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#ConfabNE brings together opinions from all five New England states and readers of 12 daily newspapers. We want to know and share what you think about questions important to all Americans.

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Week of March 30, 2020: Displaced by disaster
On March 19, as layoffs were starting to increase, The Washington Post quoted Schmidt Futures labor economist Martha Gimbel as likening the problems to holes in our national safety net. “Workers expect unemployment insurance to be there for them in a downturn. A bunch of workers are about to find out that it’s not, “ Gimbel said. “This is a real-life nightmare. Every hole we allowed to grow in our social safety net is hitting us all at once.”

New England has not been immune to job losses. According to the Associated Press, unemployment claims were up last week more than 3,000% over the prior week in Rhode Island, Maine and New Hampshire. Massachusetts was up by 1,887% over the same time period and Connecticut and Vermont were both up over 400%.

Social safety nets have long been a topic that Americans are divided over. Going beyond partisan talking points, what do you believe the role of government should be in times of growth and in times of crisis, like now? Should the burden be solely on government's shoulders, or should corporations lend more of a hand?

Tell us below. Responses will be published online on April 9.
What financial safety nets do you believe should be in place? How much responsibility lies with the government? How much with corporations who are laying off employees? And how has all of this impacted you and your family? *
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What town or city do you live in? *
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