Thursday was the 2 year anniversary of the day I got laid off. Definitely an anniversary I never expected to be marking. Significantly, Thursday was also the first day I got a paycheck in a very, very long time. It is amazing how bringing home money that I earned, even if it is just minimum wage for a holiday job, can feel so good. Being able to support yourself really is important.
Today (Friday) I shared this news clip of a homeless woman with 15 children on Facebook. She was making the news for her antics in demanding that "someone" has to do something to give her money and housing for her children. No father(s) in the picture. She swears the state agencies that intervened (by paying her rent and giving her welfare assistance) messed everything up for her. In all of her (ridiculous) demands, she never once asks for a job, she only asks for handouts. She wants welfare and help, but doesn't want to have to live by the rules the state requires of her. (So she landed in jail.)
This story really hit me hard. First, it just makes me mad that here I am trying so hard to find a job and support myself. I don't qualify for any sort of state or federal assistance, in spite of the fact that for 20 years I've paid taxes. And now that I do have a job, in spite of being underemployed and out of work for so long, I am paying taxes again that go to help this woman. The system is unfair to both me and her.
I am ridiculously happy for someone who only earned $90 this week. I'm exhilarated really! Thrilled! I earned money! I don't have to ask for handouts! I feel sorry for this woman that she doesn't understand the pride and happiness that comes from being able to provide for yourself (and her 15 kids). Having lived with that sub-standard feeling of guilt that comes from being dependent on handouts her whole life (no matter how grateful you are for them, there is this feeling of being a loser and a failure that you have to accept them), her entire sense of self-worth is completely warped. I really do feel sorry for her. (And simultaneously, I'm mad at her that she is abusing the system.)
I've become completely fascinated by the upcoming presidential elections. I'm closely watching to see which candidate has a jobs reform package I feel good about. I'm also looking intently at their Social Security reforms. Each of the candidates has a jobs recovery plan. But to be honest, as I look at them, I don't see how any of those plans will help me. I know that isn't the right way to look at it. Once these new jobs are created (in energy production), new money will be made, more money will be spent, and the cycle eventually leads to all companies having more money and more hiring happening. I just hate knowing that my job is at the end of that growth cycle. (How did I end up in a career considered as "window dressing" to most companies?)
It frightens me really. I don't know when a "real" job will come along. But until then, I get to send a few dollars a week into the system that supports this ridiculous woman.
And don't even get me started on Occupy Wall Streets demands for more handouts.