LETTERS: Older job seekers need extended jobless benefits

To the editor:

Brad Evans’ letter to the editor in Sunday’s Review-Journal (“Jobless benefits”) and many similar letters state that jobless benefits should not be extended any further. Ten years ago, I would have agreed with Mr. Evans completely. Get a job or starve.

Sounds simple, but then I became unemployed for the first time in my life, early in 2008. At the time, I figured that it would only be a short time and I would get another comparable job. So I applied for unemployment benefits to tide me over until the next job. All my working life, I made a good living, was at the right place at the right time, worked very hard, saved for retirement, paid for my unemployment insurance, and I never “sat on my lazy butt.”

I ended up collecting all 99 weeks of benefits, and it still was not enough. In order to collect those benefits, you have to submit proof of at least three job applications/interviews per week. That did not bother me, since I wanted a job anyway. Other than a few worthless part-time and short-term jobs, and a couple of costly stabs at a business, I ultimately was unemployed for more than five years. During that time, I spent more than 4,000 hours job hunting. In the end, I was getting about 50 email notices a day from various recruiters in five states. I had my resume on hundreds of sites, and I submitted thousands of applications. I did about 60 phone interviews and 12 live interviews, which resulted in at least seven jobs offered.

But after all that time and effort, what happened? When I submitted my Social Security number and other information to each business’ payroll department, I was then given various excuses as to why the job fell through. No way were they going to admit that the real reason was my age. Age discrimination is alive and well in the workplace, especially in the private sector. This is especially painful when you become jobless during the last and most critical few years of your career.

Finally, last September, I did land a job, amazingly not in the private sector. While it was not my first choice, and the money is not as good, I am thankful that the Clark County School District hired me at the ripe old age of 70. But now I will need to work for another five years to make up for lost time and wages. The best part is that now I feel like I am worth something again.

So every time someone says that we should reduce jobless benefits, they should think about what would happen if they were unemployed and could not find a job again, no matter how hard they tried or how qualified they were, because of their age. How would it feel to use up your savings, drastically alter your spending and lifestyle, maybe lose your home and lastly, lose your confidence?



Right-wing rants

To the editor:

Is there any reason that you print columns by Patrick Buchanan? I mean, besides the fact that he is a right-wing moron? The second paragraph of his column (“‘Duck Dynasty’ and the new blacklist,” Sunday Review-Journal) about the idiots from “Duck Dynasty” states as fact something which is totally untrue.

The ruling in Utah about the polygamy law actually didn’t deal with how many wives a man could have. What it did deal with was how many women a man could live with. Now why a man would want to live with five women at the same time is beyond me, but the states don’t have any right to make that decision. The ruling doesn’t make polygamy legal. Even a right-wing moron could have checked his facts.

Obviously, Mr. Buchanan believes in democracy. Does that mean he supports everything that President Barack Obama does? That’s not likely, which makes his remarks about the Hollywood Ten just as stupid. Unless Mr. Buchanan can quote each one of these people supporting Josef Stalin and his policies, he shouldn’t be making blanket assessments.



Know your audience

To the editor:

Enough of the articles on Britney Spears and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The overwhelming majority of people I associate with couldn’t care less about either, with Britney Spears comments being the more vehement. The comments I hear range from the idea that most of her fans do not read or subscribe to the newspaper, that the newspaper is catering to a limited, small group in both cases, to “I don’t care a wit” about half-naked men pretending to wrestle or a about a voluptuous spoiled brat.

I might add that using front-page space for those two subjects only detracts from the more important issues a valuable newspaper should provide to its larger readership.



Ride services

To the editor:

I am writing in response to John Stossel’s commentary about the new Internet-based taxi/ride services, and the taxi drivers who protest such services (“They offer tickets to ride … but do they dare?” Sunday Review-Journal). These cabdrivers need to ask officials in places such as New York City how much revenue their cabdrivers lost from all the competition of other cab companies and ride systems, as well as a subway system that has been in place for over 100 years. Yet there are still plenty of taxi cabs in New York City.



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