Unemployment in the News

Here’s an headline from today’s USA Today:

Millions to lose jobless checks

This link is to the article, by Paul Davidson, also published at tennessean.com.

Now, let me preface this by saying that it sucks to be unemployed, and for the purposes of this discussion, I will concede that unemployment’s existence, to ease the transition from one job to the next, is a fine thing.

This article, however, simply highlights how consumer spending could be negatively impacted, and quotes Democratic Party senator Max Baucus, who says something about how now people won’t be able to put food on the table.

I wonder what the reasons for declining to extend unemployment benefits would be? Not only is no Republican senator quoted in the article, but there isn’t even a “declined to comment” reference about an attempt to contact such a senator. USA Today doesn’t include this information. (There is an irrelevant thing about some Republican toady saying something about how Democrats should pass tax cuts.)

I wonder what the actual unemployment bill was about? You know, like how long these people who are suddenly going to be denied unemployment benefits have already received them?

“Unemployed Americans typically get 26 weeks of benefits from states and up to 73 more weeks in federal aid.”

First of all, Damn. Six months A year and a half of unemployment is doing all right, no lies. Granted one might complain about how much an unemployment actually amounts to, and then complain about how little it is, but that doesn’t somehow mean that six months isn’t enough time to find a job. Yeah, “… are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” I’m pretty much Scrooge here, right? But seriously, if you can’t find a job in six months, that means you’re literally of no use to anyone but yourself. What do you expect? Oh wait, yeah, you can still vote, right? So I guess you’re gonna vote for whoever continues to take money from those that do work and give it to you. So you’re literally of no use to anyone but the Democratic Party.

Ahem. I digress.

Is that 73 weeks of federal aid what was being voted on? The article isn’t clear about that, but I guess the United States Senate doesn’t vote on state unemployment benefits, right? Or do they? No mention of that in the… news… paper… article. Now that the bill failed, how long do unemployment benefits last? Also, no mention.

The USA Today article stops before going into the sad sack story of Wayne Pittman. At last at tennessean.com, there’s at least this:

Ninety-nine weeks may seem like a long time to find a job. But even as the economy grows, jobs that vanished in the Great Recession have not returned.

Maybe waiting 99 weeks for your job to return isn’t the thing to do. Maybe a different job, you know, in the meantime would be advisable? Perhaps people don’t find other jobs because they’d lose their unemployment! No kidding? You mean getting money for not working dissuades people from finding work?

If I lost my job, I guess the first thing I’d try to do for more money is get a worse job than the one I had. Then, while not slinging coffee or delivering pizzas or whatever, I’d look for a better job than that one.

It’s a good thing people have brains, to follow up on the huge amount of information that is necessary to actually process this article, or  better yet, read something instead of USA Today.

All press is good press, why link to something that people shouldn’t be reading, etc.
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