Friday, November 16, 2012

Crazy Uncle Liberty's Imaginary Moocher Friend

If I hadn't heard this story three times in the last two weeks (and endlessly over the last 20 years) I wouldn't bother to mention it.

You see, every Crazy Uncle Liberty has a friend or a cousin or a friend of his cousin.

His cousin's friend (the story goes) lost his $40K or $45K or $50K a year job and has now opted to laze around year after year living off the the public teat.  "And even though he was offered (so the story goes) dis great, forty-t'ousand-dollar-a-year job, he toll my cousin that he'd rather just loaf and live off unemployment for a coupla years makin' 40K for doing nuthin'!"

Which immediately expands outward into a rant about how Lazy Socialist Scum have killed Real America...'cuz that's the god damn problem with this god damn country!  What with the welfare and the food stamps and the unemployment you can live pretty good sittin' on your Liberal moocher ass livin' off the sweat of decent, hard-workin' Murricans like me!

This is the fairy tale they tell themselves, these poor, aggrieved wretches who are forced by the Socialist Obama Regime into a state of virtual slavery to pay for steak and Cadillacs for your lazy, God-hating Liberal ass while still busting hump to provide for his decent upstanding Christian family.

Here are the facts.

As of this writing, if you qualify to collect unemployment in Illinois (for example) the absolute maximum you can receive per-week even of you were pulling down six figures on your previous job is this (from the unemployment calculation website):
Your estimated weekly benefit: $452.00
If you qualify to collect unemployment in Illinois this benefit lasts 26 weeks, for an absolute maximum benefit of:
The most you will receive in total: $11,752.00
If you qualify, that is the basic package. There is a little bit more if you have a dependent spouse or children, but only a very little bit more. If apply for an extension past 26 weeks your case will usually be reviewed in-detail by a case manager and all of your documents and records better be in apple-pie-order. If you are granted an extension, it will be for 26 week and you'll end up getting about 80% of what you were getting before.

In other words, not 40-thousand-fucking-dollars for two-fucking-years, no questions asked.

And did I mention the documentation and certification process?

Because if you do qualify for unemployment you must actively look for work every week and document every job you applied for and what the outcome of that application was. And to keep you unemployment, every two weeks you must legally, affirmatively certify a whole bunch of things: that you looked for work during the previous two weeks, whether or not you are collecting any disability or annuity or workman's comp, whether or not you picked up any part-time work and whether or not you turned down any offers of work during the past two weeks.

You are required to keep records of everything and produce them on demand and if you lie about any of this, they can and often will cut you off from benefits both now and in the future, fine you, and maybe throw in a little jail time for good measure.

Or, put another way, Crazy Uncle Liberty's cousin's imaginary moocher friend is just another of the many, many fairy tales Conservatives tell themselves to justify their berserk hatred of us  Lazy Socialist Scum that have killed Real America.

 But then, you already knew that.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Lazy Socialist Scum that have killed Real America.

And Obama, Hillary, and Susan Rice had a three-way while they watched the Administration's hit on Ambassador Stevens on live t.v.

P.S. The Washington Guardian? John Solomon has finally found a place he belongs!

Sean Riley said...

Woah, compared to Sand Land you Illinois Socialist Scum are living high on da hog! Read it and weep(from "How much are the unemployment payments in Arizona?
The minimum is $60 per week and the maximum is $240 per week (2011)."

Yep, we Arizona Socialist Scum get about half of what the rest of this Nayshin gets. Oh well, the winters here ARE awesome!

D. said...

And in addition, since Reagan, said unemployment benefits are taxed.

Yeah, real high on the piglet.

Bukko Canukko said...

DG, let me tell you a story that runs counter to your point. It doesn't involve a distant, possibly apocryphal person. It's my wife's best friend in San Francisco who's been scamming the unemployment compensation system and skating for about two years. She used to work as a document processor in an accounting firm that handled tax returns for options traders, an office literally across the street from the S.F. Federal Reserve Bank HQ. The small outfit where she worked got bought out by a bigger fish, and they wanted to double her workload while cutting her pay by 20%. So she quit, with the new peoples' approval, severance pay, and the new owners did not contest her applying for unemployment.

This gal was smart, had socked away a lot of money while she was pulling down a 6-figure salary (a rate set in large part because she was having a long-term affair with the married boss.) She wasn't even going to apply for unemployment bennies because she didn't need them, but some other friend talked her into it. Nothing like her old salary, but still in the range of $350 a week.

Instead of looking for new work in the financial industry, this mid-50is woman decided she wanted to become a licensed massage therapist. (The legit kind, not a prossie.) For two years, she's been taking training courses, pretty serious about that, but NOT serious about actually lining up clients and setting up a business. She'll talk all day about how she's organizing her latest iPhone to sort calls from people booking massages, but she hasn't done a damn thing to GET people to call. It's procrastination about starting a career that she's not sure she can hack, and now that she's finished with the training, she hardly ever talks about massage.

All the while, she's been getting UE cheques but not searching for jobs. She's told us that the advisor at the unemployment office has pooh-poohed the "applying for work" requirement. My wife and I are good liberals, and we're glad to see people getting benefits when they've been sacked like you. But it irks us when we see someone grifting like this, because it is another straw that's helping break the system's back. Sometimes Crazy Uncle Liberty's figments are REAL, man.

Anonymous said...

In N.Y. the max benefit is $405.00/week.

Sean Riley said...

Wow, Ana, why am I not surprised that it's gone DOWN from what it was when I last drew NY UI in 2003! Mighty White of 'em, eh?

Sean Riley said...

Anon, not "Ana"...

David Fetter said...


Would you care to describe the kind of place $350/week will get you in San Francisco?

You can touch on the neighborhood (dirt poor), the type of apartment (studio or 1-bedroom), access to public transit (absolute crap), access to groceries (are you fucking kidding?), etc., etc. And that's assuming your imaginary friend is spending every red cent she gets on rent. It gets quickly worse, right down to homelessness on the extremely mean streets of San Francisco if she happens to want to do things like eat.

Anonymous said...

And then there is the need for Health Insurance. In our high-rent area (SF Bay), the max Unemployment Compensation (~ 1 year ago) was $450/week (sometimes $45 more). But as I have a family, with children doing school sports, (and being myself not so young any more) there was no way I could do without health insurance, which under COBRA, cost about $1,450.-/month for a family. So, the Unemployment Insurance mainly paid the health insurance, the ~$300.- remaining certainly not allowing for both food and rent.
I certainly was well-motivated to find some work, fast.