Lab Rats

My heart is in my stomach. Reading through some articles on the unemployed, there are regular mentions of those seeking to make ends meet turning to the likes of medical study programs and blood product donation to earn money. They are selling platelets and participating in clinical studies and health trials in order to feed their families. Though I love science and appreciate the value of having increased involvement in these types of things, it’s hard to be excited when that involvement is coming from desperation.

Don’t get me wrong. If I was in the position of needing to provide for my family and not being able to find a job to do so, I’d turn to that option in a heartbeat. I’d be glad the option was there. I’m not condemning the medical community. Thank goodness this net is there for some.  It’s very telling of where we are at right now, however.

Why am I writing this? I guess it’s just one more piece of information to try to dilute the belief by some that all unemployed persons are unmotivated and not willing to do what it takes to get a job. It’s a generalization I hear all too often. Think about it. Most of us, unless moved to do so by our own personal experiences, would not go the route of selling blood products and participating in health trials. These are desperate people willing to look at any and all options to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

From what I’ve seen, participating in studies pays less collectively than the lower wage jobs many employed persons keep demanding unemployed professionals take. The income is sporadic. What does that tell you? The lower paying jobs society keeps suggesting the unemployed find to be below them simply aren’t there for the taking. Either that or they are there and the companies aren’t interested in hiring an Engineer to work the drive-thru window. Gee, I wonder why?


  • Scott G says:

    Recessions typically hit the poorest the hardest. This recession has been MUCH worse. The poor are just as hard hit as ever, and the middle, who have had a good amount of the wind taken from their sails in the past 10 years anyway, are ALSO taking a beating.

  • Ll Drong says:

    In the early and mid 1990s, there were some perceptive economists that were describing how changes from a manufacturing economy to an economy stronger in the service sector, combined with regulatory changes and technology would widen the gap between the haves and havenots and reduce the numbers in the middle class. The social changes would be magnified by the recession phase of economic cycles. We knew this was coming.
    “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!” (Line from the movie, Jaws.)

RSS feed for comments on this post.