Friday, September 16, 2011

Recession warning no surprise to unemployed

The Wall Street Journal quotes a number of economists who are saying a recession is in the offing.
Did we really need this panel of experts to tell us what we already know?
This comes as no news to those who have been unemployed. Out of work for days, months, years.
Now there’s a debate over the extension of unemployment benefits. I actually saw a guy interviewed on set at CNN yesterday say they should not be extended. Because that’s a disincentive to finding work.
He allowed as to how people on unemployment would rather wait until the benefits are about to expire to look for a job. They’ve got to get off their duffs and find jobs, he insisted.
The anchor seemed a bit taken back by all this. Asking the “expert” where the jobs are.
I know people who have been out of work for two, three and even four years now. Folks who have been hard working contributors to society all their adult lives.
Of course, by the CNN guest’s measure, they are all just enjoying retirement on the government’s dime. As if the meager unemployment benefits keep them in the lavish lifestyle to which they were accustomed when they were gainfully employed.
Then there are those who are employed. But make so little money that they have to hold down two, three or even four jobs.
Sometimes the jobs are related to their life long careers. Often they are not.
And sometimes, they are lucky enough to find jobs “off the books.”  Working for cash money. That’s never reported to Uncle Sam.
Which, of course, contributes to the government shortfall. But at least they are working.
I guarantee you the people I know who are out of work would rather be gainfully employed than getting unemployment insurance.
I also guarantee you that to them, the Wall Street Journal article that we’re headed into another recession, comes as no news at all.

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