Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Considering the American Jobs Act

I've been thinking about the American Jobs Act. I've been trying to decide whether it’s a good plan or not. President Obama was impassioned when he presented it. There are some good ideas in the act. But I wonder about their implementation.

One idea that I thought was good was wage insurance for the long term unemployed working volunteer or temporary jobs, and for people getting job training. These are all good ways to transition into a new career or to update skills. I think what stops a lot of people from doing these things is financial pressure. Having some money coming in would ease the pressure. My concern though is whether or not this assistance will be available to anyone who desires it. What if someone's unemployment benefits have already run out? What if someone was ineligible for unemployment? Can they take advantage of this wage insurance?

Another good idea was to help long term unemployed persons start their own businesses. Some of them may have wanted to start a business but financial concerns stopped them. Knowing that they can get help may encourage them to pursue their goal. Again, I have the same questions about implementation. Will all long term unemployed persons be eligible for this assistance?

If you read the act, you will find a section which talks about how it would help women. There are statistics for the women who support their families. I'm all for anything that helps women. But let's not forget women without minor children or single women who are childless. There are enough government programs which ignore the needs of this segment of society. There's no need for another one.

These are only a few of the concerns I have for the American Jobs Act. I'm not sure how good a plan it is but it is the best one available. And something needs to be done to address the stubbornly high unemployment rate. So it is my hope that Congress passes it.

What do you think of the American Jobs Act? Will it create more jobs? Is there a better alternative?

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