We're being hit hard by the "recovered" economy. That's mostly because the economy is still a mess; very few jobs have been created despite our government officials saying the opposite.
Your dad is looking for work - which is about 100 times more difficult than it was even two years ago when I was last looking. You and I are going on Friday for our WIC interview. What's WIC? It's a government assistance program that provides food stamps and such to those in need. I don't have any pride about it because right now we can definitely use the help.
A report today said there are nearly 5 people per every job opening right now. A measly 18,000 jobs were created in June of this year, not nearly enough to provide for the millions of Americans now receiving aid like WIC and unemployment benefits.
A lot of people think (and this has been proven, to a small extent) that people who receive unemployment stay on it longer and without simultaneously looking for work. But that isn't everyone, and when there aren't jobs to even apply for, why would people even bother to look?
That's no excuse for people to sit around and smoke cigarettes, watch daytime t.v. and generally be lazy while they collect a check, mind you. I come from a liberal family, but they have a good work ethic. I had my first job at age 12 (working at a pet store informally), and my first legal job at 14. And, with the exception of a short stint in the state of Michigan - which currently pays benefits to 267,000 people and has been a terrible state for jobs for years - I've been employed full time ever since.
I like to work. I don't like to be idle; an idle mind is the devil's playground. The main thing I dislike now about work is not being with you during that time. However, my job makes me feel purposeful (at least enough of the time to defray some of my guilt).
My point is, having work to do is good for people. It gives them a feeling of self-worth, of pride in being able to provide for their families, being part of something bigger than their own small corner of the world, having the opportunity to contribute their own ideas, having people with shared experiences ready at hand.
When there is no work to obtain, is it any wonder people sit on their heels and waste time?
People want to work. Where are the jobs?
A funny post script: Last night, your dad and I scraped together all the change we could find in the house to buy a treat (ice cream). I paid 65 cents of it in pennies! Not that we need ice cream, of course, but it goes to show the kinds of ridiculous things people do when they're so broke...