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Three Sunday reads
Nov 17 2013, 08:00 ET
Inside the Apple and Google smartphone war
Caught in Unemployment's Revolving Door
Tesla Cars Are Not An Environmental Abomination
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I feel for that woman featured in "Caught in unemployment's revolving door."
According to the article: "She is a 53-year-old college graduate who worked steadily for three decades."
According to the article she created absolutely no wealth for herself over the years she spent working. None. Zero. She even received her 99 weeks of unemployment insurance.
Why did this woman have nothing? Zero. To busy buying the latest I-product or wasting time on so called social networking sites perhaps?
Maybe spending money she didn't have on things she couldn't afford in the first place? The article makes no mention of a family to care for or a divorce that left her with nothing. So clearly there were no issues there.
Clearly, like most Americans she bought the whole "Go to school, get a job routine" hook like and sinker. She never became the best at something. She never made herself so invaluable that she could create her own business or be sought out by other businesses for anything.
I am not trying to be cruel. This is what's called an "education" moment for people and their teenage kids. I had my 13 yr old son read the article and he was the one who asked me why this adult with little or no serious obligations was on the edge of the abyss at 53 yrs old. Why did she fail so miserably?
Irresponsibility and as I like to say about 80% of all Americans- No thought to the "endgame".
Like most Americans instead of carefully balancing enjoyment for today with tomorrow's endgame, she more than likely completely lived for today over all those previous years.
Sad as her story is what is worse: Now the productive members of our country are going to have to be responsible for her as she remains on the long list of those who are going to be permanent wards of the state.
I am sure she could get a job, any job, if she was willing to head north to the Dakotas where there are boatloads of jobs that support the multi year energy boom going on there. I am not talking about oil drilling. Everything from restaurants, etc need working to handle to tons of people working there now.
The question is: is she willing to go there?
17 Nov 2013, 12:25 PM
Let's look at some facts instead of twisting things to fit your own ideology of "all poor people are greedy lazy bums".
Maybe you and your son didn't make through the whole article, but from the FIRST FEW PARAGRAPHS it is pretty obvious that she probably burned through her savings supporting herself these past few years without steady employment.
1) She was unemployed for FIVE YEARS. For the mathematically challenged, that's a LONG time. She didn't *just* get laid off and suddenly have nothing, she has nothing after supporting herself without a steady job for five years. That undoubtedly does a number on one's savings account, even with 2 years of unemployment benefits.
The simple fact that it took her five years before having to declare bankruptcy is a pretty obvious indication that she probably had a good bit of savings that she's been drawing from all this time.
The savings burn down probably started on day one (unemployment is typically less than half your previous salary, or less), and probably burned a lot faster starting in year three. Note that she also continued to pay her rent for a full year after unemployment ran out.
With what? Say it with me now: "her savings"!
2) It also looks like she was clearly trying to find work, even crappy work that she was thoroughly overqualified for. She was turned down for everything from flipping burgers to scrubbing toilets. She did move around a lot, but it was to find placed to stay with friends and family -- it's kind of hard to relocate and look for work without a roof over your head.
Could her job search be more optimal? Probably, but this particular woman seems to be doing a thorough amount of the basics.
The article's overarching point is that unemployment has become a self-perpetuating cycle for some, often through little fault of the unemployed themselves. We've had so many people out of work for so long, it's now a simple HR filtering criteria. Even if the one woman got a job, what about the rest? The math is simple: when there are more than 3 people for every job opening, what are the other two people supposed to do?
Try reading the article again, but this time without your obvious hatred for anyone down on their luck.
17 Nov 2013, 03:46 PM
Sadly given our legal system, companies take on considerable risk from the moment they hire somebody, not unlike in Europe.
Perhaps some more doors could be opened for these people if we had some tort reform.
One in where a company could terminate new hires before 90 days of employment without legal repercussions and the associated legal liabilities.
Perhaps then. HR managers would be free to use their own judgment and intuition, vs playing defense.
17 Nov 2013, 08:13 PM
Using Credit checks for conditions of employment , is certainly a big issue.
While I believe a company has the right to know plenty about it's hiring prospects, it is quite discriminatory in my view to not look at the bigger picture as to the particular circumstances that got somebody there.
She is applying for a job, not a loan.
Sad that many companies cannot interpret the circumstances.
17 Nov 2013, 08:14 PM
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