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View Diary: It's Time to Expand the Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEA) (14 comments)

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  •  True. (1+ / 0-)
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    You have to live within your means, manage your money carefully, and put some aside when times are good. But that's something that could be addressed also. No reason those who in pay into UC shouldn't be able to take out. The tricky part is defining "unemployed," but that's a hurdle that could be cleared if someone really wanted to clear it.

    The main advantage to being self-employed in hard times is that you can potentially be more agile in adapting to changes in the business environment, where employees are pretty much stuck going down with the employer's ship, so to speak.

    This is especially helpful if you are wide-eyed and forward-looking, as I think many employers live in The Land of De Nile and encourage their employees to dwell there, as well. It is not their jobs on the line, so they inclined to paint a rosy picture even as the water is lapping around their knees. (Think Ken Lay.)

    •  ken lay? please. we are discussing humans here. (1+ / 0-)
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      Free Spirit

      for me, a self employed wood flooring contractor, being officially unemployed, would be declaring my business doesn't exist any longer. folding up.

      "Michele Bachmann is like the demi glace of wingnuttia." - Chris Hayes, Countdown, 2/18/09

      by rasbobbo on Tue Mar 03, 2009 at 08:44:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with that is... (0+ / 0-)

        Lots of people would say that this makes it possible to run a business for a year or two, then fold up and enjoy a partially paid vacation at the expense of your fellow taxpayers.  I'm sure some people would, in fact, do exactly that if they could.

        You would probably want to tie it to something that can be measured objectively.  Something like the IRS definition of a "going concern."

        You would also want to require that a business had been a going concern long enough not to have to worry too much about people starting a business just to close it and collect unemployment. Also because the bar to starting your own business is already set too low for some types of businesses and you wouldn't want to encourage any more people who haven't a clue from trying to start their own business.

        You would want business owners to demonstrate that they were actually trying to keep their concern going, just like laid-off employees are required to show they are trying to find another job.

        And finally, you would want to base benefits on something like the IRS definition of a dependent...did the going concern really contribute substantially to supporting the household?  No benefits for a doctor's wife who sells tupperware, or a middle-class teenager who takes on a paper route.  On the flip, you shouldn't have to go totally bust to collect. If you are the lone breadwinner in your family, the fact that your business on the skids is still turning a profit of $2,000 a year is, for all practical purposes, unemployment.

    •  Even When You Prepare for Disaster.. Crap Happens (0+ / 0-)

      I have been in business long enough to think I knew how to prepare for a bad economy and how to watch for impending signs of trouble.
      When our business started going south, we had, what we thought, were sufficient assets and investments to weather the storm... Wrong.
      Cash assets can evaporate quickly when you're trying to make payroll and investments are only as good as your ability to cash them out.

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