Republicans are taking away my unemployment for my own good.

Rand Paul has said that extending unemployment beyond Dec. 28 is a “disservice” to the unemployed.

But here’s the thing, Randy ol’ buddy: Even after Dec. 28, I’ll still be long-term unemployed, but now I won’t have any money coming in. I haven’t gotten an offer of employment in the more-than six months I’ve been out of work, despite my wholehearted attempts-- two to six applications per week since mid June.

So explain to me how *not *having unemployment benefits to feed my wife and two young children will somehow now make me more likely to get hired by an employer come January?

Fuck you, you asshole, you have no idea how your inaction in DC affects people out in the real world. I don’t give one flying fuck what some study says. The label I carry ("long-term unemployed) will still be there once my benefits dry up, but now it’ll be even harder to pay my bills. If I’m forced to go out and find a low-wage job, we’ll be forced to put our kids in day care (nice “family values,” dickweed), which will end up putting us deeper in the hole every month even more that we already are.

Maybe we’ll go on food stamps to stay afloat…if that money is even there. Is that what Republicans want? More people on actual government assistance? Maybe we’ll lose our house. Is that what Republicans want? More homeless children? Maybe we’ll lose a car, making it even harder for both my wife and I to work and support our family. Is that what Republicans want? Parents unable to get to a job?

Listen, I’m glad God has blessed you with a wonderful government job, and a wonderful ability to practice medicine before that, but not all of us can have those benefits. The rest of us miserable wretches need some help once in a while; thanks for taking that help away from me and millions of other. One more step toward creating more poverty in our country. Way to go!

Do you think there should be no time limits on unemployment benefits?

Also unemployed, but my plight is slightly different, since I’ve only received two unemployment checks since August. Sort of my fault, but I also blame the state’s services. I clicked the wrong link one week and reset my account, more or less. I had had a “fact-finding” interview earlier to make sure I was elligible - which I was - but now they’ve scheduled another “fact-finding” interview, to find facts on the same fucking thing they already found facts on ---- in January.

My savings are just about empty, and it’s looking like Christmas presents this year will run somewhere along the lines of Snicker bars and mittens hand-knitted from dryer lint.

I have no idea what this December 28 thing is going to do to me.

Do you think that his situation is improved by the removal of his unemployment benefits?

I do. Its better to have less homelessness and less poverty even if we have to support those people. Its silly to consider that the Republicans think everyone will just stop working because of that. There will always be a small group that don’t want to work but there will always be a huge group that do and want to get more than they are.

My dad, a lifelong republican who balked every time the democrats wanted to extend unemployment benefits, decided that it was worth it for him personally to stay on unemployment for as long as possible because he was getting more money than any minimum wage jobs he could qualify for.

I asked him, “didn’t you always tell me that we never should support long term unemployment benefits because it encourages people not to go out and get a job?” And he just replied, “Well, I’m a recipient now.”

Trouble is, you’re too powerless to force the government to send dollars your way. You should have been a part of some large organization or corporation, then you’d be benefitting big time, see here.

So you see, your shiftless laziness extends much farther than you probably realized. But seriously, sorry for your trouble, and they’ll probably put my neck on the block next. See you at that burning barrel in the alley!

I believe with every fiber of my being, with a stomach-wrenching desperation, that I want provide for my young children and wife. I believe I want to make sure we don’t lose the only home my kids have ever known. I believe people are more important than ideology. I believe the desire I’ve always had to pay more in taxes so this kind of horseshit doesn’t happen to people is justified. I believe I would take a job in a heartbeat (as long as it wasn’t low-wage), rather than stay on unemployment with no “time limits.” I believe cutting unemployment benefits will hurt the overall economy, because you know how much of my $362/week benefit check gets put back into the economy through the purchase of real goods? All of it. None of it goes into a slush fund or IRA or a savings account.

So, just to be clear, I feel badly for you and your family. I’m not trying to make this personal, but you kinda said it right there… You would not take a job that pays $362/week as long as you can get a check for that amount from the government. So, Rand Paul is exactly right, in your case. Unless you consider $362/week ($9.02/hr) to not be a “low-wage” job.

But me taking a low-wage job means we probably put our kids into daycare, which puts us further into the hole every week.

Also, I hardly think taking a job stocking shelves at the grocery store or flipping burgers is going to ultimately catapult me back into a higher-wage job again.`

Encouraging me to become underemployed is not an improvement to being unemployed in my opinion, as it actually puts my kids into daycare and bankrupts us faster.

And pushing me and people like me into low-wage jobs benefits no one but corporations, as it creates a demand for low-wage jobs. I’m a college grad with 13+ years professional work experience, but if it’s acceptable for someone with job skills and education to take a low-wage job, then that will become the norm. It lowers the bar even further for the middle class. It allows employers to pay less by creating low-wage jobs, thus keeping more of their profits for the higher-ups, while impoverishing the workers.

If it becomes acceptable for someone with a proessional license or a BA or BS or MA or MS to make $10/hour or less, simply to justify tax cuts and government service cuts, then we’re heading at a rapid rate to third-world status.

Do you think those limits should be higher or lower when there is high unemployment?

Or are you only allowed to play the Socratic Dick Game™? :smiley:

The unemployment rate right now for people with college degrees is 3.4%. It’s unfortunate that you find yourself to be one of those 3.4%, but I’m not seeing that temporarily taking a lower paying job is going to ruin the economy or ruin your ability to get back into the type of job you are looking for. You needn’t put that job on your resume if you think it’s a problem.

It just seems odd that you would pit someone for saying something that is actually true in your case.

But you never answered my question directly. Do you think there should be no time limit to receiving unemployment benefits. It’s a yes or no question. If, like Yogsosoth, you think “yes”, then that’s a valid position to take, and you can try and defend it. If you think "no’, then you are merely disagreeing with where we draw the line, and your position will still put some folks into the exact predicament you find yourself in now.

On a macro level, I think the argument is that when cyclical unemployment is high (which it is) there are simply more workers than jobs; creating incentives won’t help if the jobs aren’t there. On the other hand, when we are at or around the natural rate of unemployment, the jobs exist and you just want to give people time and space to find them–so limited unemployment makes sense.

Happy Lenderverr, my sympathies. I know sympathies don’t put gas in the tank and food in the pantry, but just know that not everyone thinks people like you need tough love.

I agree with you that we’re all fighting a war against the race to the bottom, as far as wages go. I don’t know what the realistic solutions are, though. Maybe extending unemployment benefits creates false hope, preventing people from accepting the reality that Things Have Forever Changed. But on the other hand, maybe things really haven’t changed that much, but (as you state) it benefits an elite few to keep perpetuating this myth. Instead of making people dependent on the government, they want everyone dependent on the corporation. And then there’s the horrible chance that maybe both are happening simultaneously. Things really have changed AND the powers that be are exploiting this fact for their own benefit. If this is the case, what’s a person to do?

I like to think that if i were to lose my job, I’d be ready to put on a paper hat and go back to dropping fries. And maybe I would if I could still keep living in my home and driving around in my car, because having these things would cushion the blow of being poor. But that’s a pipe dream. Of course I’d have to go back to living in a crappy, roach-infested apartment and give up my car. I’d also have to give up a huge part of my identity. I love being able to say I’m scientist. I can’t imagine I’d feel the same if I had to tell people I work at McDonald’s. I know all of these are petty bourgeois concerns, but that doesn’t make them any less real. The truth is that Paul would feel the same way, if were walking in your shoes.

But I don’t know if such empathy makes for the best policy decisions. It’s really a hard nut to crack, I think.

Yep! Given that such policy is already present in various places including Germany, and the welfare system in the USA is widely and rightfully regarded as incredibly stingy, I see no problem with this.

Yep, that’s a conservative all right.

This while technically true still easily falls under the purview of “bullshit”.

Have you looked at moving? Where are you located? What is your degree in?

One of the biggest reasons we have had a hard time getting out of this recession is that our work force is not mobile. People are locked into their houses and are unable or unwilling to move to locations where the job market is stronger. Many are waiting until the housing market recovers enough that they are no longer underwater and will not lose a bunch of money when they sell their house. This is flawed thinking in most locations; losing 50 grand or whatever in the sale of a house is a small loss compared to making 10 grand a year more in a more favorable job market when you take into account interest payments on your mortgage. I am not saying that you fall into this situation.

Anyway, I feel for you. I was unemployed for 6 months back in early 2009 and it sucked ass! I was grateful for the unemployment and the cobra benefits that the government extended to me. Like you, a low paying job would not have paid enough for me to make ends meet and I would also have had to arrange childcare to do it. I was one month from missing a mortgage payment and was negotiating a job in another state when I found a new position locally. I was going to move to the other city (Salt Lake, bleh) and get a cheap apartment and send my salary home to my wife and kids to pay for childcare and our home. The plan was that if I could not find a position in our home city in 6 months or so, we would put our house on the market and they would come and join me. Have you thought about this kind of solution.

The thing is I also see John’s point; I don’t believe the government should pay unemployment benefits in perpetuity and with a college educated worker with more than a decade of experience there is no reason it should. If you are unlucky enough to have chosen a career that is no longer in demand, you need to retrain yourself. I have no problem paying taxes to help you with this. If you are in a location where your skills are not in demand, you need to move. If you absolutely cannot get a job in your field at your location and will not retrain yourself for other fields or move; well you need to get a low paying job as a fry cook or whatever and suck it up. I see no reason why I should continue to pay taxes for the rest of my career to support your unwillingness to do anything except what you did for the last 13 years. You need to be accountable for your decisions, just like someone who decides not to go to college or graduate high school. If you make those types of decisions, a crappy job is all you will get and I see no reason why I should support you (again, I am happy to pay taxes to support education to all comers). I also don’t believe that any of my fellow Americans should be homeless or die due to lack of food or healthcare. I believe we should have a strong social safety net. If you don’t want to take a job that is available, I will happily pay taxes to have you on welfare and food assistance and housing programs but I doubt that you will live where you currently live…

Good luck! And if you are looking nationally and trying to retrain yourself, know that I support you getting government assistance while you undertake your search.

Fine. Just include Obama in your pitting, because he doesn’t believe that. He’s on the same page with Paul, philosophically, even if he thinks unemployment benefits should be extended a bit further. It’s only a matter of degree.

It’s not “technically true”, it’s “actually true”.

OTOH, I can get on board with the OP if he just want to vent. It sucks to be in his position, and if he were an actual, IRL friend of mine, he’d likely get my financial support in some way. Perhaps it was wrong of me to interject a debate into what is a rant. In which case, rant on OP. On an emotional level, I can see where you’re coming from.

Really, it’s not. And if you think the world, and economic policy, is as simple as “yes or no,” as others have since pointed out, you’re an idiot. There are factors, considerations, variables etc that make “yes or no” impossible to your question. Even if I weren’t directly affected by this unemployment situation, I’d feel the same. It’s not black or white, it’s not yes or no. More like “Yes, unless…” or “No, but…” Heck, attach more requirements or hoops for the long-term recipients in order for them to continue the benefits, just don’t shit on my head and tell me it’s for my own good, especially when national unemployment rates are still higher than ideal, and unemployment rates in my state (MI) are even higher than the national average.

Also, this extension isn’t even a loss for the federal govt, as far as I understand. What the hell does Rand Paul care if the feds loan Michigan money to pay for an unemployment extension? Isn’t this really just another example of Paul and his libertarian nonsense protecting businesses at the expense of middle class people? Yes, yes it is.

And maybe you can explain to me how having a low-wage job, but not putting it on my resume, makes me “more employable” to employers over time. Studies that I’ve seen show that the longer you’re unemployed, the less likely an employer will consider you. I get that; it sucks, but I get that that’s the current reality. But if I take that low wage job instead of receiving unemployment benefits, how will that help me get a job more on-par with my skills, education, and previous income if I *don’t *put it on my resume? And if I *do *put “burger flipper” on my resume, how will *that *help me get that better job? I mean, that’s Rand’s point, right? To get me employed again, at any cost, so employers won’t see me as “long-term unemployed” anymore?

For one, stop electing people who want to both cut government safety nets and encourage low-wage private-sector employment through legislation. Anyone that says that this is the right direction to take our country-- cutting safety nets, driving people into underemployment-- is a heartless fuck that either doesn’t care about or understand the economic realities of the middle class.

And ETA: I am actually in the process of retraining myself.

And apologies for my harshness against you personally. This thread *is *actually a rant. Yes, it’s rant based on my own personal beliefs regardless of my current situation, but a rant nonetheless, rooted in outrage that isn’t unfortunately recreational for me. A rant against someone who is fucking with my ability to provide for my family and then telling me it’s somehow for my own good. Still not seeing how that works.

Actually, there are some flaws in Rand Paul's argument (aside from the fact that he's a conscience-less doucebag).     Suppose the OP goes out and gets a minimum wage job that he's vastly overqualified for.    Remembering that this is a period of high unemployment, one of a couple of things is going to happen.   The first is that there won't actually be any low wage jobs that will reliably pay the munificent $18K/year (with no benefits) that are the equivalent of the unemployment money.   The second is that the OP will displace (by dint of being trustworthy, loyal, and brave) a less skilled worker who has no reasonable alternative to that low wage job.    That person will then go on the public dole, possibly permanently.   Or maybe some younger person will be unable to fund their education because they can't find a minimum wage job.   In short, Rand Paul's cunning plan depends on, you know, there actually being jobs out there, and what's more, essentially an infinite number of jobs.

In the meantime, because you can’t just take the day off from burger flipping to go on multiple job interviews, there’s going to be one less person on the * other * side of whatever counter the OP is going to be serving at. One less person contributing to the unemployment fund of his state.

But most saliently, Rand Paul ignores the fact that the freeloading on unemployment, if any, is going to be front-loaded. If I get laid off, I might be tempted to take a couple of months off, knowing that at least my mortgage is being taken care of, and I could live off savings for the rest for a while. But after six or 8 months? That unemployment money isn’t even enough to keep oil in the furnace, much less food on the table. I’m bored, running out of savings, and desperate to find a job.

And although I’m fortunate enough not to know firsthand, but my impression is that the folks at the local unemployment office are pretty hard-nosed. They require you to show some evidence of looking for work and they’ve been to this rodeo before. (And I note that they don’t require skilled people to immediately start applying to dead-end minimum wage jobs, because society has concluded that this isn’t particularly cost-effective.)