I've had something bubbling and boiling and causing a bit of trouble in the back of my mind since yesterday when I picked Boo up from daycare. I was listening to NPR, as I usually do when I'm in the LRH, since music and the speakers don't always play nice...
Anyhow, they were talking about the ending of extended unemployment benefits and different Congressional views on the subject.
But first, a brief recap. Until the end of March of 2012 I worked all but two months or so total since graduating college in 1998 and even before that I worked every summer and a few hours a week in the computer lab at school. Then I got laid off on 3/26. I still don't have a job.
Anyhow, one of the things that was said, and made me flip my lid (it's a good thing Boo wasn't in the car yet), was that there are some conservatives out there that think that by not extending benefits it will actually get people to "search harder" for a job.
Really? You really think that'll help? You think having absolutely NO income will make a job suddenly appear that much quicker? Sure, if I want to earn $7/hr flipping burgers. I hate to tell you that, but I was making four times that when I was laid off. Under UI I was/am still getting well more than that. Do you want to know how many jobs I've applied to in the last 9 months? I've lost track but at least three a week, usually several more. Do you want to know how many I've heard back from/found a human to talk to? less than a dozen. How many interviews have I had? about 5 phone interviews and one, yes 1, in-person interview in nine (9) months. And do you know when I applied for that job that got me the in-person interview? Over the summer. I had the phone interview in November and the in-person one in December... and they may have a decision in February.
So, you tell me that taking away any and all safety net that I've been paying into for 12+ years is going to make me find a job faster? So, unless Congress gets their act together this coming week, I have no idea if or when I'll ever see another UI payment again. I do know that if I don't find something paying at least $20/hr by the end of February, I won't be able to pay rent on the apartment, pay for any insurance, phone, cable or simple things like put gas in the car of food in the stomachs of my family. And I actually received a very generous severance package to some people I know who've been laid off in recent months....
Oh, and if you're wondering, that $20/hr is still a pretty big cut from what I was making and will make life tricky, but not impossible.