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June 5, 2009

Obama Generation Embraces Funemployment

Unemployment is closing in on 10%. But everything's still fine, so long as 90% are still slaving away to bankroll the activities of the unemployed — or as some call themselves, the funemployed:

Michael Van Gorkom was laid off by Yahoo in late April. He didn't panic. He didn't rush off to a therapist. Instead, the 33-year-old Santa Monica resident discovered that being jobless "kind of settled nicely."
Week one: "I thought, 'OK … I need to send out resumes, send some e-mails, need to do networking."
Week two: "A little less."
Every week since: "I'm going to go to the beach and enjoy some margaritas."
What most people would call unemployment, Van Gorkom embraced as "funemployment."
While millions of Americans struggle to find work as they face foreclosures and bankruptcy, others have found a silver lining in the economic meltdown. These happily jobless tend to be single and in their 20s and 30s. Some were laid off. Some quit voluntarily, lured by generous buyouts.
Buoyed by severance, savings, unemployment checks or their parents, the funemployed do not spend their days poring over job listings. …at least till the bank account dries up, they're content living for today.

This is the mentality that produced a president who wastes enough money to put Americans who haven't been born yet into debt. People have become so frivolous, narcissistic, irresponsible, and self-indulgent that they can no longer grasp the necessity of work.

Jean Twenge, associate professor of psychology and coauthor of "The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement," says of funemployment:

It really suggests there has been that generational shift that work is not the be all and end all.

Especially not when "spreading the wealth around" has erased the connection between wealth and work.

On a tip from the MaryHunter.

Posted by Van Helsing at June 5, 2009 7:00 AM


Are you unemployed? Are you looking for a way to make money, all while being earth friendly?

Well we have several positions opening up right now. Here is a brief job description:

When you wake up in the morning, stay in bed. By staying in bed, you are not using the earths precious resources.

No driving around, no releasing GHG, no consumer consumption. You'll even use less oxygen.

How do you plan on making a living you ask?

We've set up a website where people can buy your carbon credits. People can fly and drive SUVs all while paying you to stay in bed.

Do you have what it takes?

Posted by: RICH at June 5, 2009 7:42 AM

I want to be the ACORN token, I hear theres lots of money in that.

Posted by: Anonymous at June 5, 2009 7:44 AM

RICH, actually you wouldnt buy carbon credit as one of the FUNEMPLOYED, you would SELL your carbon credits to the people who do things like work, drive and buy things who will be forced to buy carbon credits merely to be functional productive citizens. Of course eventually they may wonder why bother working when you can quit, loaf, sell carbon credits handed out by the government to the poor to buy drugs and condoms and salad dressing for your daily weed,tree bark and bug salad.

Posted by: Grim Reaper at June 5, 2009 8:00 AM

Once in a while I think a depression might be a good thing, just to snap these people back into some sense of responsibility. Unfortunately we'd do it jomama's way which like fdr would extend it unneccessarily.

Posted by: Mr Evilwrench at June 5, 2009 8:00 AM

Great, a published list of people for companies to not hire. They wouldn't last a week at my company.

We had a 20-something girl we'd hired, and within 2 weeks she was complaining about having to sit in a cubicle, crying about not getting a company Blackberry, and demanding a raise. All while surfing the internet all day every day.

So we put her in a low-walled cubicle in the middle of the office so she had no privacy, I blocked her from all the websites she was going to (I track that kind of thing), uninstalled the messenger programs she was using (still not sure how she was able to install them in the first place) and blocked those websites so she couldn't download them again. Amazingly enough, she didn't quit although she threated to constantly and I told her it was ok if she wanted to move on.

More amazingly, she was fired not for any of that, but because she was having an explicitly sexual conversation on her cell phone thinking nobody could hear it, but several of us did. I'm no prude, but that was just vomit-inducing.

If that's par for the course of young people in the workforce today, we're in deep, deep trouble.

Posted by: Seamus at June 5, 2009 8:15 AM

Hey don't worry about me, I was raised right.

Posted by: Big_Daddy at June 5, 2009 9:22 AM


"you wouldnt buy carbon credit as one of the FUNEMPLOYED, you would SELL your carbon credits"

Umm, that's exactly what I said.

"people can buy your carbon credits"


Posted by: RICH at June 5, 2009 10:30 AM

When 1/6 of the income of Americans comes from the gov't - actually other Americans - what would one expect?

Posted by: bandit at June 5, 2009 11:22 AM

This may or not be relevant, but many professionals recommend that when losing a job, especially involuntarily, you should NOT look for work for the first week, unless you have a financial need. You should be doing the things that you needed to do and get them out of the way. Then, in week 2, start looking.

Theory is, "There are things that you needed or wanted to do that you couldn't because of the job. Do them, take some time to recover, then search rejuvenated." This also keeps from just getting used to being unemployed, as you already got the fruits of the benefits out of the way.

Posted by: Fergurg at June 5, 2009 12:19 PM

This one really strikes a nerve with me. I've been working since I was 17. First day right out of high school I worked.

Its 23 or so years later. Haven't been sick or missed work for more than 3 or 4 days in those 23 years.

But my brothers... where do I begin???

Youngest one, he's never worked in his life. Lives with Mom & Dad. Has a BMW daddy gave him. Has County food support. Has federal food assistance card. County health insurance. Spends his day on Messenger, DVD's, sleeping and games.

Next one up, he did about 7 or 8 years in the Army. Decided to quit after too many nights on the town or at the NCO club. Got a discharge saying his stomach was bad. Collects disability, albeit has zero health problem to work, walk, talk, lift, whatever. Lives in a home he didn't have to pay for. Daddy got him that and a car too, out of pity I guess. Decided that was great so quit his part time job and now spends his day tinkering the car, playing guitars and drums. The bills are paid by live-in cousin.

Finally there is the next one, he did 2 years in the Air Force, got kicked out, spent 10 years living at home with Mom & Pop, sleeping at home, playing games, getting caught up in Anime, etc. Mom & Dad spent a fortune on a shrink and now he's suddenly better, got a girlfriend, so he too needs a freebie home (yes folks, 3B, 2 1/2B, etc)and let's get him a car too why not. He recently decided that now that he's in a no-mortgage situation he really finds work cramps his style so he does...nothing. Yeah the recent girlfriend of 6 months lives and pays nothing for a roof over her head.

Well that leaves me.. the only one to have graduated from High School... bachelor's degree.. Master's degree (paid my way)... 20+ years of work, wife of 17 years and 2 kids, huge mortgage, two car payments, a dissappearing 401k, and a lifetime of bills to look forward to. Just love standing at Walmart and watching them little American-flag debit assistance cards get whipped out in front of me to pay crab legs and gourmet candy while I fork out cold hard cash for my pork chops.

no thanks i don't want Dad's money, and no he hasn't offered it anyways, since apparently i'm doing just fine aren't I.

Sorry for the vent.

Posted by: Pete at June 5, 2009 12:28 PM

this is not the unemployed i have a problem with. I shop for groceries in chicagos southside and i go to the store and as i am in line their is an african family that is buying groceries, with the head male wearing a doo rag and flat top hat crooked on top of that, typical gangster/drug dealer look. Now before you jump to conclusions let me finish. The Mother of the family pulls out the link card(food stamps on a credit card) to pay for the 200 or so balance for her buttload of groceries. The problem that arises though, is that the balance on the link card was only 150 or so dollars and a remaining balance of 50 dollars was still due. This is the sickening part. The mother turns to the father to ask for money. the father pulls a wad of cash out and proudly flips through the wad to show everyone how big and bad he is. There were ONLY 100 dollar bills and the wad was HUGE. THATS the america that voted obama, not these kids.

Posted by: Joe Nen at June 5, 2009 12:43 PM

Pete; Im with ya here man. I work every day at a job I love. That way I have all the things I shouldnt. I was homeless in the 80's and really dug it. actually went "urban camping" for extended periods. Never got assistance but gave alot of my time to the elderly and did freelance roadside assistance. We have kids here who spent 1.5 hours trying to repair a wooden box. It was beyond him. He was amazed I had it done in 15 min. The reason,Obviously it needed 2 people. I spose one of which should know how to fix a box.

Posted by: czuch at June 5, 2009 3:32 PM

Okay, I have been unemployed for awhile now, but I have not stopped looking for a job no matter how depressed I am, how many times I have gotten sick, and no matter how discouraging it gets. I hate that I can't pay my half of the bills and that my parents have had to help with the car bill. I hate that my roommate has shouldered the financial load. I'm going nuts without a job. I get so damned stressed out about not taking care of my end of things that it drives me nuts. I honestly don't know how anyone can live like this 24/7 and enjoy it.

Posted by: Kohana at June 5, 2009 6:34 PM

Well, Seamus you've hit the nail on the head with that one!

I work with a bunch of these 20-somethings and that sounds VERY much like what I'm seeing. Several of them live with mommy & daddy (despite getting a 40K+ salary for an "internship") while spending up the wa-zoo (hundreds of dollars on new phones, thousands I'm sure on new clothes, 2 of them bought brand new cars - a Camrey for one, a BMW for the other- within weeks of getting the job.

Then, they all travel, travel, travel (best if they can get the company to pay for it right?). The boss last year paid for one "learning" "fact finding" trip to Japan, another to Italy (2 interns each trip - plus a supervisor).

Recently a couple of chewed me out because when we were discussing yet another intern's travel plans (at least this one was at her own expense) to go to Europe. I mentioned I really enjoy traveling in the US and have no plans or interest in travelling abroad. OMG you should have heard that response at that one!!

Then they went on and on to tell me how much they "learned" on their travels. One of them has been to Egypt and China in the past few years, I kind of gagged (ugh!) at the mention of China ... they were SOOOOOOOOOOO offended, how could I possibly think some other country was bad? What right did I have to judge other cultures? etc.? They then proceeded to INFORM me how exciting it was to see buildings that were thousands of years old. I said I wasn't interested... they droned on and on how it was just not possible to see anything interesting in the US, because "people have only been living here for, like, 800 years!" I said - what about Native Americans, they were here before.... and the person insisted "science" says they came over on the land bridge Bering strait - 800 years ago. Education? That person has a Master's degree!! The next day I proceeded to bring in a little research info I did on how there is some evidence people first came to the Americas about 28,000BC. Then they told me they "knew that" ... they were just talking about old buildings!


Posted by: Ex-bat at June 6, 2009 6:05 AM

I've noted that America has become alot like Peter Pan's Never, everland. Where kiddies do not grow up. Think about it. All those metrosexuals who spend more time than females worrying about their skin tone rather than educating themselves or working. Women who think cooking is what is popped into a microwave or comes out of a can. Its the never ending whinning about not being "fulfilled" while they stiff their parents, think charity or religious groups are a joke while they network with equally ambitious and rudderless creatures.

Doubt it? Watch the Dailey Show. Do you realize how many people depend on this as a news source?

America is so screwed.

Posted by: Thomas Jackson at June 6, 2009 9:09 PM