Every time I see the news report about the number of jobless people I cringe. There are reports that the unemployment rate has gone up and then it has gone down again. Our politicians claim they’ve increased the number of jobs and decreased the number of unemployed people in the US. People often look at the numbers and take them for face value. This is indicative of how we tend to believe statistics simply because they exist and not because they are always accurate. These numbers do in fact represent the numbers of those who are accounted for but there is a population of those who are not accurately represented.
Once a person exhausts all of their unemployment benefits, they aren’t represented in the majority of those reports we see flowing in and out of the news. This is sad because it can give us a false sense of security about the job market and how many are really in need of help. After they can’t get benefits, people are then faced with mounting debt, bills they can’t pay and the hopes they can qualify for some sort of public assistance. This is the part of the equation that gets forgotten over and over again yet it is one of the most important parts of the equation. We do need to know who is getting unemployment so we can accurately represent where unemployment insurance is going. Additionally, we need to find a better way to ensure we are finding out how people are faring when they can no longer get unemployment. These numbers reflect on how our economy is really doing.
When the original system of measuring these numbers was put into place things were simply different. As time has evolved, unfortunately, most of our systems have not evolved with it. This is a disservice to American citizens who often blindly see numbers and don’t know where their tax dollars are really going. As consumers, it is our job to do better in ensuring politicians, government entities and such are more diligent. Instead, we get lazy and assume all people and systems are in good and working order. This is not to say we must be untrusting of everything or cynical in any way but we can no longer afford to be naive. We have rights. We have a voice. We have the power to change things and we should also have the power to see things for what they are. If Americans are working that’s great. If the American economy is impacted because people aren’t working and they aren’t counted we need to know. We can no longer sit by and just let our leaders deal with the issues on their own time and in their own way. We must pick up the ball and take action. It’s YOUR money! It’s MY money! Let’s push for change.
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