Extending unemployment

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Jun 30, 2010 5:11 pm

I was telling my wife how I thought it was amazing that so many Americans work in finance yet we are a country that is destructing from within due to poor budget control. Literally I spend 70% of my life going over finance with my clients while watching my country spiral into a nosedive based upon not being able to manage their own wallet.

I wondered what some intelligent thoughts would be on unemployment benefits in this country. We must realize that with the non passage of the extension that we are going to have millions of people with no work, no benefits coming down the pike.

What is the best (INTELLIGENT) way to deal with this situation and even the more broad issue of national debt?

Jun 30, 2010 5:47 pm

Great question. As I understand it, a portion of our paycheck goes toward unemployment insurance, although I believe it is hidden. If run properly, the effect of pooling risk would take care of paying out the insurance benefits. But with Congress involved, I wonder if that insurance pool is spent like everything else and replaced with IOU's, aka social security. Debt, from a Keynesian standpoint is supposed to be a short term fix. However, it has become a long term strategy and both sides of the aisle have been responsible for running up the tab. What scares me is that the country has grown out of trouble in the past through consumer spending. Buy that spending was either on the credit card or the mortgage. That well has run dry and if we are going to reverse this trend of debt, we will have to pay it off with money we would otherwise use on consumables. Without consumer spending our economy goes further down the crapper, more unemployment, more federal debt. So how close are we to the point of no return? And what alternatives do we have to grow the economy while repaying the debt?

Jul 1, 2010 3:13 pm

So NAVET by that assessment I would say that there is no chance for growth in the US unless led by technology.

Jul 1, 2010 5:37 pm

Not necessarily. I think that one way we could grow out of this mess is with massive(and necessary) infrastructure rebuilding. Use public debt to rebuild infrastructure and use fees on infrastructure use to pay off the debt. The multiplying effect of wages on the citizens providing the labor would grow the economy. The increased efficiency of the infrastructure would lower the cost of doing business in general. Technology would certainly be involved with that strategy, in fact a massive infrastructure rebuild would be a necessary ingredient to technology growth and innovation. It could happen. And it's real growth, not some consumeristic buying spree paid for with a chinese credit card, or a war paid for with a chinese credit card, or TARP paid for with a chinese credit card.

Jul 1, 2010 9:37 pm

Continuing to extend unemployment benefits encourages working under the table and laziness and will only lengthen our unemployment problem.

Jul 1, 2010 11:27 pm

Do you really think most people are lazy and don't want to work? Current unemployment is caused by lazy people?

Jul 2, 2010 12:21 pm

Umm...yes.  Lots of people are just naturally lazy.  I am.  You give me the choice of sitting on my butt playing Playstation or working and I'm going to choose Playstation every single time.  But, if I don't work, I don't eat.  If the government extends the unemployment benefits it will give those naturally lazy people another excuse to play another game.  If they know they're going to get a check in the mail this month whether they work or not, they're not going to take the extra steps to get a job that pays them better than their unemployment check. 

Construction workers seem to be really bad about thinking it's OK to get an unemployment check.  It would cause permanent damage to my pride if I relied on a check from the government to pay my bills.  But with them, it's just a normal part of the life of a construction worker.  I realize there's a whole union issue with them (which is a whole different conversation), but these guys would be much better off if they skipped out on the union and started their own little company.  I've got a buddy who is a fireman and has a contracting business.  He's busier than he really wants to be.  Which tells me that there is an opportunity out there for someone with some drive, a truck, some tools, and some know how.  

So, no lazy people didn't cause the unemployment issue.  But lazy people aren't going to fix it either.  Lazy people aren't going to get more education to make themselves more marketable.  Which means that they aren't going to get a job outside of their field.  They'll just continue to get unemployment.  Maybe if we shut it off, we can get people off their butts and get them worried about how they're going to feed their family.     

Jul 2, 2010 2:37 pm

 They should go into business for themselves?

OK, "this idea is another selection from the "let them eat cake catalog." It would be funny if you weren't serious about it. So, tell me how would that work? Somethng like this:

Joe Unemployed guy laying on the couch starts to mull over his options. "Hmm, i'm unemployed. I've maxed out my credit cards. I'm overdrawn at the bank. I'm late on the rent, there isn't any food in the house, the electric is turned off, so is the cable, and the phone, the bank repossessed my car.  And now the government is turning off the gravy train. What am i going to do? Hey, I know, I'll start a contracting business. I'll go out and buy a truck and go buy the tools that i need along with getting my LLC, insurance, permits, and license from the state. Then i'll start a marketing campaign to get clients.Honey!!!! Whew, we're saved!!!!!!!" 

Spiff, do you see a problem with this, because i do.

Spiff the average working person who was making 30 to 40k a year before losing their job gets around $300 a week in unemployment comp. How far do you think that goes toward keeping a family fed and sheltered? Do you you really think these people are sittin' home drinkin and screwin' as the kids go hungry and they lose everything they own? Now, understand, there are some very powerful forces in this country who want you to think just that. But, really, do you beleive it?

Demonizing the needy is a repub trick from long ago. Making them out to be useless bums that only need a kick in the rear makes it much easier to turn your back to them and sleep at night. If only it were true, that they are worthless!

Spiff, the view you exibit here is either very naive or very cold hearted. The start a biz comment tells me you haven't thought this out.

Jul 2, 2010 3:23 pm

[quote=BondGuy]

 They should go into business for themselves?  Or something.

OK, "this idea is another selection from the "let them eat cake catalog." It would be funny if you weren't serious about it. So, tell me how would that work? Somethng like this:  BondGuy - I got love for you, but I have to disagree with you.  What you are describinng below is an extreme situation.  Plenty of people are out of work, but another spouse works.  There are also plenty of people who started businesses while they were on unemployment.  I know - I have a few clients like that.  Amazing how fast business picked up once they stopped getting unemployment.

Joe Unemployed guy laying on the couch starts to mull over his options. "Hmm, i'm unemployed. I've maxed out my credit cards. I'm overdrawn at the bank. I'm late on the rent, there isn't any food in the house, the electric is turned off, so is the cable, and the phone, the bank repossessed my car.  And now the government is turning off the gravy train. What am i going to do? Hey, I know, I'll start a contracting business. I'll go out and buy a truck and go buy the tools that i need along with getting my LLC, insurance, permits, and license from the state. Then i'll start a marketing campaign to get clients.Honey!!!! Whew, we're saved!!!!!!!" 

Spiff, do you see a problem with this, because i do.

Spiff the average working person who was making 30 to 40k a year before losing their job gets around $300 a week in unemployment comp. How far do you think that goes toward keeping a family fed and sheltered?  $1200 a month is nothing to sneeze at.  I lived on half of that amount when I was single.   Do you you really think these people are sittin' home drinkin and screwin' as the kids go hungry and they lose everything they own?  No.  I don't.  But I do feel like they are at home saying "Why can't the government feed me?  Poor me, why can't I get a job?  Why won't nobody hire me."   Now, understand, there are some very powerful forces in this country who want you to think just that. But, really, do you beleive it?  I believe, without powerful forces, but from seeing with my own eyes, that people can get jobs.  They just might not be able to get a job that pays what they were used to.  But what do you do?  Do you continue to get unemployment.  If you can get a job making $1300 a month, do you get it, or do you take the $1200 the government gives you?  Most of these people would take the $1200 the government gives you.  Let's take it a step further.  What if you could get $1150 a month?  Now we're getting somewhere.  Do you go WORK?  Or do you take the $1200 a month?  I'm pretty sure most would agree the fiscally responsible thing to do is to take the $1200 a month.  Right?  But what if that $1200 a month wasn not available?  Hmmmmm.


I am reminded of being in New Orleans after Katrina.  A woman was crying on the street.  A very LARGE woman.  She was crying because she said she was hungry.  Now, keep in mind, this woman had received $2000 a month from the government so far (this was the first month after it had hit).  She could get three meals a day from the Red Cross and a shower, etc.


But here she is, bawling in front of Wendy's.  On the front door of Wendy's it says "NOW hiring:  Free meal and $1000 for APPLYING inside".  WTF?  That sign should have been taken down after the first ten people showed up, but it had been there for WEEKS!  Why?  Because people are lazy!

Demonizing the needy is a repub trick from long ago. Making them out to be useless bums that only need a kick in the rear makes it much easier to turn your back to them and sleep at night. If only it were true, that they are worthless!  No one is demonizing the needy.  We are demonizing the lazy.  I know plenty of people who are needy that are hard workers.  Here's the thing:  If you are industrious, you don't stay needy for too long.

Spiff, the view you exibit here is either very naive or very cold hearted. The start a biz comment tells me you haven't thought this out.

[/quote]

As for starting a business.  When I started my own RIA, I needed cash.  I was billing in arrears and I left at a really bad time of year.  So I consulted on start-ups and helping people get started running a business.  Most of these people had $20k in debt, a couple of kids, etc.  They received loans and deferred payments (this was not that long ago, btw) once we looked at the different options.  In fact, in my state, there are grants that are put up by non-profits and the local municipalities for people to start businesses.  You need to write a business plan (which the SBA will gladly help with, or I was helping them write it - for a fee).

This is the easiest place in the world to start a business.


Keep in mind, innovation drives the economy.  Just look at our own industry.  Look at the people coming up wiht new ways to interact with the financial community. New ways to make money.  New ways to provide services for clients.


That goes for all sorts of industries.  There are very physically lazy people, who, while they don't want to work hard, will figure out a way to make some money.  They innovate.  Especially if they aren't at home sitting on their fat butts!

Why?  Because activity stimulates brain activity.  Stress stimulates brain activity. 


I think Spiff is right.

Jul 2, 2010 3:52 pm

The people that are truly the driving force behind this great nation are not the people that need unemployment benefit extensions. These wonderful strong economic contributors may need unemployment benefits to help them through a tough time but I can guarantee anyone that WANTS a job will FIND a job.

The true spirit of America and the ones that make up its backbone have no problems with humbling themselves a little bit and taking that job others would think is beneath them. You are either naturally motivated or naturally unmotivated. Those that are motivated will find a way to better their situation. Those that are naturally unmotivated will find a way not to work.

Jul 2, 2010 3:53 pm

BG- I see two problems with your argument and I generally find intelligence in your banter.

First I don't think the republican vs democrat debate is necessary. I am neither and I respect not many people who are either. However, even if you are democrat calling this a republican trick isn't really a good way to look at things. In fact lets just discuss this from an American issue. Lets not polarize each other with nasty ideas of intent.

Second- I understand your cries for compassion. However is it really that compassionate of you to want to continue to give people no incentive for getting off this system when you and I both know that the current system has produced generation of laziness, squalor and poor parenting.

Is the more compassionate parent the one who gives their drug addict son $10 so he can only buy a little meth or is it the parent who gives their son nothing and turns him to the streets?

I feel like your ideology is in fact the most heartless becasue that ideology makes sainthood out of just giving enough to eat but gives no hope for future generations to better themselves.

They say that an addict must hit rock bottom before they change. I believe the same to be true to people addicted to entitlement. I also realize the problems with my own logic, there will be more murder, more robbings, more violence but these are a 1 generation problem. Once the folks who are addicted to be given everything to live their life have either changed or died, the next generation will not know the words entitilement.

Jul 2, 2010 4:56 pm

There are some 30 million unemployed  Americans. 15 million become unemployed during the last 2 years. They didn't all suddenly succumb to their natural state of laziness. They got fired. And last month the country added 85,000 in private secor jobs. Divide that into 30 million to get a sense of job availability.

The notion that the 15 million newly unemployed should just buy a pick up truck and start building houses, cleaning houses or cutting grass is pretty weak reactionary thinking. And comparing them to drug addicts? Shameful IMO.

The character issue isn't about the 10% unemployed and whether they're lazy,  it's about the 90% of us who have a job. Do we feel a responsibility to help, or not. If not, just admit it. It's not about the worthiness of the person who doesn't have a job, it's about you. You don't feel an obligation to help. Nothing wrong with that if that's how you feel. Just don't pretend that you'd gladly help if only they were more deserving.

Now, it happens, I don't favor continuation of benefits. It's not personal, it's just business. I don't think it's a leveraged use of funds.

I do support a continuation of govmnt stimulus. We are not out of the woods, and to be worried about the deficit now is inviting a second recession that will easily slide into a depression. A cliff-notes read of the Great Depression will show that the depression didn't take hold until a really bad recession, which had initially been stimulated into growth by federal spending, morphed into a depression by a reactionary move to quickly cut the deficit and slash spending.

So I would support an extension of unemployment benefits if it were tied to a more productive use of the unemployed bodies. Public works projects, etc. Let's get them out of the house and being productive. Trust me, 15 million newly unemployed are not just lazy, drug addicted construction guys. They want to work, we just won't be able to provide the private sector jobs needed to get them back to work for perhaps several years. The government will likely need to be part of the solution. I would just hope for a more thoughtfuland creative solutoin on their part.

(I'm pretty certain I'm going to regret wading into this discussion)

Jul 2, 2010 4:58 pm

BG - While I respect your opinion, I couldn't disagree with it more. 

Most general contracting work can be done with a relatively small group of tools.  Hammer, cordless drill/screwdriver, recip saw, tape measure, chop saw or circular saw, speed square, and a pencil.  The guy that installed my sliding glass door, replaced my back door, and all of my windows didn't use much more than those and maybe some small hand tools.  If he gets bigger jobs that pay him more, he buys other fancier tools he might need on some other jobs.     

There isn't a construction worker worth his salt who doesn't have those tools and more in their garage right now.  Or in the tool chest in the bed of their truck that they already own.   

Advertising?  Tell your family, friends, and neighbors that you're going into business for yourself.  Print up some business cards on your home computer.  Walk through a neighborhood handing out those business cards while asking to bid some work the homeowner might be considering.  Throw an ad in the local paper. 

Word of mouth advertising is really the only way most small contractors work.  My wife has a cousin who has never placed an ad in any paper. Doesn't have business cards.  But yet he feeds his family and has more work than he can handle in the new town they just moved to.  He has a truck and some simple tools.  That's it. 

Back to your Joe unemployed scenario.  You described the people who most get under my skin to a T.  First, why are you just sitting around?  Why aren't you out pounding the pavement looking for ANY kind of work.  Why is your wife at home if you're happy butt is sitting on the couch unemployed.  If you can't find a job, maybe she can.  Or, gasp, maybe you can both find a job.  One of you can work during the day, one of you at night.  That way you don't have to pay a babysitter.  I know, it sucks, but nobody promised that the pursuit of happiness was going to be fun.

The problem is those kind of people wait until it's an emergency to act.  It's only when the government money stops flowing in that Joe figures he'd better get to gettin' and find a way to replace that $1200. 

Jul 2, 2010 5:53 pm

Northfield - I am sure you are going to regret wading into the issue.

Classic example of left wing... Make everyone else feel horrbile if they don't agree with you since you sit on your moral high horse.

"The character issue isn't about the 10% unemployed and whether they're lazy,  it's about the 90% of us who have a job. Do we feel a responsibility to help, or not. If not, just admit it. It's not about the worthiness of the person who doesn't have a job, it's about you. You don't feel an obligation to help. Nothing wrong with that if that's how you feel. Just don't pretend that you'd gladly help if only they were more deserving. "

That is a SICK SICK paragragh... Where is your logical based argument? The old salesman always goes for the guilt trip.

RW - says that govt programs are addicting like a drug... you say he is shameful? What is shameful is instead of using a logical arguement and defending your points you just accuse everyone else of being bad people if they don't believe what you do. Kinda like being racist if you were white and didn't vote for Obama.

I still can't believe the above paragraph. HELP is an easy word to use. I am struggling with my business. Would you help me by sending me your top 5 clients. Oh wait... you don't think I deserve it. Well it isn't about me deserving it , it is about you being a greedy jerk...

Sorry about going off here but seeing your ignorance is not bliss, it is you using a left wing agenda and then irrational - emotional passive aggressive assertions to make your point instead of talking about the real problems.

Jul 2, 2010 6:10 pm

Realworld -

First,  i'm not a democrat. That said, there aren't too many if any dems holding up extending unemployment benefits.

Second, like it or not, your argument above engages the republican dogma of devaluing people. Look at your words. Lazy, squalor, poor ,addict. That's right out of the repub playbook. Makes it easy to deny them doesn't it?

Third, you are changing the scope of the original question from one of extending unemployment benefits to one of entitlement. The two are not the same. Prior to the economic meltdown unemployment benefits were very straight forward. You got six months, end of story. And, you've had to prove you were looking for work. Some states put you into an employment pool. They call with a job, you go and you work. So, no multi generational stiffling from living off the man coming from the unemployment benefit policies of this country. if you've got a problem with the welfare system, well, thats another subject.  But i suspect that your problem with welfare is less about the system and more about your stereotype of the people. But i digress in my banter.

And, Realword, what do you know of addicts? Are you one? Are you married to one? One of your kids an addict? More book knowledge or just a natural progression from lazy, squalor, poor parenting to drug addicts? All part of the same stereotype? You say "they say an addict has to hit rock bottom before they'll change."  Who is "'they?" And what do your really know of them? I suspect not much because you speak from an unknowing distance.

If you want to discuss the welfare system we can, but my comments were limited to the unemployed. Most of whom are hard working people who find themselves in a horrible situation.

Magician - $1200 a month is nothing to sneeze at? Are you serious? Who do you think the average unemployed person is? Do you think it's someone who believes $1200 a month is win fall? $1200 a month is paid to someone who was making $4000 a month prior to getting axed. The guy who was making $300 a month working one day a week  at Burger King doesn't get $1200. Nor does the generational lazy guy in realworld's world. They get little if anything. For the unemployed person who is getting that $1200, there is a $2800 shortfall every month that they've got to cover. And, believe me, the unemployed people I know are working every day to find  jobs.

Take the lesser paying job? Would you? My brother is faced with this. He is a plant mgr for a large Pharma company. Well, that is until september when the plant closes for good. At age 56 with 30 years experience, and an MBA, should he go work a line job for 12 bucks an hour? Quite a step down for a guy running a 250 acre manufacturing facility, don't you think? The 30k in unemployment benefits he could receive is a fraction of his salary. So, yeah, he's highly motivated to find another job. Flew to Europe last week for an interview. But step down or hold out for the better job? Not even a question and it shouldn't be.

On the start a biz thing - Again I find you and spiff have a disconnect with reality here.

We're not talking rich people here. Even if not unemployed most of these guys are week to week employees. That is they are living week to week. This person couldn't get an unsecured loan if their life depended on it. And no bank is going to make a business loan to an under capped start up. Period! Thus no way to get the thousands if not tens of thousands needed to start even a basic business.

I'll give you an example. Your guy wants to start a concrete masonry company. He's got five years experience. He needs a truck, tools, forms, and a masonry pump, and a trailer for the pump. The truck is 15k, the tools another 3k. the forms add in another 3k,  but the biggie is the pump, 15k used. And the trailer for the pump, another 4k used. Add that up. The only thing the bank will lend on is the truck. but only if there is an income to make the payment, which there isn't because he's a startup independant contractor.

Listening to you guys on this is like listening to Steve Martin's How to make a million dollars and pay no taxes. First get a million dollars!  You all make it sound so turn key, anyone could do it. Just go out there and do it, what's the problem? The problem is it takes money most people don't have or have access to.

And BTW, easier to start a business in Hong kong than here. This is not the easiest place to start abusiness.

Jul 2, 2010 6:32 pm

BG- Seriously I don't need to answer what I know about addicts. And is this conversation really worth talking down to me like that?

You are right though, I did mix up entitlement and welfare... Although right now we don't have any answers for how long this may go on. To me letting people not work and collect paychecks from uncle sam isn't really different from welfare.

Also man you are going to judge me.. and say I am sterotyping? I ask you to actually step outside your box. do you not think that there are people who are on extended unemployment who are lazy or live is squalor or are bad parents? I didn't mean to make the point that everyone that can not find a job for over a YEAR is a degenerate but you have to admit it is in there somewhere.

As for your brother - he may have had a good job - but he lost it. I didn't lose it, he did.

Really he did... so I am willing to give him unemployment for maybe 6 months but I don't know where your plan seems to end. How long is too long.

I also am not meaning to degrade you or anyone on here. I sincerely didn't say that unemployed people were drug addicts. I can see where I typed wrongly, but in the same respect I do think that extending these benefits only adds to the disincentive of actually fixing the orginal problem which is unemployment. I only used the addict part to try to illustrate how tough love may actually be the best medicine.

Your point about starting your own business is also out of touch, all some people want is for others to make their own money... I don't need Joe Unemployed to be a millionaire just to feed his kids on his own dime after some help from me. I am simply debating this to understand at what limit we have given too much.

Jul 2, 2010 7:45 pm

Rw - Ok ,fair enough. I was being tough on you because I believe you are talking down about the unemployed. And that somehow those unemployed have gone from honest hard working people to low life scum who don't deserve a helping hand. I have to tell you of all the unemployed people I know,maybe a dozen people,  i know of not one who fits your description. So my question; where does your description of generational laziness come from?

I'm sure that there are people who are milking the system. of course there are. So what! The difference between us is that I see them as the exception where as you see them as the rule. But make no mistake, they are the exception. And for those people there will be no change. regardless of what happens. And by the way, we're talking welfare here, not unemployment, because to get unemployment you have first to have had a job. So, the welfare lifers fail on the first count. And that's not to say there aren't people gaming unemployment. There are. But the benefit is not enough for most people to sit back and relax on. That clock is running.

On the subject of addicts, regardless of how you meant it's use.  I attacked you there because you come up with the Oprah answer to addiction. The stereotyped answer. "They say an addict has to hit rock bottom before they'll change." What a load of bullshit! Think about the logic of that line in this context: Addiction is a disease. Fully recognised as such by the AMA.  Medical science has uncovered hereditary propensity for addiction. It's in the genes. In other words, addicts don't chose to become addicts.  An addict has a disease that they had NO control over getting. Not a thing they could have done to affect the outcome. You can go home tonite and knock down a few beers no problem. An addict can't. You can take a hit off a bong and walk away, an addict can't. This is the way of addiction. Not their choice, just the way it is.  So, being that drug addiction is a disease over which the addict has no control, they were predisposed to , how does an addict change that after hitting rock bottom? Answer : They can't change it. Anymore than a cancer patient can change their disease. So much for pop medicine and stereotypes!

Spiff- In my state you need a license to become a contractor. The people you are discribing are the people our state is trying to get rid of. Too much fraud.

To get a license you need to be an LLC (defacto) and have insurance to get a license. You need a tax ID number. You also need a street address with a working phone line registered to that address. In addition to the state license you need a license from the county  and town you are domicled in. All up, in fees and legal cost 4 or 5 grand before you drive your first nail. Delaware is easier. But nothing is free.

Jul 2, 2010 9:06 pm

Taxfree -my view was not a left wing view, but a libertarian view. That is that I am not for govmnt intervention because it does not generally work. It may be worthy and honorable. But it still doesn't tend to work.

Although you did not take a position, I believe we probably agree on the end result. I'm just trying to be honest on how I get to the conclusion that employment benefits should probably not be extended beyond current provisions. It's not that the unemployed don't deserve it or are lazy. It just isn't a good use of the funds and we could use the money elsewhere. Like I said - it's not personal, just business.

Jul 3, 2010 12:41 am

[quote=BondGuy]Take the lesser paying job? Would you? My brother is faced with this. He is a plant mgr for a large Pharma company. Well, that is until september when the plant closes for good. At age 56 with 30 years experience, and an MBA, should he go work a line job for 12 bucks an hour? Quite a step down for a guy running a 250 acre manufacturing facility, don't you think? The 30k in unemployment benefits he could receive is a fraction of his salary. So, yeah, he's highly motivated to find another job. Flew to Europe last week for an interview. But step down or hold out for the better job? Not even a question and it shouldn't be.[/quote]

"Take a lesser paying job? Would you?" - Yes without a doubt.

"But step down or hold out for the better job?" - Are you fucking serious? How about get a job then look for a better one? If you want to sit on your ass until the job you want becomes available then live off of your own savings not my dime!

Jul 3, 2010 7:46 am

I know and have about 5 clients who are unemployed and I know many people who are currently drawing unemployment.

The ones who were not lazy actually took census jobs. Literally 4 people I know took census jobs. However not 1 union person did. Not one.

What that tells me is that there are certainly a lot of different people on unemployment.

Bondguy - Damn you are really lost here. "So what if they are milking the system" that is about the most unamerican thing that you can say. This country was not built on programs paying people for doing nothing. Also if you really believe that the unemployed have to be seriously looking for a job, the conversation is over. That is STUPID and if you really know that many unemployed you would know that that is simply not true.

Northfield - Libertarian? Government intervention... I guess maybe the only explanation if that is really true is if you are religous... That would add up for your DUMB ASS comments about it being about the people working not the people not working.... That still doesn't add up at all.

I can anyone who hasn't worked and is allowing their checks to be paid with government aid in 6 months lazy.

Bondguy - the thing about your brother is a great example. Did you not talk to him about saving? Something tells me that he stupidly bought a really nice house, nice cars, maybe even sent a kid to a private school. If he didn't network in the industry of HIS choice well enough to land another gig, tough shit. This is why you save your money and don't spend everything that you make at your job you have worked for 30 years.

I literally am shocked you use him as an example to me he is an example of what is messed up here. When times are good spend everything that you have and when they are bad cry to the federal government and elect dumb ass people who will pay for you while bankrupting the country. No one is going to hire a 56 yr old with an MBA who isn't a total awesome worker b/c he probably was overcompensated in the eyes of the industry.

Still a few questions for people who WRONGLY assume it is ok to continue this entitlement program.

1. When will it be enough? You can not say when the jobs come back because we all know they won't for a lot of the 50-60 yr old people.

2. How does extending unemployment help putting people back to work?

Is it really too much to ask to cap unemployment at 6 months?