For some people, extended unemployment benefits helps put food on the table, even though local private charities are more than capable of handling the role as government bread winner. For millions more, extended unemployment benefits are a reason to celebrate by going on vacation on the backs of hard working tax payers.
Prolonging unemployment benefits prevents people from tightening their belts, tightening their expenses and searching for a job. It prevents the sense of urgency needed when looking for a job. I’ve heard it over and over again over the last several years. Many people can’t find a job. But many more people don’t care and have no desire to look because they’re getting free money. They paid into a safety net, not a free vacation fund. If they want eight weeks of paid vacation, they should move to Europe, which is crashing and burning under a mound of debt.
There will always be the assholes who will take advantage of the situation, but there are a lot of people who desperately want work, yet can’t find it. I know that the view from the Ivory Tower must make it seem like anyone on unemployment is a lazy slovenly good-for-nothing that needs to go get a job based on your one conversation with a miscreant who decided to abuse the system, but that view is fucked up. I’ve met a lot of people out of work, good honest people who want more than a job slinging hash at McD’s and the unemployment benefits are what keeps them and their families off the street. Private charities? Yeah, good luck with that. And “tightening the belt” do you know what the average monthly pay out is? It ain’t much. I’ve been there, it sucks. And the longer you’re out of work the more despondent one can become. It’s a vicious cycle.
So you had an encounter with one person who is abusing the system, big deal. There’s a lot out there who aren’t. Don’t judge based on one person, I don’t think all hospitalists are douches.