Let us preserve our respect for truth, for beauty, for the ideal of perfection which life does not permit us to attain, though none of these things meet with the approval of the unconscious universe. If Power is bad, as it seems to be, let us reject it from our hearts. In this lies Man’s true freedom.
Bertrand Russell; A free man’s worship
A thought or two on the thought that unemployment is somehow a bad thing:
Instrumental to the thought that “unemployment insurance is bad” is the thought that, if only there were no unemployment insurance, those who are unemployed would want to be employed more than they are with the insurance there to help them. That by “driving them out of it” to quote Ben Franklin, “they” would become more industrious. I am sure there are some cases where that point would be correct. There are lazy people. People who want to abuse the system so they can slack. They are a small percentage of the populace, though, a very small percentage of the populace. With unemployment now near 10% though, and underemployment nearer to 20%, and with, according to numbers I have seen quoted far and wide, one job available for every 6 job seekers, how does that paradigm stand up?
Not at all.
It isn’t laziness that keeps millions out of work, it is circumstance, blind fate, bad luck, random unhappy occurrences within the system. Those who find themselves without work, or without enough work to pay the bills, aren’t out of work because they want to be, or because they are lazy, but because the world is a less than perfect place, filled with people and businesses who make bad decisions, based on the wants and needs, not of individuals, but of masses of people, corporations, stockholders, even entire nations. This leaves the average man and woman who finds themselves out of work at the mercy of a merciless world.
So when I hear the usual platitudes about people who are out of work being lazy, and about how these lazy people are a burden on society, and that cutting off unemployment would be a good thing, that it would motivate them, it sounds very much like intellectually dishonesty. And laziness. These people leveling these platitudes would rather not care about the world or the people around them. They want to insulate themselves from the effects of the system in which they live, which created the mess they are trying to ignore and make go away with their cute, but in the end fruitless, imaginings.
Unemployment insurance, rather than a disincentive to work, is a hand, a momentary help for those who need it until things are well enough where they can stand on their own two feet again and do the work that they have through a life of training and hard work, have given themselves to, and would do now, if only they had the opportunity.
Viddy of the day: A truly great song by The Yardbirds, Shapes of Things:
Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Marcus Aurelius; Meditations
Wednesday’s links o’ joy:
Work update: Sent three resumes out, called three places about doing moving work with the teamsters with local 814. Certified said they have nothing at the moment, but call them back later, I left a message at Collins, and left my name and phone number at BDI. Fixed a minor issue with my resume. No work or callbacks yet so far.
Music update: Played less guitar today than I did yesterday, but the day isn’t over yet. I hit the arpeggios pretty hard, and played a fair amount of major and minor scales, with some incidental modal work. Haven’t played a pentatonic scale in weeks. Played a wee bit o blues, a little bit of metallica, a very little bit of metallica, call it less than 100 notes, jamming to a bit of the “big 4” Am I evil viddy I watched on facebook.
Go to sleep America, I’ll keep an eye on things while you snooze. It’s my job, at least until I get one of my own.