My Chat With Rush Limbaugh About Unemployment
April 9, 2002
Last week, the latest unemployment numbers were released showing a sharp increase in the number of people filing for unemployment in the last week of March. Everyone was lamenting that this was terrible news for the economy that seemed to be pulling itself out of recession.
After President Bush signed the economic stimulus package into law last month, including extending unemployment benefits by 13 weeks, it was obvious that unemployment is still a huge problem in America. Although other areas of the economy have shown some promise, there are a lot of people who still do not have a job. I am one of them!
I, for one, was not surprised about the unemployment numbers going up. After standing in line at the unemployment office for 3 hours on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago to file for the extended 13 weeks of unemployment, I knew there would be more people on the unemployment roles.
The extended unemployment benefits actually allowed for a better measurement of the severity of the unemployment problem in America. It is automatically assumed that when people stop claiming unemployment benefits, they must have a job.
Unfortunately, the numbers in the unemployment figures usually do not account for a large group of unemployed people who still do not have jobs after all of their unemployment benefits have been exhausted. That’s why there was a perceived sudden rise in the ranks of the unemployed!
Last Friday, it was not surprising when Rush Limbaugh commented on the latest unemployment numbers claiming one of his infamous “see I told you so” moments. Rush said he had predicted the unemployment numbers would go up as the economy began to improve. Rush then went on one of his stereotypical diatribes about the people who collect unemployment.
Rush made several blanket statements about people who collect unemployment, including saying that people who collect unemployment will not look for work until their unemployment runs out. I had heard him say that before, but this time I really took personal offense to his criticism.
I have been unemployed since April 2001 and received unemployment through October 2001. Ever since I exhausted my original 26 weeks of unemployment benefits, I have not received any unemployment checks or other income outside of my wife’s salary, selling items over the Internet and scraping together money here and there. It has been a real struggle trying to find a job in this tight economy.
So, I decided to try to call The Rush Limbaugh Show to confront Rush about his criticism of people who collect unemployment. Since it was open line Friday, I thought I would have a good chance to say what I wanted about the subject of unemployment. I was amazed that I got through on the first try and was talking to Rush within 20 minutes.
I will not bore you with the details of the six-minute telephone call. However, if you would like to read a transcript of the telephone call, click here. If you would prefer to listen to an audio of the telephone call, click here.
Rush was pretty adamant that I needed to move to Washington, D.C. to get a good job in government. I told him I was holding out hope for finding employment with a political candidate or finding a job in government in South Carolina.
I have applied with many different government agencies and public officials for jobs for nearly a year. I have not received any requests for interviews for any of these jobs! If the government sector is hiring as Rush claims, then why am I not seeing it in South Carolina?
I am hesistant to move for the fifth time in the past seven years. My wife and I have found South Carolina to be a great place to settle down, have a family, go to church and live for a very long time. We bought our first home here and are proud to call ourselves South Carolinians! There may be more jobs in Washington, D.C., but South Carolina is my home now.
So where does this leave me? Opportunities are supposedly available in politics and government in South Carolina. My 15+ years of experience in elections combined with my graduate degree in Public Policy qualify me for a job with a political candidate. So far, none have given me a chance to show them what I can offer them as a paid staff member.
Some people, including Rush Limbaugh, have said that I should work somewhere, anywhere until one of these jobs becomes available. However, before I lost my job last year, I worked in the retail market for 7 years as a store manager, marketing manager, buyer and salesman. Not once was I able to get a job in the government/political field while I was working in the retail industry.
That is one reason that my wife and I decided last year that I should pursue a job in government/politics since that is what I have invested so much of my time and money in with my education. It has been extremely frustrating being turned down every step of the way so far.
I am currently doing some volunteer work for several of the candidates running for a variety of political offices this year. Each of them has an excellent chance to win their respective races. But, it is a waiting game at this point until the elections.
Rush thinks I am gambling with an unnecessary risk by putting my future job prospects in the fortunes of someone else. But, one or more of these candidates I am helping are assured of becoming their party’s nominee after the June 11th primary elections. It is a risk I am willing to take!
Plus, I would be happy to work for the eventual nominees for these offices to help ensure that the right candidate is elected into office, regardless of who the particular candidate might be. Democrats must be defeated in the November elections and I am ready to help make that happen!
In the meantime, I am still plugging away at all the job websites and openings that I hear about in government/politics. I am not completely opposed to moving to another state if the job is worth the expense of moving yet again. However, I have my eyes set on a job in the Palmetto state.
Is there anyone offering a job in government/politics in South Carolina who is willing to give an energetic and creative 30-year-old man with a Master of Arts degree in Public Policy and 15 years of experience in elections an opportunity to show them what he can do for them?