Monday, which happened to be Labor Day – a holiday intended to honor the American worker – Federal unemployment benefits in the event of a pandemic have ended. According to calculations by progressive think tank The Century Foundation (TCF), around 7.5 million people could be affected, while an additional 2.1 million unemployed people could lose the federal supplement of $ 300 per week. The TCF called it the biggest unemployment benefit threshold in history.
As news circulated that millions of people, who had relied on money to make ends meet, could find themselves without a safety net, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made a suggestion on social media. .
Speaking to Twitter through his official verified account (@tedcruz), the lawmaker responded to a report, writing: “Um, find a job? There are millions of vacancies, and small businesses across the country have desperately in need of workers. “
On Wednesday afternoon, Cruz was retweeted more than 3,400 times and cited some 1,500 times. The topic “Getting a job” was in vogue Tuesday with nearly 50,000 tweets. And unsurprisingly, many were quite critical of Cruz.
“If only there was some sort of job that paid $ 174,000 to tweet and fly to Cancun when your condition was in crisis,” @MyDearAuntSally wrote, while @sudospective replied, “Hey, Ted, you wanna work at McDonald’s for $ 11 while customers throw in soft drinks and supervisors tell you you won’t get a raise until you go above the level of service, when you literally wear the whole store on your back, DESPITE your knowledge of programming?
Some also responded that the answer for better wages and working conditions is that the unemployed do not return to work.
“Find a job? Don’t (now). The more people challenge the job market, the more companies have to raise wages to be competitive. Wages have stagnated since the 1970s (relative to inflation. ) This period of wage inflation is long overdue, ”@wisetrashpanda noted.
Others didn’t quite agree with Cruz, but noted that the number of vacancies remains a serious issue as well.
“If this continues and people don’t fill millions of existing job openings, most businesses and businesses will push for faster automation and use of software to replace the workforce. . a few years later we may have a permanent unemployment problem, “@ fairness2all wrote.
Many others shared Cruz’s feeling that it was time for those who perceive unemployment to look for work.
“To all Americans who lose their unemployment benefits this week, GET A JOB, there are 10 million out there!”, Wrote conservative author Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte).
Blaze TV political commentator Sara Gonzales (@SaraGonzalesTX) was even more direct, tweeting: “What if – and I’m spitting here – get rid of their lazy butt and get a job?”
This is clearly another corner problem in America; one who will do little to bring people together. It is clear from the comments on social media that neither side sees the problem the same.
“There’s a mix of reasons people haven’t returned to work,” said Maurice “Mo” Cayer, Ph.D., a graduate programs professor in the psychology and management departments of the University of New Haven.
“When some people did their cognitive math, they clearly found that they could stay home, relax, exercise and enjoy free time and earn maybe $ 300 less than if they went to school. work, ”Cayer explained. “They took on the ‘I think I’ll wait’ attitude.”
For others the problem was different and they were counting on the extra money and could not find a job. Yet with so many openings, now is the time to heed the advice and look for work at the very least, Cayer said.
“What we might see are akin to ‘musical chairs’ because there are 10 million jobs there, and some people can jump in and find that seat, while others will most likely find themselves unemployed in the weeks or months to come, ”he said. added. “There may be fewer vacancies in the next couple of months, so I would advise those on the sidelines to take advantage of the situation. First of all, I would say jump on all the vacancies. employment, then seek a sign-up bonus. If possible, negotiate for better working conditions, which could include choosing the hours and hours of work, or even reimbursement of tuition fees so that you can work towards better things. ”
Responses on social media are also once again serving as a mirror to the nation’s division.
“It appears to be the case,” Cayer said. “Some politicians tried to dismiss the fact that the enhanced benefits allowed people to sit on the sidelines during the pandemic, but no rejection will make it true. But there were also those who thought it was only the benefits for which people have done don’t rush into every job. It’s always about finding a job where someone can feel safe and productive. Nobody wants to take a job where you might have Covid just for you to be present. “
As with other issues that divide us, social media has certainly served to amplify anger and hostility on both sides.