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Old 12-09-2013, 04:37 PM
 
292 posts, read 936,941 times
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This is both a serious question and a venting post. One of the current political debates centers around whether to extend long-term unemployment benefits, which current allows up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits versus the normal 26 weeks. This bugs me.

If you're unemployed for nearly TWO years, in this improving economy, I think you only have yourself to blame. In the depths of 2008-2010, extending unemployment made sense IMO. However, I canNOT understand how someone today can be unemployed for so long and not (A) get re-trained (you can easily get an associate's degree) or (B) take a lower-paying, lower-skilled job. There is demand out there for many careers attainable in two years, such as healthcare support jobs and skilled trades. If you are too stubborn or lazy to take your life into your own hands, I don't see why taxpayers need to subsidize you.

Yes, I know that the money at stake is a pittance compared to huge money-wasting jobs programs like defense pet projects and ginormous inflated healthcare bills. However, it just totally bothers me that within this debate about long-term unemployment, I rarely hear anyone bring up the viewpoint that two years is just too damn long to be on the dole. Two years of free money is welfare, not unemployment.

With that said, I keep an open mind and would love to learn more about this issue, such as if there is research truly showing the hardship of people who require unemployment for 99 months.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
25,302 posts, read 18,601,125 times
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I agree. That is a long time. Another scam is people being on 'disability' . There are doctors that will claim someone is disabled just so they can qualify for benefits. There are some towns where a huge percentage of people are on disability.

"In Hale County, Alabama, nearly 1 in 4 working-age adults is on disability.[2] On the day government checks come in every month, banks stay open late, Main Street fills up with cars, and anybody looking to unload an old TV or armchair has a yard sale."

This article (and the associated Podcast) is a real eye opener
http://apps.npr.org/unfit-for-work/

Another thing is ..if people are living in areas without jobs ...Why not...Move?..

It's kind of a double standard where the working middle class are forced to move if an area doesnt have jobs or they can't afford housing in that area but people on welfare are allowed to stay where they are if they 'qualify' for benefits.

Some might argue..."well it's expensive to move" ..but if you are poor how many valuable possessions do you have..also it would be cheaper just to move people out of state or city..rather than subsidizing housing and benefits,etc etc for years and years.

Not every little town is going to survive .. People in other countries like China have realized this..thats why more and more people now live in cities.
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Old 12-09-2013, 04:50 PM
 
3,526 posts, read 4,594,733 times
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There is a relative in my family, a 20-something, who has been on unemployment for over two years and has shown no desire to get off unemployment even when presented with multiple job opportunities. If and when the gov't extends the unemployment benefits AGAIN, they will be doing him a great disservice. But they will probably get his vote, eh?
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
25,302 posts, read 18,601,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
There is a relative in my family, a 20-something, who has been on unemployment for over two years and has shown no desire to get off unemployment even when presented with multiple job opportunities. If and when the gov't extends the unemployment benefits AGAIN, they will be doing him a great disservice. But they will probably get his vote, eh?
Most likely...the sad part is that benefits are often so generous that people chose not to work.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Outer Space
1,524 posts, read 3,698,047 times
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Assuming I was long term unemployed, I can't afford to get retrained on UI because I already have a BA and therefore no government assistance besides loans. So I would get to go into debt for the privilege of maybe getting a job. And if I don't, I am in an even worse position than I was before. Great.

My brother went 18-19 months and it wasn't for lack of trying. You can apply to as many jobs as you want, but ultimately you can't force anyone to hire you.

Personally, I think the improving economy is all smoke and mirrors meant to keep the great bubble that is Wall Street high on the hopium.

The problem of long-term unemployment is complicated and can't be summed up by just assuming that a person simply hasn't tried hard enough to find a job.
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:52 PM
 
12,868 posts, read 17,126,222 times
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The economy is not improving as much as the figures imply. Many have just given up looking. You are required to search for work, even if there is none, to collect unemployment. With it running out for so many, they've given up. Some have gotten disability. Some of the older ones have even retired, much sooner than they would like.
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Old 12-09-2013, 08:10 PM
 
433 posts, read 1,165,288 times
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One thing to consider, is the effect of being unemployed and how that looks to the "hiring" companies.

I can find a guy who is "lazy" or a "bad worker" and is unemployed or I can find someone that already has a job and therefore must be a good hire.

When I was unemployed, 2 different agencies wanted me to interview with companies saying my skill set was "perfect."

Then they found out I was unemployed. Hmm.. no interviews, no call backs.

Fortunately for me, I found a job within 3 months.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:03 PM
 
3,176 posts, read 5,331,124 times
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There's an adage that it's easier to find a new job if you're currently working. By the time you've been unemployed for months or more, you are already looking less attractive to a firm that's hiring because they'll wonder why you haven't been able to find a job, even if intellectually they realize that jobs have been difficult to come by.

I don't argue that there are many people who are coasting on UI and are really not trying too hard to get hired, but I do have several friends in their 40s and 50s with college degrees who have been laid off from lucrative positions who are trying desperately to find work so they don't lose their homes, and they live in large cities with relatively healthy job markets. Age can work against some people, esp. in tech fields, which are populated by a lot of young people.
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Old 12-09-2013, 10:23 PM
 
3,706 posts, read 3,561,206 times
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Long term unemployment is a combination of structural unemployment, global labor arbitrage, and a percent of workers who in the quest to get the most for doing the least will milk the system of government benefits for unemployed.

Structural unemployment occurs when there is a mismatch between workers skills and the ones employers need (and also at the price the employers willing to pay for said skill - see Global Labor Arbitrage below). Likewise structural unemployment doesn't disappear when an economy improves. Hence, the long term unemployed.

Structural unemployment also occurs when technology enables multiple factors of output per human labor hours worked above what was previously needed. See McAfee and Brynjolfsson, The Race Against the Machine. This is the rendering of human labor unnecessary.

Global labor arbitrage has continued unabated since the passage of NAFTA and GATT in early 90s. Basically, it is flattening pay scales as US workers compete with slave like wages all throughout third world countries where the 'slave wages' are still better than the working conditions for survival they had before US Corporate labor needs were shipped overseas. See Race To The Bottom by former GM head Stempel. These factors lead to what we are experiencing now in that the employment to population ratios have been trending downward steadily even before the 2008 'great recession'.

Then there is a percent who - especially older workers who had in many cases reached beyond midpoint pay grades for the respective types of jobs they were doing - the corporate entities do not want anything to do with and feel they are 'too pricey', un-trainable, or do not meet hiring requirements (pick your bureaucratic reason).

Finally, you have a percent of the unemployed whom the benefits derived from unemployment as well as SSDI and other programs feel that the benefits of the money and not doing anything - or perhaps some work on the side - will provide better quality of life. Of these another fraction are the people who probably couldn't hold a job consistently for a myriad of reasons (chemical dependency, psych problems, abuse problems, lazy, on down the list).

As for the 99 months, I do think that is too much. I think the important thing is to start a realistic dialogue around what to do for those who do want to work and are permanently displaced by technology. This dialogue would revolve around the concept of "Workers Share of Output" and eliminating the fraud around the existing systems of unemployment funds distribution and putting it toward workers that can adapt their skill sets.
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Old 12-10-2013, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
30,915 posts, read 24,520,413 times
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A local radio show had a debate on this yesterday. I live in a very hard hit area with unemployment problems, a lack of education, welfare dependence, and substance abuse issues.

40% of our residents in town are over 50. This WAS a heavy manufacturing area, but many people in this age group have been downsized. Many possess few other skills as they've worked at a lot of these facilities most of their lives and many lack a college education. At their age, hiring is difficult even good areas, much less in struggling ones. These people are likely to exhaust their benefits. For all intents and purposes, their working lives are over.

Young people can't get their foot in the door to establish skills. An education with no experience is useless. Society has stupidly directed many young people not suited for education into it instead of the workforce. Also, many jobs that used to be truly entry level are now dead end as senior talent can be picked up for junior talent prices.

Disability and drug addiction and/dealing have become a way of life in our region as there are few opportunities for honest work.

Some of these issues go back to a cultural/moral rot, but some of it would straighten out if the job market does.
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