I don't fault the victims of the recession for needing to get a crappy McJob. Layoffs affected a lot of good"move-up or move-on." people, and you gotta do what you gotta do. I only fault them for not trying to
But there is another group of people complaining, and they are in a different situation. Some of the whiners are those who actually have no other valuable skill sets, and they have to take a McJob because they are otherwise unmarketable. In many cases, these are people who also have families and claim that their dependent status should net them more income.
Two words: No. Sympathy.
I work with this demographic every single day, and I can tell you from personal experience, that most of them have one thing in common: they had kids when they shouldn't have. Surprisingly, there aren't a whole lot of teen moms that come through the doors. These are usually women in their early twenties. Most of them are unmarried, and the father of their child is not in their life.
You can see it in their face: most of them realize they made a really poor decision. Yet for some reason, they still think they should be paid more just because they didn't use protection. "This is not a living wage! I can't raise my baby on $7.85 an hour!"
Some more personal experience. I had my first child when I was young, about the same age as many of these kids coming in the doors. I believe I was 21 at the time. But there is a key difference between me starting a family at 21 and "Shaquayla" starting a family at 21: I had a job that paid very, very well (at the time I was an E-5 in the Navy), and I had my son with a woman to whom I was married (and I say that because there was a reasonable expectation that she wouldn't abandon our son and me).
When we got married, we both agreed that we would not have children unless we were reasonably certain that we could financially support them. Granted, it wasn't long after we married that we decided to start a little family, but that was because we soon realized that I was bringing in more than enough money to feed a third mouth.
"But Jack, it only hurts the kids. This sort of poverty is generational, and their children will have no chance to succeed if they are subjected to living in near poverty." That mentality is a load of horse-shit.
Yes: this sort of poverty--the perpetual welfare cycle--is generational. And yes: most of these children will have no chance to succeed. But it's not because mom can't pay the bills: it's because mom is already too stupid to teach her children any better.
Jersey, before you jump down my throat and tell me how "wrong" I am, just know that I am speaking from direct interaction with this demographic. The fact is that they were stupid enough to get knocked up. They were raised to depend on welfare. They are uneducated, and they truly believe--in their heart of hearts--that the way they are living their life is okay. They truly believe that their pay-scale is/should be based on their family size rather than their pay-scale being based on their individual contributions to the workforce.
It's not that they're lazy. (Yes, a majority of them are, but there are some very diligent workers in need of assistance). It's just that they have an inflated sense of self-value in the workforce. One time, a woman came in here and was upset over something, and she scoffed at us (the people trying to help her) saying "I could get a job in a health care field right now and make twice as much as all of you." We laughed, because she didn't even have a GED--let alone any specialized training in anything that related to health care--and if she truly were marketable in healthcare, she wouldn't be on cash assistance.
But she was dead serious. And if she knew that she was full of shit (perhaps she was using a defense mechanism) then that would still be just as bad because she clearly does not possess a marketable demeanor. So, these kids aren't going to turn out to be shit heads because McDonald's doesn't pay the cashier $15 an hour: they're going to turn out to be shit heads because their parents are raising them to be shit heads.
So again, I'm sorry, but I have little sympathy. The people in this demographic are constantly looking for hand-outs because that is what they have been taught. They come from generations of Americans who discovered that their poor life choices would be paid for by the American tax-payer. They don't know any better, because no one ever taught them anything about hard work and perseverance.