Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Unemployed Face New Public Shaming

The Unemployed Face New Public Shaming

Or this is just another story to give as an example of why I didn't want to live in Florida anymore. If you thought being unemployed was bad, at least you're not in Florida where they're working hard to get the "Worst Legislature" title back from Arizona with a new potential unemployment clause.
Get a job or get ready for community service is the newest motto of Governor-elect Rick Scott's transition team.

Floridians receiving unemployment benefits may have to work for their money under the incoming Scott administration.

Scott's team said, in part of a 109-page report, the state has been too easy on those without work. Scott's economic advisors criticized the state's handling of people who get unemployment checks.

The report said the state has done little to get unemployed Floridians back to work.

So, the team is now suggesting that after 12 weeks, the unemployed must start community service before they can get a check. But some unemployed workers think this is unfair.

"Doing community service keeps you from looking for a job," Laurence Lukasik, who is unemployed, said.

"Sometimes I don't have a babysitter and if I have to worry about losing my unemployment because I have to go to community service, what am I gonna do? Either lose my unemployment or have nowhere for my kid to go?" Shane Stewart, who is also unemployed, said.

But not everyone disagrees with the report. Some unemployed people say Floridians should have to work hard for their money.

"A day's work for a day's pay," Bob Green said. "If you're getting paid, you might as well do something."

Reducing the number of people receiving unemployment checks would lower the number of taxes businesses have to pay and provide economic benefit to the state.

But still, many unemployed people say that requiring them to do community service will only hurt their job hunt.

The report also suggests that Scott start requiring those applying for unemployment benefits to prove they've been looking for jobs and stop benefits to those who aren't.

Because of Florida's high unemployment rate, employers face a major increase in the tax they pay into the program. Minimum rates are set to go up from about $25 per employee this year to $72 in 2011.
That is right. The money that the employer pays into unemployment is calculated in the cost of the employee. It's essentially part of the employee compensation, and now they want you to work for free so you'll be able to draw something you've already earned. Well how about that!

It's also a bit comical that Rick Scott is going against free government money when he literally stole 600 million dollars from the government. I mean, straight up jacked them.

I'll point it out again in case you just glossed over that. Scott stole 600 million dollars and got off scott free from Medicare.... IN FLORIDA! And he still won the election. And he's still harping on the fact that people are using unemployment. Something they paid into while they worked.

I also love the whole "A days work for a day's pay" statement the one guy makes in the article. As if that principle is universally in effect anywhere. Go ask the people who make a years pay in a weeks work. But hey, these people are riding the gravy train by not working!

This is one thing I've always wondered, how do you prove you're actually looking for a job? Do you show some bored civil servant a bunch of clippings from the classifieds or something? Maybe give them an update on which shitty retail job you applied to? I mean, you could just lie about that, can't you? It's not like they will call the place and see if so and so applied in their pile of applications.

I still can't get over the fact that they're suggesting that the state has been easy on those who are unemployed. Really? Yeah, that's it, let's make life even more difficult for those who are having a hard time make money to fucking survive.

That should teach them! Trying to coast on easy street off unemployment, how dare they! How dare those fuckers feel a reduced sense of self worth on their own instead of by big brother getting to force it on them.

I know plenty who aren't on unemployment anymore. But not because they found a job, but because it ran out and they don't count as even a statistic anymore. They're no one to the system but a phased out mouth that they don't have to feed anymore.

I hear it's happening across the pond as well. If you don't accept unpaid terrible 80 hour menial labor work then you can lose all unemployment benefits for six months per rejection.

If you think about it for a second, if the government made jobs for people to improve the community, wouldn't that be socialism? But hey, if we have the government force the unemployed to improve the community for subsistence wages... well then, that's completely different... right?

I'm pretty certain that the whole idea behind this is to force people off the unemployment check by increasing the requirements on "looking for employment" while at the same time forcing people to spend their days doing community service. Because really, how can you look for work when you're a slave to the state?

Then once they screw up one of those requirements, people will be tossed off unemployment benefits and the unemployment rate in Florida will start to drop when he takes office. Thus proving that the Republicans really do know what's good for the economy... right? right?

Let's move on to actual unemployment and the whole business of that. It's the sad fact that for every one position that is open, five people are applying for it. It's the most shittiest time to ever be unemployed.

I'd actually be pretty surprised if the ratio was actually that low. But that's the statistic the department of labor is showing the rate of job growth or loss, but it doesn't tell the whole story because all of the people are applying to basically everything. So it's not competing against 5 other people for any open job, it's against about 500 and only one will get it. The remaining 499 will go on to apply for the next one. Eventually a hundred of them might get jobs and the rest just keep scrapping along.

Sending out your job applications at this point is functionally not really any different than playing the lottery except for the fact that it's free and if you win you don't get to retire in luxury but toil in exploitation till you pass out and die or you ask for a raise and get downsized again.

It's not even a matter of going for a shitty job at McDonalds or Walmart anymore. I mean, the average person assume that they're always hiring. You'd think so, but they're not hiring either. So you can't even get a soulless job. Just imagine how shitty the position would be working at a McDonalds inside a Walmart? And yet you can't get that horror of a job either.

The only thing more depressing than realizing you're destined for a life of minimum wage slave jobs is not even being able to get a minimum wage slave job after months of sending in application after application.

If you're unemployed, perhaps you better ask someone to kill you before you ened up beinglike that guy.

Besides that, how long will it be before McDonald's does the Walmart self-checkout type thing and starts turning their stores into giant vending machines? I guess what I'm saying is that it's only a matter of time before McDonalds start to phase out human workers in their restaurants altogether.

The only thing that really is holding that up is that labor is still cheaper than infrastructure and the machines to do it. It's a lot easier to hire a fry cook right now because if a machine broke, you'd have to bring in someone who can service and repair it. If the fry cook breaks then you just throw him away and get a new one.

What's there not to love about a minimum wage job? Who needs more than 18 hours a week of pay or the ability to plan any part of your life further than 7 days ahead because you literally have no idea what your schedule is like for the next week until the day before.

It's really a testament to the broken psyche of America that people who work for min. wage only get depressed by the realization that their position in life is utter shit and that's the lucky few who have a job. Fuck those losers who don't even have that!

Look at this New York Times article. Essentially, if you're a white male with a degree and cannot get a job, you shouldn't blame society because you probably fucked up somewhere in life that ended up making you unemployable.

I really like how in old stories a homeless beggar is just likely to be described as "a man down on his luck". What happened to those times? I would like to pinpoint the exact moment when people stopped looking at poverty as misfortune and stated seeing it as a result of personal failure.

They must not have gone to college. You know, the place where you spend a shit lot of money and aren't guaranteed to walk away with a job.

Then there's those who think that without college they would have no social skills and thus, they don't regret going through the process and being swamped in debt from student loans. They justify the debt they got from college by pretending the cost was irrelevant to the "experience"

I think I have some advice for all those who instead of a house that has them in debtors prison, it's student loans that has their balls tied to a vice.

Go back to school and study a foreign language and some sort of science.
Move to a new country
Never pay your student loans back
Expect never to come back to the U.S.A (thankfully)
Problem solve.

But hey, let's not go back to a system where we have debtor's prison... Oh wait, ACLU report and Brennan Center report on the resurgence of debtor's prison. How about a newer article and HRW report on debtor's prison. And here's one where Paladino said that welfare recipients should live in prison cells while they are collecting benefits.

In short, this should teach us one thing... the poor are more fucked in the future to come and everyone should own a gun.

I know a friend who has been applying for jobs for the last 3 months and hasn't gotten anything from it other than frustration and time wasted. The two jobs that managed to give him interviews for he lost because his competition was people with 10+ years of experience who had been laid off so long they were more than happy to take the job at 1/6th what they were worth before.

I think if I was unemployed the course I would take would be to apply to a bunch of restaurants and see if I could get a job washing dishes or something. At least then I'll probably get good drug hookups with the kitchen staff. It's a proven thing also. The only time I ever bought weed was as a dishwasher from a cook way back in my youth.

That and the turn around of kitchen workers make it so that kitchen jobs are often hiring. If you're a privileged white male, working there will transform your political and social abstract ideals into a mental construct of very real people who need help, hope and justice. Let alone it will be able to teach you how to speak Spanish. Something that seems to be ever growing and important to the American way of life.

Besides that, washing dishes is pretty alright when you think about it. It's very little human interaction and you get food and drinks some times from the cooks you make friends with. So what if you work odd hours and live the life in reverse where you wake up in the afternoon and go to sleep in the morning.

Ideally, I do wonder when people are going to start realizing that America isn't #1

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