Showing posts from 2013

Brookings: Extending jobless benefits is the right thing to do

Tell Congress to restore unemployment insurance

Please add your name to this Organizing for Action petition on behalf of the 99ers and all long-term unemployed:Because Congress failed to act, 1.3 million Americans will lose their unemployment insurance, and millions more will be at risk in the coming months.

Tell Congress the first thing on their plate when they return to Washington needs to be restoring these benefits to the people who need them most.

Guest Post: Where are the jobs?

Cross-posted with the author's kind permission from the Shortcomment blog:

To all of you holier-than-thou, not-yet-unemployed people who treat the unemployed like we’re on vacation:

Do you even think about what you’re saying? It’s really easy to talk big when you have a job, isn’t it?

Why does every not-unemployed person assume that all unemployed people should just suck it up and take jobs as manual laborers or fast-food counter jockeys? What about our wealth of experience, (expensive) education, and professional knowledge?

Should our collective brains become a puddle of goo so we can mow your lawn for you for five bucks or make you a Big Mac for $7.25 an hour? Should we be prostitutes and gigolos, too?

I’ll be damned if I go back to the job and wage I had as a 16-year-old in the 1970s. I didn’t get a college degree and amass 30-plus years of professional experience to go that far backwards. Those of you who suggest otherwise are out of your minds. Get real. They aren’t hiring pe…

Americans United for Change: "Restore Unemployment Insurance Now"

On The Clock: Unemployment insurance, a lifeline for million of families

All In: Congress abandons the long-term unemployed

A response to Randall G. Holcombe

In the Albany Tribune, an op-ed written by Dr. Randall Holcombe argues in favor of eliminating long-term unemployment compensation:
We are paying people to be unemployed longer, so it stands to reason that more people will take up the government’s offer and remain unemployed to keep receiving unemployment compensation.

Some people genuinely have trouble finding work. But unemployment compensation takes away some of the incentive to find a job, and the longer people are out of work, the harder it is to find one. We are doing a disservice to many people by paying them not to work, rather than pushing them to get a job — any job — from which they can move up as the economy recovers.
My reply:

Since July of this year, the unemployment rate in Georgia has been lowered by .7%, from 8.8% to 8.1%. Indiana's done even better: their rate has gone down .9%, from 8.4% to 7.5%. North Carolina? They've gone down .9% too, from 8.9% to 8%.

Each state has seen a significant drop in unemployment…

MSNBC: The startling truth of long-term unemployment

Long-term unemployment has skyrocketed since 2008, but benefits will be cut under the new budget deal. Krystal Ball looks at the individual people impacted.

Budget Leaves 1.3 Million Jobless Out in the Cold

CPBB: Mapping the Impact of Letting Emergency Jobless Benefits Expire

The CPBB has published the graphics below, detailing the maximum number of benefit weeks available to the unemployed now, and the number that will be available when the Federal EUC program expires on December 28th:
The map looks like this currently:

And will look like this on December 28th:

Nearly 5 million people are going to be impacted by the loss of an EUC stipend:

Bizarro Congress: Minimum wage hike

Motivation? The GOP's Carrot Is Also A Stick


Tell Congress: Don't Leave the Unemployed Out in the Cold

Join The Nation and Daily Kos in calling on Congress not to leave the long-term unemployed out in the cold. Contact your representative now and tell them to make sure an extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is included in any budget deal.

President Obama Speaks on Economic Mobility

Hearing On Long-Term Unemployment Benefits

The Democratic Steering Committee held a hearing on renewing the federal extension of unemployment insurance benefits. The extension, which was set to expire on December 28, 2013, was put in place in response to the 2008 economic crisis to help those who are unemployed longer than six months. It allows the unemployed to get as much as a year and a half of help while they search for work, even after state benefits have run out. Witnesses included including an electrician, a bio-tech professional and long-time company executive. They implored Congress to stop the benefits from expiring, detailing how the benefits helped them pay their mortgages and pay for gas to get to job interviews.

NELP: Millions to Face Hardship if Congress Allows EUC to Expire

CONTACT: Emma Stieglitz,, (646) 200-5307

Statement of Christine Owens, Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project, after today's Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing on renewing federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation:

"With the U.S. House of Representatives scheduled to adjourn for the holiday recess at the end of next week, I was pleased to testify today at a special hearing called by Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on the looming expiration of federal unemployment insurance. If Congress fails to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, federal jobless benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed jobseekers will abruptly end three days after Christmas. By July 1st of next year, two million more will have no federal aid when their regular state benefits end.

"Millions of jobless workers are…

This Thanksgiving...


Whistle While You Work. I Said "Whistle!"

NELP: Lawmakers Push to Renew Federal Jobless Aid As Deadline for House Vote Draws Near

Report Shows Ongoing Labor Market Distress, Need to Extend Jobless AidWashington, DC—With only 10 days left on the House legislative calendar before the Congressional holiday recess, a group of lawmakers issued an urgent call today to reauthorize federal jobless aid for the long-term unemployed as Representative Sandy Levin (D-MI) and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) announced new legislation to renew federal unemployment insurance through 2014.An estimated 1.3 million unemployed workers would be abruptly cut off from federal jobless aid at year’s end, if Congress fails to reauthorize the program before the December 31st expiration. An additional 1.9 million workers would lose this vital aid during the first six months of 2014.The showdown over the future of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program takes place amid mounting evidence that the U.S. labor market remains in distress, as documented by an analysis released today by the National Employment Law Project."The fate of …

On The Senate Rules Change

It's OK, GOP: you can still #filibuster bills for hurricane relief and 9/11 first responders. #Maddow#p2— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) November 22, 2013

NY Times: "Caught in Unemployment’s Revolving Door"

Annie Lowrey, writing in the New York Times:"…joblessness itself has become a trap, an impediment to finding a job. Economists see it the same way, concerned that joblessness lasting more than six months is a major factor preventing people from getting rehired, with potentially grave consequences for tens of millions of Americans."The long-term jobless, after all, tend to be in poorer health, and to have higher rates of suicide and strained family relations. Even the children of the long-term unemployed see lower earnings down the road."The consequences are grave for the country, too: lost production, increased social spending, decreased tax revenue and slower growth. Policy makers and academics are now asking whether an improving economy might absorb those workers in time to prevent long-term economic damage."

In budget conference committee, Senator Coons focuses on budget’s impact on long-term unemployed

Asked about policies that could accelerate growth and help the long-term unemployed, Director Elmendorf said, "Of all non-defense discretionary spending, half represents investment of some sort. About 20 percent of non-defense discretionary spending is investment in physical capital, such as highways, another 15 percent goes for education and training, and about 10 percent goes for R&D, such as health research. Over all, we think those investments help to build a stronger economy in the future and cutbacks in those investments would reduce output and income in the future."The problem of long-term unemployment, Elmendorf noted, also "has important economic effects over time… It poses a very large risk of there being some set of people who will not find their way back to work at all or will not find their way to the productive sort of work that they were in before they lost their jobs."Elmendorf said the CBO has "reviewed the evidence on a large number of di…

Quotes of the Day

"In September, 1.4 million workers, or only 34 percent of all the long-term unemployed, received federal unemployment benefits, down from about 2.2 million workers a year ago." (source: The Hill)"… by failing to address unemployment, we have, in fact, been sacrificing the future, too. What passes these days for sound policy is in fact a form of economic self-mutilation, which will cripple America for many years to come." (source: Paul Krugman)I hope to address the issue in a longer piece soon. For now, though, I have to ask: who are we, as a nation, that we inflict such damage on ourselves?

New York Times Endorses Noam Bramson for County Executive

Citing "a starker divide, between responsible governing and recklessness," the New York Times Editorial Board endorses Noam Bramson for Westchester County Executive:"Mr. Bramson, New Rochelle's mayor since 2006, has the skills and vision needed to run the county well. He makes a strong case that Mr. Astorino's spending cuts — to the planning department, mental health services and child care support, among other things — have done damage. So has the self-destructive battle over fair housing, which Mr. Bramson promises to end. We recommend Mr. Bramson."

E. J. Dionne: "Let’s douse the flames of slow growth and joblessness first"

From today's opinion piece in the Washington Post:Here's the mistake made by President Obama and the Democrats that nobody is talking about: they have been too fearful of confronting our country's three-year obsession with the wrong problem.…The wrong problem is the deficit. The right problem is sluggish growth and persistent unemployment.…The most helpful thing Congress can do immediately is to get rid of the sequester cuts. A Congressional Budget Office study conducted at the request of Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Budget Committee's ranking Democrat, found that if left in place, the automatic reductions could cost up to 1.6 million jobs next year. Allowing that to happen would be folly — and heartless, too.

Editorial Spotlight: Noam Bramson

This video comes from, posted with their editorial endorsing Noam Bramson for Westchester Country Executive. It's a long interview, but it's worth watching, if you're concerned about Westchester politics and the economy. After watching Noam during this Q&A, I'm more inclined to say that he's earned my vote. I hope you'll agree.

"The law is gonna kick the Democrats in the butt."

Why are Republican state houses passing voter ID laws? NC GOP County Executive Committee member Don Yelton provided an answer in a Daily Show interview:The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook Don Yelton was asked to resign after the interview aired.Buncombe GOP Chairman Henry Mitchell said Don Yelton officially stepped down from his position Thursday.Mitchell called the remarks "offensive, uniformed and unacceptable of any member within the Republican Party.""Let me make it very clear, Mr. Yelton's comments do not reflect the belief or feelings of Buncombe Republicans, nor do they mirror any core principle that our party is founded upon," Mitchell said in a press release. "This mentality will not be supported or propagated within our party."According to the release, this isn't the first time Yelton has clashed with local party leadership.

IOKIYAR Quote Of The Day

"'Offering to negotiate only after Democrats get everything they want is not much of an offer,' Boehner spokesman MIchael Steel said in a statement."But it's totally okay when Republicans offer to negotiate after they get everything they want.Source: Talking Points Memo

The Divide

#p2#UniteBlue Remember, when the GOP says that the President won't compromise, this is what they mean:— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) September 28, 2013

As Seen On Twitter

Q: What's the difference between the House GOP and the unemployed? A: The unemployed want to work.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) September 28, 2013

Chart of the Day: Long Term Unemployment Is A Catastrophe

Source: Wonkblog - (T)he percentage of the labor force that had been unemployed for five weeks or less didn't grow all that much during the economic meltdown.What changed was what happened after or within those five weeks. In 2007, they typically ended with a job. In 2009 and 2010, they more often ended with another few weeks of unemployment. The result is that if you break down the unemployment rate by duration, the problem appears to be almost entirely about long-term unemployment

The Data Shows - Unions Are Good For Everyone In The Middle Class

Middle Classes Are Stronger in States with Greater Union Membership— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) September 24, 2013

Noah Bramson for Westchester County Executive

Because we demand a higher standard from our elected officials. Rob Astorino, lying is wrong. Tell the "Friends of Rob Astorino" to pull any ad that includes these lies.Here's the context, from"The Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee has found that several claims in County Executive Rob Astorino's re-election campaign ads are unfair because they accuse his Democratic opponent, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, of raising taxes he has no control over and giving himself perks that were in place before he took office."

Cut Loose And Cut Off

The new WRAL Documentary "Cut Loose and Cut Off" examines the controversial debate over the new unemployment benefits law and focuses on the people it has affected.

Just Another Cog In The Machine

Job Market: Still Underwater

We follow two monthly reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: the Employment Situation (EMPSIT) report, and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report. Taken together, they show how many people are looking for work, and how many jobs are available. When you overlay the two sets of numbers, this is what the chart looks like:

(click to enlarge) Several points stand out:Look at the number of unemployed before and after the 2001 recession: we never returned to pre-recession levels, even before the Great Recession.The Great Recession created an unprecedented number of unemployed.Job openings have almost recovered to the level they were before the Great Recession, and if current trends continue, may approach the level they were before the 2001 recession.To balance the current number of unemployed workers with the number of job openings, we would need an additional 7.8 million jobs to open up.That doesn't include the almost 7 million men and women not in the labor force…

Picture Of The Day

Unemployed man in the Great Depression— ClassicPics (@History_Pics) August 24, 2013

Compromise and Bipartisanship

The open letter written to Senator Lamar Alexander by an assembly of Tea Party and other groups has drawn particular attention for this quote:"Unfortunately, our great nation can no longer afford compromise and bipartisanship, two traits for which you have become famous. America faces serious challenges and needs policymakers who will defend conservative values, not work with those who are actively undermining those values."The names of the groups who signed the letter include the terms "Tea Party," "Patriots," "Liberty," and "Freedom." The groups themselves often harken back to Founders and to America at the time of the Revolution.It would be helpful, then, to look back at what the Founders actually said about compromise.In Fitting Together Uneven Planks: The Constitution And The Spirit of Compromise,an article written for the National Constitution Center, the Founders are quoted as saying:"For myself, I was ready to have embrace…

Beware the Republicanado!

source: Tom Tomorrow, The Nation

Dear @SenatorTimScott: What Would You Call It?

…when a vocal fringe group of Americans, includinghigh-profile Presidential candidates and even sitting members of Congress, refuse to accept Barack Obama as a natural born citizen and the legitimate President of the United States?…but not say a word about a potential Republican presidential candidate who was actually born in a foreign country?What would you call it when a leading conservative voice declares, in the days before the President's Inauguration, "I hope Obama fails"?…or when we learn that a group of prominent Republican Senators and Congressmen gather for a quiet dinner on Inauguration Day, to craft a plan the challenge the President and the Democrats on "every single bill and every single campaign"?What would you call it when your party has turned a once rarely-used parliamentary procedure into something that's now so frequently used that it threatens to break the Senate? According to Norm Ornstein, "the use or threat of filibuster as a ro…

CBS News: Latest jobs report not encouraging for long-term unemployed

HBR Blog Network: Why HR Needs to Stop Passing Over the Long-Term Unemployed

Professor Peter Capelli of the Wharton School on "Why HR Needs to Stop Passing Over the Long-Term Unemployed""What we do know about job candidates who are long-term unemployed, which is related to job success, is that they are persistent. Millions of other unemployed facing this job market gave up looking and dropped out of the labor force. We also know that they will likely be very grateful to have a job, and gratitude is associated with many aspects of good job performance. They are also likely to be cheaper and easier to hire because you don't have to woo them away from their current employer."The way to get hiring of the long-term unemployed started is to recognize that there is no objective case in this economy for not considering a candidate who has been out of work for a while. Therefore, excluding them out of hand is a form of prejudice. The people at the top of organizations need to point out that excluding such candidates is likely costing us money be…

Atlas Shrugs Because He Just Doesn't Care

I came across this quote from Ayn Rand as one of the posts on the AEIdeas blog:"If workers struggle for higher wages, this is hailed as 'social gains'; if businessmen struggle for higher profits, this is damned as 'selfish greed.' If the workers' standard of living is low, liberals blame it on the businessman; but if the businessmen attempt to improve their economic efficacy, to expand their markets, and to enlarge the financial returns of their enterprises, thus making higher wages and lower prices possible, the same liberals denounce it as 'commercialism.'"That sounds nice. It sounds right: businessmen try to improve their efficacy, expand markets, enlarge returns, and make higher wages and lower prices possible.In the real world, however, things are quite different:

Or, looking at the averages of corporate profits and wages, both as a percentage of GDP:

The last chart is from November, 2011, and needs updating, but it's all too clear: corpora…

Rep. Frederica Wilson: Reintroducing the American Jobs Act

Ms. WILSON of Florida. Mr. Speaker, it's now been 934 days since I came to Congress and there has not been a single vote on serious legislation to address our unemployment crisis.Amidst the distractions, amidst the scandals, amidst the tragedies, the single overriding focus of the American people remains the same: jobs and the economy. The polls speak volumes.Mr. Speaker, today I'm taking an important step to end distractions and get the Congress back to work for the people, for the unemployed, for the suffering. Today, I am reintroducing President Obama's American Jobs Act, which expired last year without even reaching the House floor. The American Jobs Act is popular for a reason: independent analysts have shown it would create 1.9 million jobs.Mr. Speaker, bring this bill to a vote and you will restore public trust in the Congress of the United States of America. The American Jobs Act deserves a vote. Mr. Speaker, our mantra should be: jobs, jobs, jobs. Rep. Wilson's…

History Repeats...


Pathways Back to Work Act (2013) Introduced

Neil Ridley, writing at the Center for Law and Social Policy:Four years after the official end of the Great Recession, the economy is improving, but the nation is struggling with slow job growth and high unemployment. The national unemployment rate is expected to remain above 7.5 percent through 2014, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook. Long-term unemployment, in particular, remains at record levels: nearly two out of five of the unemployed, or about 4 million workers, have been out of work for more than six months and large numbers have been jobless for more than a year. Numerous studies confirm that it is very difficult for long-term unemployed workers to re-enter the workforce.Last week, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), together with other House members, introduced the Pathways Back to Work Act, which is modeled on provisions in the President’s FY 2014 budget request. The bill would create work and educational opportunities for long-term unemploye…

Barely Legal Things Employers Do To Keep Unemployed Applicants Out

Business Insider reports on the ongoing efforts of employers to discriminate against the long-term unemployed:Employers don't want to look at the resumes of unemployed people. In fact, they don't even want those resumes sent to them.Some employers will actually do whatever it takes — without doing anything illegal — to prevent the unemployed from applying for positions at their company.The reasoning behind this comes from the belief that unemployed people are not as talented as those who are able to keep their jobs. This said, bringing them in for an interview — and turning them down based on their unemployment — will build a stronger case for discrimination against the employer. Therefore, employers will try to exclude these candidates by using certain restrictive language in the job posting.Read the full article for a description of three ways employers are screening out the people who need these jobs the most.

Why Support Glass-Steagall 2.0?

Politicize This

"To the families and victims of the tragedy, we offer our condolences and prayers," said Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. "To Mayor Bloomberg and the group that would politicize this, we offer our opposition."The quote comes from an article on The Huffington Post about a vigil held on the one-year anniversary of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado."Don't politicize this." What do people mean when they say that?When Theo Caldwell said "Don't politicize the IRS - end it," he argued that "the IRS should not be overseeing political speech in the first place."That's not what the IRS was doing: they were reviewing applications filed by groups who were requesting tax exempt status as 501(c)(4) social work organizations.When Jennifer Rubin said "Obama can't stop politicizing the courts," she argued that "the president seems to have little sense of the division between politics and law.…

The Koch Brothers Have Questions. Doctors Have Answers.

h/t OccupyDemocrats:While the Koch brothers are counting on their shameless campaign in order to spread misinformation about this important reform that will improve access and quality of care for tens of millions of Americans, it is up to every informed American to spread the facts about Pres. Obama’s signature achievement.

This Is What Fighting A Losing Battle Looks Like

NY: Obamacare will cut individual insurance rates by as much as 50%. GOP: let's repeal Obamacare! #p2#tcot#UniteBlue— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) July 17, 2013 Or, as Jamelle Bouie puts it: "Obamacare puts Republicans in a bind"

Not The News Job-Seekers Want To Read

From the Herald Tribune:"Suncoast Workforce - Southwest Florida's chief job assistance agency - is operating on $1.75 million less this fiscal year as a result of sequestration and other federal funding cuts."The cuts were bigger than anticipated and the group had to eliminate 12 positions in late May to get to its current payroll of 101."Firing people whose job is to help the unemployed find jobs? Not the budget decision I would make.

Reaching Out... With The Back Of The GOP's Hand

Paul Krugman, in his op-ed "Hunger Games, U.S.A.":"Somehow, one of our nation's two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness, a contempt for what CNBC's Rick Santelli, in the famous rant that launched the Tea Party, called "losers." If you're an American, and you're down on your luck, these people don't want to help; they want to give you an extra kick. I don't fully understand it, but it's a terrible thing to behold."Jinx:Social safety net programs are non-judgmental and non-punitive. No wonder conservatives oppose them. #p2#UniteBlue— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) July 14, 2013

On the Politics of Abortion

This is an excerpt from "Beyond Abortion — A Common Good Feminism for the Twenty-First Century" published on the website for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good"Few issues are as contentious as the issue of abortion. Hard-line activists dominate both the pro-life and pro-choice movements, promoting absolutist positions and a combative approach that leaves little room for compromise. The result is that not nearly enough has been accomplished in one area where there is a large consensus: reducing the abortion rate."People of good will and sound mind can fall on either side of the abortion issue, but few reasonable people would contest the desirability of reducing the abortion rate. Most pro-choice women concede that abortion is in some sense tragic. This is why they reject the label pro-abortion. And by embracing choice, it is clear that they want women to have real choices, not feel compelled to procure abortions out of economic necessity. For pro-lifers, thei…

April 4, 1968; July 13, 2013

"Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart
until, in our own despair, against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.""What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black."So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer... for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder."But the vast majority of white peo…

Thank you, Obamacare

In today's inbox:Dear (name),I'm writing to let you know that in the next few weeks, Freelancers Insurance Company will be mailing you a rebate check.We're happy to be sending this rebate to you as part of our commitment to health care for independent workers, and in support of health reforms that were enacted last year.But to ensure you can receive your check as soon as possible, we need your current mailing address. Please sign in to your account and verify that your address is up to date by next Wednesday, July 17.Why are we sending you this check? A new guideline made by the Affordable Care Act - called the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) - now requires insurance providers in New York State to spend at least 80% of premiums on health care services and quality improvement programs, and no more than 20% on administrative costs. Each year, we project how much that 80% will be. In 2012, medical costs for things like prescription drugs and procedures did not rise as much as we est…

Changes Coming

Over the next month, this blog will undergo some changes in layout, content and direction.As long as the economy leaves the 99ers, and more generally, the long-term unemployed behind, we will remain a voice for them.But other issues relate to the plight of the 99ers, and this blog will expand to include those topics, too.From time to time, we'll also look at issues of the day, particularly from the Liberal/Progressive/Democratic point of view.Watch this space. And as always, your suggestions are welcomed.

Maloney: I’m ‘no longer seen as less-than in the eyes of my country’

Leaders vs. Rulers

It's a fundamental theorem of this blog that Republicans want to rule, where Democrats want to lead. Today's example? The filibuster conducted by Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. Here's the reporting:

This is what America looks like


Support the Pocan/Ellison Amendment: Voting is a Right, Not a Privilege

Read more about this proposed amendment on TruthOutSECTION 1: Every citizen of the United States, who is of legal voting age, shall have the fundamental right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides.SECTION 2: Congress shall have the power to enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation.

Melissa Harris-Perry: If only Congress considered unemployment as urgent as flight delays

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Update: At least one Representative does consider the issue: Thank you, Representative Hoyer.

Bloomberg Editorial: Long-Term Unemployment Is Turning Jobless Into Pariahs

Please read the full editorial with links on Bloomberg.comLong-term unemployment is one of the most vexing problems the U.S. faces, and today’s jobs report shows all-too-meager progress in fixing it.The U.S. created 165,000 new jobs in April, pushing down the unemployment rate to 7.5 percent from March’s 7.6 percent. But as of the end of April, 4.4 million Americans, or 37 percent of the unemployed, had been without a job for 27 weeks or longer, barely better than March’s 39 percent. The U.S. can’t afford to write off more than 4 million people who would like to work but haven’t for more than six months.Long-term joblessness peaked in April 2010 at 6.7 million, so the picture might seem to be improving. Hidden within that number is this troubling fact: The average unemployed person has been out of work for 36.5 weeks. That’s not much better than the December 2011 duration of 40.7 weeks, which was the longest since World War II. Long-term unemployment at the start of the recession in D…

A Modest (Economic) Proposal

There should never be a case where "good for the company" means "bad for the public." #uppers— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) April 28, 2013

A Logical Fallacy In Three Acts

Act One, "Much Apu About Nothing" Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: It's just a stupid rock.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
[Homer thinks of this, then pulls out some money]
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.
Act Two, An Open Letter to the Kansas School Board"You may be interested to know that global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of Pirates since the 1800s. For your interest, I have included a graph of the approximate number of pirates versus the average global temperature over the last 200 years. As you can see, there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperatu…


Our hearts are broken. Our spirit is not.— Sandy Hook Promise (@sandyhook) April 17, 2013

Yesterday and Today: NY Stands With Boston

Yesterday, Twitter:As a New Yorker and a Yankees fan, my prayers go out to Boston: victims, families, first responders, volunteers. God bless and keep you all.— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) April 16, 2013Today, Yankees Stadium:

Chart of the Day: Terrible News for the Long-Term Unemployed

From Arthur Delaney and Brad Plumer and first reported by Matthew O' Brien:Rand Ghayad of Northeastern University sent out 4,800 fake resumes at random for 600 job openings. And what he found is that employers would rather call back someone with no relevant experience who's only been out of work for a few months than someone with more relevant experience who’s been out of work for longer than six months.In other words, it doesn't matter how much experience you have. It doesn't matter why you lost your previous job — it could have been bad luck. If you've been out of work for more than six months, you're essentially unemployable. Many companies won't even consider you for a job.

Quote of the Day: District of Columbia v. Heller

"Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller's holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those 'in common use at the time' finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons."Justice Antonin Scalia, delivering the opinion of the Supreme Court (source)

Calling Out The Obstructionists

To the GOP, "filibuster" is a word that means "because shut up, that's why." Good for @e_laffs2 for calling them out. #inners#NoWayNRA— A 99er (@HelpThe99ers) April 10, 2013

How The Troy Library Beat The Tea Party

File under: trolling, jiu jitsu, reverse psychology, social media, strategy, win

Lawrence Lessig: We the People, and the Republic we must reclaim

HuffPost Live: Long-Term Jobless Fix

Originally aired on March 14, 2013

Chart: Gas Prices & Job Losses During The Great Recession

The takeaway from this chart is that at the same time gas prices were at rock bottom (about $1.61 per gallon, national average, at the end of 2008), we were also losing well over 700,000 jobs per month.A sobering reminder for when Twitter produces gems like this:PLEASE TAKE US BACK TO THE MESS OBAMA INHERITED. GAS AT $1.89 AND UNEMPLOYMENT AT 4.7%. // AND A$10T DEBT— Phx Ken (@PhxKen) March 18, 2013

This Is What "Too Big To Fail" Looks Like

Update: if you're not following Alexis Goldstein, you should be.Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy