Thursday, August 26, 2010

Unemployment -OR- Get a shovel!

i just read a post on FaceBook by someone i don't know who was apparently upset by other people he didn't know who were upset by people they didn't know who were taking advantage of unemployment benefits... (did you follow all that?... good.)

a portion of his rant follows:
I consider myself conservative and responsible, but I have never seen so many ill-informed and downright selfish people in one place in my life as I found at Freedomworks. I find some of your views on unemployment particularly vile, as many of you want to blame high unemployment numbers on the unemployed and many of you want to take away unemployment sole source of income at the moment.
Let me make it perfectly clear, I did not choose to become unemployed, I do not enjoy being unemployed. I and no other unemployed person chose to send all of our manufacturing to China. Unemployment insurance is paid by our former employers on our behalf, it is not welfare, it is there precisely to help working people who have lost their jobs. Anyone who has a problem with that can kiss my butt, go straight to you know where and tell the Devil I sent you. That is all.
being the jerk that i am, i let him know how his response upset me...
i was recently laid off and went on unemployment... i couldn't find work in my field (architeture)... so i looked in related fields (marine arch., engineering, drafting)... no luck... i looked in similar fields (construction mgmt, etc.)... dice... i looked in unrelated fields (store management, personnel, etc.)... some... i looked into menial fields (labor, manufacturing, fry cook)... lots... there's work out there... if you're willing.
i was unemployed for two whole weeks... i got one whole unemployment check... now, i recently got lucky and i got an offer in my field, which i start in two weeks... but, if able and willing, there is no reason to be unemployed for TWO YEARS... the people who are unwilling are the ones we complain about... and if that includes you, you can kiss mine right back... there's a ditch somewhere that needs digging... get a shovel.
the part that many people seem to overlook when discussing unemployment, welfare, or any other social program is that these are intended to HELP people in need... they are not lifestyles... the complaint many have is not the existence of the government program, but the abuse of the government program... i am (temporarily) working for someone who is deeply involved in public housing... he has experience in public office... he works with, and for, people who are unemployed, on welfare, receive food stamps, etc... he is an advocate for those in need... and even he says the government throws away money on them... for example, in one housing area, the people living there receive free homes, utility stipends (which are not required to be used for utilities), food allowances, and a dozen other government assistance programs, not to mention the regular building maintenance and support at the government's expense... each year, it would be financially cheaper to buy each of them a house, give it to them, and walk away than it is to continue to provide them the constant support they demand... and we're not talking one-room shacks... we're talking 2BR, 1-1/2 bath, 1000 square feet, A/C, full kitchen, washer/dryer hookups, each with all the amenities... not the Taj Mahal, but we are talking free, here!...

another example he cites is an elderly lady he once met... in all probability, she needed the government assistance... her husband had passed, children moved out, no savings to speak of, no applicable skill, health issues... she needs the assistance... however, her children that moved out, moved across the street into public housing... her grand-daughter moved in right next door (in public housing)... and the grand-mother just couldn't be prouder of her family... every single one of them were using the system to get that monthly check for doing nothing other than saying "i want it"...

anecdotal evidence for and against are everywhere... while it would be heartless and unfair to put people out onto the streets, it is equally unfair to take working people's earnings to pay for those who refuse to earn their own way... at some point, by providing a lifestyle without accountability, you have removed the impetus to be self-reliant and self-sufficient...

this, good sir, is what we desperately do not need!

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