Choosing handout over job |

Choosing handout over job

David Dillon
Eagle, CO, Colorado

I am a manager at a local business and had an experience this week which illuminates how dysfunctional our unemployment insurance system is.

A young lady who was laid off from her job of two and a half years came in applying for a job. After determining that she had the qualifications we needed, I offered her a position at an hourly rate competitive and commensurate with the industry standard for this area. She had listed a desired hourly wage on her application and we met that requirement with the stipulation that she would be paid one dollar less for 10-14 days while she was in training.

After speaking with her mother, who advised her to take a pass, she chose not to accept the job because she makes more collecting unemployment insurance.

There are so many things wrong with this scenario I hardly know where to start.

For the loss of $40-$80, this young lady decided it was better to continue taking a handout. And, unfortunately, we have a system which allows her to do so.

I have never understood why our government doesn’t make use of those who are unemployed rather than simply paying them to turn down jobs they decide they don’t want. Surely we could balance a good chunk of our state and federal budgets by utilizing those we pay as part of a temporary work force and getting something for our money.

This same system further allows her to cost her former employers money while she sits on her butt since the former employers are charged for benefits paid to their former employees.

I also don’t understand why our system allows people to turn down work, which apparently it does, if the pay level is below the rate they receive on unemployment. Maybe we need to rethink the benefit amounts these people are awarded. And, in this instance, it was work this young lady sought out. We didn’t recruit her. She walked in of her own volition and we met her hourly pay request.

I don’t understand the lessons a mother teaches her child in advising her that it is better to take a hand out than do an honest day’s work. Yes, we have a system in which we pay into a fund to protect us when we are suddenly out of work, but that doesn’t mean we have to draw on it when we could actually work instead.

I don’t understand how, in a time when unemployment is rampant, the economy is in shambles and jobs are scarce, a person would pass up a chance at steady employment. A very qualified friend of mine back in Chicago has been out of work for 20 months after being laid off. She and a lot of other people right now would be very glad to have a job at all. They would, I am sure, find this young lady’s attitude and actions as despicable as do I.

Something is wrong with not only our system of unemployment compensation, but also with those who possess a sense of entitlement instead of a real but, alas, ever diminishing work ethic.

David Dillon


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