Not Lazy, But Disheartened
February 22, 2014 3 Comments
Our side of the aisle often likes to portray those receiving unemployment insurance as lazy ne’er-do-wells who aren’t interested in a job. Whilst there may well be some recipients who are like this, there are others who do not fit this mold.
Something that never seems to be addressed about long-term unemployment is the effect it has on the confidence & psyche of those in that position. I can speak with some experience on this. As a younger, single man, living in the UK, I had no problem with finding myself unemployed and on “the dole”. I lived with my parents, (and after they split up, my Mom), so I never had to worry about rent or mortgage payments; the dole covered me for a small payment to Mom as a contribution to the household budget and a few beers a couple of times a week and the odd cigar. Moving to the USA changed my outlook a lot. This change in view was only enhanced more by the advent of marriage and kids.
To cut a long story short, I’m part way through my second year of unemployment, living off the generosity of family members. The initial flurry of applications saw one interview and not many more “Thanks, but…” letters. When you’re applying for positions you know you can do, and have been doing for years, and do well, it is very disheartening. As time goes on the enthusiasm goes down, as depression sets in; you start applying for jobs at places like Wal-Mart and not getting any calls for interviews, you feel like there’s no job you can apply for that you can get. And I bet that I’m not the only one who feels like this. In fact, if I could afford to bet on it, I would put money on it that most all of us who have “dropped out” of the labor market have these same feelings.
Oh… I haven’t been diagnosed with depression, but then, I can’t afford a doctor visit, as I refuse to accept the bondage that comes by signing up for Medicaid, (as an aside, I haven’t obtained any government assistance, outside of U.I.), but the feeling of despair and hopelessness can only be depression. All of this is exacerbated by the high cost of living.
So, all I ask is that you think a little about those of us who want to be productive members of American society, but have just lost our way to that goal and if you can help some of us out, please do. I can only speak for myself, and say that anyone helping me out of this hole would have my eternal respect, loyalty and gratitude, but I also firmly believe most Americans in my position would feel the same way.