If extended unemployment be accepted as the norm for a considerable portion of the population, it makes sense to insure against this hazard. Indeed, prudent people have long believed it wise to set something aside against a “rainy day,” i.e., against some unfavorable circumstance beyond their control. When government undertakes such a program, it takes over at least a portion of the responsibility which before that fell upon the individual, family, or, perhaps, the local community or neighbors. From an economic point of view, government provided unemployment compensation amounts to paying people not to work. It is a highly uneconomic, or diseconomic, practice. This is made more impractical, if that is possible, by taking the contribution to the program from the employer and placing no penalty upon the worker while he receives the compensation. The only check on it is that the compensation must end after a specified period of time.
Clarence B. Carson, A Basic History of the United States, Volume 5: The Welfare State 1929-1985, pg.78