I have chosen to discuss the article “Many Jobless Workers Aren’t Getting Help” by New York Times editorial board. The paper presents an enumeration of the issues that the established unemployment insurance policy cannot resolve. The problem has become evident as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the country’s economy. Multiple employers had to reduce the staff or were unable to continue running their business, while some employees have chosen to restrain from work that supposes direct contact with the mass public. As a result, unemployed citizens applied for insurance, yet, only a small number of these people did get the benefits (The New York Times, 2021). The article was discussed by its citizens further in the comment sections.
Some discussants expressed opinions about the issue that is worth mentioning. First of all, the editorials declared that the problem emerged because of the states’ policies that suppose lower taxes for funding the insurance. Thus, they argue that the lack of financing comes from the states that prefer defending employers from taxes rather than administrating their job. Moreover, they mentioned issues in the eligibility requirements so that people who had part-time jobs or voluntarily left them did not qualify for the insurance (The New York Times, 2021). A reader of the newspaper, Tina, argues that the system is too complicated for a person to apply and does not consider the intricacies of each individual’s situation. Next, Tim argues that people should have savings for emergencies and crises; the other discussant finds it impossible for people to save money with the average wages. Therefore, the issue of unemployment insurance is relevant for people right now.
The issue of unemployment insurance policy in the US is described in the course textbook. Namely, in Chapter 8, on pages 228-229, the author of the book describes the work of the federal and state government in creating the appropriate funds and organizing the services for the unemployed (Segal, 2015). It is stated that the federal government might aid the states in the crises, but states are purely responsible for their insurance policies. The book also covers that frequently people who need the benefit checks do not qualify for them, such as those who have to care for their ill close ones. Thus, the textbook describes the US unemployment program as an additional safety net.
The article and the debate that follows it somewhat disagree with this description in the book. Namely, Segal (2015) mentions that “the unemployment insurance program is one of the few social welfare programs that tend to be universal in structure” (p. 229). However, it is clear from the article that the program highly varies from state to state, and some states are just unable to provide enough finances to pay the benefits to the unemployed (The New York Times, 2021). Yet, both the discussion and the book recognize that delays in administrating the applications for insurance create problems for the people.
Moreover, the discussion gives a real-life insight into the implementation of the insurance program, extending the message covered in the book. People highlight that the process of application is poorly organized by the states, while governors tend to be more concerned about entrepreneurs than employees. Finally, it is clear from the discussion that the “safety net” option is inaccessible for most citizens who have to rely on themselves.
Segal, E. A. (2015). Empowerment series: Social welfare policy and social programs, enhanced (4th ed.). Cengage Learning.
The New York Times. (2021). Many jobless workers aren’t getting help. Web.