Long Term Unemployment: Its Toll Much More Than Many Realize!

It is very simple for someone who has NEVER been unemployed, except maybe briefly, to dismiss the issue of LONG TERM unemployment!

It is easy to blame the long term unemployed for being in that position, particularly when one has had good fortune, and never had to face the same situation!

It is easy to claim that it is, somehow, a character flaw in the person, and to choose to ignore what that means for him or her, and for society as a whole!

But when one realizes that now there are more than TWO million people who have been unemployed for more than TWO years, and 700,000 for more than THREE years, it is something that should be seen as a structural problem in America, which cannot be ignored!

Many of these long term unemployed have been people with long term careers, suddenly laid off when they are reaching the high 40s to the early 60s, with little possibility of ever regaining positions anywhere near what they had formerly earned, and this affects their wives, husbands, and children.

The long term unemployed also includes young workers coming out of undergraduate degrees, graduate schools, law schools, business schools, etc, who are facing the worst employment market in the last half century, and have looming student debt they cannot pay. This will delay or prevent plans to marry, have children, buy homes and cars, and plans for a lifetime of goals that all young people have.

This is not a laughing matter, as the “American Dream” is being destroyed, and so many have no hope for a better future, and yet the Republican Party in Congress and its Presidential candidates refuse to address these issues, and it is something that could boil over into more than just disillusionment!

The numbers of long term unemployed will grow rapidly, and there is little interest in extending unemployment compensation further, even by those who are unemployed, who strangely think extension will promote less desire to look for work, which is, sadly, a hallucinatory belief!

And when so many employers are now demanding that all job applicants be employed before applying for a job, that forecasts over time that we will see millions of people on the streets, in what used to be called Hoovervilles and Reaganvilles, going to churches and charities for minimal food supplies, and having serious medical issues that go undiagnosed!

Divorce and suicide and physical violence are also the manifestations when people have no hope and fall into depression!

And, of course, if people are not earning income, they only add to the long term dire economic outlook!

It is immoral and unethical for the opposition party, which wants to win power, to have no concern for the downtrodden, the deprived, and think all they have to do is appeal to the elite wealthy!

This is social dynamite, which cannot be ignored, as it is a threat to civil society long term! We cannot move to the future by creating a lost class of people!

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