So, I had my first class. Our professor is something of a surprise. He apparently directs some sort of hedgefund. He didn't share that with the class. I learned that through the infamous series of tubes. To shield myself, and him, I won't say much--other than that he managed to offend me in the first class. That said--so far I've been pleasantly surprised by Macro. There seems to be general agreement (at least between my professor and his textbook, Baumol) that certain social welfare programs are actually very helpful.
Unemployment insurance is definitely one of those things. As Baumol defines it, "a government program that replaces some of the wages lost by eligible workers who lose their jobs" these economic outflows help prop up aggregate demand in times of recession, and help even out swings in the economy. Baumol also points out that on the chart of Growth rate of real GDP the tempermental swings in growth are much mitigated after Keynsian use of monetary and fiscal policy take over post 1950.
These are all things I've heard economists talk about extensively, usually negatively.