Less for More

As the unemployment lines are growing longer across the country, the jobless are discovering a painful lesson of Reaganomics: fewer of them are eligible for unemployment benefits, and many of those who do receive benefits are getting smaller checks. Begun in 1935, under the auspices of the Social Security Act, unemployment compensation is funded by a combination of federal and state payroll taxes imposed on employers. Though benefits vary, most states give eligible workers a maximum of 26 weeks of unemployment pay. The checks, which are based on workers' previous earnings and length...

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