"Unemployment a Tough Issue"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, July 24, 2010

Aren’t we feeding the dragon that is burning us? I suppose this is an odd way to put it, but I think it’s true. Unemployment is ruining our country. Our citizens are out of work, they are losing their homes, cars and many their health. The facts are — they are losing.

Some citizens can share the blame for losing. I know of a man of the house who lost his job and is about to lose his home — a beautiful residence on the lake. He won’t look for work because the last few offers he received paid less than the job he lost. As I listen to other examples this seems to be a common condition.

Families are losing everything they have, but in some cases, the wage earner of the house refuses to accept a lesser pay than they believe they are entitled to. I’m sure there are situations that are the opposite of what I’ve described. All you have to do is look around. You can spot workers who have lost higher paying jobs working in fast food restaurants or doing odd jobs. I even spotted one as a greeter at a department store. We should all admire these people because they are working. They are doing the best they can to survive and save their families.

As I see it, we have caused the unemployment problem ourselves. We developed automation and built machines that replace multiple employees, thus causing many jobs to disappear. Not just in automotive and manufacturing; dairy farms with hundreds of heads of cattle are being processed with just a very few people. In the auto industry, it takes less than half the numbers of employees to keep an assembly line running in today’s factories versus years past, yet the lines are producing more products.

We also contribute to the problem through our system of unemployment benefits. I would like to suggest if a person has lost their job and accepted a lesser paying job, they receive financial assistance. I think they deserve a greater amount of aid than the person who stays home waiting for someone to pay them equal to what they made in the past — while their world falls apart.

People who expect unemployment benefits to be continued endlessly are contributing to the troubles being experienced. If they are not working, they are not increasing the coffers of the unemployment accounts — so where is the money to come from?

As everyone is aware, this subject has been a hot political debate and just this week finally resolved. No one wanted to take the bull by the horns and say “help these people,” especially those who are helping themselves by taking part-time jobs. Politicians much prefer blaming the opposite party for problems our country encounters.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could have unity in our government? It surely would help. Maybe they could all get together at a Tea Party.

I believe greed has also entered the equation. I’d like to suggest as we listen to proposals put forth in political campaign ads, we seek out those who offer realistic ideas to get our country back to work. Ideas that include raising taxes are wrong — this would only put a greater burden on those who are working. We must find a fair way to help those who are willing to help themselves.

We need to stand up and slay the lazy dragon and demonstrate our country’s unity — prove we can all survive together. I’ve taken a cut in pay from many of my publishers I write for, but I’m still working. I hope my pay cuts may have given one more employee a chance to keep his or her job or one more employee to find a little work, even if it doesn’t pay what they made before.

Author’s Note:
Mistakes are common in the media but happily those made in print can be corrected. Please accept a correction from my last column, “Are We Nuts?” Iowa (a state with no borders) was a state referred to as one of those in support of Arizona’s tough immigration laws. Somehow Idaho (a state with a Canadian border) was inserted in the text. Since the column bears my name, I’ll apologize for the error — and now I’m up to two for the year!

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