quinta-feira, 9 de julho de 2020

Version 2.066

Today was so intense at work, that I sometimes forget what's left and what's right. I have to double check things all the time when I get that tired. But I am not complaining. I enjoy what I do so much, even the challenges are good. It is a great privilege to be paid for being curious and willing to experiment. I do not take it for granted at all. The last time I was unemployed, I got really depressed. I don't know why that happened because I had prepared so well for that possibility.
I reduced my expenses to the bare minimum, liquidated assets, and saved as much money as I could.

My unemployment insurance paid $496 per week, which was the maximum allowed in TX and enough to pay the rent, but I assume most people would make much less than that. The rest of my expenses, including my health insurance, I could cover with my savings and I still had plenty of money left when I found a job three months later. I have always understood that the United States has a lot more risk, but that is why we can make more money and pay fewer taxes. Nothing is a given here. If you plan things, you can get ahead most of the time. But you have to be methodic and there is a fair amount of luck involved.

With this pandemic, Congress is supplementing health insurance with $600 a week. Many states pay less than half that in unemployment insurance, so it's like tripling your benefits and Congress is considering whether to extend support longer. One must admit that for a country with a weaker social net than most, the U.S. has been rather generous and supportive of those that got affected. But there are still others that fall through the cracks and will need to be helped in some other way.

Over the last year, I visited the Crystal Bridges Museum several times. There is a sculpture that I particularly like and that I photographed in one of my visits. It's a life size rendition of men waiting in line for bread during the Great Depression. It is from 1991, but it could have been contemporaneous. At the American Art Museum, in Washington, D.C., there is a whole section on paintings that were done when the Federal Government commissioned artists to document the struggle of the American people during the Depression.

That is one of the things that I like about the U.S.: they show themselves and the world the less presentable side. No miracles here, just people starving and needing a loaf of bread.

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