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Old 04-10-2012, 03:39 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,286 posts, read 41,169,652 times
Reputation: 10119

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullgeo View Post
What I am entirely concerned with is that you are posting an optimism of the type that will be seized by a certain type of personality -- and run with. Hawaii represents such a strong emotion to be free and escape the entrapments of everyday living that many will read your proclamation of high unemployment benefits as a sufficient safety net. It is likely to be the last justification these dreamers will need to feel they can take the gamble.
That pretty sums up exactly what I thought of when I read the thread title.

There is a lot of that 'if I can get there, it'll all work out'...'I'm going to MAKE it happen' among Americans. As places like Florida are so much more accessable to the average American, we can all read their forums anytime to hear about the person who packed up the car, moved down, and overwhelmed with the 'sunshine tax' of Florida, but can't get back out of there again. So they'll complain day in and day out on the forums instead.

Hawaii's 'sunshine tax' is at another level altogether. ('Sunshine Tax' means higher cost of living and much lower wages in exchange for the warmer climate). Fortunately, the fact people have can't just 'drive to' Hawaii, is a blessing for Hawaii in not being completely overwhelmed by those types.

However, someone mentions 'free bennies'...and their mind will be instantly triggered with a 'I can surf all day everyday and live off foodstamps, this is going to be SO cool!' mindset. Just that suggestion alone, can trigger the mind of those types.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:08 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,286 posts, read 41,169,652 times
Reputation: 10119
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
Yes, counseling and training cost more than doing nothing. But if they reduce overall costs by getting people back to work sooner, the programs can pay for themselves. And if they get people back to work at better paying jobs, they can even create a positive return.
I think the problem with this model, is you have to assume that everyone continually moves 'up the ladder' into better and better jobs. This doesn't sit well with me, as I spent close to 15 years doing jobs that paid and required way less education and skills than what I had. Not just one job I had, but close to 10-15 different jobs that I had, that pretty much anyone else could have done without the same education I had.

While it's also great to think that I could stop working altogether...go get unemployment, go surfing and watch tv for a half a year or so, take a little bit of counseling, get more job training, and suddenly find amazing employment....the chances of that aren't very likely.

It's better to just keep going at things full-on. I worked at minimum wage jobs from 16-25 years old. Even after attaining an undergraduate, I couldn't get out of that. However, I just kept trying to further educate myself when I could, I took out FAFSA loans (student loans you pay back later at a small percentage rate), etc. I figured it out. I got two more MA degrees later in life, on top of working full-time already, or with taking a school loan out for awhile that I'd personally pay back later.

Speaking of unemployment and personal experience however. I recall once when I was around 30 and got on it. I was working in San Francisco for seasonal election work. After that season ended, most of the types of people I worked with immediately went on unemployment, and would wait 4-5 months or however long until the next election cycle came up. I went down to San Diego, and took on a few jobs, than realized I could try unemployment benefits for awhile instead of looking so hard for jobs. Almost immediately I just starting drinking beer daily, taking a train down to Tijuana and hangout all day, etc. I didn't get much in unemployment, and I started getting bored out of my mind with it. But, I could see where 90% of the rest of the population who isn't work-minded, could easily get into that cycle. I was tempted, and if I had a community of people to hangout with doing the same, I could see falling into it as a regular habit/pattern. If I had family and friends there, I think it would have been real hard to go back to work again. My problem with unemployment benefits is that most people on them, just do them to bide their time for awhile and live like they were 16-year-olds during the summer of their high school years again for awhile.

For a society though, I think it's better if people just realize that they absolutely must take on a job, no matter what. I don't think I've ever been in any American city anywhere in the nation where I haven't regularly seen 'help wanted' signs on almost all customer service and fastfood restaurants and such.

Back when I was 16-24, people were always amazed that a young guy like me could find so many jobs so easily. However, I did all the low level work that most Americans wouldn't do - gas stations, factory work, fastfood restaurants, cleaning hotel rooms, telemarketing, etc. I did them while getting my undergraduate and even for several years after I had my undergrad. Those jobs are always out there.

I think part of the problem these days is that most people would never do those kinds of jobs. If their last job was working in a corporate office shuffling papers for $15/hour...they'd rather NOT WORK if they lost that job...and do the unemployment/take counseling/career training with the 'false promise' that they'll soon be back to work at $20.

We can't all jump pay scales and forever get better jobs. It's a nice idea, but at times in our lives, we have to accept the gas station jobs at $9/hour or whatever it is, for awhile. We take what we can get, and figure out the rest - i.e. FAFSA federal loans for school for your own education, etc., that you pay back responsibly, etc.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:17 AM
 
142 posts, read 278,703 times
Reputation: 65
Nullgeo,

I get what you are saying. And I am glad you are in the discussion as its important to get the worst case scenario across to the lowest common denominator. I am assuming that people realize that unemployment benefit is not THE SOLE salary replacement. Some people do not (or delude themselves to think it does), and your advice will be of great help to them.

For the rest of us, we can discuss and acknowledge that among all US programs, Hawaii has the best unemployment benefit payout in the US. It is fully paid by employers. And if you lose your job, the state will provide more than 50% of your past income while you get on your feet. I mean come on more than half. If you are on the borderline you are screwed anywhere. For the average, responsible (read LIVING WITHIN YOUR MEANS) adult it is more than fair when compared to programs around the USA. And it seems there IS a job training component (see the Hawaii Medical Center bankruptcy), and even more benefits on the federal level if you have kids through TANF. The fact that you have politicians abusing the system usually means its pretty good.

So I think I am very much within my rights to point out that though Hawaii is expensive and there are many barriers, if you hit a snag and you have been living within your means, the government is more than generous by giving you more than half your old pay check (that would mean you would only have to come up with half or less from your savings, as obviously your saving/entertainment budget would be cut from your monthly budget).

Regarding Europe, don't get me started. Norway isn't even in the Euro. Germany is, and is having to sacrifice for the profligacy of others. There have been many riots and strikes in so called strong countries all based on the benefit pullback. Its just a lesson to the USA about debt and too strong a lean to socialist policies. When you give people everything, during downturns and the necessary pullback you risk social unrest. We should have safety nets, but we should promote personal responsibility and work ethic. Not, I can go on benefits so no fear of working hard or losing job.

Opend,

I found there is a job training component already in the benefits program. Maybe through TANF? If you want to expand that, great, but someones got to pay. And in Hawaii as it is the business that pay, you are arguing it with the wrong guy They have even less incentive to play it forward as it were with investing in skill development as they would be defacto paying an education benefit.

Not saying benefits are cushy. Just that its nearly the same as two minimum wage jobs at the max level. So instead of getting laid off and being left with your savings and working at McDonalds (which is too downmarket for some folks), Hawaii will give you that. And you can focus on job search/education. How much would you like the state to provide??? I am just shocked that 50% plus state aid is stingy to you. Yeah, you can't live on that. But hopefully you were living within your means? And if not, well there are consequences that other citizens should not have to fund.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:26 AM
 
Location: Kahala
11,984 posts, read 16,446,780 times
Reputation: 5990
fancyapint - what everyone is trying to tell you is even if Hawaii pays 50% or so - you are better off in several states that pay a less percentage due to the cost of living - for example - Iowa.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:13 AM
 
142 posts, read 278,703 times
Reputation: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
fancyapint - what everyone is trying to tell you is even if Hawaii pays 50% or so - you are better off in several states that pay a less percentage due to the cost of living - for example - Iowa.
I get that but you would be better off in Iowa with a job as well. But you would need to come up with less personal savings in Hawaii to get to 100% of your salary based on the higher payout. And if you don't have savings, well what can I say. I have seen homeless in Sweden and they have the best benefit system in the world.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Macao
16,286 posts, read 41,169,652 times
Reputation: 10119
The other thing is most 'mainlanders' who move to Hawaii, couldn't suddenly 'make it' on 50% of their income.

It works better if you are with extended family, and are living with parents, relatives, or some sort, where you aren't continually trying to pay rent. It could also work if you've worked so much already, that you've already had a house paid off.

But, for Joe Mainlander fresh from Idaho...looking to make that leap either by himself or with family in tow. It's a HUGE RISK to suddenly be trying to pay high rents with mediocre wage-earning abilities...and suddenly be reduced to only having 50% of that money coming in.
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Old 04-10-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Maui County, HI
4,131 posts, read 7,136,742 times
Reputation: 3390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
The other thing is most 'mainlanders' who move to Hawaii, couldn't suddenly 'make it' on 50% of their income.

It works better if you are with extended family, and are living with parents, relatives, or some sort, where you aren't continually trying to pay rent. It could also work if you've worked so much already, that you've already had a house paid off.

But, for Joe Mainlander fresh from Idaho...looking to make that leap either by himself or with family in tow. It's a HUGE RISK to suddenly be trying to pay high rents with mediocre wage-earning abilities...and suddenly be reduced to only having 50% of that money coming in.
My friend sold his business before he moved here, so after a few months he bought a condo even though he worked at Office Max and then at a furniture store. His housing expenses were the condo fee, like $300, and tax which is almost nothing.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,969 posts, read 27,067,690 times
Reputation: 10716
Quote:
Originally Posted by fancyapint View Post
I have seen homeless in Sweden and they have the best benefit system in the world.
The homeless issue is only tangentially related to unemployment. A very high percentage of the homeless are people with mental illnesses and/or addictions.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Volcano
12,969 posts, read 27,067,690 times
Reputation: 10716
Originally Posted by OpenD
Yes, counseling and training cost more than doing nothing. But if they reduce overall costs by getting people back to work sooner, the programs can pay for themselves. And if they get people back to work at better paying jobs, they can even create a positive return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
I think the problem with this model, is you have to assume that everyone continually moves 'up the ladder' into better and better jobs. This doesn't sit well with me, as I spent close to 15 years doing jobs that paid and required way less education and skills than what I had. Not just one job I had, but close to 10-15 different jobs that I had, that pretty much anyone else could have done without the same education I had.
You missed the first part of what I said... getting people back to work sooner can pay for the programs. IF they get better jobs, so much the better. What a lot of unemployed people need is counseling and coaching to be more focused and effective in their job search. Others need emotional support, or a boost to their confidence. Some need new skills... perhaps job skills, perhaps job search skills. Remember, I said good intake assessment is key, finding out what the clients individually need and tailoring a path for them.

As far as your personal experience, I think you exhibit what I call the "myopia of the self-made man." Because you did your life the way you did your life, you assume that what is true for you is pretty much true for everyone. And I think this is a deeply flawed way of understanding what is going on for others. As the old saying has it, "different strokes for different folks"...
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:31 PM
 
7,150 posts, read 10,189,230 times
Reputation: 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
The homeless issue is only tangentially related to unemployment. A very high percentage of the homeless are people with mental illnesses and/or addictions.
Absolutely.

Open, I agree with your posts on training, etc, here ... but I just had a thought this morning about re-training relative to Hawaii specifically that I wonder about:

On the mainland, opportunities are various and in many many fields ... there are emerging technologies ... etc. In Hawaii, there is civilian service employment, mostly pretty menial stuff, to serve the military ... and there are tourism service jobs. All other professions to serve local residents are fairly restricted by semi-stagnant population growth -- limited development, etc.

So, what do you think is the advantage / opportunity of aggressive re-training strategies in the state? Wouldn't retraining really require a fair amount of emigration out of Hawaii to find jobs to fit? Not necessarily a bad thing -- an opportunity away is nothing to sneeze at given the alternatives.
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