I’m all feeling sorry for you, but then . . .

This Washington Post article about unemployment benefits had to go and tell this “sob” story:

The ranks of the unemployed include Jerome Boyd, 48, a father of four who lives in Arlington. He was laid off in August from his job as a sous chef at Gaylord National Hotel at National Harbor.

He receives $1,200 a month in unemployment benefits, less than half the $3,000 a month he brought home from his job. Now he is often behind paying about $1,500 in rent, a car payment and other expenses. “I’m stealing from Peter to pay Paul,” he said, adding: “There’s the cable, the phone bill. I owe the bank overdraft fees and the insurance is lapsing a little bit. I can’t take my kids shopping for school clothes because I don’t have enough to do that.”

Wait, you’ve been out of work since August (that’s six months!) and you haven’t even managed to cancel your cable yet?  And you want me to pay your bills?

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3 Responses

  1. hehe very good point. Someone who is accustomed to bringing home $3000/month probably has plenty of ‘fat’ that could be cut from their budget. We must bear in mind though that many of the optional utilities, like cable and mobile, make people sign contracts with sufficiently high early-termination fees to make cancellation impractical.

    The sort of ‘standard’ cable package in my area hovers around $90/month; I hate to think how many people are paying that out of unemployment checks…

    • I thought of that (the contract), but this guy’s been out of work six months! That’s enough time to get around the contract (or pay an early termination fee if necessary).

      • yeah I hear you. I tend to dislike the use of emotional arguments to justify public spending. The mention of kids is the real kicker. I once had a car saleman mention that he had to feed his kids. If it’s a underhanded enough strategy for a car salesman, I’m thinking it has no place in public debate.

        What really bugs me about this particular unemployed guy though is not his cable (frivolous as it is). It’s that he’s a sous chef; he can make more than the $10/hr that unemployment is handing him cooking steaks at an applebees or something. Seriously, assistant-managing a fast food place would likely get him better money than that.

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