Hear that? That is the sound of another self-righteous employed person complaining about the unemployed sucking up resources and driving the government deficit further into the red. Who cares employed people?? You guys aren’t the ones who are struggling to find a job in this economy!
There are several tautologies here:
1) Few can live a comfortable lifestyle off of unemployment benefits which average $200-300 a week
2) The vast majority of people who are unemployed want to make more money, find jobs, and do something meaningful with their lives.
3) Our budget is headed towards a $1.8 trillion+ deficit, so who cares if we’re going to spend another $50 billion to help millions of unemployed people survive for up to 99 weeks?
Budget Deficit Doesn’t Matter When You Have No Job
The big debate over the Republicans and Democrats on the latest unemployment benefit extension is how the government will pay for the bill? The Democrats say don’t worry, it’ll come from somewhere while the Republicans say cut spending elsewhere to not add to the deficit. Whatever the case may be, the budget deficit doesn’t matter if you’re struggling to survive, and at the margin are going to cost the economy an even bigger burden. We’ll have to provide for shelters and more public safety officers when crime creeps higher as desperation kicks in.
The ramifications of a budget deficit are only theoretical. People say the government will need to raise interest rates to attract foreigner capital to fund our greedy spending. With higher rates by government, a crowding out effect occurs where efficient capital doesn’t get directed to the private sector. Meanwhile, borrowing costs for citizens increase, also choking off investments. Last I checked, the 10-year yield is close to 3.4%, and foreigners are happily funding us. Meanwhile, plenty of people are smartly refinancing their mortgages and saving money.
People say budget deficits are also bad for our children. How can we live with ourselves knowing that our children are the ones who are going to fund our bad spending habits? We live with it just like we live with the fact that the older generation will happily collect their social security checks, while the younger generation continues to pay without expectations of anything in return!
Once again, all this budget deficit talk is just theoretical nonsense that carries very little weight in determining whether or not we should help our fellow needy citizens or not.
Let’s Care For The Unemployed
A portion of our paychecks are paid for by the employer. This expense (unemployment insurance) is effectively calculated into a working person’s total compensation. If the unemployment insurance expense is 6% per annum, one can assume that if an employer didn’t have to pay this expense due to 0% unemployment, perhaps a couple percent of the 6% may lead to a higher paycheck.
So here is the thing for those who argue it’s a bad thing to spend another $50 billion bucks extending unemployment benefits. Would you rather have the Federal Government pay or pass a bill to increase the unemployment insurance paid by employers by another several percent? If you choose the latter, prepare for MORE layoffs.
Be Empathetic With Those Who’ve Been Laid Off
It continues to perplex me how vocal some employed people are about not helping the unemployed. Unless you’ve been unemployed yourself, you have no idea what you’re talking about!
When you’re unemployed for an extended period of time you start doubting your self worth. You ask yourself what’s the point of life if nobody is willing to give you a chance. You give up looking because you can’t bare another non returned phone call or e-mail. Each rejection is like a blade jabbed and then turned in the soul.
As I come to the end of this article, I realize why so many employed people are so smug about the unemployed. The reason is they are very unhappy with their own jobs.
They can’t stand the fact that someone is getting $1,200 a month to “do nothing” while they have to work 40 hours at their miserable jobs to only earn $3,500. Miserable people like to make other people miserable. The next time you see someone irrational complaining why helping others is a bad idea, just know that they are going through their own torment.
If you were happy with your job and made millions of dollars, don’t you think you’d be more supportive of trying to help your brothers and sisters out? I think so!
If You Want To Quit Your Job
If you want to leave a job you no longer enjoy, I recommend negotiating a severance instead of quitting. If you negotiate a severance like I did back in 2012, you not only get a severance check, but potentially subsidized healthcare, deferred compensation, and worker training. Since you got laid off, you’re also eligible for up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Having a financial runway is huge during your transition period.
Conversely, if you quit your job you get nothing. Check out, How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye, on how to negotiate a severance. I first published the book in 2012 and have since expanded it to 180 pages from 100 pages in the 3rd edition thanks to tremendous reader feedback and successful case studies.
Start your own business: If you feel you’re not getting paid what you’re worth and want to boost your income, start your own business online on the side! It used to cost a fortune and a lot of employees to start your business. Now you can start it for next to nothing with a hosting company like Bluehost for under $4/month and they’ll give you a free domain for a year to boot.
Brand yourself online, connect with like-minded people, find new consulting gigs, and potentially make a good amount of income online one day by selling your product or recommending other great products. Not a day goes by where I’m not thankful for starting Financial Samurai in 2009. Here’s my step-by-step guide to for how to start your own website like mine in under 30 minutes.
Updated for 2020 and beyond.