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Thread: What would you do? (Entitlement version)

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    What would you do? (Entitlement version)

    We've had a bunch of discussions about taxpayers and people who give and people who take, and attitudes about different entitlements.

    So here is a real life scenario. Imagine this is a John Quinones TV show. Imagine you are a spectator in the following situation:

    Paul (name changed to protect the innocent) has worked since he was 18 as a waiter. The most recent job he held he had for 7 years as a good, loyal employee. Unfortunately, one day, Paul was terminated from his job. His girlfriend, Kristen, supported him by telling him she was sure he would get another job soon.

    Then Paul said, "Well, I guess I'll apply for unemployment."

    To which Kristen says, "That's such a loser thing to do."

    So, to please Kristen, Paul doesn't apply for unemployment. He assumes that by the time his savings have run out he'll have found another job, but that's not the case (bad timing on the termination as he lives in a seasonal town). So he asks his parents for money, and they wind up paying rent for a couple of months because they know that a) he's a dedicated worker and b) they also think another job will come along sooner rather than later and they, too, want to help him out if they can.

    What say you? Should Paul have applied for unemployment? Or would he have been, as Kristen said, a "loser" to do so?


    Please feel free to add your own "episodes" of "What Would You Do? (Entitlement version)". Real or imagined.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  2. #2
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Sure he is entitled to apply. Doesn't sound like he would try to abuse the system.
    Unemployment is taxable.

    I do live in a "seasonal town" and many go on unemployment for the winter. Usually the employer signs off that they'll be re-hired in the new season and the employee doesn't have to take classes or apply to jobs to keep their unemployment.

    I am all for limits to the length a person can collect unemployment and the requirements for job applications and classes for improved employment.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I don't see anything wrong with applying for unemployment if you need the income. I tried it once myself when I was laid off, but I didn't have enough hours to qualify. I don't see anything wrong with just finding your own way either, If that's how you roll. Judgy Kristen sounds like someone I would consider crossing off my list.

  4. #4
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    Is it too late for Paul to apply for unemployment? Is there a deadline?

    Unless Kristen is going to happily pay Paul's rent until he finds work, I think that she is the "loser" here for giving harmful advice.

    On a side note, a friend of mine dated John Quinones, a long time ago, in a galaxy far away.

  5. #5
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    Of course he should apply. You never know how long it will take to get a job.

  6. #6
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    As a spectator I don’t feel entitled to make judgements about paul’s Life. I know nothing about the nature or importance of his relationship with Kristen or his parents. Nor do I know anything about his parent’s financial situation or values. Just to start.

    also, i don’t know who John quinones is.

  7. #7
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    As a waiter he should be plugged in better to the waitperson culture in that seasonal town, and that would have educated him on the difficulty in getting a job in the down season. He shoulda taken the unemployment.

    In the bigger picture , I dont fault ( generally speaking) citizens for taking gubmnt handouts that they/we easily qualify for.

    I do fault my gubmnt for spending us all into oblivion.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    A bird in the hand...… He should take it while looking for employment.

  9. #9
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    Paul should have applied for unemployment. Duh that is what the facts say ends well, people who try to make it on their own the facts say they are more likely to end up in poverty etc.. Refusing help when needed is linked to staying in poverty in the same way many other unwise behaviors can be.

    However there are positions it is more easy to find than others. If Paul is looking for professional work it might take him longer. I hear people laid off from Sears who won't apply and I wonder at it. And then I think about it, like maybe it's not that hard to get a similar retail job if you have years of experience doing it etc.. Although I don't personally know. Maybe saying "screw unemployment I can get a job" really makes sense in circumstances where it really is that easy to get a job somewhat similar to your last (I'm not saying one should hold off for a job paying exactly what one's last one did or anything, but otoh should a laid off engineer's first thought really be: "I can flip burgers!". I don't think so).

    However unemployment is the easy one, should Paul have applied for food stamps or something is a more difficult question (and more humiliating as it will involve a lot more hoops to jump through and carries a lot more stigma). And if he doesn't have income coming in or no income but paltry unemployment payments he might qualify.

    And it may as well be mentioned that only about 1/3 of the people who end up unemployed actually qualify for unemployment, not just because it runs out, but they might quit (no unemployment then no matter), their old employer might (and sometimes illegitimately) fight their unemployment claim etc.

    Unless Kristen is going to happily pay Paul's rent until he finds work, I think that she is the "loser" here for giving harmful advice.
    +1
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Paul’s parents are suckers. While it is perfectly feasible for unemployment to be “automatic” given the state of technology; the system relies on people not applying for it through principles, indifference, stupidity or laziness among other things. I’ve described it as a positive checkoff system. Kristen is the girlfriend of someone she describes as a loser. Which tells me all I need to know about her. They are a perfect pairing.

    I know a guy who retired with a better than 100% school pension as a principle. He started his pension which was very comfortable and by good fortune a local school district needed a principle so they hired him as an interim. He got paid hourly and handsomely on top of his pension. When that ran out he got unemployment compensation for that. Tiring of that he got a job at a golf course as a seasonal worker. In the winter he filed for unemployment for six months and received $450/week for doing nothing. All perfectly legal because he had a letter from the golf course stating he was going to be hired back on a specific date. He spent most of the unemployment money in the local social clubs.

    If Paul wants to act on principle or is simply lazy.....he shouldn’t be asking people for assistance. Its already been provided in the form of unemployment compensation.

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