I have no idea how crazy this is going to sound (esp. since I’m no economist), but I found this question posed by the Huffington Post extremely fascinating. What if the unemployed worked for the checks they’re receiving?
Here’s a quote from one of the guys interviewed – Glen Blackburn – who’s been unemployed for 18 months:
“Put me to work digging ditches or helping build roads. Anything is preferable to sitting on my butt. This would give those of us on unemployment back our pride and actually accomplish something with the money being spent. There is a work force of a million people just sitting idle waiting for something to do. That is a massive amount of lost labor that could be fixing America’s infrastructure. Instead of unemployment, hire me to do that.”
That makes me smile on many levels :) First, because there are so many people EAGER and ready to get out there and do something productive. Not *everyone* of course (like the scammers and others who are taking their sweet time on purpose) but a lot really are ready to start working again. Everyone knows it’s hell out there so why not give this out as an option? Give it your all and collect for a few months, and if nothing works out try out a job that helps the community?
I’d go insane being rejected all day long at home and would totally take up this offer myself. Put me out there doing construction or patching up all those potholes in DC. Or bet yet, throw me in with all the gov’t bloggers and journalists, eh? ;) I guess that would be one of the things to straighten out – HOW, and where, to place people. Do you do it by occupation and location? Age? By the order of project importance? And what about training? Lots and lots of logistics to consider. Although it could quite possibly open up doors to so many NEW opportunities you didn’t even know you could do or like!
But what I like most about this idea is that it offers a SOLUTION. It may be crazy and never see the light of day, but at least people are thinking about it. The craziest things can come out of adversity, and the more we challenge ourselves and really think about how we fit into this world the better. I salute you Glenn Blackburn and all the others willing to work for their unemployment checks – way to be creative!