Unemployment Benefits For Filthy Rich — The headlines last week were filled with outrage over the revelation that former Philadelphia School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has filed for $573 a week in unemployment compensation, the maximum amount in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Ackerman, who was contracted to receive a $348,000 salary through 2014, was bought out of it for a $905,000 lump-sum payment plus $83,000 for unused vacation and personal days.
In other words, her job performance was not exactly satisfactory.
Leaving aside the point that the buyout means that Ms. Ackerman is being employed to basically sit on her butt and watch TV for the next three years, why should anyone be able to get $573 a week in unemployment comp?
Is it to allow our dainty betters to live in the style to which they have become accustomed?
Sorry, that’s not the way most of us think the social safety net is supposed to work.
The idea of an unemployment safety net is that a working stiff with a run of bad luck can still feed his kids and keep a roof over their heads until he finds another job. Nobody is against that.
But if you’ve been pulling down a good income and lose your job you presumably have assets that you can start selling off before you come to the rest of us — or at least to those business owners still trying to save their existing employees — with your hand out.
My proposal — cap the benefits at $150 per week; and add a $50-per month SNAP (food stamp) card, along with an exemption from the residential property tax.
Also, cut the time for receiving them from 99 weeks to 16 weeks.
The cost of unemployment insurance would drop drastically for employers. This means it will cost them less to hire people which means they will start hiring people and very likely increase their pay.
What could possibly be the objection?
Government would lose power?