In regards to the Feb. 14 Point of View “Pushing people out of the N.C. work force”: The article is in direct contradiction to the writers’ point that cutting unemployment benefits pushes people out of the work force.
They state that, “Anyone receiving unemployment benefits must be seeking work to continue to draw insurance ... researchers have found that the overwhelming majority of people who saw their insurance payments end simply stopped looking for work. In other words, unemployment insurance kept these people in the labor force.” No, what this tells me is the only reason they were “pretending” to look for work was so they could collect benefits.
Why does the loss of benefits suddenly make someone stop looking for work unless he really didn’t want to work to begin with? He looked for work only because it was a condition of receiving unemployment insurance.
While there are many people who desperately need the benefits and are really trying to find work, anyone (“an overwhelming majority”) who stops looking for work simply because benefits ended must not have really wanted to work to begin with and was gaming the system.
Mark C. Weitzel
Teaching instructor, College of Business, East Carolina University