Letters to the Editor: Pondering a life of crime if the $600 unemployment benefit expires

A pedestrian wearing a mask walks past a board advertising a job opening in Seattle on June 4.
(Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

To the editor: As a stand-up comedian and personal trainer who works in New York City, I have jokes but no stage, and clients but no gym. And, as of Friday, barring a last-minute deal, I have two children and no $600-a-week disaster relief (“What happens to the U.S. economy if the $600 federal unemployment benefit ends?” July 22).

In other words, the big question will be, what type of crime should I go into?

Drugs can be lucrative but, like any business, it takes time to build a clientele. A hit-man gig could be exciting and fruitful, but I’m forgetful and sloppy and bound to leave behind some trace DNA. That immediately takes art thief, bank robber and carjacker out of the running as well. My guilt-ridden conscience makes organ trafficking impractical, and my nonworking printer makes a Ponzi scheme a complete unreality.

I guess I will just have to hope and pray that the government extends the relief to mitigate the ongoing, ever-expanding disaster.


Andrew Ginsburg, Southport, Conn.


To the editor: It would be nice to see more factual data on the claim that some employers make that “former employees won’t return to work because they make more on unemployment.”

A claimant must certify each time a claim is filed that she or he looked for work and did not refuse employment if offered. It is hard for me to imagine that there are large numbers of people who are lying on their continuing applications to stay on the dole.

It appears more likely that there are people who want to make the unemployed suffer for some made-up reason.

John Thompsen, Los Angeles