So there I was, surfing around the news sites yesterday when I came across this little nugget at Kentucky.com where Rand Paul "counsels" the unemployed to suck it up and take a minimum wage job rather than collect unemployment.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul on Friday urged Americans who have been unemployed for many months to consider returning to the workforce in less desirable jobs rather than continue relying on government unemployment assistance.
"In Europe, they give about a year of unemployment. We're up to two years now in America," Paul said on Sue Wylie's WVLK-AM 590 radio program.
Let's see now. A quick check shows that Kentucky's current Unemployment rate as of May 2010 is 10.4% (let the cursor linger over the individual states to get the rate for that state). That's the official rate and does not include those who are already underemployed. The current national rate is officially 9.7% for May 2010. Rand, that's not a good thing to be higher than the national average on this.
Let me present a scenario for you to mull over Rand. Let's say, you chose a career field that requires up to eight years of specialized training after completion of a bachelor's degree. Say something like Ophthalmology. And it requires even further training to remain certified within your chosen field.
Now you've worked hard to reach a level of knowledge and competence in this field and you want to reap the rewards. Then your employer decides that costs are too high and he has to let folks go. The employer looks around and sees you over there making an above average salary and since you're hitting your fifties and only going to be asking for more money, he decides that you're the best candidate for a lay-off. He can't quite come out and say you're too old and expensive so he comes up with whatever excuse he can. Then he requires you to sign an agreement that you will not sue for age discrimination or you will sacrifice the severance package he provides and he will contest your unemployment claims by calling you an "independent contractor."
So here you are. All your education and professional certs notwithstanding, you're on the street looking for employment. Since you're in Kentucky, you actually receive a fair (in comparison to other states) Weekly Unemployment Compensation at a maximum of $415 per week. And all those other Ophthalmologists are also out there looking for jobs just as you are looking. Sending in resumes, cold calling the hospitals, talking to folks all over the country trying to find a position in your chosen field, the field you developed your expertise in. Ya know something Rand? I rather doubt that you would actually give up your hopes of finding a new position in your chosen field and take a job as a hospital orderly, emptying bed pans and making beds and moving disabled folks just to be employed until you'd reached the point of exhausting ALL benefits to which you are entitled.
Just like you take Medicaid/Medicare patients even when you don't think the government should be providing benefits to those who are less fortunate.
And Rand? You're not being picked on for your views. When you claim that the Civil Rights Act went too far in banning businesses from discriminating, it is not picking on you to highlight this fact.
When you are called out for opposing the 14th Amendment that allows any child born in the US to be considered a citizen and folks highlight this, you're not being picked on.
When you're called out for supporting a polluter like BP and folks criticize you for it, you're not being picked on.
When folks point out that you initially claimed you would not accept money from senators who voted for TARP and turn around and participate in a fund raiser with Mitch McConnell where you are accepting money from senators who voted for TARP, it is not picking on you to point out your hypocrisy.
Ladies and gentlemen, the not quite ready for prime time Republican Senate candidate from the Great State of Kentucky.
And because I can: