Wednesday, 04 May 2011 11:33

Are Unemployment Benefits Moral?

Written by  Dave Ramsey
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Question: I recently lost my job due to layoffs. I’m luckier than most, because I’m debt-free except for my house, and I have three months of expenses saved. I’ll also receive a severance package from my former employer, and my wife still has her job. I’m struggling with whether or not to file for unemployment compensation. Do you think it’s morally okay to do this?


Answer: I don’t have a problem, morally or otherwise, with accepting something I’ve already paid for. The Social Security system in this country is a complete and abysmal mathematical failure. It’s proof that socialism doesn’t work. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take my money out. The government took it from me in the first place!

Now, if accepting unemployment benefits causes you to get the idea you can sit on your butt at home and not do anything, then I’d question your character. I’m not hearing that kind of mentality from you, though. You sound like a hardworking guy, and you two have obviously been pretty smart and responsible with your finances.

Make sure you look at your severance package as “survival money”. You’ll know exactly how much you’ll get, so make a budget and make it stick. Cut all excess spending, and that means no more eating out, vacations, and all that stuff until you’re working again and everything’s back on solid ground. Then, you can ease back into saving and resuming a normal lifestyle.

Right now really is the time for you guys to live like no one else!

Question: I’m in the process of building an eBay store. How likely is it that this will turn into a full-time business for me?

Answer: I think the likelihood of this becoming a full-time gig has more to with you and your business model than it does with eBay. If you’ve developed something really unique and coupled that with great pricing and service, then eBay’s a great distribution and marketing system to reach people you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

Still, you have to remember that eBay’s not magic. The real magic is your brain, hard work, and whether or not your business model is a good one. If it is, then eBay becomes a cool methodology through which your idea gets to market.

Regardless of how you’re executing on the internet, you still have to be executing the business properly. You still have to use basic marketing and have good margins, prices and service. The big thing is you still have to love on your customers a lot.

Plenty of people think the internet is an easy path to fame and fortune, and they forget about the basics of building and handling an operation well on a day-to-day basis. Those are the ones who don’t last long in the business world, whether it’s online or brick-and-mortar!


Last modified on Wednesday, 04 May 2011 12:00
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