Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dear Jim,

EI is not welfare, it is insurance against loss of income due to unemployment and it is paid for by Canadians. It is incredibly valuable in a struggling economy.

"That means we are going to have to encourage more persons with disabilities to work, more seniors to work, more aboriginal people to work, including young people. We need to get rid of disincentives in the employment insurance system to people joining the workforce."

Disincentives like retirement ages?

I'm presently looking for work that matches my education and experience. I work at one of your "no bad jobs" that pays me at more than minimum hourly wage, but not by much. I am employed casually meaning I never really know how many hours I might get in a week. I have only once hit 40. It is very possible that I will look at next week's schedule and have no hours. This has happened once already. Many employers hire this way, or via temp agencies, through short-term contracts. EI fills in the gaps.

With my advanced education and several years of interesting experience it takes me somewhere between five and eight hours to apply for a job at my level. I must tweak my CV and write new cover letters, and sometimes prepare extra materials to meet little MHRM/MBA braingasms like 'motivation statements' (what the hell was my cover letter for?). I need to research organisations I apply to because I want to at least sound like I am familiar with them. If I were working the low-paying full-time plus hours, it would be much more difficult to find the time to search and apply for other positions. Jim, I'm not sure when you last had to look for a job like the rest of us, but EI provides the time to search and apply. 

I guess I'm lucky I'm single and in pretty good health and don't need much in terms of living space, so I can survive on the sporadic hours and unpredictable income I get. These allow me the time to search for other jobs and apply to them and do things like try to publish my research (and let Taylor and Frank reap the profits of my labour), which will hopefully build my CV enough to land something a little more secure and better-paying. I'm also lucky the student loan people have given me a payment reprieve because I cannot afford to repay my loan at my current wages. Note that I am only just surviving. It is not fun and it is not an experience I would wish on anyone else.

I'd be in a real spot of trouble if I was disabled, or in poor health, or had young children, or an invalided partner. Even at predictable full time hours, I could not provide for anyone else and have enough trouble doing it even for myself. If you tell me I have to change provinces, relocate a thousand kilometres away to take shitty work in a strange city or town, I might lose my family due to the stresses that long absences and unfamiliar cause. And who knows what that'll do to my mental health even if I managed to keep my family. And that's assuming I have the financial means to relocate. If you ask the elderly and the disabled to take jobs, you're going to have to create some criteria about who can actually work and who cannot. Knowing your party, I doubt you'll be consulting medical professionals on that one. Those folks won't give you the answers you want.

I wonder what you'll do if if people cannot find employment. They won't you know, because finding employment is not just contingent on ability to work. There's a whole economy that ebbs and flows, creating and shedding jobs in deepening cycles (yes, the thing your leader apparently went to school to learn about). Are there workhouses along the way? Will you create special employment categories that allow corporations to employ Canadians under what are now illegal conditions? We don't trust you.

The EI you want to curtail saves people and families by keeping them in communities and among people they know and love. Take those things away and you destroy lives.

But then I don't suspect you give two obsolete pennies about people's well-being. What you're doing, whether you frame it that way or not, is destroying the middle-class and creating a nation of corporate serfs "doing what they have to do to get by." This I suspect will please your corporate masters' and China-drunk party leader's desire to turn Canada into a raw materials and energy maquiladora.

We're angry, Jim.


opit said...

I don't know how much you have been following allegations of secret treaties with the U.S. - there have always been such about the military and 'intelligence' for sure - but North American Union should hold a special horror when considering facts like these

sassy said...

Yes, very very angry

Anonymous said...

The strange thing is that the short-sighted fools can't do the math. If everyone is on a starvation wage, there is no spare money to consume the goods that are needed to keep their economy flush.

Dana said...

Angry my ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Angry demands action.

What action are you taking?

Are you writing letters? Posting things on a blog? Having energetic conversations with people you know really well?

Oooh! That'll show them.

I'm an old fart. I just don't have much left in me. And the truth is I'm not terribly smart.

But even I can tell you that letters, posts and cranked up conversations with the choir are almost as useful as pissing off the bowsprit in a strong following wind.

Several hundred thousand people from all walks of life on the streets,in every major city, day after day for a week, refusing to be dispersed, even by force, with news cameras present, and a promise to return if required.

Not gonna happen is it?

Dead democracy.

Zee said...

...thinking it not so much a dead democracy but stolen by the ruling class and the politicians working for them as that seems to be the way to form a government. With the media assist, of course.

Dana said...

OK. Stolen and murdered. With barely a shriek or a wriggle.

kootcoot said...

Dana, I agree with everything you said, except it would seem to me that "pissing off the bowsprit in a strong following wind" is if not useful, at least more pleasant than pissing off the bowsprit into a headwind!

I do hope we get more into the frame of mind of the students in Quebec, the Greeks, hell even the Brits are filling the streets over Cameroooon and his Exchequer's austerity. If the electoral process is perverted, and civilized protest (in many cases so far any "violence" often seems police created, or even the result of cops disguised as protesters ala Montebello) is either not allowed or fails - eventually violent revolution will come around on the guitar, but not very soon judging from the complacency of most Canadians as long as they have a working line of credit.

Dana said...

Koot, try it sometime. It looks like it should work. Yet it somehow ends up all over your legs. That's what port and starboard are for.

If the Harperians decide to dismantle or defund Health Canada - maybe then the insensible masses will become a mob.

A very polite one that will fail and then mourn the death of public health care while never once wondering if there wasn't something else *they* might have done to prevent it.

Toe said...

This is Massive Exploitation of Canadian Workers! Seniors need to organize! And look who is lined up to support the basturds. The goddam restaurant association, because TIPS will pay the morgage. FuckTards

Steve said...


kootcoot said...


I see what you mean, you are sheltering the effluent from the wind AND catching up with it. But hey, I think it only proper to do everything off the poop deck, complete with salty natural bidet action! I never thought of urinating anywhere but over the side,(port or starboard), the wind of course could make one or the other preferable!

I like pissing in Manitoba in January and hearing/watching the ice hit the ground!

DFH said...

EI is not welfare? Pray tell, then what the fuck is? We're HUNGRY!

DFH said...

P.S. "GO Fuck Yourself" is a legitimate policy position.

meadowlark said...

Then there is...You are over qualified for this position. You are under qualified for this position. I'm not hiring you. You will take my job away from me. Seems you have to lie like hell, to get any job. Then you have to pray like hell, you don't get found out.

Canadians can shop across the border and save up to 70%. You can gas your vehicle in the U.S. and save mega bucks. Neither Flaherty nor Harper, will answer why?

Then there is the thieving of our tax dollars, and I mean big time billions to the wealthiest outfits in the world. Those corporations, are given huge tax reductions as well. Harper and his Conservatives expense account's are obscene.

Harper idolizes China. He is permitting China to buy up the tar sands. They are bringing their own people, to work their vast tar sands holdings. Harper is also allowing China, to bring thousands over, to build the Enbridge pipeline.

People aren't seeing. Harper is handing Canada over to China, on a gold plated platter.

That seniors and others, refuse to work menial jobs, is b.s. This is just an excuse, to bring over third world people and the Chinese, to work for peanuts.

DFH said...

lark? sometimes its what you hear not see. We are hosting China here. See if they behave like guests. Dana, defeatist much? Do the hippy. koot? ')?