I’ve been trying to stir up discussion in the comments all week, so thank you to all who have responded so far. Here’s one more chance at a really interesting money topic.

This article shows statistics of millionaires collecting unemployment. It is the perfect illustration of how we don’t even pretend the laws of this country are fair. I can’t believe millionaires are filing for unemployment and getting hundreds of dollars every week!

They should be getting thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a week.*

*Did I trick you? I hope so, because that was my intent. hehe

Unemployment is intended to help people bridge the gap between jobs when they are out of work. If someone loses his job, he files for unemployment and gets paid a percentage of his original salary as he is looking for new employment. Then when this person finds a job, his unemployment checks stop coming. That’s right; the government pays you to not work, and then stops paying you when you find a job. Unemployment? Sounds more like FUNEMPLOYMENT!

Question: Where does the government get the money to pay unemployment benefits?

Answer: Taxes. The same place the government gets all their money (when they aren’t printing it)

If a person has $1,000,000 of taxable income in a year, he will have paid $327,644 in federal income tax. If he lives somewhere with state income tax, add a few thousand more dollars to that tax burden. Then he’s probably paying property tax, definitely paying sales tax on anything he buys, and more. He probably pays close to $400,000 in taxes in a single year.

Every state has different unemployment benefits, but the average according to fileunemployment.org is $410 a week for 67.33 weeks. That’s a maximum of $27,605 in benefits, paid out over about 15 months. Someone making about $50,000 a year and paying well under $10,000 in federal income tax would get the exact same benefits as the millionaire.

If the purpose of unemployment is to provide income to help people bridge the gap between jobs, doesn’t a millionaire who has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into the system every year deserve a bigger cut than $410 a week? You might argue that the millionaire doesn’t need the money (which may or may not be true), but aren’t necessity and fairness two different things? What do you think?

P.S. I do believe unemployment is good and necessary, but I also believe people should have to do more than just apply for jobs to receive benefits. That discussion, however, is for another day my beautiful thousandaires. Today I wanna know what you think about increasing benefits for those that pay higher taxes.