Unemployment’s Just Another Word…
My purpose is not to defend government or say that taxes and government spending don’t matter for freedom. My point simply is to suggest that there tends to be a myopia among conservatives and libertarians that is very quick to condemn governmental curtailments of individual liberty, while failing to appreciate or even acknowledge expansions of personal freedom that have enormously improved our lives over those of our parents and grandparents, not to mention those in the distant past.
Now we have Reihan Salam defending Obama on unemployment:
[W]ithout trivializing the psychic trauma involved, there’s no getting around the fact that it is in many respects much easier to be unemployed now than it was in the Reagan-Volcker era. And if that’s true, “blaming” President Obama for a high unemployment rate seems faintly absurd. Is it the president’s fault that Americans are better off than they were 30 years ago, and are thus not desperate to take whatever job that comes along? […] This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for society. One can imagine workers using an extended spell of unemployment as an opportunity to gain new skills and to spend time with loved ones.
This is actually very true. My wife makes a very decent salary while her parents struggled miserably to make ends meet for their three kids. Right now, we have a household of four adults, two of them (including me) attending college, two grandkids and two dogs. That’s more mouths to feed, clothe and minds to put at ease.
Thanks to the fact it’s possible for a single family income to make it compared to how difficult it was then—although it’s still difficult for most—I’m able to go to school and get the skills I need for a fast ROI.
Employment here in the middle of nowhere is tough. Indiana has one of the worst unemployment rates in the country. Count me in as one of those unlucky bastards that suffers the shame of being on the dole. Nevertheless, I’m glad I have the opportunity to go back to school—mostly due to my wife being the most awesome wife ever.
Unemployment sucks but it can also rock.