JANUARY 23, 2012 6:51PM

Open Call: Unemployment myths debunked

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The Great Recession has left millions unemployed and desperately seeking work -- and yet we still hear Republican candidates recycling the same tired lines about poor work habits and government hand-outs. 

Have you lost your job as a result of the recession? We want to read your stories about what it's really like to be out of work in this economy. Specifically, how has your own experience contradicted common myths about unemployment?

Be sure to tag your posts "unemployment myths debunked." We'll feature our favorites on the cover of Open Salon. We're also planning to cross-post a few onto Salon in conjunction with "F**ked: The United States of Unemployment," a new video series we're running about joblessness in America. Please note that by tagging your posts "unemployment myths debunked" you are giving us permission to cross-post your work on Salon.

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I am interested to see what people write. This should be a really interesting open call. I am not convinced it is much better out there.
"We want to read your stories about what it's really like to be out of work in this economy."

Read those here nearly every day.
Oh Ed I Tor, it's like Paris in the Spring Time, lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and if I didn't have bills to pay, I WOULDN'T EVER GET ANOTHER JOB AGAIN!!!!

P.S. Can't you use the word 'fucked' over at Salon and if not, I don't think I'd wanna be over there anyways!!!

Pretty much EVERYTHING about unemployment is a myth. I am all over this. Excellent direction!
This is something I can warm up to. I have lost my jobs in three recessions over time. I have held many jobs over time and have worked very hard to get where I am today -- even though that means unemployed, without prospects and well past the time where any benefits might do me any good.

I must whip up an essay or two on this.

Okay, back to work! Wish I hadn't been so damn lazy all my life -- I mean, that's why I don't have a job now, right?

call it the successful result of globalization or the successful fruition of Marx's thesis on capitalism, the universal truth is human beings are no longer valued for anything more than competitive information. technology has made individual human capital- experience, leadership, innovation, wisdom irrelevant to the employer/corporation. interviewers are seeking and companies are paying for lateral movement from competitive/symbiotic companies. if you don't currently have a job, you cannot share industry information which is what you need to get a job. even "administrative assistants" and minor managers are being asked to sign "non disclosure" agreements binding them from sharing information or moving to an equitable industry position. the younger new employee has no allegience and asks for little. the older, seasoned job seeker either has information to barter or is of no use. forget college degrees unless it has an ivy imprint. the longer you are out of work- and out of the "know" the less value you have. basically unless you are sought out by a headhunter, or have a friend on the inside, cold callling for work is a waste of time for the middle aged person without a rolodex. the outcome for an entire generation is tragic.
It is NOT better out there especially for the gen X'ers. When I was laid off in 2009, I was amazed at how many over 40, mid-exec friends were reaching out to me to see what was happening. For many of us, with 20 years experience, great work ethic, educated, white collars with fams, we were just line-items to be crossed out. After adding million$ in revenues, we were cut to preserve bonuses at the top. I have looked in vain to see a report on just how many c-suites took a hit in sal and bonus in 2009. Both paid with former income from good people. Another thing . . . many of us were let go with two weeks before being vested in their 401k's. That alone cost me thousands. Then having to cash all retirement out to survive at the market lows, another body blow. Now, ads for jobs are openly discriminating against age. . . NO HELP. I am now working for 1/2 what I was making, in a house worth 15% less than my purchase price in 2004, with no ability to refinance, no prospects, a lifetime of saving gone and credit cards maxed trying to hang on for two years. One major car repair or sickness and my family will lose it all, and the worst part? MSM could care less. We have become subhumans, unmentionables. F!@#ed? Yeah, thats pretty descriptive. descriptive.
This recession happened just as some of the the most skilled workers in their 40's and 50's came on line. We got fat on easy prosperity, raising families in the 80's, 90's, and early 00's, not saving so much as a result. But this was supposed to be the big payout and the prestige of our best positions, setting us up for retirement, and now we are out. Forget about 50-year-olds in this economy. Even as it gets restored, the promise of the skilled worker shortage that was supposed to make us employable into our 60's is up in smoke. If we knew this, we wouldn't have relied on companies and would have started businesses a long time ago, still probably must. At least we have some equity in our older houses to get us started, I feel for the Gen Y-ers just starting out who have awful houses and low-paying, automated economy jobs.
I urge you to go to my post on this site to get an insider perspective on "government handouts" & "poor work habits."-
I got a phone call from my mother one night in '09, she was almost in tears. Asking me to come home and help her out with the three children she adopted, and she was having trouble with my drug riddled sister stealing from her. She's my mother what was I going to tell her, NO? Not if I valued having any kind of family relationship with her ever again. So, I quit my job in south Florida, gave up my life and moved back to Saint Petersburg. Since being here I have been able to get a few interviews here and there, but, nothing ever comes from them. Now the only thing I can find is part time, sometimes I don't work for a year, as a Poll Worker for the Supervisor of Elections. This year we are going to work for four days. Last year I didn't work at all.
A lot of older people who would have retired are hanging on to their jobs for dear life, making those jobs unavailable for new college grads. Then, there are a few older people I know who would love to work part-time and can't find anything, as those simple part-time jobs are filled by recent college grads.
A company I was working for was approached by Bain Capital who wished to buy it. Management initially said yes, and laid off quite a few people in our company to get us 'lean' and 'attractive' for the folks at Bain. Then, our management changed their mind, told Bain to take a hike, but we're still laid off. Could be a movie script....
There are more people than there are GENUINE jobs. Even sweat shops are being replaced by AI.
What about the outsourcing myth. Is outsourcing is a boon or curse
SO, I have to ask, exactly, what are the Unemployment Myths?

I've been thinking about this, and I know a lot of pithy statements about employment in general, but nothing specific that we can "debunk" as an unemployment myth -- in other words, the things we hear that cause people to be unemployed -- and remain so -- are not so common. At least from the perspective of why people don't get jobs at all.

Anyone care to take a crack at what are the unemployment myths?

Me? I got nothing.
This should be good!

There are good and bad things associated with being "unemployed" bordering on "unemployable". I have worked since I was 16 years old. I have over 20 years experience in customer service and got yet another rejection for a part time customer service rep just yesterday.
So, here is the good news. Being unemployed focuses your attention on the things that matter. It allows you to release the things (relationships and material) that no longer fit into your new reality.
I am free to not have to work. It is my decision to worry or not. I do have a small income and try not to use the social services that are available. There are many worse off then I am and I do not want to take or use what is there unless I absolutely must.
I read a lot. I write as well. I spend a lot of time alone. No longer do I feel the need to talk on the phone. I have kept my internet as a priority. This connection is one I must have.
I live in a modest home and did not max out my mortgage when I purchased. I do feel a little bitter about being rejected over and over again, but, I will not work for the same amount of money that I currently have. And NO, it is not WELFARE, nor FOODSTAMPS!
I appreciate the question and glad I could answer!
Unemployment Myths Debunked

The lottery is EQUAL OPPORTUNITY -- what human resources specialists engage in is called BIGOTRY, DISHONESTY, & IDIOCY.
(That's why there is NO Transparency, Honesty, or Openness in the hiring process.). EOE--l/i/e.

There is NO Nobel Prize in human resource management for a good reason. Appearance and NOT substance (like Content of Character) is what that gang of bigots, liars, and idiots are about -- they are threatened by DIVERSITY and dedicated to CONFORMITY.
(Only the Blind, Obedient, & Unquestioning need inquire.). EOE--l/i/e.

Human resource specialists are counterproductive, morally and intellectually bankrupt, and the subject of a lot of anti-discrimination laws -- their INTEGRITY has been LEGISLATED for them because they have none. EOE--l/i/e.

George Carlin said it well when he said that corporations are looking for people just smart enough to operate the machines and fill out the paperwork but not smart enough to figure out that they are being f*cked up the ass with a big red, white, and blue d#ck. Education in this country has been steadily going downhill for decades and students getting dumber and dumber for a reason. (Critical thinkers need not apply!). EOE--l/i/e.

What does your resume say about you, your life, and the jobs you've had to make the oligarchs richer and richer?! (Your salary is directly proportional to your lack of integrity, your understanding of political and financial expediency for yourself and your employer, and your willingness to do what's wrong morally.). EOE--l/i/e.
The most under-reported result of the unemployment crisis is the new wave of crime. I'm a criminal defense attorney. I've been one off and on for the past 15 years. I have never seen so many 40+-year-old first time offenders. People without jobs do what they have to-and it's not pretty. I wrote about this a few months ago in my post: Acts of Desperation -Crime: The Real Cost Of Bad Policy
I question the validity of the statistics that are quoted with reference to gains made regarding unemployment. It would seem to me that the percentage of people recorded as unemployed are those receiving benefits, omitting many many other people. When the number goes down, does it mean that many more people have gone back to work or is it merely a reflection of how many have exhausted their benefits and fallen out of the statistics?

I, for one, owned my own business. I closed it late in 2010 due, in part, to the recession. I didn't qualify for any unemployment benefits and received none. I know of many other people in similar situations as mine, and I'm fairly certain we aren't being counted. But are we in fact unemployed? I think that answer is 'yes'.
The republicans consider it a victory that they got the democrats to compromise and reduce maximum unemployment from 99 to 73 weeks. That's a victory? Why would anyone vote republican? Remove the cap on social security earnings and force everyone to pay social security taxes on income above $110,000 would be a good start. The rich can pay more in taxes too. And let's get rid of the Tea Party house republicans and vote them out.
Clearly this website is dedicated to liberals and as any conservative can tell you they hate without prejudice. How you sit there and say its a mothers right to kill unborn children and those of us that say its immoral are told we have to pay for it on top of that for one thing just demonstrates that lack of respect for people. I work for unemployment, its NOT a myth that people are lazy and want free stuff. Im the one talking those people every day. For every one person really trying theres ten either frauding or not trying at all. The article about conservatives 'fearing' education was a joke. Its fact that after the depression the American education system was over run with known communists and marxists -and so is the media-and when they tell our kids they dont have to listen to mom and dad and our kids have us arrested for disciplining them thats instruction direclty from the communist manifesto. The more educated I got the more I realized that being liberal was nothing but sticking your head in the sand and pretending everyone will play nice and should be treated the same. Its ignoring human nature and proclivities. Its BS. Everyone ISNT nice, everyone doesnt deserve the same treatment. They deserve what they worked for and nothing else. You all just enjoy your heads in the sand while obama bows to the saudi kings, and EVERY financial indicator, from unemployment to education and housing costs and our debt just keep getting literally worse every day. You consider the keystone and how on inauguration day gas was avg 1.78/g and now its close to $4 and just think about how that hopey changey crap is working for you.
I have not been unemployed since I started to work at the age of 15. I have had jobs such as: cashier,food prepartion, stocking, construction, loading trucks, telephone operator, and truck driver. At the present time I am in school and working at the same time, so I can grow and become more of an assest to any company I apply for a position at.

I fill you as an individaul have to decide what you are willing to do.
There are different types of job that you can apply for from cashier to top executives. Then there is the fact that you have to go out of your field. Also, you may have to move to another area that is hiring.

There are alot of employment help sites that yu can access. The best bet is to have an updated resume at all times.
I hate to be a wet blanket, but frankly, the logical endgame of the whole Industrial Revolution is just what we are seeing: the END of "employment", and a vast increase in Productivity. What we as a society does with this "wealth" is a brand new problem; it never existed before except in small enclaves, such as a wealthy clan. THEIR solution is rampant, unashamed Nepotism; the creation of lavish salaries for doing - whatever. One would think that we would all welcome such an opportunity for everyone, but we don't, for various cultural and other reasons. Unless we come to terms with this, we're in for a lot of conflicts. Under modern, global conditions, there is simply NO logical reason why there should EVER be enough jobs for all who want them. As Henry Ford, the first Billionaire Hick, astutely pointed out a hundred years ago, industry is in big trouble if its workers cannot afford to buy the products; his brilliant, daring answer in 1911 was, he doubled his workers wages overnight, without even being asked.
This Open Call couldn't have come at a better time for me. I find myself unemployed for the second time in three years, this time from what I thought was a recession-proof social service job. Even with that job, I had no hope of paying off my graduate school loans, but at least it was a paycheck I could earn for meaningful work. Now even that job is gone, and I have little hope of finding something else. Drowning in self-pity, I blogged about this very topic on Open Salon this morning. I am both relieved and sad to realize that I am not alone in this.
I haven't lost my "real job" but now what was my full-time employment is generously referred to as "part time."

I, too, am anxious to hear what others have to say about how much better off we are after four years of the current administration.
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