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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/18/10

Senate Republicans: "Unemployment Benefits a Disincentive to Find Work", What It Says About Them and Us

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(source) Deja Vu?

Of late, Senate Republicans and some moderate Democrats are concerned over the rising deficit and that continued unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed are a disincentive to find work.

At a time of deep economic recession (and for millions a depression) these congressional Grinch's, with filibuster in hand, are willing to let people who are in desperate straits (their unemployment benefits exhausted) fall into the abyss of destitution.

They seem to equate those who have lost their jobs and unable to find new work with some fantasy (one supposes) of a person slovenly before the T.V. set watching soaps, eating "Bon- Bons" and snickering at their ability to manipulate and bilk the system. That is hardly the case.

It is obvious these Senate stiffs have never been out of work for any length of time, trying to make ends meet and live on the meager pittance of an unemployment check.

No work for those who have previously worked steadily in their work life is an emotionally draining and psychological calamity with feelings of inadequacy and lack of self worth. And the longer one is out of work, the more intense the emotional and psychological damage tends to be.

This lack of compassion by these lawmakers toward the unemployed, apparently attributing their plight as something self inflicted i.e. they have nobody to blame but themselves.

This callousness toward those in need says something about this country and its people (or at least some of the people).

If America turns its back on those most in need (for no fault of their own) with a stinginess and lack of generosity, it has become hardened, cold hearted and indifferent.

Something has changed in America when the "haves" have become completely estranged from the "have not". One imagines that was not the case during the great depression of the 30's. Maybe more of the people were in the same boat and conditions were similar for more of the people. It was no disgrace to be out of work (with relatives, friends and neighbors suffering similar plights) and there was no stigma attached to it.

Today that is not the case. The majority of Americans have been spared and gone unscathed by the ravages of this great recession while the lesser millions, who have lost their jobs and hope and have been assigned to the ash heap, somehow unworthy and forgotten by the majority.

It seems the same for our attitudes toward our unnecessary wars, our killing of innocents and the torture we have descended to use. Thousands have been maimed and died by our hands and most Americans seem indifferent to it.

We have lost something in America. It seems many of us have lost our selves and become hollow and impassive to the reality in our midst.

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