Dennis Nishi, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, used the service HARO (HelpaReporter.Com) to post a query for a story he's researching. It was e-mailed to me through a Facebook news-feed that I'm subscribed to, and reads as follows:
So I emailed him:
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 9:17 PM
Subject: "Took some time off after being laid off"
To: Dennis Nishi (Wall Street Journal)
RE: Your Query
QUESTION: After a 55-year-old son of a war veteran (Korea and Vietnam) is laid off from his job of 20 years (as a casino bartender in Las Vegas), then plows through his life's savings after he exhausted all his unemployment benefits, then has his car towed away, then gets evicted from his home, and was finally forced to move in with a very kind stranger to escape from being homeless, how do the Republicans (and Rupert Murdock) propose he live out the rest of his years, let alone survive the next few months?
Especially if he's 7 years away from getting a reduced Social Security retirement benefit at the age 62 (which the Republicans and Rupert Murdock call a "government hand-out" and want to cut); and especially since he's recently been diagnosed with severe arthritis in his neck and back (from a life-time of hard work)? He was denied his first claim for Social Security disability (which the Republicans and Rupert Murdock want to cut) and now MUST rely on food stamps just to eat (which the Republicans and Rupert Murdock also wants to cut). The only thing that the Republicans and Rupert Murdock haven't mentioned cutting is his "manhood". Will that be next?
You're "looking for somebody that took some time off" after losing their livelihood? It's not a voluntary socio-economic un-activity that the jobless are engaged in; we weren't invited to the party during this jobless economic recovery - we are treated more like party crashers every time we ask for help - meaning a job, which is always much more preferable to food stamps (or any other "government hand-out"). But the
wealthiest "job creators" in this country are hoarding the money supply and are not investing in American workers. And when they
DO hire someone, it's usually a much younger person with a higher education who is not currently unemployed - - - and at reduced wages. Your job could be next.
I didn't plow through several thousand dollars in my bank account just to sit around at home all day long in my socks to watch day-time TV. But I needed to pay for food, rent, and electricity (and make car payments before I couldn't do that any longer after all my cash was gone). I worked 40 hard years and expected to work another 15 more before I was laid off in late 2008 - - - but I was never hired again. The "under-employed" in this country work 2 and 3 part-time low-paying jobs, so there are no jobs for those that have no jobs at all. No, McDonalds hired 62,000 teenagers for summer work, and aren't looking to fill 14 million+ positions for middle-aged and elderly adults who need an income to survive.
What did I do while I was lounging around the pool drinking frilly Margaritas for the last 3 years while I was relaxing on the government dole? Well, besides looking for work - any work, including low-paying jobs (and cursing at the commentators on Fox News for accusing me of being drunk and lazy), I designed web sites (which are down for lack of funds). I also blogged, and I wrote a novel which was self-published and will be soon be on sale at Amazon. But unlike Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck, I don't have a TV show to plug my book.
I know nothing about starting my own business, but I hear that that requires start-up capital, and I'm flat broke. And I don't suppose that 14 million+ Americans can be expected to start their own business either, as some people on Fox News have suggested. Heaven forbid if we all became successful...who would shine all the current CEOs' shoes?
I also do a little videography...here's a trailer I just did for my book:
More info here at my free blog:
I have also vigorously advocated for the jobless and especially for the long-term unemployed like myself (such as the "99ers"), which Glenn Beck has accused of being Socialists. It was THEN that I went from being a person with Republican sympathies to a man with Progressive sentiments. The Great Recession woke me up and opened up my eyes as to what has been going on in this country. As a casualty of Republican policies, I'm now the collateral damage (victim) of their "grand ole" experiment with capitalism. The "rising tide" never rose my boat, it washed me far out to sea. Thanks GOP!
I didn't WANT to have to collect unemployment checks or food stamps, any more than I WANTED the holes in my socks and underwear that I currently wear - - - because now I can no longer afford to go to Wal-Mart.
I hope you NOW have a better understanding of the unemployed in this country. It's not easy. It's not easy at all watching the world pass you by while life goes on without you.
P.S. I forgot to mention something that's very significant: The "stranger" that took me in to their home 6 months ago after I was evicted and allowed me to use their spare bedroom, is unemployed also and exists solely on unemployment benefits when they could be renting this room. They get the full 99 weeks in this State because here in Las Vegas, the unemployment rate is still 13.8%. If you consider the actual U-6 unemployment rate, it's closer to 20% (or 1 out every 5 people). My benefactor's unemployment benefits run out by the end of the year, then what will we do? And me, without a car and broke, am in a very deep hole....wouldn't you agree?
BCC: Huffington Post and Las Vegas Review-Journal