Let’s put a face on unemployment

The latest news is that pouring money into road construction as “stimulus” didn’t work the way it was supposed to. Of course, when at least 10% of the workforce is unemployed, it’s not a matter of buying your way out of the situation. We need systemic change, and we need it fast. It’s time to stop bailing out the millionaires who pay for election campaigns, and start looking at putting in place ratios that limit pay against how many employees you have- and what they’re paid.

Why? Because if they can’t find jobs- and unemployment runs out, we’ll have a big segment of our population ready to turn to crime to survive.

Hopefully- it won’t come to that.

But, to make it relevant- in a personal way- I’d like to introduce you to my friend Justin the goalie. He doesn’t have a degree, but has worked in hospitality, retail, light manufacturing and administration. He was working for a retail chain called InkStop until last October, when they suddenly closed up shop and stiffed all their employees:

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio — InkStop Inc., a specialty retailer of ink, toner, consumer electronics and other supplies for small businesses and home offices, abruptly told its employees that it was shuttering all 152 stores nationwide as of Friday and laying off all workers until further notice.

via InkStop abruptly closes all 152 retail stores and lays off all workers | Business – cleveland.com – cleveland.com.

Since then, he’s been applying like crazy. No luck.

We sat down today and had a brief talk about how hard working and willing to work people who can’t find work these days.

Justin needs a job. If you would like to hire him, here’s his resume PDF: Justin Sharpe Resume

Thanks.

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19 Responses

  1. Steve Varner January 13, 2010 / 10:51 am
    You should do this every week with someone different.  Right now, 44,000 people in the area are looking for a job and can’t find one. 

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  2. Joe January 13, 2010 / 2:14 pm
    Hang in there Justin! Keep your chin up. You seem like an employee any business would be very lucky to have.
    Best video yet, Dave.
    I’m in the same boat as Justin. I got laid off from my university in September and haven’t had much luck as of yet. A few interviews but no bites. Luckily, I picked up a temp job until the end of Feb. which will extend my benefits.  Unfortunately it is a 36% pay cut, but thats better than the less than half I was getting through unemployment. It’s very tough finding a job, especially in Dayton. It’s hard finding the minimum amount of jobs per week to apply for in something that is even remotely related to my field. Thinking about moving out of State….
     
    I went to school to be a teacher, and found about 5 or 6 jobs in the entire state for my specialty. So much for that teacher shortage they are always talking about. My 2 year provisional license expires in July; glad I barely got to use that. I got lucky last year and found a university job, but that fell through when they lost a contract bid. Hope to find something soon. I can’t afford to borrow more money to get higher degree right now either.

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  3. David Esrati January 13, 2010 / 2:36 pm

    @Joe- thanks for the support. I’m hearing over and over that the jobs aren’t there to apply for.

    My advice- get on http://www.linkedin.com and work their job boards- linkeddayton group has quite a few. Ask every friend you have- on a regular basis about jobs they may have heard about.

    Keep plugging away- although I doubt there are many places that are in better shape as to hiring- the whole country is hurting.

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  4. Bubba Jones January 13, 2010 / 3:25 pm
    Hang in there Justin!  I didn’t watch the video but your resume looks pretty good!
     
    Interestingly, I got a call about an hour ago from a temp service asking if I was hiring or needed any temps.  I talked to the lady for a little bit to ask what they were seeing.  She did tell me that their business is picking up a little bit right now.  That’s a good thing as historically temp agencies lead recoveries as employers hire temps before hiring permanent employees.  (Temp agencies will also slow way down before the official onset of a recession.)
     

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  5. D. Greene January 13, 2010 / 4:30 pm
    What about the US Census? They are supposedly hiring 6,000 people for the region to help administer the door to door part and to do office work, etc. Are those jobs already filled?

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  6. Joe January 14, 2010 / 12:00 pm
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucru/20100108/cm_ucru/thecrazyiesttax

    An interesting article by Ted Rall, a Dayton area native,  realted to this discussion.

    Ted Rall wrote:

    It was also hypocritical for Republicans, who rail against “double taxation” when they argue for the repeal of taxes on the estates of the wealthy. Unemployment benefits, after all, were already taxed once; while employed, workers pay into the federal and state unemployment compensation systems. When they get downsized, they’re merely getting back what they put in.

    David, I’m on LinkedIn. Mind if I add you to my contacts?

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  7. David Esrati January 14, 2010 / 12:33 pm

    @Joe – add away. One can never have too small a rolodex.

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  8. Bubba Jones January 14, 2010 / 6:56 pm
    Great quote Joe!!  Too bad that Ted Rall is wrong about workers paying into the federal and state unemployment compensation systems.  I’ll give you $20 if you can find the deduction on your pay stub, from an Ohio employer, that shows a deduction for either one of those funds (SUTA or FUTA).  The fact is that employers pay into those funds by way of a tax that’s deductible on the employer’s income tax returns.  Therefore, the amounts that fund these programs are not taxed since the amounts paid by the employer reduces the employer’s taxable income.  If your employer is deducting this from your pay, he’s breaking the law.
     
    I also had to roll my eyes at Rall’s assertion that taxing unemployment benefits was Reagan’s idea while he was “waging class war against the poor and middle class.”  Does he have anything, from a reputable source, to back up this statement?  I think one would have to refer to the committee reports from the ways and means committee in place in ’85 to determine the real genesis for the idea.  I find it humorous that in the link posted by David L in the “insubordination” thread that Rachel Maddow talks about how Republicans think they can say something and that nobody will fact check them.  But, when a liberal makes some statement trying to sound factual (as in Rall’s column) then you don’t bother to check them out.  I’m glad there’s no double standard!
     
    By the way, I personally think that the tax on unemployment benefits is ludicrous! But don’t go blaming Republicans for it’s existence.  Rall’s very lame column even admits that it was a Democratically controlled congress that passed this law.  Remember, congress make laws, presidents only sign them.  Besides, the ’86 tax act that put this into place also did also sorts of other things that non-business-owning liberals loved to decry!!  It eliminated the full deduction for business related meals (aka – the two martini lunch).  It eliminated the ability to take huge deductions on luxury automobiles (unless those vehicles were heavy SOB’s!).  It limited how much you could deduct for partnership losses obtained through business ownership in which you did not materially participate thus eliminating something that used to be called a “tax shelter.”  So, the tax on unemployment benefits was basically something that nobody really paid attention to.  Of course I’m sure it was snuck into the bill by some mean hearted Republican!

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  9. Joe January 15, 2010 / 8:48 am
    I’m not endorsing Ted Rall, just throwing it out there. I like his writing sometimes, sometimes I don’t. The thing about unemployment that bugs me more than the taxes is that there are so many ways to have your benefits not measure up to what they should be. Especially gets tricky when you work for an educational institution, but not involved in academics. My group I was with was listed as a school, but it really is fuctionally and chartered separately ftom the school. Even so, the unemployment rules that apply for Universities applied to me. These rules are very stange, and involve only being paid benfits when the school is not in session. I do not completely understand them either, as its hard to find the policies they cite. 

    I feel very bad for anyone without regular internet access, the time and eduction to deal with them constantly. Exhausting and demoralizing at times. Took much haranguing on my part to get my benefits close to what they should be according to the information I was provided. I do have to say the workers at the unemployment office are always very helpful and patient.

    Had one interview this week, and another next friday… Wish I didn’t have to call off my temp job for these, but it will be worth it if I get hired somewhere.

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  10. David Esrati January 15, 2010 / 9:35 am

    On the subject of “unemployment”- I’ve fired one person in 20+ years in business, for cause, who took unemployment. I next saw him working at “the box shop”- next door to my bank. He was doing freelance on the side. He pocketed the full amount of the benefits- and the ODJFS jacked my rates to 10% for the next 3 years (which killed me).

    Never mind the years of paying in- they only care about the three previous. Never mind that he was fired for cause- (I didn’t realize this wasn’t unemployment insurance- but an account with a balance)-

    Yet- I used to watch GM use the unemployment account like a bank savings account- laying off the entire plant, putting the employees on unemployment, then back on- effectively costing GM nothing.

    The system is borked.

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  11. Joe January 15, 2010 / 11:11 am
    You can get into serious trouble for cheating unemployment. I just want what I have earned through the policies set by my employer.  Gotta pay those bills….

    If you fired your employee for cause, he never should have been able to draw from the account. I think there a only a couple valid reasons to be able to draw funsds. Lack of work, unsafe conditions, wrongful termination, etc… And I’ve heard anythign except lack of work is very hard to claim.

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  12. David Esrati January 15, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    @Joe- I fired him 2 weeks before xmas after working for me for 4 years. I didn’t contest it because I knew he was employable, and because I thought (wrongly) that unemployment was for this kind of instance.

    He had been warned about spending a few hours a day screwing around online- and I had over 3000 visits to a website he was moderating on company time. I had cause.

    I’ll never make that mistake again. When I contested the rate hike- telling them I saw him working- they said too bad. Bad system.

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  13. Bruce Kettelle January 15, 2010 / 1:37 pm
    David, you probably would not have won even if you contested from the start.  I had take an unexpected sick leave.  It became necessary to use petty cash while she was out and discovered a shortage of over $300.  She was fired for cause.  When the unemploymant claim notice arrived we contested it.  At the hearing the bureau modererator ruled in her favor since this was a first offence!  If you want to win these rulings you better have a personell file full of written warnings.

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  14. Rob January 15, 2010 / 3:26 pm
    I fired someone for violating a no compete contract and in essence stealing. When I received the paperwork in the mail I faxed over copies of his email, my contracts and a letter of personal philosophy on what I thought the purpose was at the ODJFS was for. They denied my ex-employee’s claim and his appeal.
    Here is the odd part that I am open to suggestions on. I recently received notice that he is now being granted unemployment checks because he was released from work from his personal friends company. Because he was released from this new company, they based his benefits on salary from my company. However, I am pretty damn certain that his friend never really employed him (at least not in a full time capacity). I called the fraud/investigations division and reported it. But, truth be told, I really want to follow up on it every single week. He stole from me and if he is stealing from the system I would like to see his ass planted in a cell.

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  15. David Lauri January 15, 2010 / 3:54 pm
    I find it humorous that in the link posted by David L in the “insubordination” thread that Rachel Maddow talks about how Republicans think they can say something and that nobody will fact check them.  But, when a liberal makes some statement trying to sound factual (as in Rall’s column) then you don’t bother to check them out.  I’m glad there’s no double standard!
     
    LOL, are you telling me, Bubba, that if a liberal says something that’s demonstrably untrue that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and the various other conservative media outlets never point out the untruth? Really?  Fox News just lets these things pass? Well perhaps you need to turn to the “liberal” media, then, for truly fair and balanced coverage.
     
    For example, some people may like to paint Jon Stewart and The Daily Show with a liberal brush, but guess what?  The Daily Show has pointed out when Obama’s been inconsistent.  For example, see this Daily Show report on Obama’s broken promise to allow C-SPAN cameras to cover Senate healthcare negotiations.
     
    And yes, I’ll grant that MSNBC and in particular Rachel Maddow have a liberal slant, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t criticize Obama when criticism is due.  For example, see Maddow criticizing Obama for continuing Bush-era policies on indefinite detention.

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  16. Bubba Jones January 16, 2010 / 1:51 pm
    >>> LOL, are you telling me, Bubba, that if a liberal says something that’s demonstrably untrue that Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and the various other conservative media outlets never point out the untruth? Really?  Fox News just lets these things pass? <<<
     
    No, no, no!!  That’s not what I meant nor what I think I said.  Go rewatch the Maddow segment you linked to.  She goes on about how Republicans think that they can say things without impunity and that no one will fact check them.  I then pointed out that on Rall’s (Liberal) post that he states things that are fact that are completely untrue but nobody (at least that I saw) on his liberal leaning site bothered to point that he was factually incorrect.
     
    As far as turning to the “Liberal media” for coverage that’s “fair and balanced”, I’ll pass.  I’m pretty sure that I mentioned in a recent post here (not in this thread) that I’m not a regular Fox News watcher either.  I think that most of the broadcast news outlets are very biased – it’s just a matter of which side they’re biased to.  That’s why I get all of my news off the internet because everything you find on there is true!! ;)
     
    Forgive me for not watching Maddow criticize Obama for continuing Bush’s policies as I’m a little pushed for time right now.  I don’t blame her, or any very left leaning person that voted for B.O., for doing so.  After all, things like closing Gitmo and exiting Iraq were among the cornerstones of his  campaign.  Unfortunately for y’all, now that he’s in office he’s probably finding out that there’s a little more under the surface of these issues than he knew or wanted to admit knowing during the campaign.  And, that comment was not meant to be the starting place for a discussion on policy, etc.  It was merely meant to point out that candidates (on both sides)  will often play on the emotional hot buttons of those that they wish will vote for them.
     
    BTW, David – I got a good chuckle out of your comments on the license plate thread and your new drivers license photos! :)
     

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  17. David Lauri January 16, 2010 / 10:09 pm
    No, no, no!!  That’s not what I meant nor what I think I said.
    Ah, I misunderstood you.
     
    nobody (at least that I saw) on his liberal leaning site bothered to point that he was factually incorrect.
    Hmm, the Rallforum doesn’t seem particularly active — just 13 comments on “Ted’s Columns” and the last way back in August — but I did find a few critical comments.
     
    candidates (on both sides)  will often play on the emotional hot buttons of those that they wish will vote for them
    Absolutely.  I’m still pretty sure I’m better off with Obama than I would have been with McCain (or, God forbid, Palin, had McCain died in office), but it is true that Obama made promises he either knew or didn’t realize he couldn’t keep.  There are no perfect candidates, and our political system isn’t perfect.
     
    I got a good chuckle out of your comments on the license plate thread
    I’m glad to have provided a laugh.  It’s my job on Esrati.com to bring the gay theme into as many threads as possible.  Just a minor part of the gay agenda.

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  18. Bubba Jones January 17, 2010 / 8:08 am
    >>> Just a minor part of the gay agenda. <<<
    OMG!!  Just a MINOR part of the agenda!!??  Are you allowed to share the rest of the agenda with straight guys or are we all going to have to wait and be surprised???? LOL!!
     
    Have a great day, David L! :)
     

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  19. Ice Bandit January 17, 2010 / 8:58 pm
       I’ll never make that mistake again. When I contested the rate hike- telling them I saw him working- they said too bad. Bad system. (Dave Esrati)

       Precisely, David, a bad system. And from the Ohio Bureau of Unnecessary and Unwanted  Projects to the Federal Bureau of Redundancy Bureau, the government is nothing but a unending and expensive series of bad systems. Bad systems with the power and the inclination to take your money and your freedom. And your telling of this all too common tale of bureaucratic mis-. mal- and non-feasance is reason to scrap the system and reduce it to very survival insurance levels. Sorry David but the victim card ain’t gonna’ work this time; paying into a system for a score of years without understanding it falls under the category of caveat emptor. And these interesting and provocative  stories of your entrepreneurial woes make your knee-jerk liberalism hard to understand. The Old Bandito suspects inside David Esrati’s liberal front is a libertarian just screaming to get out…………..

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