Posts Tagged ‘unemployed’

Rebuttal To LiveCheap.com’s “7 Great Things About Unemployment…”

I understand what the author is trying to do here, and he’s got the right idea on some of his points, but in the areas where he is wrong, he is so widely off the mark and out of reality, that the article is a major miss.

The Author’s Good Points

Staying physically fit: Yes, the unemployed have more time, so spending some of it on losing weight and getting fitter is good advice. Besides being better for your health generally, exercise and staying fit benefits you mentally as well.

Family time:  Certainly it is a positive message to encourage the unemployed to catch up on family time . A trip to the park with the spouse and the kids is the kind of thing that can invigorate the lagging self-esteem that comes from being out of work and can do wonders for family relationships as well.

Catching  up on sleep: Absolutely a good idea. Since most Americans are chronically sleep deprived, the ability to sleep in when you want is a huge boon to one’s health and emotional well-being.

Where The Author Veers Into Fantasy Land

World travel:  On what universe is this guy on that he thinks anyone can afford to travel the world on an unemployment check? Even off-season rates are far too expensive!  Furthermore, there’s that little caveat  that in order to collect unemployment, you actually have to stick around to look for work. I’m sure the government  would take a dim view of the unemployed using their unemployment checks to travel to Jamaica, or wherever this guy thinks you can travel on meager UI checks. Congressional Republicans and some conservative Democrats are already being stingy on UI benefits because they think that the long term unemployed aren’t looking hard enough for work. This piece certainly gives them ammunition, even though it is so far from reality as to be a fairy tale. 

Doc me up: Ok, the idea that most of the unemployed can even afford Cobra benefits, which are very expensive and unaffordable to most people collecting UI checks is beyond laughable. Seriously, I’d like to know that this guy is smoking and where I can get some.

Dead end job: I am 100% certain that if you ask someone who is unemployed whether they’d rather be in a dead end job or unemployed, they’d choose the dead end job. No one likes being unemployed and looking for work. It is a soul-defeating endeavor and most people would choose the security of a steady income rather than be at the mercy of the schmucks in Congress who now find it necessary to cut the deficit at their expense.

Theme parks: Really? Has this guy checked the prices at the local theme park any time recently? It can cost $300 or more, when you take into account the price of tickets and food. Annual pass? Who would spend their meager unemployment benefits or any portion of their savings on such a frivolous expense?

What The Author Should Have Said Instead

Along with the good points he made, if he’d left off his ludicrous ones and instead replaced them with these, he would have a cogent and well written, helpful piece:

Maintenance: Performing routine maintenance on your home that you’ve deferred due to time constraints. Not only is this a good use of your extra time, it will also give you a sense of accomplishment and will save you money in the long run

Learn new skills: Take a class at your local community college that will teach you new skills or improve your current skills. This will look great on your resume as employers like to see you doing things with an eye to the future and to making yourself more valuable.

Again, I understand that the article is trying to paint unemployment in a positive light to help people feel better, but you have to do so with a modicum of sense. The way this article comes across, the guy sounds kind of snide, like even he doesn’t believe half the things he is saying.

More Foreclosure Assistance Provided In Financial Reform Bill

As the financial reform bill continues to make its way through Congress, at least one measure has been hammered out: a plan to combat mortgage foreclosures styled after the Pennsylvania HEMAP program has been approved by both the House and Senate.  I wrote about the HEMAP program in an earlier blog post.

The plan, called HEMA, would take $3 billion from unused TARP funds to provide assistance to homeowners in financial distress.  HEMA will require servicers and lenders to inform homeowners of the program availability before starting the foreclosure process.

If the homeowner is accepted into the program, he or she would make a small payment, based on what is affordable to the HUD and HUD would remit the full payment to the homeowner’s servicer. Payments would continue until the homeowner’s financial problems were resolved, whereupon he or she would resume making the full mortgage payment to the servicer and would also need to repay HUD for the payments advanced.

It is unclear how closely the HEMA program mirrors the HEMAP program, but if it is fairly close, any repayment of advanced monies would be over a long term period of time and capped at a level that is affordable for the homeowner.

The inclusion of a foreclosure assistance program within the financial reform bill is welcome news. Unlike HAMP, the HEMA program will carry the full force of law, which means that servicers and lenders can be forced to comply.

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