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I can appreciate the uniqueness of everyone's situation and realize the working poor face many struggles, including health care. However, I just don't believe that one party should be forced/obligated to pay for someone else's health care. I'll just leave that up to difference of opinion. I also disagree, at least in large part, with your assessment of employers downsizing so they don't have to pay for health care coverage for their employees. I'm sure there are a few cases where this might hold true. However, it seems to me that employers are primarily cutting jobs (and costs) due to lack of demand for products/services and high uncertainty of what economic policies/mandates the current administration is going to enact. I also realize that picking up and moving is no easy task, but if that's what it takes, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Also, in situations of reduced wages versus no wages, regardless of benefits, the decision seems pretty clear to me. I'm not at all agreeing with the actions of employers in regard to benefits, however I don't think that nearly as many as you believe are using the economic crisis as reason to permanently strip employees of benefits. Once economic conditions start improving and those employers don't reinstate benefits to previous levels, many in their workforce are going to walk in favor of something better.
No, it isn't conceivable that the person would have thousands of dollars to spend on relocation. I don't understand why it would need to cost thousands of dollars to relocate. If a person's situation is that dire, I'd tend to believe that that person wouldn't be apt to spend thousands of dollars on relocation. If you have an opportunity elsewhere, you probably take what you absolutely need. Anything additional is dictated by your budget and would likely be considered a luxury. I'm not saying it's pretty, but if it means gainful employment elsewhere, you do what you need. The folks that fled the plains during the Dust Bowl didn't spend (the equivalent for that time) thousands of dollars to relocate. They fit what they could on the old jalopy of a car (if they had a car) and headed to more prosperous areas.
Agreed, big cities are expensive to live in. Maybe not the best choice if avoidable. Small to medium cities in some parts of the country or rural areas, at least in the United States, usually have much more reasonable costs of living. Some examples include (from BankRate.com)
US$ 1.00 of purchasing power in the Atlanta, GA metro area is equivalent to US$ 1.0774 in the Stillwater, OK micro area
US$ 1.00 of purchasing power in the Chicago, IL metro area is equivalent to US$ 1.1858 in the Cincinnati, OH metro area.
US$ 1.00 of purchasing power in Baltimore, MD metro is equivalent to US$ 1.2363 in the Hastings, NE micro area.
It appears the most significant difference is that of housing costs versus say grocery. The extensive transportation network (although crumbling) of much of the United States enables ready distribution to many non-metro areas. Cost for food, it appears, would likely remain flat or differences, one way or the other, would be negligible. That's been my experience in the various places (seven) I've lived.
Also, I'm not looking down at anyone or anyone's situation from some high horse (whether or not that is believed). I also can appreciate the need to walk a mile in someone's shoes to understand what the situation with which they are dealing. I realize that these are extraordinary economic times and things, and people's situations, are rarely cut and dry. However, waving the white flag in favor of waiving your rights seems a bit short-sighted to me. I guess, to each his/her own.
Kind Regards, Jay
Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley
Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson