Friday, October 21, 2011

Unemployed? It's All Your Fault!

Since 2005, I have experienced three periods of unemployment

There were those nine months between April and December, 2005. (My unemployment insurance ran out after six months, by the way.)

Then there was those other nine months after the dishrack factory lost the Bosch account. I received unemployment insurance payment for all nine months that time.

I was re-hired at the dishrack factory at a lower rate of pay for almost a whole year. Following weeks and weeks of being laid off for lack of order volume, the factory was shuttered earlier this year. That brought about another three more months of unemployment.

I figure I've experienced about two full years of unemployment during the last six years.

Now, there are those, like my erstwhile friend, who are so eager to spout their talking points that they would call me lazy, fat and happy for being out of work and collecting my unemployment insurance benefits.

The on-going narrative from the right wing noise machine is that the jobless simply are lazy and have chosen not to work for a living.

To this I must reply, "...and the horse you rode in on."

HERE is a link to an article written by Dennis Palumbo that expresses some understanding of what it is like to suffer through extended bouts of unemployment.

In summation, I will quote Dr. Palumbo:

What we–as a people, as a society–have to realize is that prolonged unemployment is a national disaster, like a flood or an earthquake. That its victims are no more responsible for the havoc that it brings than they’d be for the ravages of a wildfire overtaking their homes. That whether as friends and families, colleagues and neighbors, or politicians and mental health workers, we need to reduce the corrosive effects of blame—either of ourselves or others—and endeavor to provide instead support and solace, both pragmatic and emotional.

How do we accomplish this? We need policies that work, not sound-bites that inflame. We need the humility to understand that large-scale calamities are a part of the life of a nation, just as we need the grit to face the dilemmas squarely and honestly. We need to hold those truly responsible for the economic crisis accountable. Seriously, legally, accountable.

Moreover, we need to understand and accept the interconnected nature of the global financial apparatus in which we are all, each and every one of us, embedded. And to develop and set in motion the mechanisms that will lessen the likelihood of another such world-wide crisis in the future.

Will any of these things happen? I couldn’t say; the answer to that is above my pay grade. But whatever we do in the coming months and years to address our economic woes, unless we challenge the idea that unemployment is a character flaw, that the “blame” dwells either within ourselves or in some alien, dangerous “other,” we’ll remain divided and disheartened. Traumatized by long-entrenched beliefs.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

It's October Already?

Mariel says, Hi!"