Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Neighbor on Unemployment...

You might think she was on vacation.  It has been a year and her benefits have been extended another 20 weeks.  Five more months of paid holiday.  She is enjoying this time and has made great use of it.
    She has painted her entire house, got new curtains and a new dish washer.  She recently got a dog to keep her company.  I once asked her about going back to school, maybe learn a new skill, brush up on this or that.  She is just so busy that she can't find the time, she says!  Only two or three more months and she will have to start looking for work!  Well, unless her unemployment checks get extended again!
   It must be a good deal.  She makes more on unemployment than I do on Social Security!  She does have expenses that I do not have.  She has a brand new car!
   I can only think there must be a reason for this that I do not understand.
   I know there is no unemployment fund.  When I was an employer what was paid into this fund was minimal, less than $15 dollars a week.  That has to be long gone by now.  Every unemployment check is borrowed money!
   I don't think much happens in this world because it is "nice", the right think to do or even earned.
I think of our economy as one big machine that needs a lot of grease, a lot of maintenance.  Stopping this food chain at any place has a huge effect down the line.
   I suppose she buys milk and I know she buys beer with her unemployment check.  That helps support the local store, the delivery drivers, the oil industry, some more benefits for someone else, the bottle industry and lots more.  The automobile industry and bankers are happy with monthly check for her new car.
   The source of the money is not the critical thing.  It is important that it gets spent.  It is grease to this monstrous machine.
   Truthfully, I don't understand this.  I don't really understand a damned thing.
   We have lost our pride and maybe America isn't necessary anymore?  We don't make anything anymore.
Our manufacturing plants are shuttered all across the country.  The Space Shuttle is grounded and we now have to rent space from the Russians.  Cuba has a better medical system than we do.  Everything that we have worked for is being whittled away.
   Much of it is our own fault.  We did this to ourselves.  Every purchase from Walmart is a statement that we want cheap things for cheap.  We have no concept of working hard for something good.
   This is one of the reasons the art world is collapsing around us.
   We have no sense of unity at all.  We want ours and we want it now!
   I think we are rats caught in a maze.  We tear and claw at each other in our struggle to get to the top.
We subtract from the least of us because it is the easiest meal.  We destroy living wage jobs, union benefits and pensions.  We steal from Social Security and without CODA are out to destroy it.  We want to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.
   There is money out there.  There are fewer rats at the top but they have accumulated most of it.  Why there is a fear of wanting 3% of them is beyond me?
   Frankly, I think all of this gives us a bad attitude.  I think my neighbor knows she is grease in a machine.
I think she knows that any job she might get will pay less than she had.  The old job was destroyed along with the "American Dream".  She is discouraged and on vacation from it all.  Maybe we are too?

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5 comments:

Constance Stanza Extravaganza Extraordinaire said...

Ted says that in Canada any earnings that you have are deducted from an unemployment income, so there's no incentive to find a part-time income. There is simply no way anyone can can buy a new car on an unemployment income.

Did they not check your friend's credit rating and worthiness before they sold her the car on HP? Who knows what else she is getting away with? This reminds me of a television interview I saw in South Africa trying to deal with this situation - the woman interviewed said, "I want it, I take it". Enough said.

A Reuters report I've just received states that U.S. lawmakers are close to a last-minute $3 trillion deal that would raise the U.S. borrowing limit!!!

freebird said...

My son-in-law told me that there are no taxes on unemplyment so you end up with a lot in your pocket even if it is a bit less than you'd earn. He should know, he's unemployed yet again and waiting for his old job rather than looking for a new one. To be fair, he has saved much of his pay so he can keep going but I'm sure the unemployment is a huge incentive as he loves nothing more than something for free. I'd say the system is broken. My sister is moving to Japan to live with her son. Her SS just wasn't enough to live on in California even with a part-time job. She went over the limit on earnings so had to pay some back and can't afford to keep up the house! What is wrong with this picture? (OH,did you know she'll pay $35 a month for health insurance in Japan rather than more than $100 here on Medicare).

AutumnLeaves said...

Jer, I didn't even have to read this whole post to get fired up. My unemployment benefits are $215 per week. I have a total of $6000 available in benefits. After taxes, I suspect I'll be lucky to get $150/wk. I haven't received a benefit yet and will do my first certification on 8.3.11. My pay, after taxes, was $1,167 twice a month. So? $2334 per month versus $600 a month? Scary and I'm not sure how we'll make it. We have two car pymts. (we needed two cars since we were both working), car insurance, house rent, utilities, food, miscellaneous necessities, an old Dell bill we're still paying on...I can't imagine how this woman is doing what she is doing. My benefits will run out in about 6 to 7 months tops. I've applied to a good 7 or 8 jobs since my company sold and my last day of work on 7.15.11. I haven't heard "boo" from any of them. I've enrolled in school but don't know if I can get any more school loans. I still owe $350/mo. on my BBA school loans. I've been paying on them since 1998 and still owe $28,000. I guess I've never learned how to work the system. Or I have enough pride and self-respect not to feel entitled. But something is rotten in Denmark...er...the U. S. of A. By the way, taxes on unemployment are there if you choose to have them removed. I did because I don't want to owe money in the end.

stonepost said...

Abused or not, unemployment is NECESSARY. It is an essential part of this "food chain". It is like we are playing a monopoly game where one player owns all the real estate. Wherever we land it will cost us. I am just saying it is ALL
borrowed money! and with the "tea party people" one of the easiest things to cut back on! ALL the graphs are the same. Our biggest debt is the war effort and our biggest loss has been in the tax cuts to the wealthy. If anyone was serious about the National Debt they would look there.

Debby said...

I do believe that we ought to make people show that they are actively looking for work to continue collecting funds. I know about unemployment. I lost my own job two years ago. But I work part time, and I go to college, and I will, in the end be better for losing the job. A lot of people just don't seem able to plan for their futures anymore. The train wreck looms in front of it, and they continue to chug straight for it. I don't understand it. There are taxes on unemployment, Freebird. If you are in the United States, you pay taxes on your unemployment.