NPR logo How To Mend The Social Safety Net


How To Mend The Social Safety Net

This week, we'll be reporting on the state of the Social Safety Net. One economist we're talking to, Alan Blinder at Princeton, says it's hard to imagine what 9% unemployment will do to the country. That's the number he's projecting. We haven't seen jobless rates like that since the Great Depression. As it is, he says we only currently offer unemployment benefits to roughly a third of people who don't have jobs. Losing your job, in America, also means losing your health insurance. And joblessness along with mounting medical bills can lead to homelessness.

How should we mend the Social Safety Net? What more can and should the government do? What role should private charities play? We want your ideas — your solutions — to help during a long-term economic downturn.