Price controls do nothing to improve the economy as a whole [“How a $15 minimum wage could affect services to poor, vulnerable,” Opinion, May 12]. With regard to price floors like the minimum wage, the higher the floor the greater the economic harm. If this were not true, then why not raise the…More
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The Seattle Times especially well-written editorial on the minimum wage proposal for the City of Seattle may give pause for those who view a $15-an-hour wage a welcome step up to the middle class for the working poor [“An economic gamble in Seattle as $15 minimum wage becomes reality,” Opinion, May 3]. As…More
I laud The Seattle Times for once again standing up for what is right (and pragmatic) by supporting the federal extension of unemployment benefits [“Congress, act to help long-term unemployed,” Opinion, March 16].
Due to the excellent documentation and rationale for said extension, I do not have any points to add in response. What I have to say is to the naysayers. First, for the numbers of long term unemployed nationally that we still have, effectively, we are still in the height of the 2008 recession. So, for the rest of us, many who write from the comfort of their nice upper middle class homes, who are you to call time?More
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Thanh Tan recently asked for readers’ thoughts in the Opinion Northwest blog on Congress not extending federal unemployment insurance. The Feb. 21 blog post followed this editorial calling on lawmakers to help struggling but active job-seekers.
Within days, the post received more than 300 responses from across the country — the map at the top of this post shows locations of responses we received. Many people explained how the temporary assistance had helped them to keep their families housed and their Internet connections available so that they could post their resumes online. A few disagreed with the extension, saying it discourages the long-term unemployed from trying harder to find work. Older workers offered heart-wrenching stories about the difficulty of getting an interview and holding on to a position in today’s economy. During the process of verifying a few different writers’ identities, a few phone numbers were disconnected.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Senate is plotting again to pass an extension measure with the help of some Republicans. The Congressional Budget Office outlined the benefits of a short-term fix in this Dec. 3 analysis. “Recipients of the additional benefits would increase their spending on consumer goods and services. That increase in aggregate demand would encourage businesses to boost production and hire more workers than they otherwise would, particularly given the expected slack in the capital and labor markets,” the report concludes.
Here in Washington state, the Employment Security Department reports about 28,000 people exhausted their federal benefits on Dec. 28 after Congress failed to act. Since then, the agency estimates thousands more drop out of the system every week.
What happens to them now?
Scroll down to read some of their stories. If you have a story to share, please add it to this form or at the bottom of this post.
Support a federal extension of unemployment insurance:
I support the extension due to the fact that I lost my job of 29 years in June. My benefits ran out in January. No one will hire me due to my age. I’m 64 years old. Having 26 weeks is not long enough to find a job at my age. It is devastating to our budget with first the loss of a long-term job, and then no unemployment to help with expenses. My job loss was due to my position being eliminated. I would have loved to continue working until I was old enough to retire, but my employer had other plans. We have now had to put our home up for sale, we sold our second vehicle and have cut out anything possible to cut back. I’ve gone from a job that paid over $3,000 a month, to unemployment at less than half of that amount, and now down to zero for my income — it is hard to live on just my husband’s Social Security. I need to work, and have worked since I was a teenager. I need the extra weeks of unemployment to carry me until I can find a job. It is not right to not extend the benefits to those of us who are struggling to find a job. Something needs to be done to help all us who are out of work.
— Sharon Washburn, Yakima
Couples need options for working less hours Our society has changed from most women being homemakers, to most women being wage-earners outside the home. Children and marriages have suffered through this transition. It’s time we make the next transition, with parents sharing the homemaking and wage-earning to best benefit the children and marriage. The only way we can…More