Is Unemployment a Bad Thing?

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There are some schools of thought who think unemployment isn’t a bad thing.

Why?

People become unemployed for many reasons. First timers, people transitioning, people made redundant, just drifters. There’s no one type of unemployed person, just like there’s no one type of employed person. There’s all sorts.

So why’s it good?

It means the economy can expand quickly if there is a need to. Businesses can hire labourers, skilled workers, young people, old people, without pinching other people’s staff all the time. Job-hopping is still a problem, but it can be alleviated if there is a bigger pool to draw upon.

When it’s said and done, for all the salient arguments in favour of unemployment, I still have one thing left to say -

I’ve been there, and it sux.

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19 Responses to “Is Unemployment a Bad Thing?”

  1. hroswith Says:

    I thought a man’s greatness was measured by his enemies… If you’re afraid to confront me directly, you mustn’t have a good opinion of yourself. That’s sad.

    And the answer to your question is: nothing. It just comes natural to me. *shrugs*

  2. koolio Says:

    Interesting to read this because I was just thinking about it (albeit, briefly) the other day. I agree with you that being unemployed sucks but having unemployment benefits is a very good thing this country offers. The primary reason: it helps people who are laid off, RIF’ed, whatever you wanna call it maintain their basic lifestyle. In doing so, it reduces crime, homelessness, etc.

  3. ggwfung Says:

    >>hroswith

    that’s very cryptic. Have you got the right person? I don’t think we’ve met before …

    ggw

  4. hroswith Says:

    To ggw:

    I tried to contact you privately but I couldn’t find an email address, and your blog settings don’t allow me to share a link with you.
    Basically, this morning I got a link that begins with your blog’s url and leads to a page with nothing but a snarky comment about my blog and opinions. It’s bizarre, that’s all. If you’re curious to see it, you can drop me a line at hroswith@gmail.com

    Feel free to delete these comments from you blog, if you wish. My intention wasn’t to spam you, but to clarify.

    PS while checking the source code of your blog I noticed you added me to your blogroll. That was nice. It makes the whole message thing even more bizarre, though.

  5. caveblogem Says:

    I’ve been unemployed twice in my life and both times it was pretty devastating. The first time I got benefits that paid as well as if I had a job (moved from a high-paying job in a high-cost state to a rural area with no good-paying jobs at all). It still played havoc with my sense of self. The second time was much worse, without any benefits.

    From a social policy standpoint some unemployment is probably necessary. But I can’t imagine how anyone could enjoy it.

  6. ggwfung Says:

    thanks for sharing caveblogem.

    I can only imagine the destructive psychological effects of being long-term unemployed (12 months plus).

    ggw

  7. caveblogem Says:

    Yeah, long-term effects the first time: graduate school. Jury’s still out on the second time.

  8. whig Says:

    It’s important to be productive, but that shouldn’t be confused with being employed. Many people are independent contractors and artists and other kinds of people who do not work a traditional job.

  9. newhoosier Says:

    I’ve been unemployed for over 6 months now, and I don’t know which is worse: knowing there aren’t any jobs out there and you couldn’t possibly get one or knowing there are lots of jobs out there, but nobody thinks you’re worth hiring.

    But, I completely agree that unemployment is not a totally bad thing. And whenever the unemployment rate goes above 5% and gets lots of media attention, it boggles my mind that we live in a country were 95% of people who want a job have one. Especially when you think of how much better our jobs are compared to other countries’.

  10. ggwfung Says:

    Thanks newhoosier.

    I was out for about the same amount of time (6 months).

    And you know what? when I finally got a job, I got sacked after 3 weeks!! :-)

    it’s funny thinking back on it, but I don’t know how I survived the blow mentally.

    Fortunately, that position led to something else elsewhere.

    I fully commiserate with your position. You have my best heartfelt wishes.

    ggw

  11. fatsavage Says:

    In the past 25 years, I have only been employed for about 10 unless you count self employed.

    The first time I was fired, it crippled me emotionally until I started my own business. I then worked for the Government for 4 years and quit with no prospects because I hated it. I ran for Senate and lost then got a job with the local University – I loved it but hated working to be impoverished. I quit and went to work with my wife and bask in the freedom of money and self determination.

    Matter of fact in the past 40 years, I’ve probably never worked for anyone more than about 20 and mostly when I was young and foolish.

  12. newhoosier Says:

    Thanks ggw, it’s actually been 9 months, so I’m definitely ready to go back to work. I relocated and am trying to switch careers. Both can be difficult independently, but together are possibly more than I can handle.

    Which is funny because when I meet people and tell them my degree and experience, they say “wow, you should have no problem getting work with your qualifications.” Guess the only ones who don’t see it that way are the ones who have jobs to fill.

  13. thewiseturtle Says:

    I’ve been feeling more and more odd about the idea of taking a job offer, because that nearly always means that others are being rejected for said job. I imagine that those other people probably needed that job at least as much as I do. So I’m trying to find a way to take care of myself without taking a job.

    I haven’t perfected it yet, but I’m not giving up yet either.

  14. charli Says:

    i disagree, unemployment is a bad thing!

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