You are on an individual archive page

Click here to return to the main page


Wikipedia does good things. Reward them.

The Daily Links Page
Got a link to submit?
  • New Evidence Proves First Flag Made By Betsy Ross Actually Shirt For Gay Friend
  • Colbert Leads Huntsman in S.C.
  • Polish prosecutor 'shoots self after news conference'
  • Jim Rome leaving ESPN. Bonus: Footage of Jim Rome getting attacked by Jim Everett & crying like a baby
  • Broncos, Tim Tebow stun Steelers in OT, win 29-23 in NFL playoffs
       [ 2 comments ]
  • Video: Remember 2008
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop faces weapon and drug charges
  • Video: Green Bay anchorman loves lamp
  • Video: Rodgers & Raji in the new Discount Double Check ad
  • Jim Rome: out of The Jungle and onto the (horse) farm
  • New IL Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Drain Cleaner
  • Fawn Cuddles Kitten, Hearts Explode
  • The priest who changed the course of history for the worse... by rescuing four-year-old Hitler from drowning in icy river
  • Get Fit or Get Fined: Web Service Offers to Charge You for Skipping the Gym
  • Fine proposed for botching US national anthem
  • Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Edina boutique takes heat for trashing $4,000-plus gowns
  • Law Student Goes 'Homeless by Choice' Touts Value of Gym Club Membership
  • VIDEO: Snoop Dogg on 'The Price Is Right'
  • Flynn and Out
       [ 3 comments ]
  • Don't put Bielema on the firing line
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Your end of the season Vikings comment thread
       [ 2 comments ]
  • Mass. budget motel fights forfeiture by feds
  • Vikings scrutinize downtown Mpls. stadium site near basilica
       [ 2 comments ]
  • Kelly Clarkson criticized on Twitter after singer endorses Ron Paul for President 
  • Political Predictions for 2012
  • We're All Doing The Best We Can
  • Video Of Little Girl Getting Pissed Off About Pink Toys Will Make Your Heart Swell
  • The 10 best sports-related Hitler Reactions of 2011
  • Happy Endings on the housing crisis
  • Why You Just Got New York Times Spam
  • There Will Be No Friday This Week In Samoa
  • The Most Hipster State In The US
  • Online Merchants Home in on Imbibing Consumers
       [ 1 comment ]
  • On islamic fashion
       [ 1 comment ]
  • Sears as Lampert's 'Mismanaged Asset' Loses Customers to Macy's
       [ 1 comment ]
  • 5 social network predictions for 2012
  • Cheetah, chimp star of classic Tarzan movies, dies at 80
  • The Hottest Things on TV in 2011
  • Beer in cans: It's not just for Bud anymore
  • Seven Packers earn Pro Bowl selections
  • The Worst Angry Christmas Tweets In the World
       [ 2 comments ]
  • Minnesota cities try to hold back on rented housing
  • Why Iowa Shouldn't Vote First Anymore
  • Some Falcons Players Upset Drew Brees Went For The Record Last Night
  • We've Identified Jilted Packergirl
  • With its 'W' initiative, ESPN tries to solve the equation of serving women sports fans
       [ 2 comments ]
  • Owner surprised to find cat regularly catches bus
  • Charles Barkley: Skip Bayless Has Surpassed Peter Vecsey As The Biggest Jackass In The History Of Journalism
  • Handicapping the 2011 NFL MVP Race, 2.0

     

  • Empathy & Unemployment

       September 15, 2010

    I was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal about how America is a "nation of entitlements". I think the article has some good points, but I do object to the general attitude towards unemployment benefits. There seems to be this widespread belief that people on unemployment are living high on the hog and enjoying fun, carefree day after day.

    While there's certainly a large part of this country that doesn't actually pay taxes, I think there's also a large part of this country that has never had to deal with any serious financial setbacks. If they had, they'd know what people on unemployment feel like day after day.

    People on unemployment don't really want extensions beyond 99 weeks of benefits. People on unemployment want a good job. The maximum you can get in unemployment benefits varies by state, but it's generally between $350 - $500/week. And remember, that's the maximum, so if you were making, for example, $60,000 your income might be knocked down to just over $18,000. If you've built a $60,000 lifestyle and obligations, you're not going to be living it up, you're going to be making serious sacrifices.

    And that's just the money. When you're unemployed you feel depressed and worthless. Every job you never hear from is another way you feel like there's something seriously wrong with you. Then, you get these jackasses who think you should just get a job at McDonalds - as if McDonalds is in the habit of hiring 30-something marketing managers rather than pimply teenagers. As if McDonalds solves your problems or puts you in a better financial situation.

    Unemployment sucks. What sucks even more is when people think that the government should teach you a lesson about responsibility rather than help you survive. Mind you, this is the same government that gave billions to banks and car companies to bail them out from their own poor decisions. But God forbid we give Joe Six Pack another few thousand dollars so he doesn't end up on the street.

    The comments on the WSJ article are typically mean spirited:

    "I don't like taking government money," says Mr. Hester, but "what else is there?"

    The nagging question, is how much faster would Mr Hester (et al) have found an alternative source of income if there was NO government cash available?

    Entitlement outlays simply must be cut until the programs are viable (assuming we are forever stuck w/SS/Medicare/Medicaid).

    Can you imagine if there was no unemployment insurance at all? Imagine how powerless employees would be. If you were basically SOL if you got laid off what would you do to make sure that didn't happen? And if it did happen, what would you do?

    I also think a lot of people don't understand that unemployment insurance is a true safety net. People want to be on it for as little as possible. However, when times are really tough like right now, as little as possible is going to be longer:

    "A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted late last month found 61% of voters were 'enthusiastic' or 'comfortable' with congressional candidates who support cutting federal spending in general. But 56% expressed the same enthusiasm for candidates who voted to extend unemployment benefits."

    The 17% of voters who answered yes to both questions are exactly why I have no faith whatsoever that we will avoid the entitlement apocalypse. The numbers are even worse for SS & Medicare. Most people who say they want spending cuts are lying. Most candidates that say they will cut spending are lying.

    People don't support unemployment benefit extensions because they're inconsistent. They support them because they understand that people need help right now.

    I did read one really good comment that I think provides a solution I could support:

    We need BALANCE in our endeavors to provide assistance where there is legitimate need, while simultaneously inspiring individual responsibility & independence. In fairness to all, we need education regarding personal financial planning, circumstances enabling independence (such as reduced taxes), and suitable products, while simultaneously collecting ample taxes for the policies & programs necessary for federal service, ensuring that we charitably care for the vulnerable whose needs are unquestionable. We should assess and close all loopholes that enable cunning individuals to demonstrate deceptive illusions of need. Deception is clearly outside the intent of the law.

    Regarding entitlements discussed in this article, we need immediate attention to:

    1) THE EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS BEYOND 26 WEEKS: When INDIDIVUAL unemployment benefits expired at 26 weeks, Congress owed it to the American people to look at HOUSEHOLD income rather than individual job loss when deciding whether unemployed persons were eligible for extensions. When Congress extended individual benefits beyond 26 weeks to households having two heads and one enjoys continued employment capable of sustaining reasonable room and board, thereby enabling the second to stay at home, care for the home, and in some cases the children (thus reducing childcare and other costs associated with employment), our Congress acted irresponsibly. Extension without case assessment was irresponsible with respect to our federal deficit, and with respect to duty. It is an example of wasteful spending. Extensions at expiration should have incorporated a prudent look at each case relative to household need before authorizing further taxpayer expenditures on unemployment entitlements.

    Can we elect this person? I think they've got the right mix of empathy and practicality - qualities that seem to be lacking in both the electorate and the government right now.


    Posted by kris at September 15, 2010 09:59 AM

        The trackback entry for this page is : http://www.inthehat.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/1918

     

    Trackback Entries

     


    Comments

    There are no comments for this story.

     

    yet.

     

     


      page rendered in 0.0389 seconds | ©2004, 2005 Dummocrats.com