Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whose welfare?


With a letter last week, Idaho Department of Labor Director Roger Madsen backed moves by the state's congressional delegation to block further extensions of unemployment benefits to workers who can't find jobs.

He said people are being harmed by "endless extensions" and that some have been out of work so long that their skills are deteriorating. Ending benefits would "encourage" them to get a job.

But Madsen's most inflammatory and cruel statement was this: "Moreover, I believe unemployment insurance has become, in the eyes of many claimants and business owners, an "entitlement" or "welfare" program rather than one based on basic unemployment insurance principles that have served the program well with minimal controversy for decades."

Madsen, a well-educated man, failed to acknowledge the real recipients of the $450 million paid in extended jobless benefits this year. The unemployed aren't exactly sitting on fat piles of cash. The money they receive goes for rent, mortgage payments, food, clothing, utilities, education and medical care.

So, who are the true welfare recipients?

Madsen should more accurately have characterized banks and landlords who receive rent and mortgage payments as beneficiaries of this "welfare." Add to that the supermarkets, drugstores, medical clinics, utilities, retail stores and schools that receive payments for goods and services from the unemployed.

In the case of unemployment benefits, what goes around truly comes around. Unemployment benefits help keep Idaho's economy afloat. Madsen and the congressional delegation should be careful what they wish for. To the misfortune of us all, they may get it.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.