Written by: Terry Budget
Amid the current crisis, we observe what we thought would be a small thorn in the nation’s side has become shard glass cutting the throat of the working class. With the insurmountable death toll increasing, businesses have taken a beating as well. With that thought in mind, let’s address another related issue; unemployment.
Americans spent the last two months in isolation at home while waiting in anticipation of what will happen next. Ah yes, there’s no place like home. However, it is hard to live in the home when the bills aren’t getting paid and the refrigerator is close to empty. Will the current plan of opening the economy really work or will Americans take the chance with their lives in hopes of leaving home and returning to work to earn money to feed their families?
Relaxing the Stay-at-Home orders for the states is a bold idea, but what is the long-term affect? People need to care for their loved ones, and they need to have money to do so. This means they need income resulting from jobs. Speaking of jobs, let’s deal with the evidence of unemployment rates of the country for a moment. In February 2020, the unemployment rate was at 3.6%. Moving forward to the month of May, we are now approaching 15%. Staggering evidence of the effect of a pandemic for the business sector wouldn’t you say?
If the goal is to correct the systemic problem of unemployment, then the measures for protecting those who do return should have mandatory requirements, ie. wearing masks, sanitation stations, and body temperature checks. American workers must and most certainly do, take a vested interest in their own safety. Workers at large would agree that most businesses make their workers safety a top priority and the majority would advise their employees to go home if they were feeling ill.
Here’s the kicker…Many of those who are returning to work because of reopening are those whose functions are considered mandatory. If this is the case, then what does mandatory really mean? Is the stock person’s function a priority over say, the salesclerk? What about the maintenance person over the manager? Who determines what is really a mandatory position? More to the point, who determines who is expendable?
Some food for thought: When we look for jobs to provide our living, we deactivate our critical thinking processes to look for innovate ways to produce money. We must stop looking at what the pandemic has caused and pay attention to what opportunities it has presented. I recall reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, where his rich dad was teaching him not to work for money, but to create money from ideas. I know times are hard, but we must stop being traumatized and start thinking. Crisis demands innovation and creativity, and this is the time to do it.
I’ve written in previous articles that I have no problem with opening businesses as long as there is a responsible plan in place and the workers’ health is the priority. Unemployment will, if uncorrected, surpass the astronomical rates since the Great Depression. Families need funding and there must be a proactive, but cautionary plan to do it. The top experts in the country advise the same protocol measures.
I know we love home and the comforts that it provides but consider this point. Leaders at state and federal levels know and recognize that its citizens are in need, but there are hurtles that must be overcome and red tape to cut through. We are all in this together; therefore, if our voices are heard, we stand on our principles, and force policy makers to address our economic agendas, we will survive it.
Still, I refer to my previous recommendation of using our critical thinking to produce a better result. If we wait on the government to provide us with the monetary sustainment we need, we will remain dependent on them for our livelihood and cease to be the makers of our own financial destinies. Stop panicking and start planning!
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Written by Terry Budget