[tabi] Re: attitudes toward the unemployed

  • From: "Barbara Lineberry" <bkblpp@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 15:28:04 -0400

I remember many years ago in my early years of work when my mother would 
encourage me to make sure my disability was brought up during an interview or 
even in applications for jobs.  She said I would have a better chance.  I never 
saw it happen.  I never had a job where I made more than $19,500 a year.  

I've had orthopedic problems since birth and my mother often told me all the 
things I could not do, not even try.  I've been able to do more than was 
thought possible, but it hasn't been easy.  I've been determined to be as 
independent as possible but things are getting much harder.  

I volunteered many years at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and down here 
at the Junior Museum, the library, and the Radio Reading Service at WFSU.  I've 
stopped volunteering now because some days it is all I can do to do what I have 
to do.  

My last regular paying job was at what was then known as Independance for the 
Blind but has changed it's name first to FIRE and now to The Lighthouse.  I 
retired on disability but since then have been able to work as needed with 
those who've known me for a long time and know what I can do well.  I don't 
make much but enjoy the occasional work which is usually reading and/or 

There are "bad apples" who have taken advantage of unemployment and 
unfortunately those are the ones that people remember and judge others on.  
Many, many hard working, honest people are suffering during these times.  
Politicians get elected and immediately start their next campaign and don't see 
what is really going on.  Campaign promises are completely forgotten.  Jobs are 
made available for the cheapest going rate, usually overseas, and not for folks 
who can do with the proper training a much better job.  Good customer service 
is so rare that I make a point of complimenting a person who has given me some. 
 People are getting discouraged and depressed and that makes looking for a job 
even harder.  I know, I've been there.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Chip Orange 
  To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 2:33 PM
  Subject: [tabi] attitudes toward the unemployed

  some of the article below is just unbelievable, and not at all good news for 
those seeking jobs:

  Back to web version
  Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010
  Posted on Thu, Jul. 08, 2010
  Unemployed need support from Congress
  The Kansas City Star
  They are our neighbors and our kids' schoolteachers. They are the people who 
in better
  times built our houses and highways, manufactured the goods we use and 
stocked the
  shelves in our stores.
  Meet the long-term unemployed. There but for some fortunate breaks go many of 
  So why are they being vilified?
  Congress is dithering on extending unemployment insurance benefits. The 
longer the
  debate goes on, the more it encourages the false but deep-rooted American 
  that if a person is in need, it's got to be his or her fault.
  And so we have senators and think-tank types opining that extended 
unemployment insurance
  presents a "disincentive" for people to look for work. As if living on 
  and an average of $310 a week is now the great American dream.
  We have Rand Paul, the GOP senatorial candidate from Kentucky, lecturing on a 
  show that ". ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less 
than we
  had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to 
  started again." Like people desperate for jobs haven't thought of that.
  We have people using the Internet's cloak of anonymity to express insulting 
  "The great unasked question in the face of bad unemployment numbers is, how 
  of these people weren't performing well even in the 'good' times?" a reader 
  in response to a piece by journalist Rod Dreher on beliefnet.com.
  And we have some employers specifying in their job listings that "unemployed 
  will not be considered" or applicants "must be currently employed." And no, 
  against the unemployed is not prohibited by law.
  We have in our nation a tendency to want to blame people for their own bad 
  It reared up in the health care debate, when uninsured people were maligned 
as handout
  It's social Darwinism in action even if some who exhibit it don't subscribe 
to the
  theory of evolution. And I will agree that actions and behaviors can and 
often do
  play a role in one's circumstances.
  But right now we have five job seekers applying for every opening. Those are 
  odds, even if employers aren't stigmatizing the unemployed.
  Who are the long-term unemployed? I asked Christine Owens, executive director 
  the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group.
  They tend to be older, she said, usually 45 years and up. A majority are men. 
  but by no means all, have less than a college education. Many worked in 
  manufacturing, banking, and retail. They have been out of work at least 26 
  often much longer.
  I know some of these people. Many of them have worked for decades and took 
  pride in doing so. They are people who volunteer in their communities, send 
  kids to college and care for elderly parents.
  The notion that they're using their unemployment checks to finance an 
extended vacation
  would be comical except that some people actually believe it.
  Conservatives tell us that "the overwhelming majority" of studies show that 
  postpone looking for work if they're receiving unemployment pay.
  Don't buy it. Newer research is finding that it's not the lack of trying 
that's keeping
  people out of work. It's the lack of jobs.
  One example: Economists Rob Valetta and Katherine Kuang at the Federal 
Reserve Bank
  of San Francisco analyzed the experiences of workers who left their jobs 
  and received no unemployment benefits, and workers who were laid off and 
  unemployment insurance.
  They found little difference in the length of time it took the two categories 
  workers to find new jobs. For both groups, the search took too long.
  Of course Congress should extend unemployment benefits. The money will act as 
a stimulus,
  stave off foreclosures and keep people from needing other forms of aid.
  Agree or disagree, but can we at least not make unemployed people the 
villains of
  this debate? They don't need the hassle.
  They need jobs.

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