« Previous | Main | Next »

On Air: Should you be paid for not having a job?

Ben James Ben James | 13:46 UK time, Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Unemployment rally in Philadelphia last month (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)The $33 billion of US taxpayers' money about to be spent on extending unemployment benefits has sparked heated debate online in the past few days.

President Obama has been arguing in favour ahead of today's vote in the Senate which looks like it'll finally approve the spending on 2.5 million jobless Americans; or as Obama put it:

... honest, decent, hardworking folks who've fallen on hard times through no fault of their own, and who have nowhere else to turn except unemployment benefits and who need emergency relief to help them weather this economic storm.

The argument online mainly boils down to whether sustaining people who aren't working is government money well spent - and whether there really is "nowhere else to turn".

These are a couple of views from the 6000+ comments on CNN's page on this story ...

Mike SP: "I remember as a child going through weeks with no power and collecting bottles to get by on. My mother tried welfare once and was too ashamed to try again. We came out of that experience much more rounded individuals and I have always ensured that I had legal fall back plans to avoid such a situation ever since."

unemployed44 (who has 2 kids and refers to her husband who lost his job): " ... when he was receiving those bi-weekly unemployment checks it was enough to keep our heads above water. Now we are in danger of losing our electricity, not being able to have enough food on our table, and there is always the possibility of losing our home."

But of course, the sorts of payments you can claim in developed countries are unthinkable for the jobless in many other countries: here are debates in Malaysia and Nigeria on the subject.

Should you be paid for not having a job? Or is it more of a help to people to NOT pay them? Does it encourage drive and entrepreneurship if jobless people are left to help themselves? How should unemployed people be dealt with in your country? 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.