I’ve blogged previously about my touching and edifying adventure with unemployment benefits-you know, the saga about how I, a hardworking, exemplary citizen, only managed to find a job when my benefits were about to expire.
US News & World Report has an interesting piece today on the battle over whether to extend unemployment benefits for the sixth time since 2008. “With unemployment at a shockingly high 9.5 percent, that only seems humane,” the piece states.
Yes, it may seem humane, but the article adds:
It can’t go on. Our entire concept of what the government should do for us has become a fantasy, with most Americans feeling entitled to a lot more than the government–we taxpayers–can afford. In coming years this will inevitably impact recipients of Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and many other government payments. In other words, mostly everybody. At the moment, the battle over unemployment benefits represents an instructive microcosm of fiscal dysfunction that’s only going to get worse.
My own experience was instructive-I would have been terrified without the prospect of unemployment benefits when I lost a job in the early 1990s. On the other hand, I only dabbled at finding a job until they were about to run out.
The job I took was one I would never have gone for if it had not been absolutely necessary-and yet, it was one of the best decisions of my life, because in that job, for the first time, I was not only a writer but an editor. Having the new skill of editing changed my life.
And it only happened because the grim specter of want was knocking at the door.