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Letters: A jobless joke

Letters: A jobless joke
People look for job opportunities and wait for a chance to speak to a representative of the Employment Development Department by phone at the Verdugo Jobs Center in Glendale. (Mark Boster, Los Angeles Times)

Re "222,000 in state to lose jobless aid," Dec. 25

So, Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky claim that funding extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless would hurt their chances of getting hired.

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By that logic, it would necessarily follow that the homeless should not be given rent subsidies for an apartment because it would hinder them from buying a house someday.

I get it now.

Jerry Lasnik

Thousand Oaks

Extending unemployment aid is a terrible idea. The impending end of aid is a terrific motivator for the long-term unemployed to take terribly difficult but necessary steps. This may entail moving to an area with a better economy, temporary family separation, retraining, seeking a lower position, risking dwindling savings or drastically reducing spending.

With unemployment aid and limited savings or retirement funds, some will try to wait for the economy to improve so they can get back into the job market at a comparable salary, job and location. But as the months of joblessness go by, this becomes less tenable. Skills atrophy, self-discipline lags and employers question the motivation and skills of applicants who haven't worked in a year or more.

Unfortunately, as it is politically untenable to hold tough, our elected officials may fold, sentencing more Americans to long-term unemployment.

Hal Bookbinder

Oak Park

"Waiting for the Barbarians," a wonderful novel by J.M. Coetzee, tells of an isolated outpost fearing an attack by a barbarian horde that never happens.

This article, on the loss of jobless funds by more than 1 million unemployed Americans, reminds me in some sense of Coetzee's novel. But I'm afraid that we are no longer waiting for the barbarians — they have already breached the gates.

The enormous gulf between the incredibly rich and the rest of us makes me wonder why we haven't taken to the streets.

Russell Blinick

Encino

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"222,000 in state to lose jobless aid" — that was the headline I saw Christmas morning, and it totally ended the joy that day should have brought.

I hope Santa had 535 lumps of coal for each voting member of Congress.

David Mathews

Downey

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