by not working? Why not just provide in benefits what they were making before they lost their jobs? Or perhaps some gradually sliding scale of benefits? If we are going to bring the unemployment rate down, we need to provide them a benefit to go to work, rather than stay home and collect their checks.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Randy Hubert

    June 5, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Its going to stay high untill unemployment pays less than working.

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