Will Work For Food- I Guess

By | June 21, 2011

A 62-year-old Arizona man, Frank Ballesteros, “needs one little word” to help him out of his economic situation.

The word is not “hope” or “God” or “patience”. Perhaps the word is  “j-o-b”? Well, think again. What Mr. Ballesteros says he needs is the word “three”. Frank would like for Arizona’s legislature to make  a “small word change, from ‘two’ to ‘three’ in its statutes” to extend jobless benefits.

Mr. Ballesteros is walking door-to-door handing out resumes, yet he doesn’t say he needs a job. He just needs the statute to be changed so he can continue receiving his check.

A New York Times article states:

That last extension of unemployment benefits — typically received in weeks 80 through 99 of unemployment — is paid for entirely with federal money and does not affect state budgets. But because of ideological opposition and other legislative priorities, Arizona and a handful of other states, like Wisconsin and Alaska, have not made the one-word change necessary to keep the program going.

While Mr. Ballesteros may truly want a job, he may be one of very few people over the age of 60 who truly want to work at this stage in their life. Though he is out looking for a job, he does not make it clear that employment is what he needs – just that he needs for his unemployment checks to be extended.

Mr. Ballesteros fails to understand that nothing is free. Federal money- again- tax payers money- that is given to the states come with many strings attached. The fact that Arizona and the other states that refuse to make the “one-word change”, rather than caving in to the federal government is something to be admired.

Times are hard and there are a lot of people out of work. However, no person can honestly expect to have their unemployment extended yet again, especially when this nation is in the financial situation we are in.

I would like to read an article highlighting someone who has lost their job and made the best of it despite the bad economy. Surely there are people out there that were more prepared for a set-back to happen in their lives. When did we stop looking for the positive stories during the hard times? Are we so focused on the negative side of things that we refuse to look for and see the positive stories out there among the bad news?

This is the land of opportunity! It may not be the best paying job, it may not be the most prestigious job, and it most definitely may not be a job we would “like” to do. The problem is we, as a nation, have become so spoiled that we have either became too afraid or “too good” to do whatever it takes to make ends meet. We as a nation have become too independent on the Federal Government to provide for our needs- and now we feel “entitled” to whatever we want or feel we need.

“Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger.”

The vast majority of those who have been out of work for two years and have been receiving unemployment the entire time, thanks to the extensions, have simply sat back waiting for their next check. There are numerous reports of the unemployed turning down job offers so they can continue to receive unemployment checks. I wonder how many jobs has Mr. Ballesteros turned down because they didn’t “pay enough”.

Seemingly everywhere there are “Help Wanted” signs posted. From the corner grocery store to Dollar Tree, Dollar General, gas stations or restaurants, the signs have been posted for some time. If people were truly starving these jobs would be filled within hours of the sign being posted! We, as a nation have become so spoiled that we refuse to lower our standards on what we will and will not do.

If this were you that was unemployed at 62-years-old, would you ever allow yourself to remain unemployed for two years without taking whatever actions that are necessary to prepare for your situation? Would you make the difficult decisions such as downsizing your living quarters, moving in with friends or family or moving to another city or state?

The continuously unemployed do not lack jobs or money as much as they lack initiative, creativity and motivation to do whatever necessary to provide for themselves. Some of these people have sat back and accepted free unemployment checks for two years. They have made no plans to do whatever necessary to break the endless cycle they are in; instead, they are counting on the government to provide for them.

What will happen after 3 years of unemployment? Will Mr. Ballesteros’ situation magically be better, or will he simply be prolonging the inevitable fact that he cannot rely on the federal government to take care of him?

Unemployment checks are the poison that creates unemployment.  The tax burden reduces the workforce which increases the tax burden until the system goes bust.  THEN where will the newly unemployed who have been carrying the burden for everyone else go for a check?

Mr. Ballesteros, did you apply at McDonald’s when they hired 50,000 people?

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A special thank you to my colleague, Wayne, for some pointers for this article.

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0 thoughts on “Will Work For Food- I Guess

  1. Max

    Is the NYT article correct? From what I have found, states manage joint federal/state unemployment programs, and when states run low on funds, the federal government loans money to the states, which must be paid back with interest.