Thursday, December 30, 2010

A real conversation

In-coming Governor Rick Scott (Florida) recently said he wants those collecting unemployment for more than 12 weeks to do community service and to have proof they're looking for a job. That's a great sound bite and God knows we live in the world of sound bites! Heaven forbid we take the time to look any deeper. OK Heaven, forbid away, but here I go ... deeper.

Consider the single parent that was making, say, $70K a year before losing that job 6 months ago. Let's also say this single parent has 3 (2, if you prefer) children still young enough to need child care. At $70K a year, this parent had no problem paying the child care bill along with all the other stuff that needs to be paid in a month. Now that the parent is unemployed, paying for childcare is out of the question! Not only is it no longer affordable, but in this electronic age, most days it's no longer necessary.

In comes Rick Scott's "new rules": now this parent has to do community service and that means paying for childcare again. Just how is said parent suppose to come up with the money? Not to mention the next issue of community service hours taking away from job-search hours. (Is the community service idea starting to sound a little less "right on!!!" ??) And if the parent is out doing community service, how is the parent suppose to prove that he/she is looking for employment?

That's just "five minutes worth of thought" into the sound bite. What may sound like a great idea on the surface (long live our great American sound bite) is usually like the onion just waiting for more layers to be peeled away. Whether I voted for Rick Scott or not is irrelevant; he is our new Governor and I want him to be successful. This is not a good start, though. He's off the campaign trail and into the Governor's mansion (well ... in a couple of days) so he needs to ix-nay the sound bites and start thinking a little deeper. Let's have some real conversation about ideas. (And I haven't even talked about WHAT community service would be performed... would we end up putting even MORE people out of jobs?)

I'm just sayin'......

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