Commentary

Veteran reporter blasts Guv, lawmakers over unemployment insurance cuts

unemploymentVeteran Raleigh News & Observer political reporter Rob Christensen, a confirmed centrist who has sometimes frustrated progressives down through the years with his extremely high tolerance for conservative policy blather, is right on the money this morning with a new and powerful takedown of the state’s Scrooge-like unemployment insurance policies.

In addition to explaining and dissecting the state’s U.I. system and the recent conservative-designed changes that have made it the “stingiest…in the country” in succinct terms, Christensen takes an important  extra step and speaks from the heart in the conclusion to his essay:

“So why are our political leaders behaving this way when most of their constituents punch a clock or fill out a time card?

Here are several thoughts. Businesses bankroll most of the legislator’s campaigns and finance a battery of lobbyists on Jones Street. There is almost no one to speak for people who get laid off.

There is also a view among some conservatives that unemployment insurance is, in the words of the Civitas Institute, “paying people not to work.’’

This view, I might add, is contrary to my life experience. Three of my grandparents worked in a textile mill. My father was a factory worker. I worked in a textile mill and other manufacturing plants in my early years.

I have known lots of hard working people – family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues – who have been laid off. It is a terrifying experience. You don’t know how you will take care of your family or meet your mortgage payments. Often your self-esteem takes a beating. The modest amount of unemployment insurance doesn’t even begin to cover living expenses.

There are apparently some people who believe the American worker is a slug just waiting for a chance to sit on his or her duff. I think they are wrong. I believe most Americans just want a chance to earn a decent living.”

Click here to read and share the entire column. It deserves it.

2 Comments


  1. LayintheSmakDown

    August 26, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Quite a sketchy article when you take into account who the author is. Isn’t Rob the one who somehow missed Rielle and John Edwards’ “thing” way back when. When you are beaten to a story by the National Enquirer despite being an embedded journalist with the campaign your credibility (much like the drive by media as a whole) is permanently destroyed.

  2. Ted

    August 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Rather than provide counterargument to his points, you go with the character assassination route … bravo!!! Trolling the other side is tiresome, isn’t it?

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