An Insensitive Look At Unemployed Americans
Despite the fact that we hear the economy is recovering, there is still economic misery all over. I’ve recently read a few interesting reports of families that are really struggling. Now, my initial reaction to these stories is one of compassion. I believe in charity and giving to those in need, and I do. But, there’s another side that IS necessary to discuss. The other side is one that shows the complete failure of so many people to prepare for a time when things would not be so good. By ignoring this other side of the equation, we will fail to be better prepared for the next economic downturn (assuming we get an “upturn” first of course).
Paycheck to Paycheck
A few years ago, with very full levels of employment and a booming economy, still there were insane amounts of people living paycheck to paycheck. This meant that they were spending everything they made, and in some cases, more. Assuming “boom” times would go on forever, hardly anybody prepared for a rainy day. The appropriate course of action of course would have been to be saving money diligently. So many people could have easily put enough money away to fund their lifestyle for months, maybe even years. Most people opted for granite counter tops instead.
Idle & Unemployed
Moving to today, many people who are unemployed are diligently working towards finding a new job. However, there are also many people who are doing the bare minimum to find a new job. As if somebody is going to find it for them. Not only that, while they wait for a job that they may or may not get, they sit idle instead of getting out there and earning some cash on a part time basis while you wait for employment. I don’t care if you have to do some really crappy jobs. They should do what it takes to put cash on their table. Unfortunately, this is a side of government assistance for the unemployed that prevents people from actually working hard to get some cash flow going.
What if unemployment stays high around 10% for years? Most people think that the government has this giant warehouse of money ready to be distributed like payday loans and therefore, unemployment payments are no problem. We could potentially be paying for people’s lifestyles for years on end. Inflation anybody?
Furthermore, isn’t it interesting how many unemployed people still buy a pack of cigarettes a day? Or, talk on their iPhone each day? Or, go out to eat? They could drastically cut their expenses and get by on much less, but they choose not to. Again, maybe a byproduct of unemployment assistance.
Again, my point here is not to tell you that all unemployed people are losers. They’re not. But, I’ve witnessed with my own eyes the things that I discuss here. Sadly, I think it’s a symptom of the disease that is rampant in this country that somebody else will take care of me and I’m entitled to this or that. Self responsibility or the concept of working for what you have is a rare commodity these days.
Furthermore, I’m not saying we shouldn’t help unemployed people. But, there’s got to be a better way. Any ideas?