Sluggards amongst Us

Insight for your “Journey across the Sky”

A View from the Nest

Random Ramblings from the Resident Raptor

Consider the ant, you lazy bum. Watch its ways, and become wise. Although it has no overseer, officer, or ruler, in summertime it stores its food supply. At harvest time it gathers its food. Prov 6:6-8 (GW)

Author’s commentary:

Lately I have been pondering the harder sayings from the scriptures, you know the ones that you hardly ever hear preached on a Sunday morning. This article will fall under this category of the ’hard sayings’ of scripture and as such it will probably offend some who read it. Discipline is difficult to handle at any age but especially to someone who has led an undisciplined life for a long time. Having to look at ourselves critically is never easy and for that reason I suspect some will be discomforted by this article. If making some people uncomfortable brings about serious discussion on the topic at hand then, as a writer, I have achieved my aim.

On July 20th 2010 the Senate passed an unemployment extension bill which provided additional funding to states to help pay for the 99 weeks of unemployment benefits mandated earlier by federal law. Now I ask you does there ever come a time when these benefits end? 99 weeks is almost 2 years to sit idly by and pick the pocket of your neighbors. When does it become time for an individual to do whatever he or she has to do to rise up early and gather the harvest for his/herself?

In our scripture today I used the Good News translation of Proverbs 6 because it says it like it is. There is no ambiguity in this passage. It is clear, the ant, unlike humans, knows when it is time to store up food for the time when there will be none. Of course the ant does not borrow against tomorrow by eating up 30 or more years of provisions in any given year because ants can not borrow money, they have to live season to season. I fear far too many of the human species have borrowed their futures and are now finding that when the famine comes, they are unable to meet their seasonal requirements because they have already spent their storehouses by future borrowing.

Pay attention to this! You’re saying, “Today or tomorrow we will go into some city, stay there a year, conduct business, and make money.” You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and carry out our plans.” However, you brag because you’re arrogant. All such bragging is evil. James 4:13-16 (GW)

Unemployment is a fact of life, economic downturns are as well. Thinking that you can continue to buy and sell and profit without considering the consequences is foolish and the scriptures says evil bragging. The ant does not rely upon governments or elected leadership to provide for its needs, it simply goes about doing what it knows to do, store up when there is a bounty to have plenty where there is none. Ants apparently know the economic seasons far better than humans do.

I have been in the unemployment line on more than one occasion in my lifetime. Although I do not look forward to such times I do know they are a part of life, at least in the jobs that I have held. I do understand that federal employees are employees for life, and not being a federal employee I do not have that kind of benefit. Of course when you are being supported by every taxpaying worker in the country I guess your economic downturns are not as rough as the family who is relying on only one or two wage earners.

Now before anyone throws firebombs at me I want to make myself clear. I am not opposed to helping someone out at a time of need, but I do have to wonder how long I am supposed to help a brother out who is making no effort to help himself? If 99 weeks is not long enough should we extend benefits for lets say 3 years? How about 5? The most unemployment benefits I was ever eligible for was 26 weeks. Perhaps I should reconsider working and just sit home and take money from my neighbor for almost 2 years before considering going back to work. Consider some of the remarks to the late passage of this bill:

(The bill) does NOT extend the $25/week FAC payment for new claimants. The biggest problem with this omission is that MILLIONS of Americans who have been able to find only part-time work are losing the $25/wk. The bill does include a “fix” for some part-time workers–but only for those whose weekly benefit amounts go down by $100 or 25%. The rest of us–MILLIONS OF US–are forced to open “new claims,” and as a result not only does our weekly benefit amount go down (for example by $93/wk.) but we also LOSE the $25 FAC payment!! We accepted jobs, any jobs we could find, and now we are being punished by losing the $25 FAC–while those who did not work at all will continue to get the $25 FAC!! This is so unfair!!

Really unfair is it? Since when is working considered punishment? Could it be that this person only took a job so they could continue to collect benefits rather than seeking a permanent solution to their unemployment problem? And why does it come as a surprise to them when the one who giveth also taketh away? Why are they not complaining about the government policies that brought about this economic downturn in the first place?

Out here in CA, I too was getting the maximum unemployment benefit ($450/week) but I took a low quality part time job in order to not refuse any work. Then when I had to file a new claim to get the federal extension, it only considered the low quality part time job income. So assuming the bill passes today, I’ll start getting 1/3 of what I was getting ($150/week) until I can find a job. If I had not taken the part time job, I think I would still be at the max level. No good deed goes unpunished…

See above comment as well. This person took a low paying job in order to keep receiving money for not working rather than seeking to work and not take the money. And then they say they would be better off if they did not work at all but relied upon the government (others who pay taxes) to provide them a living? What am I missing here?

I hope the unemployed remember that the republicans tried to block them from getting their benefits come election time. The truth is that the economy desperately needs some stimulus right now and unemployment benefits are the most effective stimulus there is. The money gets spent immediately by the unemployed and enters the economy.

Really? I did not know that the unemployed stimulated the economy as much as the employed do? Well I could be wrong but what I have found to be the best stimulus of my economy is a good paying job. I have never found unemployment benefits a help in stimulating my economy, at the very least they kept me off the street but I never expected them to provide much economic stimulus. Since most are paying about 2/3 of what I would make if I was working.The source for all of the above is found here

Extend unemployment benefits? No thank you, I think I will look toward the ant and stay out of debt, work hard when I have work and save for the droughts that are sure to come, especially under the current leadership. Although I may be effected by their policies my life does not depend upon them, for my hope comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. I pray for the Lord’s will that I am able to work and provide for my needs without having to look to others to do so. And when I find myself in want, I shall cry out to the Lord, my ever present help in time of need. Of course we must discern the difference between wants and needs.

As King David said so eloquently: I have been young, and now I am old, but I have never seen a righteous person abandoned or his descendants begging for food. Psalms 37:25 (GW)

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

Anthill: A Novel by E.O Wilson

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