Tag Archives: unemployment

Job Search, School and Frozen Bits

Things are still going well here in Minnesota. I’ve had time to settle in and really start noticing how different things are. Besides the weather, which I’ll come to shortly, life here is less chaotic and stressful.

We are surrounded by warm friendship, love and support which is the main source of the peaceful feeling here. The general atmosphere of our area feels quite easy-going as well. People seem more friendly, and a lot less rushed.

The job search is underway. That’s about all I can say at this point. I have résumés and applications in at several places, all of which would be nice places to work. I haven’t been called for any interviews yet, but it’s still early in the game, so I’m not worried.

It requires a little digging, but there are opportunities to be found. I feel confident and optimistic. Of all the places I’ve applied, I can’t say that I’m more interested in one than another. The one that might interest my readers the most, though, is the Science Museum of Minnesota.

My little buddy is back in public school and enjoying it very much. He likes all his classes and teachers, and already has a nice circle of friends. He’s in two different after-school clubs: one is the chess club, the other an anime club. He’s also in the school choir.

Yes, my little guy is enjoying school again. I’m very pleased and excited for him. It’s been a long time coming!

Last Tuesday, I experienced negative temperatures for the first time in my life. I was walking with John to the bus stop and my nose hairs froze. No, seriously! It was weird because I didn’t realize right away what was happening. By the time I figured it out, my vision started to blur. I quickly realized that frost was accumulating on my eyelashes. I kept pinching them between my thumb and forefinger to keep them thawed.

Don’t worry, though. I’m not the least bit put off by it. I told Mike that it was actually exhilarating in a way. I’ve never felt air so cold; it was a completely new sensation that I’d never experienced and I’m glad I did. That said, we’ve been having warm temperatures in the 40’s and 50’s these past couple of days, and I’m enjoying that very much.

Overall, things are going well.


Duh Economics

If I hear one more person ask how spending billions of dollars is supposed to stimulate the economy, I think I’ll scream at the top of my lungs while pulling every hair out of my head. After that, I will buy a wig, glue it to my head and continue with the hair-pulling.

I’m going to be as restrained as I possibly can here, but this is getting ridiculous. At the risk of sounding like a condescending jerk, when someone asks how spending money stimulates the economy, they show a complete ignorance of even high school-level economics. The question is as jaw-dropping to me as asking how billions of people having sex is supposed to stimulate population growth.

So then you get the argument, ‘well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill.’ What do you think a stimulus is? That’s the whole point! — President Obama

Exactly! I’ve been saying this, almost verbatim, for a couple of weeks now. Thank you, Mr. President!

But now we’ve got people saying, “So, he finally admits that the stimulus bill is about spending.”

Excuse me while I have a facepalm moment.

President Obama no more “admitted” that the stimulus bill is about spending than a person could “admit” that air traffic is about planes flying around in the sky, or that ice is about frozen water.

But let me tell you where I think President Obama went wrong in all this: He gave too many people more credit than they deserved in assuming that they understood what the damn word means.

He didn’t “admit” to anything, as that would imply that he had previously denied or attempted to cover it up. I think he just finally realized that he was going to have to dumb it down for people who clearly weren’t grasping all the words or understanding the very basics of Duh Economics.

This is not simply a matter of perspective. This is not some sinister, liberal conspiracy to steal people’s money. The United States is in economic crisis. Police are being called to control the crowds at job fairs! This is the harsh reality of the situation.

Republicans may not like it but the way to create jobs fast is through spending. It matters when you’re wrong. A whopping proportion of the Republican rhetoric about stimulus is wrong – total economic bull puckey. It’s time to take the radical step of privileging correct information over incorrect information.

Rachel.msnbc.com

For a crash course in what economists from both sides of the aisle are saying, please watch at least the first four minutes of this, though I do recommend the entire eight minute course.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On


Portland, Oregon

Mike and I have always planned to move out of Texas. We thought we would be doing it together, but in light of recent developments, we have agreed that now is definitely the time to go.

We’ve discussed this at length and considered several different places, but the conversation always comes back around to Portland, Oregon.

Although it rains a lot, the temperatures aren’t too severe, and the scenery is nice. They have good public transportation, and Portland is pedestrian and bicycle-friendly.

The public school system has got to be better than it is in Texas, although I realize that’s not saying much.

Portland is also full of lefties like us, and Oregon has the fourth largest percentage of people identifying themselves as “non-religious” in the United States. Mike was excited to learn that, with twenty-eight breweries within the city, Portland is home to more breweries than any other city in the country.

They do love their beer!

I’m not going to judge the economy one way or another because it’s broken everywhere, although it seems slightly less broken in Portland, from what I’ve been reading.

I’ve been looking into housing and it seems to be quite common for people in Portland to rent space in their homes. I’ve already found tons of ads for people renting as little as one bedroom, to those who have converted their basements into efficiency apartments.

I think this kind of arrangement might work for us because we’ll have to travel light and leave a lot behind (kitchen items, bedding, etc.) With this kind of arrangement, we could move into a fully equipped home, so we wouldn’t have to exhaust our resources right away, buying furniture and other essentials. I could get my son enrolled in school, and start looking for work right away without worrying about having a pot to cook in.

Plus, we could be around other people. I’ve found several ads placed by single moms who want to share their homes with another single parent. A few of them have boys around my son’s age. Since I’m not planning to leave until the end of February (I want to give my landlord sufficient notice) I have plenty of time to start corresponding with people and try to get a feel for things.

Of course, any sort of house share would be temporary, but I think it might be a good place to start.

I’ll start putting out feelers there, as well as updating my résumé. I suppose it can’t hurt to start sending it out now.

I’m definitely open to suggestions and advice; this is going to be quite an adventure and I’ll take all the help I can get.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On


Things Can Only Get Better

About three hours ago, I received a call from my employer. They laid off three hundred employees today, and I was one of them. I will receive a layoff package that will pay the bills for about a month, but I’ve lost my health, dental and life insurance.

I’m not exactly sure how to proceed from here. I’m still a bit disoriented and even frightened, but this could actually be the window of opportunity I’ve been waiting for.

I’ve wanted to leave Texas for a long time, and the two major ties were my job and my son’s school. Now that we’re homeschooling and I’m unemployed, there’s really nothing keeping us here. I’m thinking about pulling up stakes and getting the hell out of here, once and for all.

I’m not sure where I want to go, but I want at least one state between us and Texas. I don’t even want to live on its border. Guess that rules out New Mexico.

I think the saddest part, and perhaps the biggest blow, is the fact that this is going to further delay Mike’s immigration. He and I agreed that this isn’t exactly the time to be forking over a large sum of money to an immigration attorney. Having a spousal visa won’t do much good if there’s no home for him to come to here. Besides, I need to be working in order to sponsor him.

Shit.

This came to mind a few minutes after I hung up the phone with Mike:

And do you feel scared — I do
But I won’t stop and falter
And if we threw it all away
Things can only get better
— Howard Jones

Lyrics

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2009 Rambling On


Pondering The Auto Bailout

A CNN research poll showed that 61% of Americans oppose a government bailout for the U.S. auto industry:

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — A majority of Americans oppose a bailout of the troubled U.S. auto industry, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll, conducted by telephone on Dec. 1-2 with nearly 1,100 people, showed that 61% of those surveyed oppose government assistance for the major U.S. automakers.

[…]

A full 70% of respondents indicated that a bailout is unfair to taxpayers.

In addition to being unfair, the poll showed that a majority of those surveyed think a bailout would not help the economy.

CNNMoney.com

Before I say another word, I want to make clear that I am not claiming any kind of expertise in the area of economics. I wonder, though, if a simple, common-sense approach to this might be in order.

Let’s begin with the the concern that a government bailout of the auto industry would be unfair to taxpayers. I wonder if the people who oppose the bailout on these grounds have considered the 3,000,000 (three million) people who make up the auto industry. That’s 3,000,000 more people out of work!

Will those who are claiming that a bailout would be unfair to taxpayers be OK with those 3,000,000 people putting their children on Medicaid, receiving food stamps and government funded housing assistance, and a variety of other forms of government aid — all of which is funded by taxpayers?

For those who are concerned about the fairness to taxpayers, doesn’t it make more sense to support a one-time bailout which will keep 3,000,000 people working, out of the unemployment and “welfare” lines so that they have more to put back into the economy?

Yes, the economy. That’s the other concern. In addition to a bailout being unfair to taxpayers, those opposing it also think that it would not help the economy.

And putting 3,000,000 people out of work will?

Like I’ve already said, I’m certainly no expert on the subject. But I don’t think it takes an economic genius to figure out that putting 3,000,000 people out of work can’t be “fair” to taxpayers or good for the economy.

Am I missing something, or have these people not thought this through very well? Sure, there need to be restrictions and conditions on any sort of bailout. But, in the bigger picture, doesn’t it make more sense and benefit all sides to keep the auto industry moving and 3,000,000 people working?

As always, I welcome any and all feedback.

Posted by Lottie — Copyright © 2008 Rambling On