The daily grind: Arkansas races to the bottom in unemployment benefits | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The daily grind: Arkansas races to the bottom in unemployment benefits

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 9:45 AM


The legislature Monday completed action on legislation to reduce the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits from 20 to 16 weeks. The bill also will dock workers for two weeks of severance pay should they happen to get some.

It's but one of many measures this session aimed at grinding the poor, under the theory that protecting corporations and the wealthy will eventually trickle down benefits on others. Other standout proposals include a state cap on benefits for permanent total disability.

The unemployment legislation will move Arkansas to the fifth-stingiest state in unemployment benefits. A recent review by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities puts Florida on the bottom at 12 weeks, with Missouri and North Carolina at 13 and Georgia at 14. Sen. Jim Hendren, a sponsor, said he was hopeful employers' savings — they are also getting a tax cut in the bill — would pass along savings to employees in higher wages.


If grinding the poor is good for Arkansas, why pay ANY unemployment compensation? Or provide medical coverage to working poor? Or feed their children? All these things are disincentives to honest toil, right?

Look at labor law for the wisdom of building an economy on punishing workers. Arkansas passed a Right to Work law 60 years ago. We've zoomed up to 48th in per capita income since then.

Tags: , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • The LR chamber does the public's business. Is it accountable? Blue Hog on the case.

    Matt Campbell, lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to Jay Chessir, director of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mayor Mark Stodola related to the publicity stunt yesterday  built around withdrawing from the mayor's rash pronouncement that the city would seek an Amazon HQ2 project even though the city  didn't meet the company's criteria.
    • Oct 20, 2017
  • Donald Trump declares war on Hillary Clinton's marriage

    Donald Trump gave a remarkable interview to the New York Times yesterday in which he declared open season on the marriage of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton's past infidelity. Seems like a loser, but I've been wrong before.
    • Oct 1, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation