Probably the majority of us have been unemployed at one time of another. We can all sympathize with those who are employable but unemployed because of the economy or other reasons. We also understand and sympathize that during recessions it may take a long time to find employment. However, we also understand that some will take advantage of the situation and not seriously look for employment. This is a financial burden on everyone and we must find a way to both assist the needy while at the same time discourage those who would like a free ride. A proposal that will require the unemployed to work for additional unemployment pay is discussed below. This proposal will not reduce the cost of aiding the unemployed however, it will require work at minimum wages for their unemployment checks, thus encouraging job-hunting for better wages and allow the Counties to accomplish tasks that might not otherwise get done by putting the unemployed to work.
The Re-employment proposal.
This Proposal would modify or eliminate all previous Federal Acts providing Federal funds for the unemployed. It applies solely to the healthy unemployed, those who are capable of performing work. It does not replace any Federal Acts whose goals are to meet special needs. Applicants will be required to certify that they are receiving no other Federal Funds.
Within 60 days of the date of approval, unemployment payments shall extend for 26 weeks. For Federal assistance beyond this period, the Work for Wages program as defined below will provide the only federal support for the unemployed. Persons previously unemployed for longer than 26 weeks shall receive no further unemployment payments unless applying for the Work for Wages program.
Work for Wages Program.
Federal assistance to the unemployed for lengthy periods shall be provided through a work program run by his County of residence. By having each County administer the program, two objectives will be achieved. First, each County best knows its needs and can administer the program more efficiently and effectively. Second, by establishing payments at the minimum wage level there will be little incentive to remain in the program when the job market can provide better jobs. The Federal government will subsidize this program as defined below.
Participation in the Work for Wages program.
The unemployed who wish to participate in the Work for Wages program may apply to their local County offices. This is not a mandatory program; however, those that do not wish to participate will receive no Federal funds beyond the 26-week period described above. Each County may only accept applicants from the unemployed who reside within their County.
Payment for work performed shall be at the minimum wage scale in existence at the time. Payment will be paid only for the hours worked. Payments will not be paid for sick time or for any reason other than work performed. For those with dependant children their payment shall be at the minimum wage plus 10 % for each child. Only one family member may draw this dependant children 10 %. Nothing in this proposal precludes State or County or private charities from providing further assistance.
Each County will organize this Payment for Wages program to fulfill needs of the County.
Each County will receive $1000 per person currently unemployed within the County at the time of Enactment. These funds are to be used to establish the program and provide for initial payments. Each County will directly pay each participant depending on the level of his participation. Payment will be at the minimum wage scale as modified above. At the close of each month, each County will submit a request for reimbursement to the federal government based upon the money paid out plus 15 % for administrative costs.
The Federal government will provide the funding; however, the administration of the program will be left to the counties. Still, the government must recognizes its fiduciary responsibility and therefore require that each County prepare a quarterly report published in the local media and a copy to their Congressional representative that describes how these funds are being administered. It will be the responsibility of that Representative and the Citizens of the County to assure that the funds are effectively used.