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Unemployed? You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself!

Unemployed? You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself!

So much attention is being paid to the payroll tax portion of the standoff in Congress, that less on the radar is the fact that without the passage of a bill, many will begin losing unemployment benefits after the first of the year.

The House GOP is fighting their battle by claiming that they already passed a bill with a year long extension payroll tax extension that also extended unemployment benefits, too, albeit for less time than was proposed.† What they are less inclined to mention in their talking points are the new rules that they want applied to unemployment that they added into their bill.

In order to receive benefits, anyone who is unemployed would have to take and pass a mandatory drug test prior to receiving aid.† It’s a ploy that multiple states have either proposed or at least considered when it comes to welfare benefits, but no one had thought to add it on to unemployment, too.† At least, not before now.† One reason?† The ACLU is currently suing Florida, the only state to actually pass the law so far, saying they are violating 4th amendment rights.

But drug testing is just one of the new hoops to be jumped through.† Another? If you do not have a high school diploma, or a GED, you have to get one.† And you must provide reports of “satisfactory” progress as you do it.† Yes, the party of less government intrusion is now dictating how much education a person must have in order to be a member of the workforce.

As The New Republic writes, “[I]f someone is collecting unemployment who lacks either of these things we know that person managed to get a job in spite of this educational deficit–otherwise he or she wouldn’t be on unemployment. To require this person to enroll in a GED program as a condition of collecting benefits is in essence to say that you had no business being in the labor force to begin with.”

In other words, if you are unemployed, there is obviously something wrong with you — either because you are an addict or because you lack education.† Otherwise, no one would have laid you off in the first place.† Or so the House GOP believes.† And they’ve made it the unemployed person’s responsibility to prove otherwise.

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339 comments

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4:33PM PDT on May 29, 2012

the hypocrisy of Amerika

6:48AM PDT on Mar 19, 2012

thanks for sharing

3:31AM PST on Jan 3, 2012

I am on both sides of the fence on this one. I am currently unemployed ,and have a college education. I so receive unemployment and actively look for a job. Due to an injury.. I do take prescription pain killers from time to time and feel that if I failed a drug test due to this and lost benefits.. I would be furious! On the other hand.. I know of people who have or are on unemployment, do not look for work, have little education and sit at home bragging on how they rape the government for free money.. this also makes me furious! I am honestly not sure what the answer is. Many of us truely need it as a temporary means, those who abuse it... Well it is their conscious.. if they have one.

10:02PM PST on Jan 2, 2012

Continued...

In this day and age, though, you have to know the basics. If you don't know the minimum, you can't even be a cashier. It surprises me to see 30 year olds at the register, and when the electric goes out, can't count back the change for a $20. Sorry, but, if you don't understand basic arithmetic, you have no business running a cash register and dealing with people's money. I don't make enough to pay for your mistakes.

Btw, I am a home care aid, work hard, college educated, and because it's home care, I get paid less than those who are aids at hospitals and nursing homes. I have a bad back, and cannot keep up with the fast pace at nursing homes. I am also underemployed, and struggle to make my bills, but I survive.

10:00PM PST on Jan 2, 2012

I am ambivalent about the drug testing. Maybe if it's suspected, such as being terminated from a job because of drug use, sure. The way I see it, is, if you can afford to buy drugs (illegal & not in prescription form) then you can afford NOT to be on public assistance, because, MY job requires a lot, and I break my back. I can't afford to go out for lunch with friends. So why should my hard earned tax money go toward your unemployment benefits if you're going to squander it on drugs?

I also believe that most people are honest, and didn't deserve to be laid off or terminated. Corporate greed sold out for cheap labor that can't comprehend basic English.

As for a basic amount of education... Okay, my great grandmother (who, if she was alive, would be something like 132 if she were alive) only "went to the third grade". Yet she was a successful farmer who built her own farm house, barn, silo, etc with her own two hands, with the help from friends and family, and my great grandfather was an immigrant from Hungary, and was illiterate in English at that time, and did just fine. There were no builders then, and you had to do for yourself. My grandfather went through 8th grade, but then high school was optional then. Grandpa just passed away 3 weeks ago, at age 99. He was a professional banker, owner of an abstract company, etc...

In this day and age, though, you have to know the basics. If you don't know the minimum, you can't even be a cashier. It surprises

6:56PM PST on Dec 30, 2011

Jason, I agree with your point of view. Miss, I also understand your concern. It's so easy to get angry when you think of people using their money to satisfy an addiction or to pay for recreational use of drugs. However, aren't we all at freedom of using our money for whatever we want? Otherwise we should also stop people from getting a job if they frequently consume alcohol. Also, as Jason says, these people might also have families who depend on them, so we need to look at the bigger picture. I believe no one should be denied the opportunity to get a job if they qualify for it, and especially not if they need it. Besides although I know this is not the case for everyone, I do know that many people end up getting involved with drugs precisely because they need the money to support themselves and/or their families. There are just so many factors to consider. Also, I think that if someone is applying for unemployment benefits then they are entitled to them, because they were working. How low do we have to go that we deny people in need their right to get help when they get laid off and Regardless, I think we should all agree that the educational factor is way out of line. Again, if you were employed before, why do you need to be treated as if you had to prove that you could have had a job to begin with? It's silly. It makes me so sad that in this country so many have lost compassion for others, particularly the politicians that citizens elected to do what's right by them, not

7:17AM PST on Dec 29, 2011

Hmm, I think that the gov't should give out drug tests & requirements to get a GED or high school diploma before handing out unemployment. I do not see anything wrong with this scenario. How do we know that some the unemployed aren't abusing the money on drugs, and don't try to "better themselves" to find a job.

5:36PM PST on Dec 28, 2011

Keevin S, It takes a rare, caring person, to out himself, your courage goes to speak to the true nature of your heart, I applaud you.

Possibly, you meant to say "send the tea Baggers and GOP to Korea", yes, I believe that is what you meant to say.

I do the very same thing on occasion, someone has to strike the hornets nest to stir things up, to create a more lively discussion.

5:14AM PST on Dec 28, 2011

I figured if I wrote enough comments sooner or later I'd write something stupid and I did so disregard my comment on sending the unemployed to Korea. Doesn't make sense and obviously no thought went into what I said. Sorry if I offened anyone.

3:03PM PST on Dec 27, 2011

Thank you, Jason.Your reasoning is well considered and eloquently stated. I am particularly chagrined by our loss of freedom of choice in this country. The "Party of Small Government" seems to mean by "small government" that government should not interfere with the machinations, legal or otherwise, of the very wealthy to make money or the efforts of big banks and corporations to bleed the public dry and then blame poverty on the very people who have had their blood sucked out of them. The abuses are so many, but you could list them as well as I can. But let an ordinary citizen try to exercise freedom of choice and this same governmental party is in his or her face with rules and regulations. Where is our freedom of choice when an employer decides to outsource his business and lay off his work force? Where was it when insurance companies cut off benefits for life-threatening diseases? (I know, I know, this has been changed, but if the Republicans have their way, it will be reinstated.) Where are our freedoms when it comes to selecting a life partner? (Again, I know that these laws are only on the books in some states, but so many more conservative legislators would love to see them enacted nationally.) Where is a woman's freedom to exercise her constitutional rights to decide whether or not she will bear children? How many of these people who want so desperately to control our personal lives have considered in the last year how the maxim "There but for the grace of God, go I"

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