Those without money,… can’t buy much… kavips

During the thirties, it was acceptable that those thrown out of work were simply out of luck… Some lived, some died and if you were one of the unlucky ones, you had our sympathy, but not our resources… Those resources we saved for ourselves, because more sooner than later, if circumstances folded differently, we might find ourselves destitute along side of you…

Today our mentality is different, in part because during the past Great Depression, we figured out that leaving humanity alone, was more costly than giving them something to do.. Because of our earlier insolence, we all recognize that paying some compensation to those put out of work, is a national requirement.

What is the cost of unemployment?

I recently revisited that cost on a personal level when I forgot to eat for a day and then realized too late, that I was completely out of food; it was far too cold and windy that night to go shopping .. I decided to tough it out till daylight. As the night hours crawled by one by one, I reflected that it had been a long time since I was ever hungry. (I am not talking about the little two-hour-starve thing; it’s the 36-hour-fast thing I’m talking about..) I asked myself to what extremes would I go after spending 4 weeks in the condition I was feeling by the end of that time?… Let’s just say it changed my perspective a little…..

A) We need unemployment insurance; it is not a luxury.

B) Education and retraining for yesterday’s economy is not the answer.

C) Tie the receipt of Unemployment Compensation to some type of “Service to America” platform.

Society can NOT afford the higher cost of having NO unemployment insurance. It can do without the crime, the black markets, and general malaise associated with very hungry people who have nothing to eat. We do not need to remake America in the image of the old Time’s Square of the seventies….. We need to prevent that natural trend from occurring.

Currently only 37% of our unemployed are in receipt of benefits. Only 37%. The increase in working women, the prevalence of two-earner couples, and the reality of single working parents, is not reflected in most states’ Unemployment Insurance eligibility criteria, which fails to take the impact that family considerations — such as the need to care for a sick child or the collapse of child-care arrangements — can have on woman’s employment histories. In most states, workers who lose employment for such a reason and are trying to find a new job are denied unemployment benefits.

Unemployment only supplies 60% up to a certain level, of one’s former compensation. Currently, unemployment is tagged to finding additional work. Today’s unemployment checks are given out, but only after proof of looking-for-work is forthcoming. But how fair is that…. when and if there is no work to be found?

Back during the Great Depression, estimates show unemployment was as high as 25 percent. One out of four heads of households was not working. It became the duty of the other three, to make sure those did not starve and die. Shelters and soup kitchens were just one way of accomplishing that…

Today we hear discussion of our need for re-training. Training can most often be considered a scam proposed by those who make their money on “instruction.” After all, what does training actually give to unemployed workers? A new title? Are they now considered to be among the “trained unemployed”? ….. Could the amount being spent on training, be better served to hire workers who actually “do something” lasting… like building a road that is sorely needed. Consider “that” a form of on-the-job training……

One version of unemployment benefits is titled Self Employment Benefits. These are paid to citizens who have lost their jobs and are trying to start a small business. To date, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania have Self-Employment Assistance programs. Under these programs, States can pay a self-employed allowance, instead of regular unemployment insurance benefits, to help unemployed workers while they are establishing businesses and becoming self-employed. Participants receive weekly allowances while they are getting their businesses off the ground.

The problem is that if the economy is not moving, those businesses will fail as well. And then what? Will we have a glut of out-of-work business owners who have used up all their unemployment benefits? Now were the economy vibrant, this plan could provide much needed growth. It is a much better use of public money over that of paying someone to watch TV… But when there is a glut of under utilized nail parlors, how does adding one more help anyone?

Recently the Federal government extended the time to apply for unemployment benefits. If there is no work found during the first 26 weeks, what makes one think that 13 more will do the trick? Sooner or later one must come to the conclusion, that there is too little work to be found. We are paying ex workers to go on a journey to futility….

Review: here is what we have found so far.

We cannot afford “not” to pay our unemployed. The current system pays them a lot of money, and gets no return on our investment.


Tie unemployment compensation to “serving America”, similar to terms used in the reimbursement of college tuition to guarantee that every child had a right to higher education. Volunteers are in desperate supply, especially now that businesses cannot afford extra labor. Volunteering in a soup kitchen, would be worthy of unemployment compensation. Assisting a parental teacher’s aide in a rowdy high school, would be worthy of unemployment compensation. Picking up litter along a highway, or city street, would be worthy of unemployment compensation. In the inner cities, keeping youth off the streets by organizing a basketball league, would be worthy of unemployment compensation.

In all, we are giving citizens the opportunity to give back some of what they’ve gotten,… back to “WE, the people”.

In doing so, we have formed a more perfect union…. More often than not, we will receive more back… than we gave… After all, everyone needs to be needed. There is no better cause than putting one’s talents to good use for our nation, especially in its dire time of need.

Stories of the last Great Depression are fraught with glimpses of how time stood still. There was no one to pay for picking up litter, so it never was.. There was no one to pay for cutting grass along the highways, so it was left alone. Other civilizations have used their populations to achieve great works. Recently, all eyes should turn to China, who as late as 20 years ago, was just a few years past Mao…. But people built dams for food. People planted hillsides for a daily bowl of rice. Whatever it took to survive, people accepted as a necessity. But, if unemployment progresses to 25%, with only 1 out of every 4 people still working, we will need someway of keeping that one alive, while at the same time providing an opportunity for them to live with dignity. I can think of a no better way to live than doing service for one’s country.

With this economic crises we have an opportunity to realign America. We sort of steered ourselves down the wrong path by worshiping our markets a little too much.. While chasing the dollars across our oceans, we sort of forgot that volunteering our time over here was important also. We can relearn that lesson.

In essence, to really make America a better place, we need to tie unemployment benefits with service being done in the name of America… Bringing proof of one’s volunteerism, instead of one’s job searches, would benefit America as a whole. As we shrink our state and national budgets over these next ten years, we will need to find a way to continue those services upon which we have grown so dependent. The best way to do both, (shrink the cost, grow the service) is to use volunteers. Since we can’t have volunteers starve or freeze, we will need to pay them a little so they can sustain themselves for their food and shelter… When work returns, we know where to find new workers….

Whereas extending unemployment benefits over longer gaps of time, retraining the American work force, and tying unemployment to the service of one’s country, all act to mitigate the pain our upcoming Great Depression will bring, the latter,…. linking unemployment compensation to service volunteering for our country, will provide the greatest return to America for all the money it invests into its out-of-work labor force……