Monday, January 10, 2011

Joseph O. Patton: Don’t choke on that silver spoon in your mouth

  As it stands, for every job currently available in this country, there are six workers vying for it. The unemployment rate hovers at nearly 10 percent. And that figure is misleading and a woeful understatement considering it is based on the number of unemployed individuals receiving unemployment compensation. Once those individuals exhaust their benefits, they’re no longer included in the figure though they are still lacking work. That figure also fails to include someone who may work 40 hours a week but has no benefits and may earn as little as minimum wage, otherwise know as “underemployed."

  So why, oh why, do we hear the fatally flawed argument churning through talk radio and other outlets for the chronically ignorant and mean-sprited, all driven by the same, hateful, small-minded lie: “Well… those people just don’t want to work the jobs available!”

  How pray tell can you be accused of refusing to accept a job when you’re not being offered a job to begin with and it simply isn‘t available to you? And why is that concept so difficult to grasp by some people? Even pre-schoolers can wrap their head around this brain teaser: “How do you give six children an apple when there’s only one apple available?” In other words, unless you’re capable of pulling one of those nifty loaves and fishes tricks (see the Bible, Book of Mark - you may be familiar with the book since conservatives love to quote from it but only when the verses suit their political needs), there simply aren’t enough jobs available for the current number of unemployed Americans.

  I’m inclined to believe that those who perpetuate the myth that unemployed individuals are somehow being nit-picky about which job offer they accept are the garden variety petty types who have always been comfortably employed and never had to sweat the issues the rest of us ordinary people face. Perhaps they sailed through college - paid in full by mommy and daddy, likely didn’t have to work, and spent their days in Academia frequenting keggers and playing grab-ass with their fraternity. Then when they graduated had an undeserved cushy job waiting for them at mommy or daddy’s law firm or something similar where they have since spent their professional life specializing in dragging in late, fingering their iPad, talking to their buddies on the phone, and casually knocking off at noon to play golf each day. They’ve never truly worked or earned the job they have, and they certainly have never faced the pressures and sacrifices of paying a mortgage, putting food on the table for their children, making a car payment or faced a medical issue which has potentially bankrupted them and their family. So it’s easy in their insensitive, self-absorbed minds to look down on people who do have to work and who, in this economy, are understandably struggling sans the breaks and strokes of good fortune.

  And worse, even those who look down their noses because they’ve enjoyed a fortunate smooth ride of uninterrupted, comfortable employment - lucky and understandably unshaken - are nonetheless a heartbeat away from a family illness, layoff from work, or some dire financial problem which will land them on the unemployment compensation rolls. Will they continue kicking people who already down, demonizing them and implying that unemployment is always self-inflicted, even deserved? Arguing that everyone who is jobless must be lazy and irresponsible? What brand of asshole kicks someone when he's down anyway?

  So I wonder how they’ll adjust and how their attitude will rapidly evolve when it finally happens to them and they can no longer demean and dismiss the concerns and problems of everyone else. It will be telling - not to mention amusing - when they find themselves struggling to find a job opening that doesn‘t exist, attempting to eat and pay their bills on the paltry sum offered via unemployment compensation - the same sum they begrudge daily when others receive it and even have the audacity to claim the unemployed would rather receive that weekly payment than work…. Have you ever met anyone who craves the opportunity to scrape by on as little as $265 per week, and who actually prefers that over working? (And that is the MAXIMUM weekly benefit amount in Alabama. Someone drawing unemployment in our state can actually receive as little as around $40 on the other end of the scale.) But if you do find this fabled person, please let me know ’cause I’m itchin’ to meet this figment of your imagination. I bet he’s one hell of a character!

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press. He is a former news editor for the Coosa County News, lead reporter for the Montgomery Independent and editor-in-chief of the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn-Montgomery. Patton is also the creator of and writer for the satirical news radio segment "Goat Hill Gossip," which previously aired on WAUD in Auburn, Alabama and has appeared on several Central Alabama radio programs as a political analyst.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

1 comment:

  1. For everything - There is a time.

    For some reason, I have been placed to be in a grocery line to have someone of the opposite race to use a Food Stamp Credit Card to purchase their items.

    Each had a hesitation when they would see me walk up behind them with a fist full of dollars, as if it was a BIG SECRET.

    I believe these are the same type of people who are among us saying certain and specific persons in America only want a hand out and / or are too lazy.

    When I was denied unemployment from Capital Dental Designs, because it is said that I initiated misconduct. I went home, and opened a home business.

    Although - I tried to fight the ruling of the unemployment decision - I knew it was a waste of time. IF ? The bosses would have had enough guts and sensitivity to tell ""ONE WORKER"" (Carl) to leave me alone, stop picking on me as I worked, stop throwing things at me from the other side of the work area while I would be shaving around the margins, (the rim / lining that seals the crown and / or bridge to the gum line of the clients) of the crowns and bridges, to stop and waiting to stand behind me when they wanted to pass gas, and to stop attempting to sabotage the 1,000's of crowns and bridges that I would cast, for what I thought was "OUR" company, I would have probably worked there for the rest of my life.

    Maybe if the bosses would have wondered why I stopped coming in 2 hours early and staying 2 hours late - just to learn my new found trade and skill to help the company as much as I could.

    Maybe if the bosses would have saw the abuse I took for cleaning around the office when my work was all done.

    Maybe if the bosses would have saw that I refuse to not work while on a clock - I was actually a GREAT WORKER.

    I worked there for 1 year and 1 day.
    Having my last check stripped from me and withheld to pay for a root canal payment, ASSuming I wouldn't pay my bills, having my 1 week vacation pay stripped from me. I know NOW that I chose the right choice to open my own home business.

    - here is some good and sound advise.

    When you are sitting on your butt all day, while collecting unemployment and / or doing nothing all day ? Get on the internet and find you a new skill or sharpen up skills you already have. Open a business and start it from home.

    Find a service that EVERYONE or a service that MANY Americans can use. Master those skills and start a home business. Stop allowing the fact that America is constantly sending jobs over seas, hold you or others back, and UPGRADE YOUR DETERMINATIONS.

    Ecclesiastes 3:1 - King James Bible
    To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: