Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wing Nuts Roasting . . . On an Open Trashcan Fire

The Scrooges of this holiday are definitely those congressional folk in the House who cut off unemployment benefits. You see, unemployment benefits are for people who actually worked. It is the little compensation for them unfortunately being let go under unforseeable circumstances.

But noooo, helping people to provide barest essentials to their family is bad welfare.

You see the gainfully employed Republicans and a handful of sorry as Democrats think that cutting off assistance will save the economy from higher debt. But an unstable and unhappy citizen will actually cause the economy to tank further. Intent and will are mug.

You would think that folk would want the unemployed to give their families nice gifts such as food, clothing and shelter? But why do I apply such a decent word as "think" to these people?

I stopped writing a Christmas list to Santa ever since Santa was a 6'1' black man and 5 foot sister known as my parents. But on this one, I hope to entertain the fantasy one that ensures all of your requests come true. I swear I've been good this year.

Please Santa, can I put these repulsive political whores by a smelly burning trashcan of dog poop and rotten food on a below freezing night? Then give them a ration of thick old cheese sandwiches that will lock their bowels until 4 am when they wake up in a cold sweat with diarrhea and nowhere to shit. I will allot them their raggedy agenda of about 500 pages of bull as their pillow and covers. Let them roast on that as they sing Old Dixie songs to a rabid-dog.

9 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

livinonfaith said...

I am not a wingnut, but I am torn on this issue. There are many people these days who are actively looking for a job, any job, and simply can't find one. For these people, losing their unemployment means they have nothing. I think we should continue to help these people.

There are also a lot of people who are only actively looking for jobs that pay at least as much or more than the benefits they are receiving.

These are the people who say, "If I can pay my bills without having to go to work, (and possibly actually take a pay cut by working) then I'll keep taking unemployment as long as they give it to me."

I know many people in this situation. They can find work, (and have actually been offered jobs) but not the higher paying jobs they previously held. They are better off staying on unemployment than they would be if they worked.

Until their unemployment benefits end, these people are never going to accept that the economy has changed and that they are going to have to alter their lifestyles accordingly. I do not believe that we should continue to support these people beyond the original time limit.

The trick is figuring out which people actually need the benefits and which ones don't. The wingnuts would have you believe that the poor are the problem here. In my experience, though, people who were already working low paying jobs will take a job quicker because their unemployment doesn't pay a living wage.

Just from what I've seen, the people who abuse the system are the ones who had high paying jobs, (and hence, have higher unemployment benefits) that no longer exist. They aren't fighting so much for survival as to continue in a lifestyle they can no longer afford.

Amy in Tacoma said...

"I know many people in this situation. They can find work, (and have actually been offered jobs) but not the higher paying jobs they previously held."

Really? What state are you in? I ask because I was on unemployment last year and although I made a decent salary when I was employed, my unemployment wasn't much more than minimum wage. And I heard that the average weekly benefit in my state, WA, about $400, was among the highest in the US. National averages are aroun $230 a week, which is less than minimum wage.

continued below

Amy in Tacoma said...

Second, I would have taken a lower-paying job. I applied for several. Never got called. The job interviews I did get (and fortunately, one of them hired me!) were for higher paying jobs in my field.

I don't think my experience is atypical. A lot of companies won't call people who are overqualified because they think those people will bail as soon as a better job comes along.

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Amy in Tacoma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy in Tacoma said...

Just looked it up:

According to MSN Money, the average weekly benefit across the U.S. was $293, and ranged from a low of $230 in Mississippi to a high of $628 in Massachusetts. So for the vast majority of folks across the U.S., they are getting the equivalent of $7.32 an hour--pennies more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Amy in Tacoma said...

Finally, Third, most states have adopted strict rules for collecting unemployment. In Washington, for example, you have to apply for three jobs per week (in some states, it's as high as 7 per week), and you aren't allowed to turn down a job offer, unless it is more than 50 miles from your home.

ost unemployment offices check up on recipients' job search logs to make sure what you're reporting is accurate. If you falsify information, you have to pay back your unemployment benefits.

Eco.Soul.Intellectual said...

I agree with some of your statements, but disagree with your overall argument that implies a significant part of the system is being abused by people who are greedy.

While I do agree that this economic crisis has shocked people who were living beyond their means. The people who are truly suffering are not the greedy, welfare abusers.

I think the biggest welfare system are tax write-offs for mega-corporations and tax cuts for the wealthy.

It is very convenient to attack a handful of individuals and blame a grossly flawed system on them. This machine has favored the wealthy, and has been designed to keep those in power, in power; thus in wealth.

Not everything is so black and white. On one hand, there are people who refuse to take lower-paying jobs for a number of reasons. But taking lower-paying jobs are usually without benefits, a union or other protections that leave wage earners at the mercy of an employer.

Constructive Feedback said...


Do you mind if I move away from the TRANSACTION of the day and make note of a certain MACRO-PATTERN?

Do you notice that the politicians dangle the divisive issue dejure in order to highlight the differences between the classes and ideology?

Why is it that for you and others the biggest indictment about the "poor who need unemployment compensation" is the REPUBLICANS RIGHT NOW who want their tax cuts for the rich and thus want to TIE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION to this.

BUT............why aren't we looking at the longer series of time and note that where many of the people who are struggling in the large cities there is a solid block of "FAVORABLE PEOPLE" in power who have erected a set of policies over their environment - JUST AS THE MAJORITY VOTE demanded.

For some reason - despite the fact that their long term economic interests appear to have been eroded despite the VICTORIES that we all saw them cheering over with each passing election for some reason they are unable to look at the gap between the PROMISES and the DELIVERIES. Instead they are prone to throw INDICTMENTS against the TRANSACTIONS against their enemies who don't wish to "share" their private property with them using the government as an intermediary.


We hear people claim that "Obama has created more jobs in 2 years than Bush did in 8". Why don't you and others see this as a "Let them eat cake" statement? The people who propagandize this slight of hand have you repeat this in the zone of PARTISAN POLITICS. Yet it is plain to see that this notion MEANS NOTHING to the people who you have told us CAN'T FIND A JOB.

Is your problem REALLY that the "Evil Republicans won't agree to a higher tax on the rich"?

OR is it that the places with lots of people in need have failed to engage the masses into a functional local economy where their contributions of their skills and goods is traded for compensation?

Again if REDISTRIBUTION in an attempt to retain a certain "American standard of living" IS your ECONOMIC GROWTH strategy - you don't have an "economic growth strategy" unless you can show the TRADE of something of VALUE to both sides of the transaction.

livinonfaith said...

I do agree with you that there are much more serious problems within the federal budget.

However, I will stand on my observation that there are people who will use the system indefinitely if you let them.

Amy, I am in North Carolina, which has one of the higher maximum weekly benefits, so I can see how this would not apply to many people in other states. Here, you can receive up to $494 a week. I know a man who has been offered two jobs that paid $10 an hour and he wouldn't take them because they don't pay as much as his unemployment. I honestly don't think he will take one even if it is slightly higher for several reasons.
1) He can already pay his bills and still has all the free time in the world to take little side jobs in exchange for stuff he needs or wants. (Example, cleaning a friends boat for free fish and a weekend at the beach, or fixing a guys truck in exchange for a freezer full of wild game.) He's racking up!
2) He has no work related expenses now like, gas, eating out for lunch, nice clothes, ect.
3) He's the sort of person that takes what people give him as long as they give it.

I also know some people with small children that are getting quite a bit less in unemployment than they could get working, but with the cost of daycare, they really are coming out ahead. (Especially if you factor in the fact that they get to spend time with their kids.) Especially if there is another household member who can cover some of the bills, they're not going back to work if they can help it.