I’d better explain something about how business and society work. The success of a business is wrung from the hard work and sweat of the workers. A business’ profits were earned with the labor of their hands.

Those workers are also somebody’s customers. When a business furloughs workers, it loses customers; loses sales, and profits. Bankruptcy follows. Businesses fail.

Gutting the economy craters the tax base. Then there’s no money for the roads and bridges to ship a company’s goods. Also no money for police, fire departments, schools, libraries, parks.

Bad enough that hundreds (thousands) of Mainers still can’t access their unemployment benefits, months after the Coronavirus pandemic hit. Those people weren’t shirkers or layabouts. They were good workers, with families.

There are horror stories of good folks who have tried to navigate the labyrinthine incompetence, massive indifference and nonsensical cruelty of the unemployment application process. They wait weeks and months for a response; their bills mount ever higher.

Now the extra $600 per week going to those who have gotten their unemployment benefits is set to expire. How long did they have to wait for these payments? How much back rent do they owe?

Some people think it’s sound economics to “encourage” folks to go back to work (work that isn’t there) by making people poorer. That stance is macro-economically and morally bankrupt.

I urge Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to support the extension of unemployment benefits. For thousands of Mainers. For their families. For all of us.

Steve Turner, Mechanic Falls

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