Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

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By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

EDITOR'S NOTE | Jamie Stewart: To work or not to work


Last updated 5/16/2020 at 12:57pm | View PDF

With this pandemic still in the headlines, and the Governor’s stay at home order still in place, people are getting antsy to get back outside, living their lives fully, without hinderances. Well, I think that we are a long way from that right now. Even when businesses start to open up, schools gear up to open back up in August, and our beloved sports teams are back in action, there will still be certain precautions and requirements in place for awhile.

This really is just common sense. The worst thing we could do is step out too early and see a recurrence of the onslaught of virus cases.

I agree with the governor on this point, emphasizing the need to protect the public while slowly getting back to some sort of normalcy.

But, as with my conversation with local farmer Randy Bergman the other day, the governor and the State of California have really let common sense fly out the window when it came to this COVID-19 unemployment program.

There are people right now who are making more money sitting at home than when they were at their respective jobs. With a record number of unemployment claims being filed, the state is shelling out millions of dollars to people who are either laid off or not working because of the virus situation. I feel that there is merit to a program that helps workers who cannot work because their places of business are temporarily closed, or their hours get cut in half like my wife’s did.

But, with the extra $600 given out, and the easier eligibility requirements in place, this is another case of big government pandering to masses. Instead of penalizing people for keeping their jobs and going to work every day, it would be a great idea to make it more attractive for employees to keep working instead of waiting for that magic money card.

Jamie Stewart is editor of The Shafter Press. The opinions expressed are those of the writer, and not necessarily those of the paper or its management.


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