I am writing in response to Jeremy Schwartz's op-ed defense of extending unemployment benefits ("Unemployment benefits are not like welfare," Dec. 21). He babbles on about the virtues of continuing the give unemployment benefits and tries to decry those who see these benefits as another form of welfare.

Mr. Schwartz is a professor of economics at Loyola University, but not a very good psychologist. I personally know of several people receiving unemployment benefits, and they have all have told me that it would be foolish to seriously look for employment as long as they can get a free handout. Some of them have told me that this feeling is common among those people receiving such benefits. Why work when you can get a handout?

People are capable of being virtuous, but we are not virtuous by nature. Professor Schwartz needs to get out of his classroom and live in the real world for a change. Much of out present predicament is caused by Ivory Tower thinkers who have a lot of book smarts but no real understanding of human nature.

Donald Frost, Essex