Derek DeBank: Heroes and lepers

March 4, 2013 

Heroes and lepers

The unemployed are being treated like the bottom of a shoe. It’s sickening. The N.C. Chamber of Commerce is spending a fortune on a series of sycophantic full-page, full-color newspaper ads lauding the legislators and governor for decimating the unemployment insurance program – money that would be much better spent by actually hiring a few people! The already squeezed unemployed will spend even less, hurting the very businesses the Chamber allegedly supports.

Rick Martinez’s recent column applauded this tragedy, saying “we shouldn’t deprive the unemployed the opportunity” for a minimum-wage job. Wake up! It’s $13,920 a year before taxes. Martinez’s hero, the governor, just gave his kowtowing cronies (already making $120,000) a $15,000 raise “so they could afford to live.”

No, most minimum-wage jobs are not “often the entry to higher paid positions.” They’re generally part-time, dead-end jobs that don’t pay enough to live in a cardboard box. Employers are complicit in the madness, chasing people who already have jobs while ignoring people desperate for jobs and treating job seekers like lepers if they don’t have current jobs on their resumes. The irony and stupidity of it all is astonishing!

Derek H. DeBank

Raleigh

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