I have always thought of myself as a rather drastically liberal person who believes in social responsibility which also goes hand in hand with hard work. But very recently I was called conservative and judgemental in the same sentence. Typically it wouldn’t bother me but the reasoning behind it bothered me so much that I have been thinking about it all week.
Let me backtrack a bit, this all stemmed from someone I know who is reapplying for unemployment. Now, I do believe that there should be a safety net out there for people who lose their jobs. I believe that they shouldn’t be left hung out to dry because of the economy or the fact that it can take a few months to find employment again. I get that, I really do. But this person has maxed out the terms of unemployment and reapplying for an extension without even looking or wanting to look for a job. I am just flabbergasted at this phenomenon. I have met some conservatives who always tell me when I speak about how I am a proponent for welfare, umemployment, social security, and quite frankly most social services that all these people are just free-loading off of our hard work. Up until this point I had never met anyone that I felt was doing anything close to that, so I never took it all that seriously. But now I don’t necessarily know how I feel about the whole unemployment system and I have to say that I really do not appreciate people who abuse the system. Because I have friends that due to the failing economy or other unfortunate circumstances have lost their jobs and they are working extremely hard every single day to find a new one. They are not happily collecting unemployment they are just thankful that they have it so that they aren’t on the street with nowhere to go. And I am glad that unemployment exists so that they are relatively safe and stable until they can find another job.
What really strikes me is the fact that a person can say that they don’t particularly want to look for a job because they would rather “enjoy life” and then talk about how they don’t have enough money to do fun things that they want to and yet still continue to be unemployed. I mean I understand that working is not always fun. In fact it often sucks (for lack of a better word). But, in my opinion, we all have to do it in order to survive. Working is simply a part of life and it is up to you to find some form of employment that suits you. I mean I’m not in love with my current job (although, I have been lucky enough to have had work experiences that I love) so I know that I am working towards having enough experience and education to move to something better at some point. It doesn’t have to be immediate but I know that I have the ability to control my work environment to a certain extent. It does not excuse me from having a job. And society does not “owe you” the money to exist when you are not contributing anything back to society. And I don’t think that is a conservative view point. In fact it is the basis for social responsibility.
Being liberal isn’t about giving away free hand-outs, it is about helping those who are less fortunate who need the help to get to where they need/want to go. It is about being socially aware and trying to think of what’s best for the entire community, not thinking only of oneself (in fact, I believe that’s where being conservative comes in). When one takes advantage of the system it’s just being on the other side of the conservative coin, except that you believe someone else should be paying for you to do whatever you want. I mean it sortof reminds me of Donald Trump who believes that he should be able to get out of his massive loan from Deustche Bank to build Trump Tower in Chicago because of the real estate crisis but he won’t let those home-buyers who bought those condos at outrageous prices out of their mortgages with him. I mean does that strike anyone else as just a little self serving? Because that’s the way it seems to me. And honestly, shouldn’t Trump have enough money to cover the costs for such an ambitious project anyway, he sure acts like he should.
I digress, the point being, I do believe in having an unemployment system. And yes, I will admit there are flaws that are not easily rectified. In fact, they may never be rectified and while I do not appreciate people who cannot be bothered to get a job I still believe that the system is necessary for those who are not abusing the system. For those people who truly need it to get back on their feet and who use it as such. I think that the selfishness of a few should not make us so close-minded that we forget the great benefit it gives to so many. If nothing else at least we all have the security of knowing that should we lose our jobs to this fantastic economy that we won’t be immediately out on the street.