I would like to comment on a statement made in the March 11 front-page article about the new state unemployment claims system. Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Colin Ellis reported that “high-ranking officials … (were) espousing an attitude that unemployment insurance is ‘welfare.’ ”

I was an owner of a small, family-run business for 30 years and paid into the unemployment system all that time. After selling the business, I worked for another 10 years before I found myself unemployed for the first time in my life. I was 56 years old.

I never regretted or resented the premiums I paid when I owned a business, and I was grateful for the benefits when I needed them. I accessed my unemployment insurance for about six weeks. It was the scariest time in my life.

Unemployment benefits are a form of insurance – look it up if you don’t understand what that means. Insurance is not welfare.

To subject the unemployed to this Kafkaesque hell of non-service is criminal.

John Schaberg

Portland


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