04 December, 2010

To Extend Unemployment Benefits or Not?

This is such a huge dilemma in America right now, and I have to confess I am torn on which side to line up on. There are people who are very close to me who are unemployed and about to see their benefits run out. I feel for them... I worry for them. I worry for my own brother who has been unable to find a job in over a year. He has taken a job, only to see it cut as well, and he is at the end of his rope. I understand the pain and frustration of those who are seeking work very well. Yet... there is the other side of the coin. There are many who simply will not work as long as they can sit at home and be paid to do so. Just last night I was chatting with a friend on Facebook who said that his company had been trying to fill 10 jobs, paying better than $13 an hour with benefits, for more than 2 months. He said that hundreds had applied, interviewed and the job was offers made to many people, still, they have 4 of those 10 jobs open. The problem is that many of these people refused the job, because it would cost them their unemployment benefits. They would rather sit at home and be paid for as long as they possibly can before they take another job. OK, for some of these people, this job might have been less than what they used to make, but sometimes we have to suck it up and take the job that pays us less money. What if this bill is not signed? What if benefits are not extended? I'll bet some people will be wishing they had taken that $13 an hour job then. I've noticed here in Galesburg, people who used to have jobs that paid them very well, now working in fast food restaurants or Walmart. I can guarantee that they'd rather still be working for Maytag or Butler Buildings... but they have taken lessor paying jobs because lessor pay is far better than no pay. That's a no brainer.

Again, I'm really torn... people I know have diligently been looking for work, and it simply is not there for them. Yet the big problem in this comes down to this simple fact... The money has to come from somewhere! Where is is coming from? It is coming from our children's future. The Government is borrowing, and borrowing and borrowing to try to keep the plates spinning... but sooner or later they are going to fall. I fear that time is upon us.  Instead of looking at "the Government", examine this as if it were your own family. Suppose your expenses are far more than your income, and rather than make some tough and inconvenient cuts, you decided to keep your family afloat by putting it on your credit card. Month after month, year after year, you keep spending the same, and adding it to your credit card, until finally your debt, and the interest on that debt is so large there is no way you can pay it. I know, millions here in the US actually do that, and when it reaches that point, they simply run to court and file bankruptcy, and start the process over again. The problem is, we are talking about our Nation. And right now, we owe all this debt to China... and we are nearly at the breaking point, where we cannot pay China what we owe, and we as a Nation are enslaving our future... our children to the Chinese.

Extend the benefits? It pains me to say it... but I say extend them, but at bare minimum, make some huge changes to the system. For example, if someone declines a job... they forfeit their benefits. I know that seems tough, but something has to give. Or how about if you receive unemployment, you must give 15 hours a week to community service? Something tells me that many of those who are simply refusing to work would suddenly change their view if they had to help out in a homeless shelter or something similar. If you live in an area like where I live, the fact is, there simply are no jobs. But if there  are jobs available and people refuse to work, then I say it is time to cut the benefits of those who refuse.

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