Pat Kenny: Do-nothing path

February 9, 2013 

Do-nothing path

Your Jan. 29 lead editorial “A body blow” lamented the possibility that GOP legislatures may reduce weekly unemployment benefits from “over $500 per week to about $350 per week at the top level.” A benefit of $500 per week equates to a wage of $12.50 per hour for a 40-hour week, much higher than the minimum wage.

Solving the state’s high unemployment rate obviously requires job vacancies, but it also requires that the job seeker have an incentive to seek employment. If one had the choice of working 40 hours per week to earn $500 or doing nothing to receive that same amount, most people would follow the do-nothing path.

Reducing maximum unemployment benefits to $350 per week should increase the incentive of the unemployed to seek work, benefiting the unemployed as well as the state.

Pat Kenny

Emerald Isle

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