Writing in Daily Kos, Laura Clawson examines the debate over extending unemployment benefits. What she finds is that there was no debate when George W. Bush was president. During a time when the unemployment rate was lower, the House approved 5 extensions, each of which was not paid for. Now House Republicans are insisting that the benefit which workers contributed to be paid for. Wouldn’t it be great if they asked for the same kind of responsibility from large corporations that pay no taxes and still receive government benefits? As Clawson points out, this policy also makes no sense because it takes buying power out of the economy. Of course, that is a common theme when it comes to how the GOP thinks about working people, as we have also seen in the debate over raising the minimum wage.
Do some poor people cheat through programs like unemployment and food stamps? Sure. So do upper income people cheat – legally – through tax dodges and estate planning. The problem is that poor people don’t fund the campaigns of the politicians who make the laws and tax policy. What poor and working class people can do is vote. Hopefully, they will remember and get to the polls.
If you feel down about your career or if you know someone who feels that way, take heart from some people who were counted out and still made a name for themselves.
I’m reading the Thom Hartmann Reader, a collection of the radio talk show host writings. Hartmann notes that Thomas Edison had difficulty in school as a child. His teachers thought he couldn’t learn. Edison’s mother taught him at home, and his achievements speak for themselves.
Whatever you think of him (and I’m not a fan), George W. Bush has to be given credit for his accomplishments. He won two elections and made decisions that will affect this country for years to come. Many on the left call him an idiot. His record would make him a very successful idiot.
To give one final example, consider Michael Jordan. The greatest basketball player of all time was cut from his junior high team. Jordan didn’t quit, and he made those who doubted him eat their words.
It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking or focus on an insult by a supervisor or co-worker. It’s also deadly to finding a new job or moving forward in a career. The doubters will always be out there. Your job is to prove that they are wrong.