So now that I'm unemployed -- and loving every minute of it, I might add -- I get letters from the New York State Department of Labor. Here's the latest:
This is to inform you that you are eligible to apply for a program entitled Taking Care Of Business: The Self-Employment Assistance Program....Can't make this shit up, eh? Made me laugh and laugh, in a snide, mean-spirited way. The bureaucratization of entrepreneurship: only in Amurrica.
If you wish to participate, you must first attend a regional workshop to learn the risks and responsibilities associated with starting a new business. You will then be informed of the extensive program requirements.
YOU CANNOT START YOUR BUSINESS UNTIL YOU HAVE ATTENDED THE WORKSHOP AND BEEN OFFICIALLY ACCEPTED INTO THE PROGRAM.
... The program requires that you take a minimum of 20 hours of entrepreneurial training (which you find on your own), and meet at least twice a week with an approved business counselor....
Once accepted into the program, you are not entitled to any extra or extended benefits, including benefits under the current Temporary Emergency Unemployment Compensation Law(*).
More to the point, who on earth would go for this deal? Joe The Plumber(tm)? You give up your extended payments, you have to attend a 'workshop' -- which the fine print tells you 'may not be close to where you live' -- and somehow 'find' twenty hours of entrepreneurship training, whatever that might be. There is not a word in this document about any actual benefit you might get from participating.
It's perfect, really: All cost, but think of the opportunity! What a country!
(*) Minatory caps, italics, and boldface faithfully reproduced from the original.