To: Most Of You In Big Media
From: Mitch Berg, Irascible Peasant
I remember back in 2003, during the post-9/11 recession, when my field was in its “last hired, first fired” phase, and I – a single parent with two kids – got laid off from a contracting job after my old startup closed.
How it took me three months to get an interview. Five to earn *any* money. And 10.5 months to actually get a job – which led to 6-12 months catching up back bills, and years rebuilding credit. How we scrimped, stretched unemployment checks and a tax refund and about five weeks of contract work to cover six months.
And you know what I remember the most? How the media constantly did stories talking about all the trouble we unemployed and underemployed private sector workers were having, and how dire our situations were – even after *two missed paychecks*, and nobody saying “when you finally land a job (whenever that is), we’re going to give you all the “back pay” you would have had coming”.
That helped so much.
UPDATE: Wait – that never happened. Nobody gave a crap. To the media, private sector unemployment when there’s a GOP president is a feature, not a bug.
As far as those Fed workers go – I get the dislocation that happens when your income gets diverted (see above), and that lots of federal workers aren’t the stereotype of Big Bureaucracy fatcats with the six figure salaries and the golden pensions (although a lot more are than they like to let on) and that invincible sense of entitlement to your income.
But when this kerfuffle over the budget and wall ends, THEY GET BACK PAY. EVERY PENNY.
As a private sector worker who’ll be working until he’s 75 to pay the pensions of all these federal and state and local workers so they can retire at 55, can I just say “please stop with the &^%$# waterworks”?
That is all.