The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities a progressive think tank thats run by Progressive Economist Robert Greenstein in Washington, is a progressive think tank and economist I actually respect. Even though ideologically we are pretty different but their research and facts are pretty good and they have broad respect.
CBPP analyzed the House Republican Unemployment Insurance extension plan and apparently in it, has a provision that requires unemployed workers in order to collect Unemployed Insurance, has to have a High School Diploma or GED or in class in order to get their diploma or GED in order to be eligible for UI.
Their analyst doesn’t like that provision. I don’t have a problem with it, because good luck getting a good job today without a college degree, unless you’re an athlete or entertainer. Let alone without a high school diploma or GED. I have no problem paying people in order to accomplish those things. And even extending their UI, so they can accomplish that. But then take it a step further and get a college degree or vocational degree or get job training. These are good investments so these people can go back to work.
Without a high school diploma or GED, unemployed workers will either be collecting Unemployment Insurance indefinitely, because they aren’t qualified for the jobs they are applying for or are competing with people that are a lot more qualified or going to have to take a job that doesn’t pay their bills and end up being on other forms of public assistance. Like Public Housing, Medicaid, Food Assistance, etc. But if they get themselves a good education, they’ll be in much better shape to not only get a job but a good job, that pays their bills. And allows them to live in a good neighborhood and so they can become self- sufficient. This is what a safety net is supposed to be about and why its called a safety net. To catch people who have fallen down and help them back up.
This is what we should be doing with Unemployment Insurance. Transforming unemployment offices, into employment offices. Where yes, unemployed workers can get help paying their bills while they are unemployed. But also help getting back to work with job training and then followed by job placement or just job placement for well-qualified unemployed workers.