I think these days a lot of the people who are struggling the most financially fall under two categories:
1) You are having trouble finding permanent, full time employment.
2) You have a job, but you are barely making ends meet.
Or some combination of the two.
There are ways out of this if we could all start thinking outside the box. I don’t mean to sound like I’m describing a pollyanna bullsh*t solution where I may as well have a banner on my blog that bleats out a scam of “this is how I made my first million.” I mean, real solutions that should be implemented by a non-profit, government, or some other group. Or just everyday, regular people like us.
And I want there to be solutions for adults. Not just the young. But for adults at any age. Adults with or without kids. Because my thinking is if you can help out the adult, you are also helping out their kids, too (if they happen to have any). And even if they don’t have kids, you are also helping out the overall happy factor that seems to be lacking in our society these days. You are helping out a future consumer. A future shopper. A future “let’s go out to dinner and improve the local economy.”
So, here’s a few ideas I had in mind –
1) Help people start their own business.
No, I don’t mean free crap seminars that puff you up with horsecrap motivation that only deflates the second you leave. I mean, there should be a place where an ordinary you and me can walk into and say, “I want to start a business.” and there be someone on the other side that you can sit with, share some ideas with, and figure out a way to get the idea off the ground. Let it be like a version of “Shark Tank,” the show where rich people fund profitable products and ideas. Well, take that off a major network and bring that to cities everywhere.
Because in reality, there may be some ideas I have rolling around in my head or even just the concept of owning a business, but it’s hard to do that when I don’t know what I’m doing. I’d like to talk with someone who can handhold me through the entire process. And not someone who will charge $150 an hour for consulting work.
Get real people to own their own company and you will have found that person a job.
2) Give tax credits for businesses who hire the long-term unemployed.
I’ve talked about this before and I stand by what I said – give companies a tax credit for hiring the unemployed. Simple as that – give companies a motivation to hire the long-term unemployed. No, lengthy unemployment shouldn’t even be a factor. But it is and we need to fix that.
3) Free software and skill classes.
Okay, yes, libraries do offer basic excel and word classes and so do some unemployment centers. It’s a start. But what about things like Adobe Photoshop. Or Quickbooks. Or teaching people how to sew or knit and how to sell their items to Etsy. Or design their own websites so maybe one day they can sell web design services.
Think about situations like the guy who taught a guy who was homeless how to code.It’s less about how much money we make in society. Yes, that’s a major part of it, but what about that expression – give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.
We need to start teaching more people how to fish.
4) Bring more communities together – outside of Craigslist.
If you go to Craigslist, you will find a mass of postings from people within your city. Some people selling items or some offering housing or some looking for jobs. That’s fine and good and all. But what about your neighbors around you? The people who live near you. How do you know if they are selling something or if their company was hiring or if they need someone to babysit Friday night?
Maybe this is because I live in a big city, but their is less and less of a community feeling to where I live and I think if we brought neighborhoods together, we would find helping each other beneficial. Start bringing communities together. Heck, bring back good ole fashioned paper classifieds. Start a classified section for your block or apartment complex. Let’s become a community together instead of the isolated society we have become.
5) Make random acts of kindness really cool.
I think in every city or county there needs to be a center for random acts of kindness. People who come together to do kind things. No, not once a year around Christmas. But going out and doing things to make people’s lives happier. Make kindness matter. Make it the next cool thing. Make helping people – anyone – the next hottest thing to do. No, this has nothing to do with employment or underemployment – not really – but somehow, I think the two relate.