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Should We Extend Jobless Pay?
Should We Extend Jobless Pay?

AIR DATE: July 21, 2010

If you're unemployed, jobless pay does not go on indefinitely. But what if you still haven't found a job? Will the government extend that time limit? Plenty of local Nevadans said they need more time to find a job. But critics say that only encourages laziness. What do you think? Are you unemployed? Do you think we should extend jobless pay. or is it better to stop it? Jobless Nevadans share their stories, and two experts explain the case for/against extending pay. Share your thoughts below.

Jeffrey Miron, Senior Fellow, Cato Inst; Dir of Undergraduate Studies in Economics, Harvard U
Jeff Waddoups, Assoc Economics Prof, UNLV
Isabelle Diaz

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The supply / demand curve is broken. We have an oversupply of homes but the government is trying to "prop up" prices instead of allowing the market to determine what fair market value is. Similarly, the job market- i.e. "supply" of labor is high and demand (jobs available) is low and this is one more attempt by the governmemnt to skew the supply/demand curve. Let the market determine what is fair market value. More people will work for less money. If we make that happen by eliminating unemployment insurance benefits, then the s/d curve will come back into line.
Sid (again)Jul 19, 2010 21:43:31 PM
@Bev: I agree whole-heartedly. Her voice and lack of "everything" gave me the goose-flesh: if you're going to have an unemployed person "represent" Nevada then PLEASE have someone who is articulate and represents the whole, rather the "latino" population - tell me I'm wrong thinking that she is Latino. @Shane: I can get you employees who will not only be grateful for minimum wage but they will stay with your organization! Email me w/ info for app's at! You'll be begging me to stop sending over-qualified-hard-working-dedicated-grateful-employees!
MauriceJul 19, 2010 21:42:45 PM
I am self employed, so if I run out of work or simply go out of business, I have no unemployment benefit safety net. There are some people that have been getting unemployment benefits for 2 years. These benefits need to come from somewhere. Ostensibly, those that are unemployed need to be subsidized by those that are employed. So the million dollar question is how many more months or YEARS should those that have jobs pay to support those that do not? Let's just make it forever... Obviously "forever" is not the answer but if it is always another few months it will turn into forever.
Sid CranstonJul 19, 2010 21:01:46 PM
I have a restaurant here and I can't seem to find employees. This being fast food I still get people that expect $10-$12 an hour which I just can't afford. I am just trying to survive as a business. My thing is I have had employees that we have hired they work for a few weeks and then never show up again and then turn around and file for unemployment. I even have employees that by their own choice decide to move but then they file unemployment. As a business if I don't stay on top of the paperwork then I get hit with the bill in increases to my unemployment account. I don't think they should be extended. To many are taking advantage of the system.
shaneJul 19, 2010 21:01:16 PM
Sadly, KNPR has uncovered an inarticulate, stammering, smug unemployed mother to be the voice of the unemployed and unemployed exhaustee's in Las Vegas. I've been out of work over two years. I am college educated...Honestly, I cannot listen to the show anymore, Isabelle's voice is giving me a headache, and I usually enjoy KNPR's State of Nevada...
devJul 19, 2010 20:45:04 PM
My question is: Why hasn't anyone addressed the issue of giving Pakistan $500 Million to boost their Country as opposed to using it to boost our own? I mean seriously - clean up your own backyard before you start offering to clean up someone else's right? The economy is far reaching and very interactive - money spent here to stimulate us, will eventually reach other Countries experiencing similar situations - if we can't spend because we don't have money (by "we" I mean the middle class, cause we know the rich don't do anything with their money but sit on it and the poor haven't got it to spend, which they would with a desperation and immediacy that none of us can imagine)then how can we EVER hope to recover from this gross situation? Give me a single percent of that $500 million and I guarantee that I will help to promote economic stimulation within the United States!
MauriceJul 19, 2010 20:36:18 PM
I just tuned in so maybe this has already been covered:

I was working in medical research, making a pretty good rate of pay, not getting rich on it but able to save some money. I lost my job two years ago and no longer am getting unemployment benefits. If I were to take a low-paying job, that would affect any future salaries I can demand, because prospective employers always ask what your most recent salary was. Unless I am lucky enough to find work in the same type of position I had before, will I always have to settle for minimum-wage jobs? Is this a good enough reason to try to hold out for a similar type of job as I had before or should I take anything I can find and doom my future finances?

Las Vegas

Susan [via email]Jul 19, 2010 10:34:27 AM
Considering that state and local politicians have done all they can to cave to gaming and other tourist driven "industries" and failed to provide Nevada with a broadly diverse industry and manufacturing base, so we can survive economic downturns, I find it laughable when the politicians to blame for no industries and jobs, now say jobless benefits are an incentive for people not to work.

What do they propose to do with all the families who will soon be evicted and will hit the streets in Summer, with no money or opportunity at all?

Chuck ParkerJul 19, 2010 10:16:27 AM
There is a syndicate that various company's HR personnel are working with Company owners to literally rob the legitimate job seekers. The little jobs around are given to undocumented, The Authority knows but eyes are closed. Also there are undocumented workers being paid unemployment benefits. Most of employment agents turn their back not to look for who is legitimate to work in the country because they can dictate what to pay these people and wants to make it at the cost of legals and the situation.As said agents dares to hire the undocumented to lower the payment rate to below professional levels.We pay taxes and we deserve better. I recently lost my job and my benefits was cut to $104.40 per week, who can live with tat amount? As you may know being jobless is a job by itself.I can give some real example should I being asked,just drop me some lines.
Justice BonaventuraJul 19, 2010 10:12:35 AM
I am a CPA, and have a lot of experience with clients receiving benefits. I think most people take advantage of the situation, and use the money and time as a vacation. A majority of clients that I prepare returns for that receive benefits, are doing side jobs for cash. I also see people taking unemployment benefits every year when their industry is slow, which isn't right or fair either. I see clients getting work right as their benefits stop. The working population is subsidizing these vacations, and the benefits keep people unemployed longer. I think benefits should be for a short time if at all.
ConnieJul 19, 2010 09:58:23 AM
I empathize with the unemployed but I am a lifetime taxpayer too. I would be in favor of extended benefits only if they were reduced to half. Employment benefits discourage people from applying for different kinds of work. After all, we weren't promised work-in-our-profession for a lifetime! If we must work (and I've been there) we will do anything... it won't ruin our lives.
Norma KrepchinJul 19, 2010 09:58:11 AM
I was let go from my career job of 10 1/2 years in July of 2008. I have been under employed since, only working a few hours a week. I applied for unemployment and was receiving partial benefits, but after an on-line interview, I received notification that I am not eligible because I applied for a NV business license. There are not jobs in my field in LV, and I'm trying to think outside the box since my job search isn't going anywhere. I've only had 3 interviews in the 2 years I've been unemployed. I'm 58 years old and have a B.A. degree from UNLV and excellent experience. I know I'm losing out to younger candidates.
CarolJul 19, 2010 09:56:08 AM
Your callers should also know that Nevada Legal Services at (702) 386-0404 and (775) 284-3491 represents qualified low-income people in unemployment benefit appeal cases. Nevada Legal Services is a legal aid organization and does not charge for representing people who qualify for their services.
KrisJul 19, 2010 09:54:13 AM
I believe that most of the experts who persist in the notion that unemployment benefits are dissuading people from accepting a lower paid position have never had to live on $400 a week. I got laid off from my job a month ago and have never received unemployment benefits in the past. I have a college degree and a graduate degree and have been turned down as either overqualified, or simply ignored. I apply to 10 jobs a day, and that includes service jobs and restaurant jobs (Vacuum sales, McDonalds, entry level). I will take any job that pays above unemployment benefits. Simply, the old stereotypes no longer apply here. If we're looking to cut costs, the war is the first way to go.
LisaJul 19, 2010 09:51:28 AM
Many of the comments I have heard on this show are shameful. This is a difficult economy. Some places (that is as I understand it in Germany) they have not done job stimulus activities but rather kind of indefinitely support the victims - the unemployed. We will have a lot more difficulty when the Republicans get elected and cut programs the recession will almost certainly deepen as it has now with subsidies. Come on - put it out there and keep some spending flowing!
Rev. Thomas PerlJul 19, 2010 09:50:39 AM
employers would not want to hire somebody that they know is leaving as soon as they get a better job.. So if the lady there would apply to McDonald's anyway, she would probably not get the job as McDonald's would not want to waste their time training somebody that will leave as soon as she gets a better option.

It's so easy for the people that have not only jobs, but work where they want to or are already retired; to say that you have to take whatever job is out there... they themselves would probably not ever flip a burger for $8.25ph!

MichelleJul 19, 2010 09:45:40 AM
Your guest has accepted the death of the American middle class by his counsel to all levels of laid-off workers to "flip burgers".
SueJul 19, 2010 09:45:19 AM
I have been unemployed since last October. I began my job search immediately. I stopped counting the applications at 100. I have a B.A and have almost completed my M.A. and still have not gotten a job. I have applied for any job that I can possibly get.

These folks who say that if unemployment benefits get cut then people would take jobs that they would not have taken. What if there aren't any jobs? What are people to do? The folks who state that people don't take jobs that are out there just don't know what they are talking about - THERE ARE NO JOBS! Has any company out here expressed the notion that they have job openings that go unfilled?

Have these folks actually tried to find a job lately?

What would happen to people who get unemployment benefits were cut off? Imagine the turmoil that would create. Fifteen percent of the population would be out in streets. Would the folks who disparage unemployment benefits prefer that?

If any of these folks know of a job, let me know I'll take it.

AndreasJul 19, 2010 09:45:07 AM
I believe the last caller is incorrect about the tax source of unemployment benefits. People who collect unemployment benefits have paid into the system via taxes, while they were working. Essentially, they are recovering money they had paid into the system, not sponging off people who are working.
Kris BergstromJul 19, 2010 09:39:51 AM
Many of those arguing most voiciferously against extending unemployment benefits are nevertheless very much in favor of extending President Bush's top end tax cuts for the very rich. If they are asking where the funds are going to come from for extending unemployment payments (which is why they say they are against them) - where is the money to fund the tax cuts going to come from ?
ChrisJul 19, 2010 09:39:35 AM
I have two degrees, both an undergrad and graduate degree. I am currently in a program to become a public school teacher and my benefits have been discontinued, despite the fact I still have several tiers left. I am very desperate. My family is unsure if we will be able to pay bills or rent. I have applied for all levels of ememployment, and I am unable to get ANY job. I feel that it is sad that our government, to whom we pay taxes, refuses to take care of its citizens.
Amber Jul 19, 2010 09:24:21 AM
Tom, I'm not sure if you fully understand the unemployment situation, but officialy there is 1 job for every 5 unemployed. As a degreed professional in the workforce for over 40 years, I've never been without work for so long in my life. Resumes and appliciations are filled out every day, and less than a dozen interviews I've been invited to, over 70% say I'm overqualified. I want to work, as UI pays about 30% of what I used to make, but until someone wants to hire me, UI is my lifeline, and that money goes right back to the economy to pay the essentials. Don't worry, I'm not banking my UI so I can take a cozy vacation in the Bahama's.
GerryJul 17, 2010 15:49:26 PM
Frankly, if the socialist nanny state didn't exist, and people took out private unemployment insurance or, gasp, saved for a rainy day, we wouldn't be having this argument about how much money I should give unemployed people so they can sit around (which is what the unemployed people I know do!). While there may not be jobs that pay what they want, there *are* jobs available. Personally, I'd do whatever is necessary to preserve my house and family rather than be a parasite. Tom Las Vegas
TomJul 16, 2010 13:50:15 PM
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