Since the pandemic began last year, there have been various programs set up to provide some level of financial assistance for people that have lost incomes. But these programs are beginning to come to an end. The additional $300 per week that people have been receiving in unemployment insurance is set to expire in mid-September throughout the country. However, governors in nearly half of the states are threatening to cut it off at the end of June or sometime in July. This would potentially impact roughly 4 million people.
If we turn on the TV or listen to talk radio, we have been hearing the same song over and over. We have probably have heard it from friends and coworkers. We may have even said it ourselves. “People don’t want to work.” There has been story after story in the media about companies that are trying to entice potential employers with signing bonuses, free food and other gimmicks. We are being told that the reason employers are having a hard time hiring employees is because that people are too comfortable after months of receiving “generous” unemployment benefits.
Are they kidding? Even before the pandemic, some 40% of Americans didn’t have $400 in savings for an emergency. It is estimated that around 10 million American families are behind on their rents with average debt of $6,000. Are we supposed to believe that through all of the losses felt during the pandemic, that additional $300 per week was enough to allow people who could barely make ends meet somehow live comfortably? What a joke!
If it is indeed true that people are better off receiving unemployment insurance than going to work, maybe it’s worth asking why? Rather than pointing fingers at unemployed people as these governors and media talking heads would like us to do, maybe we should ask the question, “why aren’t there jobs that provide living wages to support a family?”
Yeah, it’s true that people don’t want to work – they don’t want to work for peanuts!