To Keep the Shutdown in Perspective: Non-Government Employees Get Laid Off Too

It is a challenging time for employees that work for the U.S. government. The stress and uncertainty is sure to wear on even the most que sera sera individual. Yet, in the interest of perspective, I must remind us that government employees are not the only ones that suffer from job insecurity. Americans have had to endure layoffs within small businesses, corporations, and entire industries. Unfortunately, this is nothing new.

I sympathize with any government workers who are currently struggling to pay bills and provide for their families with no paycheck coming in. When non-government workers get laid off, there is not a mass outpouring of support on the horizon. Hopefully, most have friends, families, and understanding debtors – and possibly, an emergency fund set aside – to help them through the undetermined amount of time. Unemployment benefits are another way to get support for either employee. But, the furloughed government worker has the added benefit of being part of a crisis that garners nationwide attention. As a result, assistance is being offered by many businesses stepping up to help out with food, utilities, and cash.

Government jobs have always been looked upon as the most secure, with the best benefits. They always seemed to be immune to the ups and downs of the economy and the job losses from downsizing, companies going out of business, and corporate layoffs. Unlike most government employees, those laid off Americans were not guaranteed paychecks after their companies solved their internal problems.

The entire U.S. government is not shut down. The partial government shutdown will delay the paychecks of nonessential personnel – about a third of the total government workforce or 800,000 people. That is a minuscule portion of the total American workforce, though it is well beyond even the largest mass layoff. Less than 2% of the entire United States workforce is employed by the federal government, according to the Washington Post.

Many furloughed employees are being paid for not working. That’s right, they are not working, but will still receive back pay as if they were. Not a bad deal when you can get it. However, some government workers are still required to go to work, despite being on a delayed payment schedule.  While unpaid government workers are awaiting a resolution to the impasse that led to the shutdown, other Americans affected by violence, murder, rape, and drug and human trafficking are awaiting a resolution that will finally give them the protection they so desperately need.

Even as affected workers are severely inconvenienced, victims of violence perpetrated by illegal aliens are mourning lost lives. Neither American should have to suffer, yet until our borders are secured that may be what we all have to do.

I’ve already seen banks and creditors reaching out to those affected by the mandatory partial government shutdown. I’d like to know what kind of insensitive jerk is going to evict or take to court a government worker who has been forced to wait for their paycheck? Everyone knows the government is partially shut down and that those workers will not be paid until it reopens. Everyone also knows that when the government reopens, the workers will get back pay with which they can then pay their debtors.

That back pay is more of a guarantee than anything pending for the average laid off American worker. In fact, the latter has no guarantees at all. He may be able to collect unemployment, but that will take at least a few weeks to process. In the meantime, we should all get in where we fit in and help our neighbors whenever and however possible during this crisis. Because when it comes right down to it, a layoff is a layoff and out of work is out of work. They all result in too many bills and not enough money to cover them. I think most Americans can relate to that.

#notafraidtothink            #supportoneanother

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