3/13/2009

Am I the only one getting jipped??

So here's an interesting scenario for anyone who might be in the same boat. I am a full time student at SUU and am within a year of graduating. I was married about a year ago here and have planned to stay here as long as I can. When I married I realized that the play days were over and that it was time to get a real job. So for the past year I have been working full time at a factory at nights to try and provide for my family. A medical situation arose within my family that called for immediate attention. So in an attempt to try and stay afloat, we applied for medicade and financial assistance through the hospital. As a full time emplyee however, I was denied any financial help at all and was left with a $5,000 bill to pay. My wife and I started with literally nothing, not even a car, and to put up this kind of money, and to pay for school was impossible. So we are now paying every month for the next six years to try and dissolve this debt. Late, due to non-economic reasons, I was layed off at my work along with 100 other employees. They left us in a time of practically no chance whatsoever of finding something new, and especially something that would be enough for the bills we need to pay. So I applied for unemployment in order to get at least what ever i could. I was denied because I am a full time student and am not available for full time work. What??? I spent the last year working full time and going to school full time! So as a full time employee, I'm not entitled to government help with medical issues. But as a full time student, I'm not entitled to government help with being unemployed! Were I just one or the other i would have qualified. But I guess in our society you get punished for being more productive and working harder for your family to survive. The basic message I'm receiving is that to be more lazy is actually encouraged!! You are rewarded to be a bumb. Wonderful.....

7 comments:

mint said...

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Sarah

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Jason said...

Situations like that really anger me. People should be rewarded for their hard work, not punished. I am curious as to what the stipulations are exactly on receiving unemployment money. I have a cousin that is currently going to college and he is taking advantage of unemployment. I thought he was a full-time student but I will have to check.

I would argue that despite any other conditions, people should be able to claim unemployment if they were working full-time before they were fired. It just makes sense.

In consideration for the medical problem that this student was faced with i don't have much to say. We all know that the health care system in the U.S. is flawed. I guess we just have to grit our teeth and bare it till our "savior" Obama fixes everything.

Caleb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caleb said...

As a missionary in Eastern Kentucky 4 years ago, I saw this sort of thing firsthand on an almost daily basis. The rules of the government for aid and assistance are flawed sometimes beyond reason. Like you said, you are often rewarded for less effort. I often met people in Kentucky who lived off of $700 a month government assistance and would not go get a job for fear of losing their "free" paycheck. I also knew of a man who was injured at work and wasn't able to receive any government assistance because of a very similar situation involving school and work. Someone who was both helping the economy and himself by working and paying taxes and by also increasing his education couldn't get any help from the government. It's wrong.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Calvin for spelling errors (I know ... more bad news).

Anyway, while I personally sympathize, I have to comment professionally.

1) This is a good example of what I meant when I said the effects of recessions were distributional. What makes recessions hard is not that we all suffer a bit, but that a minority take most of the punishment.

2) As to our bizarre regulations, this is what happens when we a) don't sunset laws and regulations, and b) judge the effectiveness of programs by inputs instead of outputs. Sunsetting is the idea that all laws should come with an expiration date, so that someone has to consider whether or not they still make sense every once in a while. As to judging inputs instead of outputs, this is a huge problem with many parts of government. We ought to be paying people in the bureaucracy to find people who need help: someone should get a bonus for finding Calvin and helping him, rather than a paycheck for following the rules.

Tristan said...

I sympathize with Calvin's situation and wholly agree that our government is encouraging the wrong crowd. In my opinion the policies providing a social safety net have gotten way out of hand. Under Obama's proposed fiscal policies it seems that poverty is the way to go. If you were to attain wealth, you would have to support others, whereas if you remain in poverty, it is the duty of others to support you. I don't believe such policies are made to intentionally punish the hardworking, but the reality is they do. This should be a red flag for law-makers to consider in regard to all idealist economic policies. A more pragmatic approach would be more beneficial.

I also agree with Dr. Tufte that it would be beneficial to re-visit and determine the effectiveness of laws previously ratified. Sunset laws are a good idea, but how about a small agency that collects and analyzes data to determine the effectiveness of domestic social laws? It would be relatively simple for the new administration to create and it might even be beneficial to the economy by providing jobs and helping eliminate wasteful programs. Perhaps I am revealing my ignorance here, but does such a government body exist? I know there are certainly bumps that need to be hammered out but it is an interesting idea.

Sophia said...

All this story does is echo what we've discussed in class concerning governments. THEY ARE INEFFICIENT! Even the best governments have huge amounts of waste. I'm not much of a fan of big government, especially the obese one we're currently enjoying. Notably, after the Great Depression, the government has gotten much, much bigger. Too bad we can't take a step back like others have mentioned and slash some wasteful policies we're living under. Just an example of this, the current tax code contains about 16,800 pages...I'm sure that's a delightful read.