It came as no surprise when I read this morning that the US House of Representatives rejected another extension on jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. Come December 1st, an estimated 2 million Americans will be cut off from receiving this critical income. In my opinion, there will be no more extensions. It’s over my friends.
My day of reckoning also lies on the horizon. Failing to secure employment in the next six months will kick away the government legs beneath me and leave me hanging by a thick rope called survival job and savings. That’s just the way it rolls. From the moment I hit the send button on my unemployment benefits application, I silently repeated this truth: some day this will end.
I fondly remember one of the simple lessons all our parents taught us when we were younger: “money doesn’t grow on trees you know, you have to earn it.” It’s not rocket science. At some point our nation’s unemployed will need to procure meaningful employment and earn money again.
I recently watched an interview with President Obama. One of the questions asked was this: “Mr. President, what keeps you up at night about the economy?”. The President responded with what he called a “new normal” where companies, after profit stabilization, become so content with current workforce efficiency and productivity conclude that it’s unnecessary to hire additional employees. It was a sobering moment. Could it become a reality? If the answer is yes, we might come to witness a heightened level of personal financial ruin never seen before.
It’s not up to the government anymore, it’s up to the rest of us. Companies need to hire qualified, motivated, and educated people. People need to start businesses, flip burgers, make expressos, etc. Whatever it takes to earn the money “that doesn’t grow on trees.”