Unemployment and Unemployment Benefits

(See Jobs also.)

Unemployment is a sad state of human affairs. It has different sources.
It comes about from acts of God (tornadoes, floods, earthquakes). These in turn create unintended work- go figure.
It can happen because of illness.
It can come about by obsolescence. "Buggy whip manufacturers" is the classic idiom.
It is difficult to force consumers to buy buggy whips.
Automation can cause unemployment.
Some automation prevents exposure by humans to life-threatening or life-shortening conditions.
Other automation increases productivity. A bull dozer can outwork a man with a shovel.
This generally adds to the wealth and betterment of the nation.
Some automation is simple greed.
The most egregious example on the horizon is self-driving vehicles.
Driving vehicles is the largest employer in America. 3,000,000 workers.
What can be gained? Not paying health benefits? With Universal Coverage that should no longer be a concern
Simple greed? A robot can drive until the cows come home versus eight hours.
And how exactly does a robot fuel their vehicle?
How do they help stranded motorists?
Simple greed is likely a good answer since corporations won't be liable for the expenses of unemployment.
Stake out some territory now. "NO robot drivers.!"
Someday when population stabilizes and there's a shortage of workers, it might make sense.

Greed on the part of corporations who source jobs overseas? What a frivolous idea...
Make the corporations pay the unemployment benefits in addition to the unemployment insurance.
That would make them think twice.

Cheap imports cause unemployment.
Tariffs are out of the question unless one desires a trade war.
Maybe importers need additional customs duties in categories that replace goods made by American workers.
Another option is to rigorously enforce sanctions and penalties against subsidies by foreign governments.
A woman manufacurer of the glass balls used to agitate shake-up spray cans of paint
was on TV and stated in addition to costs of manufacturing, it cost her twenty-nine cents per pound
to ship them from San Fransisco to LA.
Then she stated she could BUY them from Shanghai for the SAME twenty-nine cents per pound!
Why would she even manufacture them if that's he case.
The Chinese can't manufacture them for zero cents per pound as appears here.
Serious subsidies at work.
Chinese can mail items bought on Ebay from Hong Kong cheaper than American sellers can mail it across town.
What is wrong with that picture?
The American Government is obligated by law to attack subsidies on behalf of its workers and doesn't.
Why not?
Because subsidies allow American corporations the means to profit more than they would without foreign subsidies.
The American Worker is twice the loser.
Except glass beads are cheaper? No, they'll be marked up to full retail.

Regarding unemployment benefits.
Technically they're unemployment insurance paid by the employee and employer.
Since unemployment is more often the employer's fault,
shouldn't they share a proportionate share of the burden?
Sounds fair.
Unempoyment benefits are seldom sufficient to cover expenses.
What if employers had to pay the cost of unemploying someone (except in cases of seasonal work)?
This coupled with unemployment insurance would allow greater payments.
That might be a partial incentive not to unemploy people, but what about incentives to get back to work?
How about if an ex-employee started with a set, larger amount the first week and then it was reduced two percent each week?
This would allow the same amount of money to cover twice as long a period (a year insted of 26 weeks)
or it could allow twice as large a benefit initially for the same 26 weeks.
A benefit twice as big would lessen the shock of unemployment.
A dwindling benefit would provide a reminder each week an end was coming.
Human nature being what it is, people are often shocked when the 26-week period ends
and not only from lack of money ("I was going to look in the 'help wanted' tomorrow after I went fishing.").
All this could be done for similar money, provide an incentive not to fire,
provide a tangible incentive and constant reminder to look for work and possibly provide a savings if managed correctly.

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