In 2004, the company I worked for went out of business. I collected one unemployment check. I forgot to call in for the next check because I was too busy...working on opening my own business, utilizing the hole my former employer left behind.
I know that I am blessed. I have an amazing life partner who was there, helping and supporting me every step of the way. He also happens to be the one person I know I can count on in my day-to-day business life.
In 2006, I sold the two stores I opened after becoming unemployed so that I could open a similar business in the town I where I lived. Again, he was right there with me. Today, we run a retail computer store that also performs computer service and our commute is merely across town.
In light of my own experience with unemployment, I was extremely intrigued by Mark Whitehouse's article "Some Firms Struggle to Hire Despite High Unemployment."
As with most issues in this life, I sit on the fence and know that there are two halves to this coin. On one hand, I applaud the statement, "extending jobless benefits to 99 weeks gives the unemployed less incentive to search out new work." I compare this to a man I know who has, since unwillingly becoming unemployed in about 2005, willingly become unemployed twice! He is the epitomy of this statement. He is supported in his unemployment by his wife, his parents (whom they live with) and our government. His excuse for quitting the last job? They wanted him to relocate to their new location. And unlike the "millions of homeowners (who) are unable to move for a job because of the real-estate collapse," his parents own the home he lives in and would continue to live there, I'm sure. So aren't his parents enabling him to remain unemployed in the same way that our government is enabling so many to remain unemployed?!
On the other side of the coin, I know there are a lot of people that an unemployment extension will help because they really have been trying to get a job and haven't been able to find one. I can't provide you with an example of this side of the coin because I don't know anyone, first hand, experiencing this. I just know that it's not possible that everyone qualified for the unemployment extension would be abusing it.
Yes, really, I am thankful every day that I am employed. I am the person you want to strangle after you've had a bad day at work that says, "at least you have a job." I say that to myself everytime I'm having a crappy day at work. Sometimes it pays to invent a job for ourselves then follow through.
What do you think about the unemployment benefits extension?