Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Army of the Unemployed

Greetings good citizen,

Some of you may recall my ‘predicting’ that the Obama Administration had ’30 weeks’ with which to straighten out the economy or it would face ‘domestic blowback’.

Some states have indeed extended the benefit pay out period of their unemployment programs but many more haven’t, they simply don’t have the money.

Naturally, if you can recall the beginning of this year then you also remember that this coincides with the enormous rise in new claims for benefits began.

Today’s news outlets crow that ‘new claims’ are ‘leveling off’, but that isn’t necessarily good news as they’re ‘leveling off’ at 600,000 per week while at the same time continuing claims are starting to be ‘exhausted’ (which will also be trumpeted as ‘good news’.) But there are no jobs, so it will be anything but…

Simply put good citizen, this is a gasoline-drenched bonfire waiting for a match…

The media continues to spew bullshit and we all know who ‘owns’ the media.

Can you point at a single ‘green shoot’ good citizen, if you can are you able to point at two of them?

I’m not asking you if you’ve read any ‘encouraging’ economic reports…you literally have to be able to see the green shoot yourself, evidence that’s right under your nose…and no ‘roadwork’ doesn’t count. You see that every summer and guess what, the same people that were doing it last summer are the same people that are doing it this summer!

I’ve noticed one thing about the ‘roadwork’, while they have more roads ‘dug up’ they’re staying dug up, meaning they don’t have more or larger crews doing the work so it gets done faster, this is evidence that the same guys can dig up more road, but that’s it! Worse, the actual paving is happening at a snail’s pace! It’s like they’ve run out of tar.

So, what new company (that is seeking full time employees, even just a few of them) has opened up near you? If you are like the vast majority of us, the answer is ‘none’. Let’s suppose for a minute that you are one of the ‘rare exceptions’ in this ad hoc poll, can you point to two such companies?

(Um, we also need to ‘disqualify’ any operation that has a ‘permanent’ help wanted sign posted out front and a ‘perpetual’ ad in the paper because the place is such a hell hole [low pay + nasty/dangerous work] that nobody lasts very long or even wants to work there.)

Yeah, there’s a place like that in just about every community where even desperate times won’t provide them with as many workers as they can use and abuse.
Anyway, let us press on to tonight’s offering

Hundreds of Thousands of Workers Will Lose Unemployment Benefits Soon

By Marie Cocco, Washington Post Writers Group. Posted July 10, 2009.

Workers laid off early in the downturn are soon to be left without the basic sustenance of an unemployment check.

WASHINGTON -- When a virulent disease is ravaging you like a cancer, you don't want a cacophony of voices promoting different or contradictory cures. Yet that is what we're starting to hear about the economic crisis, not only from a politically divided -- and pretty scared -- capital, but from within the Obama administration itself. In just the past few days, Vice President Joe Biden has said the young administration misread the depth of the recession -- an honest account, since most private economists did as well. Laura Tyson, an outside economic adviser to the White House, said it's wise to start preparing another stimulus package.

Then President Barack Obama made everything perfectly muddy when he said in an ABC News interview that the seriousness of the downturn and how to attack it is "something we wrestle with constantly." Yet in the next breath, he expressed concern about the burgeoning deficit. But if anyone's looking for some clear voices, there are 650,000 of them just waiting to be heard. That is roughly the number of long-term unemployed who will begin losing their jobless benefits in September, according to the National Employment Law Project. Remember, the recession didn't start last fall when the government bailed out AIG and the financial system froze. It began in December 2007[with unemployment rising in earnest in December 2008] -- and 6.5 million jobs have been lost since then. Depending on which state and the sort of triggers that apply to benefits, hundreds of thousands of workers laid off early in the downturn are soon to be left without the basic sustenance of an unemployment check. [Er, MILLIONS, of unemployed workers will soon exhaust their benefits, such as they are.]

Meanwhile, the Labor Department says, the number of unemployed people out of work for 27 weeks or longer continues to grow, reaching 4.4 million last month. In June, three out of 10 jobless workers had been out of work for at least six months, according to the department's data. The stimulus package the president signed soon after taking office did provide extended benefits, and boosted weekly payments. But even that extension runs out on Dec. 26, and would not apply to all the unemployed. Does anyone really believe that a significant portion of the unemployed will have found new work by then? Hardly. Both private and government economists now predict that unemployment will continue to rise at least through the end of this year.

"We can't ignore this moment when all these folks are running out (of benefits)," says Maurice Emsellem of the National Employment Law Project.

"That needs to be a top priority, to help these workers." Let's stop kidding ourselves. In no contemporary economic crisis -- not even those that unfolded on the Republicans' watch -- has Congress left the unemployed completely in the lurch. So some sort of spending package -- call it stimulus, call it stopgap emergency aid, whatever works -- is going to have to be passed.

The unemployment emergency helps feed another crisis Congress is going to be forced to address: the state budget disasters unfolding around the country. So far, 42 states have cut budgets that already had been enacted for fiscal 2009, according to the National Governors Association. More and deeper cuts are expected next year.

Already states have laid off and furloughed workers -- including, in some states, the very workers who process unemployment claims. Generally speaking, states are required to balance their budgets each year, a mandate that forces them to pull money out of the economy through spending reductions and tax hikes, counteracting the federal government's efforts to juice things up. "That is what happened during the Great Depression, we had states working against what the federal government was doing," says Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute. With red states and blue, Republican governors and Democrats, all struggling against the same relentless, recession-driven drops in tax revenue, an almost irresistible political coalition for more aid to states eventually will take shape. And with the fast-approaching September deadline for extending some unemployment benefits, there will likely emerge one of those must-pass measures that may or may not be called another stimulus bill.

Any hot air expended trying to stop it serves no purpose but to fuel political fires. Remember, that is the whole point of those now huffing and puffing most heartily. They don't want to figure a way out of this morass; they just want to figure out a way to unseat those now in office.

Yes, good citizen, people with their own self-interests at heart will happily use the teaming masses of unemployed as a political football, the thing to watch for is ‘workable’ proposals coming from those that would use this issue to unseat the incumbent.

Republicans are ‘constrained’ to propose lower taxes (on the rich) and more ‘free markets’ to ‘stimulate’ the local economy.

What you need to understand is that ‘free marketers’ don’t believe there is any such thing as ‘unemployment’…unemployment is an ‘elective’ position in their eyes…people without jobs ‘choose’ not to work.
To free marketers, the ‘cost of living’ is irrelevant, the problem is the government’s support of unionism or minimum wages that are ‘too high’.

Sadly, if the markets over here get any ‘freer’, the minimum wage will drop to zero and investors still won’t build here because they fear the government will prevent them from ‘exploiting’ workers to the fullest. (They fear the government won’t let them eliminate overtime pay and holidays, sick time and all of those other hard won ‘rights’ we enjoy (ed) once upon a time.)

Perhaps the perverse ‘flip side’ to having millions of workers exhausting their unemployment claims in rapid succession during a jobless recovery is how conservatives will claim that providing the benefits in the first place is what’s causing the widespread civil unrest that follows.

Bizarrely, they will posit that ‘these people should be ‘too hungry’ to riot!’ (And if conservatives had their way, they would be.

Which brings us full circle to another central issue facing our civilization and that issue is cruelty coupled with insatiable greed.

Why have so many workers lost their jobs? It is because the most vulnerable among us have been swindled by the greedy among us that tell themselves they are our ‘betters’.

This is no accident good citizen, anyone with a solitary shred of common decency has been driven from our government until only the predators remained. There isn’t anyone ‘minding the store’ and there hasn’t been for a rather long time.

Obviously, the ‘checks and balances’ written into our original constitution weren’t strong enough to prevent the ruthless from seizing power for themselves, now our only choice is to sweep aside the entire corrupt system.

Because now that the predators have seized power, our civilization cannot stand, We will either experience massive genocide until only the predators remain (…and they won’t stop there as predators are naturally paranoid. The bloodbath will continue until none are left.)

The predator is ever and always the ‘lone wolf’. They have no ‘use’ for civilization, only its spoils. If we fail to exterminate the predators among us, it is their nature to exterminate us.

This is perhaps the ‘plainest’ I’ve ever stated my case. I have not previously pointed to this scourge upon humanity before because we, as a species, are inclined to give others the ‘benefit of the doubt’…even if we know better than to ‘turn our back’ to certain individuals.

Failure to recognize and deal with this, er, situation dooms our civilization and at this stage of the game, our species, to extinction at our own hand.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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