Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2017

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letter to the editor:

End the guessing on unemployment

In response to Thursday’s column by Paul Krugman “Writing off the unemployed,” I am saddened by this Nobel laureate abandoning his foundation in economics and facts and switching to emotional appeal.

The federal government has been providing extended unemployment benefits for several years. Formerly, a total of two years of benefits were available, but that had been slowly reduced to a year and a half.

It should be a simple task to survey those whose benefits have ended in the past few years to determine whether or when they found employment.

If it only took a few months to find work, then the argument that they’ve been coasting until their benefits expired seems to be valid. If they remain unemployed, then other measures need to be taken to enable them to find work; paying them to not work certainly doesn’t seem to be accomplishing much.

At least we won’t be guessing anymore; we’ll know what the situation is and whether it needs to be addressed.

The lack of such a survey would lead me to wonder whether Krugman suspects what it would reveal and doesn’t want to disclose facts that refute his position.

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