In our opinion: Extend unemployment benefits


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  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 3, 2014 6:54 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    The editorial pointed out that about 11,000,000 people are out of work and only 3,900,000 jobs are available for those 11 million workers.


    You are a business owner.
    You keep saying that Business is the answer - Not the Government.
    YOU therefore should doing something - Not the Government.
    How many people have YOU hired?

    If you haven't, then YOU are the problem.
    Government is trying to make up for what YOU are not doing yourself.

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:51 p.m.

    Considering that I personally know four colleagues with terminal degrees in such areas as law, chemistry, biology have been unemployed since 2011 when the college they worked for did a massive layoff and they haven't worked in academic since and trying to get a company or organization to hire someone with a PhD or over 60 is impossible.

    Even adjunct work pays less than unemployment especially when you consider the lack of benefits, an office, access to other faculty processes such as committees, and living (sort of) from contract to contract.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:48 p.m.

    Unemployment benefits should be in the form of a loan to be repaid by a small income tax surcharge applicable after the unemployed person gets back on his feet.

  • Mrcheex West Springfield , MD
    Jan. 2, 2014 6:12 p.m.

    I am one of the American citizens that had my benefits cut off with over 30 weeks remaining. The only reason why I am currently on unemployment is because I have been waiting for 3 months for a grant to obtain my CDL. I am due to start Monday fingers crossed. 45 hours a week at school,mind you it's only 6 weeks long, now I have no income while I'm in school. Oh and a stipulation for the grant is not being able to work more then 12 hours a week!! I am 34 years old and I have been working since I was 14, I've paid my taxes and it would be nice to have help for the first time in 20 years!! Sound like a quandary? That's the Government for you!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    The Obama Administration says that every dollar the Government spends on unemployment benefits brings $1.90 into the economy (source PolitiFact).

    If that is correct... we should lay EVERYBODY off... and the economy would double.


    The sad fact they refuse to acknowledge is that for every dollar they actually pay out in unemployment benefits... they have to take $4.00 from some poor working stiff. And if none of us were working... there wouldn't be anybody to take from to pay these benefits.

    I know in theory they take the money from your pay checks when you are working so it will be there when you need it. But in fact.. that money has already been spent and then some (that's why we are 16 Trillion dollars in debt). Reality is... they have nothing to pay these benefits today if nobody is working. So it's a good thing SOMEBODY's working in the private sector.


    Unemployment is not currently limited to 26 weeks (in any State). Recently Congress did something that it has never done before - it extended unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. That cost more than $100 billion, a huge expense for a government in debt.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 4:09 p.m.


    In your post you say you are willing to work for it. What if there is no one needing your kind of work? As members of a humane society we will see that you don't starve, die from exposure or such.

    When we give you welfare, it made up of dollars we obtain from business activity, either wages or dividends. The point is, that everybody is supported in one way or another by business activity.

    My thoughts are that we could make the system better if we change the way wealth is distributed.

  • The Hammer lehi, utah
    Jan. 2, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    @Ultra Bob

    Here are the Cons to your idea.

    Accelerate depression, Accelerates poverty, and keeps production down.
    Unemployment benefits have to be paid from our treasury. Procuring the money requires increasing FUTA taxes and/or borrowing money. These taxes and excessive borrowing harm business efforts to hire and grow. This accelerates us toward a depression with long term unemployment.
    Unemployment benefits decrease incentives to take low wage jobs that pay the same as unemployment benefits. Nobody will work flipping burgers if they can get the same pay for not working. Work=value=money. The lack of continues work hurts workers ability to earn more and perpetuates poverty.
    With so many people out of work for so long and not taking lower paying jobs, we lose the benefit of that work. Work=production and eventually negatively factors into GDP.
    Ending unemployment benefits is far more humane in the long run as it keeps us from a negative production cycle.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    "Unemployment benefits are typically available for up to 26 months." This should actually read, "Unemployment benefits are typically available for up to 26 weeks."

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 2:40 p.m.

    @Ultra Bob - "The government should hire every available, employable, unemployed worker in America. Pay them at a wage according to the needs of providing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for themselves as an individual or as a family."

    Do you REALLY want the government determining what those "needs" are? Last I checked, the "pursuit of happiness" varies amongst individuals, so basically you are saying that you want the government to tell us what makes us happy? Sorry, but I prefer to live in a society where I know that if I want something, and am willing to work for it, then I can do that without the government telling me: "Sorry, but it's been predetermined that your level of happiness and needs don't extend beyond a shared 1-bedroom apartment and part-time use of this government issued VW Beetle."

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    Thid Barker.

    I don't want everyone to work for the government. I would like everyone to work for private enterprise. Private enterprise will not hire people without some inducement. The last 50 years shows that giving money to private enterprise does not help. OK, lets try taking money from private enterprise. Do it in such a way as to allow private enterprise to pay the least cost.

    If there is high unemployment, the government hiring will take the place of welfare and such and put people to work doing the millions of things we need done. Private enterprise will be paying the wages of the government workers by not getting any of the benefit of the labor. By hiring the government worker private enterprise not only reduce the tax but get the benefit of the labor.

    When you say we don't have a healthy private sector, you must be only talking about working people. Private enterprise is booming, companies and corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars and frantically grabbing for more.

    The need for human labor has changed from the old balance of wealth. If we don't bring our capitalist system up to date everybody dies.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    The problem isn't that during this great recession that government has paid out benefits to the poor to help keep them above water. The problem is that during good times, our government has gotten further and further into debt. During good times we get further and further into debt. During bad times we get further and further into debt even faster.

    Conservative republicans want to reduce spending and rightfully so, but to do it now, on the backs of the poor is wrong. Don't get into needless wars, don't stay in wars longer than is necessary. .. is one legitimate way to save money. What are we still doing in Afghanistan?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    Productivity after the 2008 Great Recession recovered very quickly. Most companies & corporations found that the folks who were *not* laid off were highly motivated to NOT join the ranks of their less fortunate former colleagues.

    When you combine a highly motivated workforce with increasingly impressive technology, there's just no reason to have as many employees as you had before, and considering the profits that flowed in after the labor cuts... you end up with situations like Walmart, which has opened 300-400 additional stores since then, but now has fewer employees than they did in 2008.

    Economists are beginning to recognize that we're in a "new normal", where growth is modest, unemployment is persistently higher than we'd like, and most new jobs pay quite a bit less than we'd like. Higher productivity and record profits does not have to result in higher employment.

    We need to extend unemployment support, without question, but what exactly to do with this "new normal" will be a lingering question for society into the future.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    Too bad this isn't an election year. If it were an election year... I would be willing to bet you anything that they WOULD be extended.

    Government benefits are a great bargaining chip when trying to buy public approval for incumbents in their never ending quest for more re-election votes.

    Where it's not an election year... it may have a harder time passing.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    Of course extending unemployment benefits is "humane". But that doesn't automatically mean not extending benefits indefinitely is "inhumane".

    The question that's harder to answer is... at what point can we stop extending them? 9 months? 12 months? 24 months? 50 years? Are ANY limits on how long you can collect unemployment "inhumane"? If not... where can that limit be? That's the question here.

    We need to decide (as a society) what that limit will be. And once people know what the limit is... they know what to expect and aren't shocked when their benefits run out.

    It's this unknown... and the hope that MAYBE they will extend them just one more time... and then one more time.... forever. The problem is not knowing what to expect. We extend them sometimes, don't extend them other times (playing politics with it) that makes it so frustrating.

    People just need to know what to expect, and adjust. We can't pay people not to work forever and not suffer consequences.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Patriot has it right. The best economy in the U.S., besides that in Washington D.C., is in the private sector run oil industry of the Dakotas. There, the minimum pay is well into double digits in all businesses because of a booming economy. You want to raise wages? Minimum wages? No need to get government to pass a law to do it. The law of supply and demand will do it if allowed to run without too much government interference in the form of regulation and taxes.

    Mike in Cedar City

    You might remember that back in 2009 when Obama and the Democrats had total power in government, they did pass a jobs bill. An 800 billion dollar shovel ready jobs bill. The fact that Republicans did not want it did not matter. It went through Congress, and Obama signed the legislation. Result? Well, do I really need to ask? You think we should do it again?

  • BeSmart Cheyenne, WY
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    I think they should extend the benefits, if the people have to do more to qualify. There are about 4 million open jobs in the US. That is a lot of work, Where I live (a city of 60,000 people around 25000 households) over 1000 jobs opened up last month.
    Some of these people lack skills, don't interview well, or can't write a good resume. If they are receiving benefits they should be getting trained in their weakness to be able to get a job.
    Looking for 5 jobs a week is a 15 minute process online. Many people need benefits but require them to do something to receive them.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    The editorial pointed out that about 11,000,000 people are out of work and only 3,900,000 jobs are available for those 11 million workers. Extending unemployment will not generate new jobs. Creating "public sector" jobs will not reduce the deficit. Public sector jobs will just take more money from the private sector which will reduce the money available to build factories and hire workers.

    I reluctantly agree with the Deseret News. People need to eat. People need to have a place to live. People need clothing.

    Obama has mismanaged everything financial since he took office. He has added well over $5,000,000,000,000 (count the zeros - all twelve of them) to the deficit. That money will come from your pocket, my pocket, our posterity's pocket. He is sending over $1,000,000,000 per day to the Middle East for oil when we have more oil than the Middle East in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Obamacare is costing people with insurance thousands more per year for less coverage.

    His economic policy has failed. Fix the PROBLEM. Limit government to its assigned duties.

  • Commodore West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    It is not only the humane thing to do, it is the right thing to do.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    @ Ultra Bob. Here is why your idea of everyone working for the government would never work! Let's say the average government worker earns 50K per year (plug in your own numbers) and pays back 20% in taxes. Where does the other 80% of his salary come from? Who must make up the difference to pay for all the government employee's salaries? Private sector! If we don't have a healthy private sector paying taxes, no money to pay government employees.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    there are tens of thousands of jobs waiting to be taken...high paying jobs in energy production on PUBLIC land but Barack will NOT allow it. The Keystone pipeline is a no - brainier and will employ thousands of middle class Americans both union and non union but there it sets.. idle. Add to this an expansion of what is already happening in the Dakotas and you literally have an energy production BOOM. Think of the jobs - think of the number of people who get off the unemployment roles and get high paying jobs. This is just ONE example of how Obama has his foot on the throat of America's job market. America will not get out of recession so long as Barack Obama is president and that is a sad reality.

    How many of those currently getting unemployment would rather be getting a pay check...not from McDonalds but from a high paying trade?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    "Extending unemployment benefits is not an ideal answer to sluggish job growth, but it is the humane thing to do."


    And letting them expire is the polar opposite: INHUMANE.

    Cold, Heartless, Stiff-necked, calloused,
    trampling the poor, the needy, the sick...

    The very reasons God allowed the Nephites to be destroyed,
    as well as Sodom and Gommorrah.
    [fyi -- it had nothing to do with Gay marriage.]

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    Usually, the DN is advocating for amnesty for illegal trespassers. Today they are advocating for job security for actual LEGAL American citizens.

    Which is it? The two subjects are in conflict.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    We have a stalled economy. The problem is not supply but rather a lack of demand. Demand comes from spending. Spending comes, usually, from actually having money to spend. Cutting out a chunk of funds from the poor or middle class (in this case the unemployed) reduces purchasing power and further decreases demand. Jobs are only created if there's enough demand to make the added job worthwhile. As a result it's estimated that we'll take a .2% of GDP hit to the economy by not extending these unemployment benefits, and lose out on 100k jobs. Might not be much but well... making things worse is hardly a good idea right now.

    You don't even necessarily have to extend it to 73 weeks anymore, you could just scale it back to 50 weeks rather than 27.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    The government should hire every available, employable, unemployed worker in America. Pay them at a wage according to the needs of providing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for themselves as an individual or as a family.

    The entire cost of such a government program to be paid by a tax upon all American business operations and even foreign business operations in the USA. If business operators would hire all the workers, the tax would be zero.


    Eliminate poverty. Eliminate depressions, booms, and make the economy stable.



    Business is the engine that pumps the economic blood (money) that supports our entire society. Like any other engine it must be controlled by the operator. The owner/operator of the business engine is the society where it performs.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    "something lawmakers should agree to as an act of compassion and a recognition that administration policies have failed."

    DMN, you just can't support anything, no matter how "compassionate" without taking a nasty ill advised swipe at the Obama Administration. There would not be so many out of work for so long if your number two boss, the Republican Party, had supported some kind of a jobs bill to help re-build infrastructure and put a lot of people back to work.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    RE: JDMAC "1- Require some measure of public work before receiving publicly financed unemployment (with time off for seeking a employment)." This is what Obama would have preferred - public works projects.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    Yes, barack has been a failure and his policies have come painfully short of what he told us, like when he said he's keep unemployment below 8% if allowed his first spendathon of 800 billion. Or the time he told us he'd be a one term president if he didn't cut the deficit in half, only to see him increase it.

    But those aside, its not baracks responsibility to make sure everyone has a job. Its my responsibility to make sure I have a job. I don't want barack taking money from others who have earned it, to give it to me if I'm not earning it. That's not right

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    Dr. James Rawson
    Orem, UT


    Does BYU know about this?

    btw - Sorry about your Father.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    Good, then you at the Deseret News can pay for the extended benefits. Not me.

  • Dr. James Rawson Orem, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    To Marxist: "Obama did his job and rescued American capitalism." The facts are obvious that this administration has done everything it can possibly do through taxation, illegal regulations from the EPA and other government agencies who make up their own laws and Presidential mandates; to destroy Capitalism or Free Enterprise. It would be wise to look at Obama's record and see exactly what he has done.....which is absolutely nothing to help this economy recover! He has placed more people on welfare than any other President in history and wants to keep them there with an additional "free lunch," without requiring any labor for it. And, the millions who have given up on finding employment, because of His anti-capitalism policies, are now dependent on the taxpayer handout and are willing to live on it. The economy is not recovering; placing the blame squarely on Obama and his administration's anti-growth, redistribution of wealth policies!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    I'm surprised to see you advocating socialism and entitlements.

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    This is what happens when business and some government leaders flood our labor market. The taxpayer gets stuck paying for the surplus labor, or those who are replaced by them.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    old switcharoo

    Uh, you may have missed the memo, but when Obama took office he and the Democrats plowed about 800 billion into "shovel ready jobs" to do just as you claim the Republicans did not want to do. What went wrong?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    I agree that the benefits should be extended but we need a more predictable (less political) method of determining and extending benefits. There should be a longer federal time period and it should increase automatically based on certain employment rate benchmarks. The reality is there are folks who hit long-term unemployment in better times when there is no action by Congress.

    That said, blaming the long-term unemployment rate on this administration is laughable. If they do something it won't help, if they do, it hurts. Please. We need to accept three facts.

    First, we are emerging from the deepest recession any can recall other than the very old who can actually remember the Great Depression and digging out will not be quick (expecting it to be so is foolish).

    Second, though imperfect, both this and the Bush Administration responded about as well as could be expected. Could things have been done better in hindsight? When is that not true?

    Third, in our system government can influence the economy - it cannot and does not control it. Expecting it to be able to make sharp, immediate differences reveals a lack of understanding.

  • JDMAC Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    Extend the unemployment "benefits" even further?
    This would only make those receiving payments even more dependent.
    Two things would really help:
    1- Require some measure of public work before receiving publicly financed unemployment (with time off for seeking a employment).
    2- Ease payees out of the program instead of cutting off all the benefit at once. Such as remove 1/3 of the original amount each month until it is gone.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 2, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    Why work? Its so easy to let the government pay you not to work.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Jan. 2, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    We could be building things with the money but republicans won't agree to public financed building projects. So we spend half a salary per person and get nothing for it. Not too bright.

  • Tulip West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    Perfectly articulated DN. Not only is the administration hindering growth, they're doing it knowing it's creating an entitlement society. The blueprint for rapid and steady job growth has already been written and they don't seem the least bit interested in following it. It's astonishing when you really think about what they've done and even more so when you think the American people didn't see it coming.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 6:50 a.m.

    Yes, Yes, Yes, we obviously don't actually want people to have no money. The problem is that for more than a few, unemployment and its attendent benefits is one of the biggest growth industries in the U.S. today. Unemployment and food stamps go hand in hand. Do Obama and the Democrats really believe than if their stewardship since 2007 were evaluated, that the huge increase of citizens "Dependent" upon the government to live is a positive success story? Because, I've always agreed with the more conservative view that the success of government is not in how many get government assistance, but in how many Do Not need government assistance.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:26 a.m.

    "...and a recognition that administration policies have failed." Being a socialist myself I do no intend to carry water for the administration, but your remark carries a bit of partisanship. The administration took the necessary monetarist steps to save the banking system in 2009. This it had to do, because to rescue capitalism you have to rescue the top first (sad but that's the system). Obama would have liked to do more New Deal type stimulus, more public works projects - many of which are desperately needed - but could never have gotten them through the congress. Obama did his job and rescued American capitalism. I should think you guys would be a bit more grateful.