Florida Hopes to Humiliate Unemployed

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unemployment volunteerFlorida's unemployment rates are not so hot. At 12%, it's one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, and someone in the state government is trying to figure out how to not lose so much of that unemployment benefit to the jobless citizens of the Sunshine State. 

You know, the unemployment benefit that was taken out of their paycheck when they had a job? The unemployment benefit that maxes out at $275 per week, since Florida is one of the lowest paying in the union? Yep, that $275 a week is making Representative Kathleen Passidomo cranky, so she proposes that unemployed Floridians do some (more) work for their bennies. Passidomo is supporting legislation to make recipients of unemployment benefits volunteer at least four hours every week.

Before you say, "Hey, volunteering is a great thing!" why don't you stop and think about how that would affect you -- if this idea was to take hold on a national level.

Imagine this scenario: You've just lost your job and your family is in dire financial straits. If you're lucky, you get unemployment benefits (even luckier if you live in a state with a higher weekly rate than Florida). But your government assumes you're a lazy, good-for-nothing, instead of a victim of corporate lay-offs, downsizing, or a bankrupt company. So they ask you to prove your worth to them. Insulted yet?

Don't get me wrong, I think volunteering is a wonderful thing. And, like Representative Passidomo says, it could be a way to make contacts and find more work. Or it could be taking you away from your job search, using your limited gas money, and punishing you for not being able to hold on to a job -- even though it was no fault of your own. Also, throw in child care costs if you're a parent, and your weekly allotment is suddenly not enough to feed those kids. You know, the weekly allotment THAT YOU'VE ALREADY PAID FOR WHEN YOU WERE WORKING.

Way to screw the American people yet again! Why do I think this is totally going to pass? Watch out Floridians -- you'd better not even think about working for a company that could have lay-offs, or you'll be picking up trash on the highway. Instead of looking for another job that could also end in a lay-off. 

Do you think this is a good way to treat the unemployed?

 

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nonmember avatar Anon

Yes! It's only 4 hours per week! It's something to do, something to feel good about, and something to put on your resume! It's what you do to make up for the fact that you are not paying taxes yet continue to benefit from government spending! What could be wrong with any of that? ... I have performed hundreds of hours of volunteer work annually WHILE working long hours, donating money to charity, AND paying high taxes. I have done this my whole life. It should be part of everyone's life; people shouldn't even have to be asked to do it. But if they are not already doing at least 4 hours per week while unemployed, they need to get off their butts.

Bree1984 Bree1984

I think it's a great idea, especially for people who have been on unemployment for a while. It can help ease the depression that often sets in when one is confined to the house and in many cases you can probably get your kids involved. Good on Florida. I hope the rest of the States and Canada join in as well.

angev... angevil53

there's good and bad, maybe have them do it for a couple of months or something not the whole time they are unemployed. i'm sure you can volunteer at the local y or headstart with your kids.

nonmember avatar Kel

Ugh, awful! That is money you pay in as assurance that if you lose your job you will have money to live on. Do you know how much money I've probably paid in over the years in unemployment and never drawn on? If I end up unemployed due to being laid off, I'll be happy that money was taken from my paycheck over the years. Should we humiliate the elderly for taking social security? Unemployment benefits are like unemployment security.

I want to hear all the people crying SOCIALISM say that when they're pulling SOCIAL Security when they're over 65.

nonmember avatar Anon

By the way, are you sure it's accurate to say the unemployment insurance came out of their paychecks? In my state, it is paid by the employer, not the employee. And it's not all that much money, either. People are not limited to collecting the amount paid in for them. So don't imply they are just cashing out their personal bank deposit.

Tiffa... TiffanyinSF

There's nothing humiliating about volunteering in your community.  I don't like the bill primarily because it reduces the number of weeks you can receive benefits, but I don't agree with the idea that the unemployed should or would be offended that 4 hours of community service is a requirement for benefits.  Assuming you can choose your own volunteer activities (so that you don't have to "pick up trash on the highway") it could actually be a great thing for everyone involved.  It's not punishment.

momav... momavanessa

No way! That is crazy! I am not on unemployment but when my husband was he had to go to classes and training anyhow for us to get health insurance! I have always volunteered on MY own every year! I don't think people should if the already EARNED that money!

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