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Why work when I can get paid more not working?

Updated on January 1, 2011

What happens when the benefits run out?

Well I was looking for a topic that might spur interest, I think this is it. What will happen when all tose voted in unemployment extensions cease? I know from experience that calamity could come crashing back in. I'm not advocating not working, nor am I saying all should work for less than they would make if they are receiving top benefits from their state coffers. Why would you work for less than unemployment would pay you?

My problem with this whole picture is it's not working, excuse the pun. I don't want to place blame on the government, the businesses, or the individual. I want to place the blame on ALL.

We each need to change our habits. We each need to put less emphasis on sporting events, or concerts and even cars, clothes and other status symbols. It seems ludicrous that one would pay thousands for a ring, a suit, or going to the superbowl when we could save that money by watching the game at home, or comparative shopping of the aforementioned items.

I am not a socialist, I do not condone communism and I know what a free market economy is. WhatI advocate is taking care of our own and NOW, before we ALL pay later, or our children do.

I believe we could soon be on the verge of another civil war, except this one being driven by social classes. It could happen, though I think more likely would be a significant rise in crime.

This problem is not going to go away and we can't expect the government to solve it for us, that just will never happen. So again, please examine your/our current spending habits, our current thinking in promoting entertainers above humanity, something has got to give, or the dam will burst. Recession? We have not even seen the worst yet. The upper class, the middle upper class and the middle class will ALL pay severely if we stay on this current path of individualism and who said the me generation had moved on.

If I was given the choice to work at say McDonalds making minimum wage, or stay on unemployment another year making an extra $100 + do you think I would work? I have very good work ethics and my morals almost compel me to work for my wages, but come on, it just doesn't add up.

Any suggestions on how you think we could turn this viscious cycle of dependence around would be appreciated, possibly we might be able to forward them to the mainstream population.

Why work?

Maximum benefits by state

Weekly maximum unemployment benefits by state

Alabama $255  Montana $407  Alaska $370  Nebraska $308  Arizona $240  Nevada $362

Arkansas $409  New Hampshire $427  California $450  New Jersey $584  Colorado $475

New Mexico $455  Connecticut $519  New York $405  Delaware $330  North Carolina $494

District of Columbia $359  North Dakota $385  Florida $275  Ohio $372  Georgia $330

Oklahoma $392  Hawaii $545  Oregon $482   Idaho $362  Pennsylvania $539  Illinois $385

Rhode Island $528  Indiana $390  South Carolina $326  Iowa $443 South Dakota $285

Kansas $423  Tennessee $275  Kentucky $415  Texas $378  Louisiana $284  Utah $444

Maine $496  Vermont $409  Maryland $380  Virginia $378  Massachusetts $628 

Washington $541*  Michigan $365  West Virginia $424  Minnesota $566  Wisconsin $363

Mississippi $230  Wyoming $387  Missouri $320

* State has OK'd a temporary $45 increase beginning May 3. Sources: The Associated Press, state labor department Web sites.

Minimum wage

The states minum wages are from $7.25 (Federal standard) to $8.50 in Oregon. At $8.50 for a 40 hour work week in Oregon you would be paid $ 340.00.

Just in Oregon alone you stand to make an additional $ 142.00 by NOT working, Is there something wrong here? You bet there is.

Look at the others states and I am including a Wikipedia link for that purpose here, do the math I suspect, without even looking that this is going to be the rule and not the exception.

Todd Rungren

Youtube comments

 Not to be a fun buster, but as you can read in the comment section this is the Green Bay Packers theme song. I believe that says a lot right there, we must change our mentality about entertainment and people, we otherwise send the wrong message to our children who will go out in the business world thinking their owed a top paying job just "because".


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    • noturningback profile image

      noturningback 7 years ago from Edgewater, MD. USA

      Hi cristina, thanks for reading. Thankfully I have a job and I am willing to work, but we must take care of our families and the benefits are there for that reason only and not for abuse.

      take care.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Maria Cristina Aquino Santander 7 years ago from Manila

      Nice hub. I find it very interesting. Thank you for sharing this valuable this information. Blessings and regards.

    • noturningback profile image

      noturningback 7 years ago from Edgewater, MD. USA

      Hi Dave, yes that is correct and it is scary. Hopefully people would realize that when we abuse the "system" we are essentially stealing from our own children/grandchildren and they would not want to do that.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      There appears to be a huge difference in payout from $240. in Arizona to $628. in Mass on a weekly basis according to your stats. That's a huge difference of $388. weekly. Sounds like a relocation incentive to me.

      What is even more scary is the fact that if say an employee injures say his back on the job if he works in a unionized environment like say the post office he would be able to go on Compensation and collect 100% of his pay for as long as it takes for him to get back on his feet. No questions asked.

    • noturningback profile image

      noturningback 7 years ago from Edgewater, MD. USA

      Mr. Tindle,

      Thanks for taking the time to read this. I do see this to not be a new problem, I believe it has been a problem for at least 30 years now, but with this recession and with it still affecting the middle class more than others, it comes down to a choice between keeping your home and food on the table, or the alternative which is maybe food and move in w/ a relative , or into an apartment.

      What I perceive to be a problem for all of society, I'm sure will be deemed a problem of bad choices in spending, education, or ... by other members of society.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Mr Tindle profile image

      Mr Tindle 7 years ago


      Good hub overall. It is true that unemployment benefits (especially to the extent that we provide) are problematic for the economy and job market. For one thing State and Federal Government are both broke right now, yet they borrow to appease voters.

      Other points are that people do have an incentive not to work if unemployment pays more than available jobs that they could get. Also there is allot of just plain fraud that occurs in the entitlement system (this include unemployment benefits).

      I have also read that taking unemployment benefits as apposed to being underemployed hurts the job seekers chances according to the stats. In other words employers will often pick candidates who have some kind of job rather than those who have chosen to receive unemployment benefits.

      So, I do think you are onto something here. The Government is making the Labor Market less efficient through these programs and benefits, which actually hurts those who do want to work for a living!