A recent study found that Florida has the lowest rate of people claiming unemployment benefits in the country, but the statistic is more sinister than it first appears. The truth is that Florida has made it difficult for people wanting to claim unemployment benefits to qualify. In one sense, this speaks of a system that has become overburdened and must, by necessity, cut back on spending. In another way, it dovetails with the post-GFC mini-boom economy, and the fact that the jobless rate in Florida has declined rapidly.
Florida’s low unemployment rate may represent a positive trend in Florida where the creation of jobs has gained the attention it deserves and has made claiming unemployment a luxury for many. Of course, this does not address the possibility that some people simply do not qualify for the unemployment benefits they need in order to get by each week.
In simple terms, this means that now, more than ever, Floridians are encouraged to seek relevant qualifications through higher education at colleges in Florida in order to remain a vital part of the working society and to amplify their employment opportunities.
An Argument for Social Security
As much as it goes against the grain of the Libertarian leanings that have underpinned America since foundation, the sobering fact is that a society that does not grant easy access to a basic living wage or social security income is dooming a proportion of that society to an ongoing cycle of poverty and a mindset that is endemic to it.
In the strictest terms, no modern society today is capable of full employment, for there are always those who cannot participate in the workforce. What Florida’s strict unemployment benefit qualification laws seeks to do is grant access to those who need it most and deny it to those who have the capacity to work. However, this blanket approach is not without casualties, and many Floridians have had to go without much-needed benefits, which creates an entirely new social problem.
Breaking Endemic Cycles of Poverty
It is common that throughout the world in areas that are most stricken with poverty and high rates of unemployment, multiple family generations enter a destructive cycle that includes disaffection for mainstream society, an angst about one’s role in greater society, lack of confidence and self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, depression, and turning one’s back on employment.
Entire areas afflicted by this sort of social depression enter a period of long-term and gradual social decay, whereby they often become “no-go zones” or high crime rate areas that are full of violence. While local governments often neglect the worst of these areas, the truth is that rehabilitating them requires a huge investment over the long term. This not only requires a lot of money, but also requires successive governments to agree on an approach. Most often, the barest of social programs are funded for short periods of time and have only the must superficial of impacts.
Though policy makers might continue to worryabout what social programs will work to end these social conditions, the fact remains that access to a quality education and higher education programs at colleges in Florida and other institutions is the key determinant in enabling a person to make a positive change in personal circumstances. Consider the following benefits:
● Confidence: Much of criminal behavior is a result of poor self-esteem and self-confidence. As young people in poverty-stricken areas grow up, their ability to make personal change is impaired as they enter a mindset that tells them they are not fit for any other type of life, and that they are not worthy to be accepted by larger society. Granting access to education through colleges in Florida is an effective way of breaking this negative cycle of behavior.
● Opportunity: As children grow up in these environments, their opportunities for employment and education are often limited by the way their family and their peers view them and expect them to behave. When combined with the fact that many of the poorest areas are underfunded in terms of new business growth and education, it becomes a recipe for ongoing poverty that is tough to disrupt without concerted effort.
Education remains the best effector for positive change and the best disruptor for self-destructive generational behavior, but it requires the long-term vision and cooperation of successive governments and solid policies.