Monday, May 28, 2012

EI is a Safety Net, not a Hammock. Get OFF!

I'm glad to hear that EI is getting reformed.  It's about time.

I've never received EI.  That doesn't mean I haven't tried.  When the bust of '08 got around to busting my gig as a self-employed contractor I applied.  I heard that part of the economic action plan was extending EI to self-employed people.  I involuntarily paid into it.  Time, I thought, to get something out.

Rejected.  Truth is, I wasn't expecting much.  That is government for you.  Overly expensive.  Predictably unimpressive.  When was the last time the government did something that failed to disappoint?  Exactly. 

I'm not sure why I didn't qualify.  I was too something.  I don't care what.  I don't care to be more eligible for pogey.  Some bureaucrat, whom I'm also forced to subsidize, even while losing my own business, knows better than me who needs my money and when.  Fine.

So lets see who these great bureaucratic minds forced me to pay instead.

There's Elizabeth May.  Pogey collector and proud.  She was in seasonal tourism which entitles her to an EI cheque.  She was laid off and re-hired by her family's restaurant every year.  That is how they planned it.  That is how her family arranged their business model.  Instead of scrambling to drum up winter business like true entrepreneurs, they all took a taxpayer funded vacation.  Every year.  Planning it into their business.  They could have offered baby seal hunts.  I don't know.  Put them in a pen and let the kids club them.  Blood red and snow white.  Canada's colours!  Alright, I'm kidding but you get the idea. 

Dog sledding.  Snow shoeing.  Cross Country Skiing.  Eating!  Fun is what you make it.  Try snowmobiling trips.  Try Ice Fishing.  Try Dammit!  It's so much easier to collect EI than to try.  Its too easy.  That is why it needs to change.

Did you know these well paid union workers in Ft. McMurry collect EI once a year too? 

One guy, a journeymen electrician, showed me his bank account. ~$100,000 in cash in the bank for one season's work.  He was homeless.  No Fixed Address.  He would live in camp all winter and then get laid off in the spring.  He would collect EI in his off months.  He would take his $100,000 and go live in South America while still collecting EI.  He gave me explicit details on how he screwed the taxpayer. 

Why is this allowed?  The Harper Government has already closed the door to leaving the country on EI.  Good for them.  Now they are looking closer at the repeat seasonal collectors.  GREAT!

If people don't get EI, they will find another job.  If people find another job, they won't come back.  Employers in the oil sands are already in a labour crunch.  To keep their workers they will need to end seasonal lay offs.  Its a problem that solves itself (though whiners will lose their tax funded vacation).  Other employers will do the same.

Seasonal down time can be useful.  It's time to retool, retrain and plan for next season.  I see it myself every single year in the oil patch.  Other industries can live without perpetually repeating EI.  People should live without planning to get on EI.

EI is a Safety Net, not a Hammock.  Get off!   


Alain said...

Well said. I also paid into it all my working life without ever collecting, yet there is no shortage of chronic users and scammers. It has become perceived as yet another entitlement, and it is time to put an end to it.

Anonymous said...

I never collected poggie till I was in my mid-forties -- since then more often than I would like. I am an engineer and for every 4,000 engineering grads per year, 10,000 engineers are brought in by immigration, and there are only 1,000 new engineering jobs created per year. Isn't this where the problem is?

We have to eliminate ageism, all mandatory quotas for visible minorities, and just make the playing field based on experience & qualifications as it should. In 2001 I was terminated from my job because they could replace me with 3 people with a government grant hiring visible minority non-citizens where the federal government paid 50% of their wage. Companies have been abusing the system more than individuals and terminate people left & right because they can always replace people for cheaper and get a government grant to do so.

I am not sure this is a good move. Eliminating programs/grants to hire cheaper overseas staff makes more sense.

Somebody who have been on both sides of the fence.

Gerry from GTA.

Anonymous said...

I still don't understand how an East Coast fisherman can collect in the off season once he has sold his catch, but a prairie farmer can not colledt in the off season once he has sold his crop.

Alex said...

Thanks Alain. Guess who encourages the scammers?

Anon 1: Sorry to hear of your trouble Gerry. Are you a seasonal Engineer? The seasonal EI users are what they should go after. The ones who plan to be unemployed and their employers plan right along with them. Just make it a bit of a hassle for the hassle averse lazy tax sucking ahole. Thats all.
EI is meant for people like yourself. I don't trust programs one bit. They make a false economy with unintended consequences that cost us all in the end. You can't depend on the government for things that matter the most.

Anon 2: politics is how!

Anonymous said...

lol, EI is not pogey. Its insurance -- employment insurance. Everyone pays into it.

Maybe this "conservative" government needs to reform their gold plated pensions before going after people who actually need the financial help.

Alex said...

Leftards call it pogey and so can I. Do you lol at them? We are all kidding but you lol because you don't get it.

The EI premium is a tax like any other. If not then why did the Liberals raid the EI fund to pay for other government spending? I'm forced to pay the government just the same if you call it EI premiums or fees or patriotic involuntary donations to the motherland.

People who need it DO NOT get it. People who DON'T need it DO get it. That's worth changing and it will make a huge difference. The Harper Government has already made changes so that border services reports who left to EI. Now they are reigning in the rest of the sloths. Good job I say. If they can get it done maybe they will actually deserve a gold plated penssion.

Imagine if gold plated pensions were tied directly to limiting the growth of government? Now that is a reform that would get this red herring off the talking points pretty fast eh? Reform EI. Screw the distractions.

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