Should unemployment benefits be permanent?
The Obama Administration is sending signals it may further extend unemployment benefits, which some estimate will run out for about 1.5 million Americans by the end of the year.
If Unemployment Insurance (the official program name) is so important, would it be better to extend the program permanently? In essence, citizens would have a choice–work or receive unemployment (while credibly searching for work) in addition to state TANF funds where eligible.
Phillipe Van Parijs has famously argued for a basic income. But critics might argue that such a program discourages work or goes beyond the basic obligation of government to citizens. Many of these arguments were behind the welfare reforms of 1996.
What do readers of The Public Philosopher think?