South Carolina Wants To Force Unemployed to Volunteer For Benefits

In another push to remind people that if you aren’t employed, there must be something fundamentally flawed in you that needs to be fixed, the state of South Carolina is proposing to make it mandatory that those who have been unemployed for more than six months must perform 16 hours a week of volunteer services in order to continue to receive benefits.

Of course, there is the inherent problem that if you force someone to do an activity in order to receive a reward of some sort, that’s not “volunteering,” that’s simply mandatory unpaid labor.  Or, when you think about it as them receiving their benefits in exchange for providing services, it’s just lower pay employment.  But the lawmakers proposing the bill say that it’s not really forced labor if it’s in the unemployed person’s best interest.  “I just think if someone’s busy working, they’ll be more industrious and more likely to get a job,” said [State Senator Paul] Campbell, R-Goose Creek. “Depending on the skill they’ve got, I think we can put that skill to work. I’m not talking about collecting garbage on the side of the highway.”

But there may be an underlying motive that isn’t being discussed.  Campbell says “his intent is to match people’s skills with work that needs done in city or county governments and schools, from electrical work to assisting in classrooms.”

In other words, he wants to use these “volunteer” workers with mandatory hours in a way that would allow the state to cut the hours or lay off workers who are already being paid for doing government-paid work.  The bill isn’t just to “better” the unemployed, it’s to get free labor in order to cut government costs, and would put even more people in the unemployment line.

But I guess that means more free workers for the state government, right?

Photo credit: revisorweb


William Baylor
William Baylor6 years ago

People that want you to work for no wages, low wages etc. is slavery period. They are the rich greedy bastards that get work done for nothing and they will they make millions on your ignorance and inability to understand what they are doing to you! South Carolina is a cesspool full of these rich greedy jerks and they will skin you alive while they get you to pray for forgiveness. Remember Jimmy Bakker and Tammy Faye. The bible belt is just what it is, a sad garbage can full of perverted people ready to clean your clock!

Sue T.
Susan T6 years ago

When I was unemployed volunteering was recommended by the Work Force staff as a way of networking, developing new skills, meeting people and possibly finding a job as well as getting out and doing something so one would not feel so alone and isolated in the task of finding a job.
So I think it is a good idea.

paul m.
paul m6 years ago

So, what I see is you'r told to volunteer.=.(a person who offers to do something of one's own free will and not under compulsion, is a person who offers to do something free.)
.Force`.=..(to get or do something,to compel,to oblige,to impose ,to inflict with force)
Now once you'r forced to volunteer and you get work (that might suit you or maybe not) but what
extra money does one get ? I can see bosses thinking why should I pay the proper wage.when
i can get so called volunteers. By the way has anyone seen that film "the Shawshank redemption" Paul..

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S6 years ago

Actually, this doesn't seem to be a bad idea. As long as the hours are minimal so as to not interfere with one's job hunt, why not dedicate a few hours to community service a week. There should definitely be options for those receiving benefits as to which labor they would like to do. E.g., picking up litter, helping out at animal shelters, assisting at elderly care facilities, helping big brothers/sisters organizations, servicing homeless shelters and food banks, etc. There is so much good that can be done in communities and the interactions can be beneficial both ways.

Mark S.
Mark S6 years ago

Time would be better spent looking for another good paying job.

New G.
W. C6 years ago

Thank you for the information.

Nancy L.
Nancy L6 years ago

Thanks for posting.

J.C. H.
Jc Honeycutt6 years ago

Ummm...."mandatory unpaid labor"--didn't they use to call that "slavery"? How appropriate for South Carolina, which recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of its secession from the United States. (In fairness, neither the current Republican regime nor the secession-celebrators represent the views of all South Carolinians--viz Stephen Colbert--but they certainly throw their weight around.)

Latonya W.
Latonya W6 years ago

I dont see whats wrong with it I was on unemployment for 2 months and volunteered my services on purpose the main reason was so I would not become comfortable doing nothing like I see so many people collecting do.........I also know people that r out looking for jobs everyday and have no problem submitting proof of that Its really not free money but the goal here is to keep ur skills in tact and sharpen u should want to to do that why sit around and get rusty...

William Baylor
William Baylor6 years ago

CC C. Ok, Lets test all state workers than including members of your government who you pay large amounts of tax dollars to ever day! More rich people and religious people in your state use drugs far more than any of the disadvantaged people your mention! Apparently you don’t read much, or don’t watch TV or just maybe you’re a real southern moron!