Showing posts from January, 2012

F**KED: The United States of Unemployment / ISO of a Movement


Quote of the Day

"At a time when nearly 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty, charities and the free market alone can't address the urgent needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. And while jobseekers outnumber job openings 4-to-1, suggesting that the unemployed would rather collect benefits than work is misleading and insulting."Taken from an open letter to Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, written and signed by more than 40 Catholic leaders.

Charts of the Day: A rising tide...

…lifts all the boats.The expression has been part of our political vocabulary since the JFK Administration, and it makes intuitive sense: as the economy grows, everyone benefits.It was true in JFK's day, and through the 1950s, 60s and 70s, but it's not at all accurate now. This 2008 chart from Lane Kenworthy (via Paul Krugman): The gross domestic product - the wealth our nation produces - has grown relatively steadily. The median income per family - the compensation for creating that wealth - has not kept track. If it had, median family income would look like this: It is entirely reasonable to ask why this has happened, why the rising tide seems to have benefited some more than others - and how it can be readjusted. "Median family income" is the middle of the middle class - these charts show how far behind we're falling.

Thank you, Rep. Holcomb - updated with bonus twist of fate

Arthur Delaney, in the Huffington Post, reporting on Democratic efforts to push back against the GOP's attempts to require the unemployed to submit to drug testing in order to qualify for their insurance benefits:The past year has seen an unprecedented wave of Republican bills to drug test the poor and jobless. It also saw a smaller wave of Democratic bills that said in response, "No, you pee in the cup."One of the most recent retorts comes from Georgia, where last month Democratic state Rep. Scott Holcomb introduced a bill requiring members of the local legislature to prove they're not Legislating Under the Influence. Holcomb told HuffPost he came up with the idea because he was struck by a bill from his Republican colleagues to drug test welfare applicants."I was really struck by how awful it was," he said. "I wanted to bring some attention to it."Update: one of the Republican state representatives who originally sponsored the bill that Rep. Hol…

AP: SC Makes It Harder to Get Unemployment Benefits

The AP reports on how South Carolina is dealing with their state's unemployed workers:"A state with chronically high unemployment is making it tougher for the jobless to draw benefits by trying to force people to take lower-wage jobs and making it easier for laid-off workers to be declared ineligible."New policies at South Carolina's Department of Employment and Workforce require people to accept job offers that pay incrementally less than their previous wages - eventually leading to minimum wage - and reducing the number of weeks someone let go for misconduct can receive benefits.…"'We're trying to prohibit that person drawing unemployment from sitting back and not aggressively going after the jobs,' said Turner, who took the agency's helm in September. 'The jobs are there.'"That might be a defensible argument, if indeed the jobs were there, but they aren't.Job Openings by Region, Nov. 2011RegionLevelNortheast631,000South1,251,0…

Orange Country Register: 600,000 California 99ers lose jobless benefits

Mary Ann Milbourn, reporting in the Orange County Register:"The number of jobless workers in California who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits is approaching 600,000, the state Employment Development Department reports."By EDD’s latest count, more than 599,000 had been booted off the unemployment rolls as of Jan. 10. That’s equivalent to three cities with a population the size of Irvine."It is not known what has happened to all of those people. EDD reports there were 246,100 more people working in November 2011 than in November the previous year. So it is likely some found jobs, although not necessarily at the same pay or skill level."And they aren’t all necessarily working part time. The number of Californians working part time who want full-time jobs fell by 57,000 from November 2010 to November 2011."Some have gone back to school and others are moving back in with parents or family members."A recent school of thought is that more wo…

Salon: F**KED: The United States of Unemployment

"F**KED: The United States of Unemployment is a new video documentary series by filmmaker Immy Humes. It's about a particular group of NYC-area 99ers - long term unemployed - who are trying to not only survive but also fight back. Plus it features digressions into other realms, such as the Armies of the Unemployed in the 19th C."

Chart of the Day: The Shrinking Middle Class

source: The Rise and Consequences of Inequality in the United States, Alan B. Kreuger (PDF link)