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Jobs Are Available for Those Who Want to Work Hard

by
Doug Douglas
Jan 29, 2014, 12:09 am ET

unemployment.jpgAs I watched the news the past couple of days, the newest hot debate is over extending unemployment benefits. The previous extension has expired, and the politicians — as always — are looking for a “winning” argument to score political points for the next election. It seems like the easiest thing to do for a politician is go around saying that the pursuit of happiness includes a free house, free healthcare, free education, free car, free smartphones, free money to everyone … who wouldn’t be for getting all of those things for free?

The problem is, they aren’t free even when a politician labels it that way. The money has to come from somewhere … as with extending unemployment benefits. So the Democrats are saying that they need to extend them again and give the unemployed a safety net (even though it was previously a 99-week safety net), and the Republicans are saying that they aren’t opposed to extending unemployment benefits, but they need to be paid for somehow.

This debate continues throughout the media as well. Analyst come on and say that extending unemployment benefits causes people to be less eager to get back to work. Why not exhaust all of the “free money” that you can get, relax a bit, and then buckle down and get back to work? There’s no doubt that some play the system in this manner. I admit that there may be some reason why some would need 99 weeks to find a job, but I would think those cases should be very rare. People can get a job doing something, or maybe even a second or third job — I’ve worked three jobs before in the past. They may not be the jobs that they are accustomed to or want, but when it comes to providing for your family, you take what you can get.

But then today, I heard the debate that said there are approximately 4 million jobs available in the U.S., so why is unemployment still high? I have a couple of thoughts on that:

  1. Some people are playing the system and would rather take the “free money” for as long as possible than go back to work immediately. Now for those who say there’s no way that’s true, understand that I work in the recruiting industry. I speak with unemployed all of the time. I can’t tell you how many times I have called someone with a job opportunity and was told straight out that they weren’t interested in working right now, but would rather take some time off and enjoy their unemployment. They did, however, offer to call me back after those benefits ran out and see if I had anything for them then.
  2. The second reason, and really one that not many people have discussed, is that the generational shift in our workforce has also left us with many open positions that Gen Y just aren’t that interested in doing. In 2012, over 10 million skilled labor jobs went unfilled in the U.S. — but unemployment nationally was around 8 percent during that same time and unemployment for Gen Y at the same time was 11.5 percent.

Jobs are available. Many of them are skilled labor jobs and Gen Y just hasn’t shown much of an interest in take a job that requires them to work long hours, get dirty, get sweaty, or learn a very specialized skill. I don’t know that they are necessarily opposed to it; they likely have never had those opportunities addressed with them before or early enough in their life where they can make it their ambition.

When a younger worker is informed about the possibilities that are available in a skilled trade role, they are open to it. Not all will be. Some just don’t want to work long hours and get dirty and the things that go along with it, but many would be interested. If that weren’t true, we wouldn’t have a military. They work long hours. They travel and are away from home for periods of time. They get dirty and sweaty. They work in rough conditions.

Those companies who are in the skilled trades have typically done a poor job of promoting themselves at key influential moments in a young person’s life. Waiting until after they have gone to college, or even completed college, is often way too late to make your pitch. By then, they have spent a lot of money majoring in something and they have this vision in their mind of what their career will look like. That vision often doesn’t include the things that I’ve discussed in this piece.

Gen Y also should investigate the opportunities that are available to them, even though it might not match that pretty picture they’ve drawn in their minds. Not everyone works in an office or from home. Not everyone has a flexible schedule that allows them to work at 3:00 in the afternoon, or at 3:00 in the morning, depending on what is most convenient for you that day. Hard work should never be looked down on or mocked. It provides you with a career, income, self satisfaction, and pride in a finished product.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  1. Ryan Lowery

    I must admit, for the most part, I agree with your sentiment. I have been gainfully employed for 26 years – not one day out-of-work/unemployed. Granted, my illustrious employment history includes multiple/simultaneous jobs, horrific/embarrassing uniforms, hands-and-knees cleaning toilets, early mornings, late nights, etc… But working nonetheless. While I am reluctant to bestow labels and/or common attributes to any group of people (i.e. GenX, GenY), I am also hard pressed to disagree that the “younger generation” has a much different work ethic and expectation then “old guys” like me. It is disheartening to read about high unemployment then spin around and see Help Wanted signs at the local grocery store or retail outlet. There is honor and dignity in all work. There is a sense of pride and self-respect that can only be found in having a reason and purpose to get out of bed every morning. Doug- I appreciate your candor and hope your article stimulates a lively debate.

  2. Keith Halperin

    @ D2. Thank you. Unfortunately, cold, hard statistics don’t agree with you:

    …………………………………………………..

    There Are 3 Unemployed People Competing For Every Job Opening (and *2.5 People in December -kh)
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/09/unemployed-job-opening_n_3568646.html

    Posted: 07/09/2013 4:15 pm EDT | Updated: 07/10/2013 3:54 pm EDT

    Those looking for work face some of the worst odds in the past 13 years, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers released Tuesday.

    The bureau’s monthly survey tracking job openings and labor turnover was a little less robust than the agency’s better-known unemployment report that was released on Friday. According to the new report, there are more than three unemployed people competing for every job opening in the country, and people are quitting their jobs far less than they should be.

    The survey showed that there were 3.8 million job openings in the U.S. in May (and 4.0 Million in November -kh http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/jolts.pdf). That’s up from about 2.3 million at the worst of the recession, but still well below the peak of 4.7 million openings before the slowdown. In the jobs report on Friday, the BLS said there were 11.8 million people still looking for work.

    When both reports are considered together, that means there are 3.1 unemployed people competing for every one job.

    The other troubling thing Friday’s report didn’t show is that there is not a lot of “churn” in the labor market right now. The new JOLTS data reveal that the total number of people getting hired each month and the total of people leaving jobs each month are both lower than before the recession by about 1 million workers.

    People just aren’t finding new jobs and leaving old ones like they did before the recession — making the challenge for those three people per job even more difficult.

    Just 2.2 million people, or 1.6 percent of workers, quit their jobs in May (and just 2.0 million in November 2013. -kh http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.t10.htm, which has been roughly the quit rate for most of the past two years. Before the recession, that quit rate was consistently higher — about 2.2 percent of all workers, or about 3 million people.

    “The reason there is less churn today is that jobs are so scarce that employed workers are much less likely to quit the job they have,” Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, wrote in a note about the report. Because leaving a job for a better opportunity can be an important way for workers to advance, this depressed rate of voluntary quits represents millions of lost opportunities.

    There are always more job openings than there are workers to fill them. But the disconnect has never been this wide in the 13 years that the BLS has kept track of the numbers. Shierholz points out that, even after four years of recovery, the ratio of unemployed workers to job openings is still higher than it was at the worst of the 2001 recession.

    Quitting one job for another is one way workers can get a big increase in pay. A low quit rate might help explain why wages have been relatively stagnant in the recovery so far. A new study by the National Employment Law Project finds that the median hourly wage for workers fell by 2.8 percent between 2009 and 2012. Naturally, the worst of this wage decline has been felt by the lowest-paid workers, the NELP notes.

    Not coincidentally, most of the industries with the highest numbers of job openings in May, according to the JOLTS data, were lower-paying sectors, including health-care services, retail sales and restaurants.

    *http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
    The number of unemployed persons declined by 490,000 to 10.4 million in December, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 6.7 percent. Over the year, the number of
    unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.9 million and 1.2 percentage points,
    respectively. (See table A-1.)

    Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.3 percent) and whites (5.9
    percent) declined in December. The rates for adult women (6.0 percent), teenagers (20.2 percent), blacks
    (11.9 percent), and Hispanics (8.3 percent) showed little change. The jobless rate for Asians was 4.1
    percent (not seasonally adjusted), down by 2.5 percentage points over the year. (See tables A-1, A-2,
    and A-3.)

    Among the unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 365,000 in December to 5.4 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless
    for 27 weeks or more), at 3.9 million, showed little change; these individuals accounted for 37.7 percent of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed has declined by 894,000 over the year. (See tables A-11 and A-12.)
    The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.8 percent in December, offsetting a change of the same magnitude in November. In December, the employment: population ratio was unchanged at 58.6 percent. The labor force participation rate declined by 0.8
    percentage point over the year, while the employment-population ratio was unchanged. (See table A-1.)
    The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million in December. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find fulltime
    work. (See table A-8.) In December, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a
    year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted
    and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
    (See table A-16.)
    Among the marginally attached, there were 917,000 discouraged workers in December, down by 151,000 from a year earlier. Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the
    labor force in December had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

    Establishment Survey Data
    Total nonfarm 10.4 million unemployed in December, and the
    unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 6.7 percent. Over the year, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.9 million and 1.2 percentage points)

  3. Doug Douglas

    Oh Keith….I agree there is fierce competition of IT, or marketing, or or sales jobs…that wasn’t the point. Department of Labor’s stats say that 10 million skilled labor jobs were unfilled in the US. Why?

    For years, the oil & gas industry has been concerned about “The Great Crew Change” when Boomers retired and Millennials would be needed to take their place. Sorry the Huffington Post doesn’t help promote jobs in oil & gas…but its true.

  4. Keith Halperin

    Thanks Doug.
    I’ve pointed out in the past that if an employer has an unfilled job there are basically two solutions they can do:
    1) Make the job more attractive to the people you want to hire
    2) If you can’t/won’t do that- settle for who you can get at the price (etc.) you’re willing to pay.
    I’ve also said on one occasion:
    “If you’re in a situation where you have a position(s) that’s unfillable at ANY price etc. then not only are you *****, but you’ve ****** yourself, AND you’re an idiot for getting into that situation.”

    As far as skilled trades jobs: those are good things to go into and very necessary. I think that a lot of the training programs for those types of jobs have simply disappeared- everybody’s supposed to get a 4 year college degree now. That’s why I think we need to have a massive program to rebuild our infrastructure- roads streets highways bridges tunnels mass-transit airports water/sewer systems schools parks smart power grid energy/efficiency green energy etc. There are millions of people who would be willing and able to learn the skills necessary for those jobs and our entire country will benefit. Is anybody talking seriously about that? America needs 10-20 million FT benefitted jobs that pay 80-120% of the median income, aka “solid middle-class jobs”. If our people who need them don’t currently have the skills necessary to do them, we need a commitment to:
    1) retrain millions of people to do the new jobs AND
    2) hire them at decent wages and benefits when they’ve successfully completed the training.

    BOTTOM LINE: If there are huge numbers of unfilled/unfillable jobs, that doesn’t affect the fortunes of the millions of people who would never be hired for those jobs anyway.

  5. Martin Snyder

    Thanks Keith for doing your bit to inject a bit of reality here.

    Our culture has over-rewarded medium intensity brainwork for decades, and now we reap what we have sewn as those jobs are eliminated.

    You want to talk about free money? Lets talk about how wages are treated compared to passive income. Let’s talk about classism. Let’s talk about privatized gains and socialized losses. Let’s talk about massively unpaid/unaccounted for external costs borne by the public for the benefit of the few.

    Absolutely pathetic article. I really don’t enjoy rightwing claptrap on a business site; there is enough of it loose in the world elsewhere.

  6. Doug Douglas

    Thanks for all comments…even yours Martin :)

    Keith – You are correct in that a greater emphasis needs to be placed on training for the skilled jobs. I have been emphasizing that for years and the ones who have heeded the advice have set themselves up nicely. The others? Not so much. Good debate…thanks.

    Martin – Let me ask you to look at the top of my article and it says “Opinion.” It would be unreasonable that all of us would share the same. I know you are an executive, and maybe you have recruiters that speak with candidates as the first point of contact. It is irrefutable that some people are playing the system and only apply to jobs in order to satisfy the requirement to get their unemployment. How do I know? They’ve told me right up front. It is also irrefutable that I have personally spoken with candidates who have told me that they aren’t interested in being considered for a job until their unemployment checks cease.

    Also as a reminder, some of those that you claim to be “over-rewarded medium intensity brainwork” employees die in rare occurrences in the oilfield or offshore (Deepwater Horizon as an example). While some of the work they are asked to do may not require a degree or other extraordinary skill, they do work in a dangerous environment. That should certainly be factored into their compensation.

    I think the main issue might have been missed by some in this article. It’s that skilled labor jobs are available. Some have overlooked this as an option. Lastly, at the end of the day, you can take pride in this type of work too.

    Thanks again for your comments and debate.

  7. Martin Snyder

    Doug you set an amiable tone and I appreciate that, but a smile can’t conceal the message; you deplore people working the system or getting “free money”, but only some people, and for small-time money. Don’t try to sell me right-wing talking points under some other brand- I can see right through it.

    My point is that by ignoring the big money and the people who really work the system, you elevate the venal and deny the cardinal. Proportionality is a key basis of morality.

    As to medium intensity brainwork, that’s lawyers, accountants, teachers, and other paper pushers of all sorts. That’s not pipefitters or roughnecks or farmhands, machinists, or what we generally call “skilled labor”. Reward and production are out of whack in our society and it’s not about modest unemployment insurance (which is often directly paid for in the first place).

    Opinion is fine- delightful even, but this is not a political website unless it becomes one, and when it does, you will hear a loud, proud liberal voice from me until the nation comes back into balance, and I can again become the moderate republican that lurks inside of me.

  8. Dwayne Peardon

    I’ve been gainfully employed in the Natural Gas industry since March of 2000. I have a very high quality of life. Beautiful family and I work for an awesome company.
    It wasn’t always like that but it did happen for me. It happened because I made it happen,
    I have been continually employed since August of 1999. I have a background in agriculture so really I’ve been working most of my whole life.
    I’ve never had a problem with working hard or getting dirty. And over the years I had a very colorful employment history. I have worked farming, factories, bakeries, high rise steel construction, waiter, framing houses, delivery, door to door sales. Mostly I’ve been in the oil and gas sector and mostly doing high risk work (When in the field). And for the majority of my 20’s I did field work for exploration and drilling companies. This was rotational work of around 45 days in and 5 days out for exploration and 14 in and 7 out for the rigs. I averaged 90 hours a week for exploration jobs or around 80 hours a week for rigs. I did these rotations for up to eight months at a time. At one point between working in the oil patch and working in town in the off season (Called spring breakup) I worked three years straight. There was one stretch when I worked in town for up to 18 months straight.
    There were several times when I became so sick of the rotation work lifestyle I would “Retire” from field work and take a job in town during drilling season. After a few months I would have to return to field work because it was so difficult to financially support myself on the money I would make in town.
    Just a note I lived a very simple life when in town. I had roommates, dove an old car, did most of my own cooking, I never drank (Unusual in my line of work). In short I didn’t spend a lot of money but was unable to make a living unless I was doing high risk work in the bush.
    I can tell you that during this time the one thing I did not do much of was have a life. Most of my high school friends got married and started families during this period. There was no traveling of lavish lifestyles for me and most of my money was spent training to be a pilot.
    My government at the time was encouraging people to enter the aviation industry as a shortage in pilots was predicted. The shortage never panned out and I was left with some tough decisions.
    A couple of points from my experience I believe I can add to the discussion are:
    • Trying to create a future for yourself
    I know there were times when I was living off my savings or on unemployment insurance and looking for work I was offered employment. And there were times I turned it down. This was not done out of laziness or that I didn’t want to get dirty. I turned it down because I knew if I took that job it would negatively impact my chances of finding a better job. At least if I was home I could apply for jobs, make calls, attend short term training and attend interviews.
    I can remember being let go from one job in part because I insisted on not working late two nights of the week so that I could attend night school.
    If I was to get ahead I had to look out for myself. I was not going to spend the rest of my years being loyal to a company that did not care about me in any way.

    • Companies are more than happy to exploit your poverty
    I can tell you that when I was poor. Companies were more than happy to exploit my poverty. There was little to no quality of life with many of the unskilled labor positions I held. I was punished by companies for wanting to attend night school (On my own time), asking for a 25 cent per hour raise (That I was promised I would get after three months of starting), or actually taking a day off.
    My dad once asked me “If you work hard at these places won’t they promote you and you can work your way up the ladder”. I wish the answer was yes. At one point in history perhaps that was true. But in my reality if I insisted I have some quality of life I was laid off (never fired, because they never had just cause) with some flimsy excuse regarding management restructuring.
    Companies must accept some responsibility in why they cannot get some positions filled.
    There are some members in any generation that down want to work. I have met my fair share of lazy people (My age) over the years. I am currently a military reservist (At the age of 43) and I work with some of the best examples of young people from generation “Y”. They do exist, they do want to work, and I know for sure they don’t mind to get dirty. I am proud to know and work with them.
    I don’t blame people for wanting to have a quality of life. And I don’t blame people for not wanting to work 90 to 100 hours a week or work rotational work away from their families. These jobs can come at great personal cost. Those costs are never discussed and you certainly won’t find them in a job description.
    Again Companies must accept some responsibility in why they cannot get some positions filled.
    Thank you and I hope this adds to the discussion
    Dwayne

  9. Doug Douglas

    I appreciate your thoughts and honesty Dwayne. There is sacrifice involved in some of these jobs, but I also worked in an office environment and worked 90-100 hrs a week. I was a minister before I entered the corporate world and worked over 100 hours a week for many years. Sacrifices can be found in just about any job. I commend you and looking at the bigger picture though and trying to improve yourself along the way instead of floating like a feather wherever the wind took you. Great comments…thanks!

  10. andy nick

    “Free money”??? How insulting. My tax contributions for the past 25 years hardly makes it free.

  11. Doug Douglas

    Exactly, Andy.

  12. andy nick

    Doug – I think you are missing the point. If I find myself unemployed, I will have no problem collecting unemployment while I find a job that fits myself and my family. Rather than work 3 jobs or just 1 job that negatively will affect my career, I’ll stay at home where I will have time to research jobs, look for jobs, apply for jobs, interview for jobs, get training I may need, etc. At the end of the day, I’m going to do what’s best for myself, my family and career and would prefer not to be judged by someone that doesn’t know me or my situation.

  13. Doug Douglas

    Andy – point not missed. I have no issue with people legitimately looking for a job and will accept one that matches what they are looking for if offered. My issue is with those who aren’t interested in a job until the unemployment runs out. I don’t begrudge people collecting unemployment benefits, you’ve had it taken out of your paychecks over the years for that very reason. You deserve those. I just believe there should be a good faith effort being made by those receiving benefits to find a new job that aligns with skills, compensation, benefits, etc.

  14. Robert Cambareri

    Interesting piece. However, one of the biggest challenges that the unemployed are facing concerns the moment when they do get a job offer. It is frequently 40-50-60% lower than their previous position and many turn down the offer because they cannot pay the basic bills and support they families on this severely reduced income.

    Yes, there will always be a few lazy folks that want a long term free hand out, but in my experience in speaking with folks who are unemployed, they really do want to work and be productive.

    We also have to consider another macro issue. 80% of the work force during this “Great Recession” have had their jobs remain intact. They may have not received any raises or bonuses buy they have had income stability. For the remaining 20% of the work force that has had a period of unemployment, these are the folks that are being offered reduced salaries – basically they are having their purchasing power reduced significantly which is a dangerous long term trend in an economy that derives 70% of its economic activity from consumer spending. It is also developing a two tier workforce.

    I don’t see anything good coming from these developments in the near, middle or long term.

  15. Keith Halperin

    @ Martin: Thank you.
    1. @ Dwayne: You gave a good case of what it’s like in the real America. Our world of 28 year old software engineers with multiple six-figure job offers gives us a rather warped perspective at times.
    @ Andy: Good point.

    @ Robert: Things DO look good for the AMOs (Aristocratic Monopolistic Oligarchs, aka “adapters”) who increasingly both own and rule the our country.

    I read a couple of interesting things a couple of days ago.
    1) The top 40 hedge fund managers make as much as 300,000 typical teachers. Which group do you think provides the greatest real value?
    2) Somebody said this: You might work twice as long I do, twice as hard as I do, and your work may be twice as important as mine, so you might reasonably to expect to make 8 times as much as I d.? Would it be reasonable though for you to make *354 times as much as I do?

    @ Doug: Training is good. ,but the commitment to hire the successfully trained has to be there as well. A laid-off 52 year old former bookkeeper with a HS diploma might take some RoR courses and do well in them (maybe even a certificate), but who’s going to hire her when she gets it?

    You may know some people who’ve taken advantage of the system . If they were breaking the law, you should have reported them, and if they weren’t, then what’s your problem?
    You don’t seem to show anywhere near as much disapproval of the people who (basically legally) took advantage of the system, and through their actions, made millions of people lose their jobs, homes, and savings, cost the U.S. economy over $1T in lost productivity walked off quite often with 7 and 8 figure bonuses? THESE are the “adaptable ones” you ask us to admire?

    Finally, you mentioned being a former minister. Before or after your career change, did you ever consider the meaning of these New Testament verses:
    If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (NIV, 1 John 3:17)

    Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. (NIV, 1 Timothy 6:17-19)

    And the crowds asked [John the Baptist], “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” (NRSV, Luke 3:10-11)
    But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? (NAS, 1 John 3:17)

    Happy Friday,
    Keith “Not a Christian But has Met a Few Real Ones” Halperin

    * https://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You/CEO-to-Worker-Pay-Gap-in-the-United-States
    The CEO of an S&P 500 Index company made, on average, 354 times the average wage of a rank-and-file U.S. worker in 2012.[1] CEOs in the United States don’t just make a lot more money than their own employees. On average, U.S. CEOs also make far more than CEOs of comparably sized companies in other countries.

  16. Sylvia Dahlby

    Thank you Keith – this says it all https://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You/CEO-to-Worker-Pay-Gap-in-the-United-States
    “The CEO of an S&P 500 Index company made, on average, 354 times the average wage of a rank-and-file U.S. worker in 2012.”

    Trickle down doesn’t work when Gordon Gecko rules the world. Once upon a time, business was about “providing value to the customers” and business owners & CEOs cared more about the people they employed. Few companies, like Trader Joes still hold this business model and pay better than average wages that translates into happy customers and a healthy bottom line.

    But alas nowadays, MBAs are taught that business is about “providing value to the shareholders” and the payroll is just so much overhead – not reflective of the human capital and workers that drive productivity & profitability.

    Vulture capitalists looking to “add value” to the bottom line for investors cut jobs or reduce wages. Walmart & McDonalds are the real welfare queens, not the working poor. Crony-capitalism trumps capitalism-with-a-conscience in a country where some believe “corporations are people” when clearly they have no heart or soul.

    Excuse me for not buying anecdotal “evidence” of one recruiter’s experience with a few people playing the system or the blanket statement that Gen Y lacks any work ethic. Part of the Gen Y problem is there’s a huge SKILLS GAP in education and what’s needed to succeed in the workplace.

    While I do believe unemployment benefits must be means-tested (like the guy who got laid off & wants to play house until the unemployment runs out while his wife pulls in $90K a year should not be getting a gov check meant to help keep single moms from living in the street), the assertion that our long-term unemployment problem is a result of of the lazy & the young not working hard enough is absurd.

  17. Doug Douglas

    Sylvia…you confuse me.

    You say that you don’t want to take my word for it that people are gaming the system, and then you end by talking about a guy gaming the system. Maybe people in Hawaii don’t game the system…I can honestly say that I’ve never done a search for a company in that state.

    I would also encourage you to go back and READ what I initially said. I never said anything about Gen Y being lazy and not working hard enough. I said that not enough companies within skilled labor make opportunities known to Gen Y. I even said that people are willing to do that work – not all – but some, otherwise we wouldn’t have a military.

    Keith – you selectively left out verses from Scripture that don’t support your side of the argument. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 is one example.

    I have done my best to remain respectful on the debate around this opinion piece. I do not take it to a personal level as others have. Somehow it has even been derailed into talking about religion, and especially those who would rather discuss corporate greed and capitalism. Might I suggest that if that’s your topic that you want to discuss – write your own opinion piece on it. This was intended to be a discussion on jobs that are available in an industry that many younger workers haven’t explored. Period. If you want to discuss that, I’ll engage. If you want to talk about me personally, my religion, or some other matter, then I’ll refrain from commenting on them again.

    This is one of the things wrong with this country. If you disagree with someone, you can’t do it anymore without personal attacks and trying to demean or demonize the other person. I’m all for debate. I think it’s healthy. I enjoy it. But can’t we do it without name calling and taking to that other level?

  18. Keith Halperin

    @ Sylvia. Thank you, much appreciated.

    @ Doug: We can quote scriptures all day. That’s part of the fun- you can find, pick, and choose verses to justify whatever you like or hate.

    As far as religion is concerned- when you mentioned your former career as a minister, it seemed relevant to me large numbers of the clergy have advocated on behalf of those “in need” both historically (William Booth- Methodist Minister and Founder of the Salvation Army) and currently (Pope Francis) and not those “in greed”.

    I haven’t seen people here treating you with disrespect, and if you feel that I have done so, I apologize. I do not wish to attack YOU as a person- I wish to attack your statements.
    As you’ve said: this is an opinion piece. You have a right to state your opinion, and I for one like lots of controversy- I just wish my latest piece had half as many people weighing in.
    As sometimes happens here, someone generates more controversy than they feel comfortable with, and then wishes to “seal the can of worms” they’ve opened. That’s not easy to do.

    Please Keep Blogging,
    Keith

  19. Sylvia Dahlby

    No personal attack intended here. I merely point out that in this economy when corporate profits are at all time high and wages have stagnated, there is something wrong with the system – regardless of whether it’s being gamed or rigged.

  20. Sylvia Dahlby

    To illustrate my point – Data Paints Troubling Picture Of Skyrocketing CEO Payhttp://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4780937 How dare my minions expect to be paid princely salaries? They’re lucky to have jobs! Let them eat cake.

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