Unemployment Benefits: Do we step in front of the boulder?

OK, let me break it down. So let’s say you used to make $1000 a week and you lost your job and now have unemployment which pays you $500 a week (round numbers). It sucks because your income has now been halved and your lifestyle has taken a turn for the depressing.So you look for a job. There are jobs out there ($300 a week jobs), that is a fact.

Another fact is that the jobs that are available are generally not desirable (again, less than the unemployment), but when push comes to shove anyone will say: Do you want fries with that? (And take the $300 and be happy for it) But you don’t want to flip burgers or walk around and help sell CD Players and big screen TVs, you want to do the job you trained to do and did so well until this whole economic bubble burst. You might not find a job in the same industry for a while, but you keep on looking, after all you’re not starving just yet ($500 buys a lot of Ramen), unemployment is still coming in.That’s the problem, you have people who are unemployed and jobs which are not filled. Some of those unemployed people do not want to do said jobs as they may be below their pay-grade (and below their unemployment rate) or not interesting to them (I sure wouldn’t want to use my PhD or Masters to optimize deep frying algorithms) and will continue to look for “good jobs” (you know, those things you racked up all those student loans for). That is, until employment stops and those people either starve to death, or take one of the not so desirable jobs which are available.

America is not what it used to be (and it’s sad, because I liked that America), and I don’t think that we are achieving anything by prolonging unemployment benefits for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. The only thing it does do is cause a bigger buildup of unemployed people who will eventually all either find a “good job”, take a “bad job” or starve.

Life, like the economy and society in general is not something that turns on a dime, it is too big, like a giant boulder. However, once it gets going one way it just crushes anyone in its path and drags the rest of us along for the ride. So, let’s not get in the way of the giant boulder or try to keep it from rolling, let it roll and go along for the ride, fighting will only get you crushed.