A blog about life on the margins of America and the world: about life in the rooming houses and rented rooms, in low income jobs, on unemployment rolls. The writer will share personal experiences, both recent and more distant and comment on spiritual, economic and other matters. This blog is heavily influenced by the Catholic Workers Movement. Please share the posts you like and follow us by email or subscription.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Send Congress Your Resume
Yesterday I published a letter I sent to Congress with my resume. As I reported Congressman Jessie Jackson Jr. has asked that all the unemployed send Congress there resume. My friend Sally Metcalf has sent Congress her resume and given me permission to publish it on my blog. Tell everyone you know who is unemployed to to send Congress their resume and their story and then if they send me a copy of the cover email I will publish it if suitable, until I run out of time and room. Not only those looking for work, but the "discouraged unemployed" who would start looking if they felt they stood a chance. Also those working part time or temp who want full time work, and those forced into early retirement by unemployment. Have them all send there resume.
The email address for Congressional resumes is: firstname.lastname@example.org However after you send it there you may want to send copies to other Congresspeople to make sure they read it. We don't want it to get stuck in HR. If you want to send me a copy of your story either post it as a comment to one of the unemployment stories or email it to email@example.com.
Letter to Congress;
My name is Sally Metcalf and I'm unemployed. Lest you think I'm a freeloader living at ease on my unemployment benefits, know that my benefit check totals $940 per month. I can't quite live on that (could you?) and have wiped out my savings (what little I had after two protracted layoffs since the economic crash in 2007). I am on the brittle edge of homelessness.
I cannot afford health and dental insurance, which are sorely needed, as teeth are going bad and I have an inherited blood disorder that, if not carefully treated, could render me disabled or dead.
I'm doing my best to maintain health and steadily apply for work; and I'm doing a great job. I've availed myself of all WorkSource's excellent trainings on how to find a job and am resourcefully applying these strategies. Being naturally proactive, I even started an in-home support group of mature job seekers; and share every opportunity I discover that is relevant with my fellow job seekers.
This is what I'm doing. Now what about YOU!
Inconceivable sums have been delivered by my Federal Government into the hands of US corporations on the assumption they would hire the unemployed. These businesses are sitting on the money or investing it in off-shore enterprises and the economy is solidly rebounding. Yet, still,they are not hiring. So much for the Republican notion that corporations need no oversight by the Fed to do the right thing. Corporations are misusing my tax money and acting fallaciously while millions of talented Americans suffer loss and degradation. I demand you call corporations to account and force them to hire! And to hire US citizens!
I am 62 years old. Never in my working career have I met with such severe age prejudice as I, and many other older Americans, do now. We are severely hampered by a host of false assumptions and myths about our employability.
A recent statistic stated that unemployment for college grads is at 4.3%. I hate to think what that statistic is for those over 45, who are a huge portion of the present workforce. Can you even accurately track it, given that so many of us have run out of unemployment benefits? I demand that businesses be required to hire proportionately to the ages of those unemployed, and that the longest unemployed be given hiring priority.
Point blank, for me, running out of benefits means that I (given my health issues and lack of resources) would become homeless and die on the street. I demand affordable national health care immediately.
Every couple of months an article in the Seattle Times states that those who are older and unemployed will likely never work again, as no one will hire us—especially those of us who have been out of work longest. We are somehow tainted by our own unemployment. Can you imagine the grief and suffering this means for hundreds of thousands of worthy Americans. There is a long-standing prejudice that the unemployed are shiftless, that is, unemployable. I demand that these destructive myths and prejudices be shattered and that the unemployed be valued, promoted, and actively sought out for their tremendous potential to contribute to a successful and vital America.
My most recent job was with a recruiting firm. They rarely considered presenting candidates for job openings who were unemployed. This is a common requirement of corporate hiring authorities; and, frankly, in this economy, it is nothing less than tragic. I demand that employers be summarily reeducated and hiring preference be forcefully shifted to those who are unemployed.
In recent years, more US corporations, freed by trade agreements to pursue profit without counting the cost to their own country, have shifted overseas causing literal ghost towns to arise where industry once thrived. Instead of an industrious producer in the global market, the US has become a consumer nation, a debtor on a hopeless scale. I demand we rebuild business at home, employing increasing thousands, until production and sales once again outstrip consumption and debt.
Lastly, other nations are dealing with severe unemployment more successfully and actively than we are. For example, Germany instituted a job-sharing program to bring greater numbers into the workforce. I demand we focus our most brilliant and resourceful minds on inventive and effective solutions for how to get Americans back to work and ACT now to do just that.To this end, I demand that employment security departments across the country be vitalized with the support needed to develop and institute viable new solutions to unprecedented joblessness.
If you need to fund the demands I'm making, stiffly fining employers and corporations for not meeting these hiring requirements would suffice. Demanding that stimulus money be returned by businesses that have not been hiring commensurate to their funding might produce results as well.
It takes bold strategy and solid moral muscle to move wealthy corporations who've been encouraged throughout the last presidency to put self-service and greed first in the idolatry of profit at the expense of the nation. In the time of the Great Depression and FDR, his New Deal morally reeducated and restructured business and society to provide for the disenfranchised and for those without hope or opportunity. I demand a New Deal! Let's put America back to work! And I want a piece of the action. I can make a powerful difference in this recovery. Give me a job!