Target: Pat McCrory, governor of North Carolina
Goal: Criticize governor McCrory’s decision to adopt a law which significantly cuts North Carolina’s unemployment insurance program.
On February 19th, 2013, Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina signed a law which which reduces unemployment insurance program benefits from a maximum of $535 a week to $350. Moreover, the bill cuts the number of weeks allotted for unemployment, reducing them from 26 to 20 weeks. With these drastic cuts, many currently unemployed citizens of North Carolina will lose unemployment insurance benefits.
With the country still recovering from the throes of the Great Recession, cuts to unemployment insurance can have drastic consequences for former workers who have lost their jobs. Although conservatives argue that cuts to unemployment insurance will result in people looking harder for jobs and “taking responsibility” for themselves, no meaningful current evidence suggests that people who receive unemployment benefits do not look for jobs.
A July 2010 report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee presented by Representative Carolyn Maloney states conclusively that unemployment insurance does not discourage job search behavior. According to the report: “Extending unemployment insurance benefits is not only a critical form of economic security for American families, but also a key form of fiscal stimulus that has the potential to ease pressure on the labor market by stimulating economic growth.” This 2010 report extols the fiscal benefits of federal unemployment insurance. Sign the petition to tell Governor McCrory that this new law is a huge mistake which will have disastrous consequences for families throughout North Carolina.
Dear Governor McCrory,
I am writing to protest the law you have recently signed which guts unemployment insurance benefits. Important studies have shown that many unemployed citizens rely on these benefits for their families as they continue to seek work. The objection raised by many fiscal conservatives that unemployment insurance results in a disincentive to seek work has been shown to be an overblown fear in reputable studies on the matter, such as the July 2010 report presented by Representative Carolyn Maloney of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee. In actuality, unemployment benefits provide a temporary safety net which is especially important for those who had been significant providers for their children and household prior to becoming unemployed.
To that end, downsizing on unemployment benefits is not in line with the conservative belief in family values. It’s also not really in line with the fiscal aspect of conservatism, considering that people on unemployment insurance are often looking hard for jobs. Unemployment insurance supports these people and therefore actually provides fiscally beneficial results once they are able to find work.
At times like this, with our country in a recession, it is crucial that we as a nation and North Carolina as a state continue to take care of our hard-working but temporarily needy families. This law sends a message about the state’s willingness to assist its citizens, and if anything is a disincentive (fiscal or otherwise) for an individual of a state, it is the sense that the larger whole is apathetic to their well-being.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hal Goodtree via Wikimedia Commons