Inspection- Maybe it Should be “DON’T Get a JOB?”

  Hear the holier than thou war cry…

 ”Get a job!!!”

Inspection As if that all who rely on public assistance and are out of work are just lazy, willingly, happily living off the dole, and we’d all be better off if they worked.
 STOP! REALLY? You think you really know the true nature of ALL these people? HA!

By Ken Carman

 Soon we’ll cut through the balderdash. But first we clear away the rubble…
 Unemployment is NOT “the public dole.” We pay for it; one of those deductions some moan and kvetch about. The rest, like food stamps, are meant to keep people at a subsistence level. Keep them off the streets. Keep their children in at least tolerable health.
 If it’s too much, done it the wrong way, channeling funds to a dead end, well… let’s have a civil discussion.
 The framing that all are lazy, etc is crap. Some are looking for jobs as best they can. Some looking for jobs while having other responsibilities: kids; one parent families. Some are physically, maybe even mentally, unable. And it’s not like suitable jobs are available all the time.
 But, hey, let’s forget all that and go for the cliché’. I assume there is some number, some percentage, of hard care unemployed… however many there may actually be. Those who simply don’t want to work, unwilling to do much but sit at home, watch TV: whatever.
 Time for a reality check. After this I am only referring to the hardcore unemployed who just refuse to work.
 Do we REALLY want them in our workforce? Wouldn’t they more likely be the worker hiding in the bathroom rather than working, talking constantly, ignoring customers, one less burger, no lettuce, no cheese, or no special sauce on your Big Mac? Do anything to get back on the dole? Failing at that, do whatever it takes to get on the biggest dole of all: prison? Anyone in their sane mind think they’d actually make great workers, be great additions to the workforce?
 I’m sure most of us have worked beside someone who really doesn’t want to work. Someone willing do ANYTHING to get out of work. I remember once a recent hire at a radio station. Our job, a part of programming, was to call our listeners and assess what they wanted to listen to. Instead this guy would use company time to call and curse them out, or attempt to seduce them. A coworker and I found out about it when the listeners complained. He worked just long enough to go back on public assistance.
 One of my ex-bosses was desperate to hire anyone. She asked me about someone I knew. I told her she didn’t want him for this very reason. She knew she had to hire someone. He was gone in less than a week after hiding in the bathroom, chatting with others, finding any way not to work and get paid for that.
 I’m guessing there have been people in your life who could work, but don’t. No job good enough. No toleration for difficult situations. Unable to work with others. Eventually they become unable to work.
 So we would be better off as a society if we forced them to work?
 Each case is different, I’m sure. So, for the hardcore, what’s your solution, Mr. or Ms. “GET A JOB???”
 I suppose we could bring back debtor prisons, for all the good they did, for all the damage they did.
 Throw them out on the streets… wait, we’ve already done some of that. How much money do we spend getting police to chase them away from different areas?
 Maybe we could exterminate them?
 OK, that’s too Jonathan Swift-ian for me. As it should be for anyone.
 I have a solution get a jobbers may not like, but I think is best…
 Everyone has a right to a room. Not a fancy room. Not a good room. There may even be a roach or two.
 Everyone has a right to food basics. Not fancy steak. Probably restaurant leftovers… for which the restaurants get a modest fee to keep them as sanitary as possible.
 We could even build in rewards for those willing to climb out of the pit.
 Assist them starting a small business…
 Provide basic transportation to a job interview or find a job, and back.
  Help build the structures, renovate the buildings.
 Inspect the dwellings, observe and report how things are going, neighborhood watch.
 All provided by new small business entrepreneurs, many who were part of the system. Big business need not apply. Strict guidelines.
 Yes, this part would be government paid, and possibly cheaper than the social safety net we have now. Those who have done the best become overall program inspectors, or could be set free to apply what they have learned to the workforce, our economy.
 I can hear it now: “No! The dang gov-vern-ment will be picking our pockets again.” But no matter what we do here pockets will be “picked,” if you wish to frame it that way. We pay for emergency rooms, police, prisons, social workers… one way, or another, the indigent are served. Only, as it is, we pay for it in the most expensive ways.
 Some very famous man was quoted as saying…

 ”The poor will always be with us.”

 You know who that was.
 It’s true. Some of the hardcore should probably never be let on any workforce. When it comes to the hardcore sometimes the best reply may be, “DON’T get a job.”

                                               -30-

Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years, first published in fall of 1972. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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