Karl Gaskins: Degrading unemployed?

April 10, 2014 

Regarding the April 7 letter “ Make jobless clean roadsides”: The writers seem ignorant of the fact that unemployment benefits are not handouts but derive from taxes paid by employers with money realized from the productiveness of their employees. Their view of the unemployed as freeloaders worthy of punishment, such as being forced to pick up trash by the roadside, is wrongheaded and despicable.

For most hardworking North Carolinians, joblessness, with its attendant threats to their future and their children’s future, is probably punishment enough. For most hardworking North Carolinians, joblessness is not a choice but a result of decisions and actions by people who knew better but did not care.

Perhaps the writers could find a few hours a week to adopt a highway and pick up some trash themselves. They could even encourage their friends and neighbors in River Bend to join them. If not, maybe they could at least stop assigning blame and guilt to those who are less well off than they.

Karl Gaskins

Raleigh

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