Are unemployment payments too high? Rush Limbaugh has caused a stir by suggesting that people on unemployment have it too easy. Limbaugh advocates for harsher unemployment laws, saying that the fear of going broke will force people to return to the workforce, thus reducing our unemployment rates. Of course, Rush Limbaugh thinks that oxycotin and red velvet cake makes a balanced breakfast, but still, he raises an interesting question. Are people on unemployment coasting? Here’s what Rush said, courtesy of Salon.com:
“The sad truth is that employment is not pivotal… No job, no employment, no pain. For a whole heck of a lot of people whose expectations for themselves are not very high… There are no jobs, and yet they’re still eating. I’m telling you, there’s a new reality out there… Because it’s not resulting in that much pain, not nearly as much as it used to… The so-called victims of the unemployment circumstance are not suffering as unemployed people in the past did.”
Rush has clearly never been unemployed. Unemployment only pays 40% of the salary you were making at your last job. I lost my job in 2008 and unemployment checks barely covered my rent. I still had car payments, insurance, student loans and food. It's a joke. Listen, I agree that if you can’t find a job after 2 years, you’re not trying hard enough. But it’s not because you’re riding high off government funds. Trying to live off unemployment checks is like trying to surf on a 2x4. Maybe it’s technically possible, but good luck finding someone who can do it. All unemployment does is give you enough to keep from winding up scrounging for food in a dumpster behind Denny's. Granted, when I was unemployed, I still spent a lot of time scrounging for food in dumpsters behind Denny's, but I was doing it for leisure, not out of necessity.