Tuesday, February 23, 2010

History Repeats Itself.

In my current position (unemployed) this passage from the book I am reading- Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, struck a cord with me. Recently, I took a temporary job that lasted a week. Since, I took this week of work, I was refused unemployment for THREE weeks. This is why people on welfare or unemployment prefer not working over working, because ultimately they are punished in one way or another. Whether it be waiting hours upon hours on a representative who talks to you like you are dirt..only to provide you with a five minute response and tell you to be on your way. Or you are punished like me, without payment for three weeks because you worked one. This excerpt from the book is a great synopsis of how I feel.

"Jack Reagan (Ronald's father) did not wait to be asked by anyone to help people find work. It was within the meager budget given to him by the federal government to find jobs in the community that needed doing and match them to men who presented themselves before him each week. By working late into the night, Jack managed to distribute the few jobs on offer between the thousands of men so that each of them received a share of the small amount of money available and the scrap of self respect that job, however menial, represented."

" As the Roosevelt administration became better organized, the scale of government help increased and with it the unintended inequities of the welfare system. Jack Reagan soon found that men who took his jobs were refused full welfare relief payment because they were working. The men he helped had to join the back of the line for welfare payments and fill in endless forms, turning them from proud family men without jobs into anonymous case numbers to be lost in the system. As his son later pointed out, "In the meantime their families went hungry- all because they'd done a few days honest work."

I am not suggesting that my situation is as desperate, but I do know people whose situations are. If it is difficult for me to make it, I can't imagine adding children and a spouse to the mix.

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