In 1979 America had a major energy crisis, mostly blamed on the Iranian government reducing exports and inflating oil prices. This caused the country to go into a prolonged recession. Our own government made this worse, by trying to help, in changing monetary policy, which knowingly drove up inflation to incredible levels.
The early 1980’s recession caused many people out of jobs, and many were unemployed for a long period. Long term unemployed isn’t new to our country. There is one major difference between the early 1980’s and today.
From the New York Times:
“technology has made unemployment less lonely. Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, argues that the Internet allows men to entertain themselves and find friends and sexual partners at a much lower cost than did previous generations.”
You see in 1980 when a man was unemployed he had nothing to do but sit and think about being unemployed. He could tinker around the house, but eventually that list of “To Dos” got done, and all you had to keep you company was the endless thought of “I’m unemployed”.
Today, you have an endless thought of “well, only one more click” which sends you down a rabbit hole you won’t come out of for hours!
Like most Republicans, I’m just going to blame the internet for this problem.
I remember my Dad forcing me out of the house to find a job. I had to physically walk into a location to request an application, fill it out, hand it back to the manager, and see what happens next. I also had to walk to school, in the snow, uphill, both ways.
We all know, now, no one walks in an employer and applies. We sit at home and apply to five thousand jobs and get around four thousand five hundred email do not reply ‘we received your application’ responses (500 companies still haven’t figured out that reply functionality on their ATS).
I would love a study of the long term unemployed that would ask that one question:
“How many times have you physically gone to a place of employment and applied in person for a position?”
I would guess that number would be very low. I’m not saying that just doing this would solve long term unemployment. It might help some individuals get a job. I’m saying the internet makes it too easy for you to stay unemployed.
Turn off House of Cards on Netflix. Take a shower. Get a new haircut. Put one some clean clothes and let’s go visit some people. It’s hard to do, which means not many are doing it, which means you will have an advantage over almost everyone. The internet won’t solve your problem. In fact, it’s probably making your problem worse.