Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Money For Nothing


I have reached a conclusion about the extension of jobless benefits that makes me feel like a bad liberal. The good liberal in me says that we should extend the benefits, that people get into a rough spot, lack the training and education they need, do not have the kinds of opportunities they used to have before we sent jobs overseas, and generally should not be left in the lurch by society. The rest of me says wow, 99 weeks is a long time to be on unemployment. The truth is, I don't think that we are helping anyone by just writing them a check. The economy is improving, unemployment is decreasing, people went back to school during the recession, there are opportunities. I believe that one of the biggest and far-reaching problems in the U.S. is economic injustice and that wage and income equality play a big role in that. But it has to be real income. Earned income. Where are the federal work programs, the state-run training programs and the affordable education that get people off unemployment and back to earning? Where is the student loan debt relief that could help pull millions of educated Americans out of poverty and into gainful employment? Where did our work ethic go? I think it is time for us to take a good look at the possibility of economic recovery the hard way, through hard work, sacrifice, and lifestyle change. We all deserve a living wage, but we all have a responsibility to work for it. All of us.


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