Unemployment Insurance

Congress has decided not to extend unemployment benefits.  The argument from the right is that people are loafers who don’t want to work and that this will lead to more dependence on big government.  They ignore the fact that to receive benefits you must be actively be searching for a job.  They ignore the fact that benefits are much less that full wages.  They ignore the fact that those on unemployment spend all of those benefits on necessities and as a consequence help improve the economy in hard times.  Ok, maybe they don’t ignore that, as the want the economy to tank so they can regain power.

The reality is that in any recovery period, there is high unemployment, underemployment and low wages, simple because business can get away with it until demand puts the ball in employees court.   The reality is that people on unemployment want to get back to work, and soon.  They are not Reagan’s “welfare queens.”

This is more than a morality issue.  It’s an fundamental economic issue.

 

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65 Comments

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65 responses to “Unemployment Insurance

  1. Shameful and not exactly smart, this money goes right back into the economy and provides stimulus.

  2. Happy last week of December, all. Happy holidays.

    I resolve to help vote in a better Congress in 2014.

    dnd: “This is more than a morality issue. It’s an fundamental economic issue.”

    Yup. As is the Affordable Care Act. Both go a long way towards helping people be more productive and lead more meaningful lives, and providing needed protection while they get there.

    Economically and morally sound. And thus, “controversial”, with our plutocrat-corrupted political and media status quo.

  3. tempebev

    Happy New Year’s eve – Happy New Year if you’re reading this on Wed.

    We’re off to another exciting year politically. Isn’t that what we all live for? 🙂
    I hope the Olympics go off without a problem – the recent explosions put a damper on that hope.

    We’ll all turn a year older and wiser this new year. I hope that “realistic” reality shows grow wiser also.

    Happy New Year to my BC buds!

  4. anon paranoid

    Happy New Year too all my BC friends.

    May the new year bring you joy, good health and prosperity. AP

  5. HAPPY NEW YEAR ONE AND ALL!

  6. Happy 2014, y’all. May it be happy and productive for all of us.

  7. From our sidebar:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/31/what-your-favorite-drink-says-about-your-politics-in-one-chart/

    What you all suspected. I am a Republican, for quaffing all those Manhattans. (Wonder if that’s from learning my drinking habits from a moderate Republican, my dad? Although love a bracing Martini too, from time to time.)

    And Smoking Loon is the favorite wine of high turnout Democrats? Really? (I never touch it, but snort every time I see it in a grocery store since its name reminds me of a particularly odious former acquaintance. One Smoking Loon, fer sure.)

    I don’t believe this chart one bit.

    What it most likely tells you is that Republicans shop — often — at Costco. Also demonstrated by Costco’s always having the latest Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly screed prominently displayed on their books table.

    Although Costco is such a great place to shop because it’s run along Democratic values. Well paid, fairly treated staff. Carefully sourced products.

    So: assuming you’re not hungover from NYE, what’s your pour this week?

    (Tee hee: Tanqueray’s in the Democratic column, and Jagermeister is light pink. The GOP can have that one.)

  8. Liberals shop at Costco, Repugs shop at Sam’s Club

  9. Liberals especially shop at Trader Joe’s — which makes sense, geographically, since TJ’s is only in urban/dense suburban areas that will support it. Two buck Chuck is in the libtard drinking column. (Not in this house, though!)

    Liberals shop at Whole Foods too — organic, and made in America products — while grimacing at its CEO’s glibertarian politics. I suspect mostly the well to do shop at Whole Foods — it’s expensive, compared to what you can get elsewhere (say, at Costco, if you’re buying in bulk). I’m not in there much, although Whole Foods’ bakery is the best deal going for beautiful, delicious cakes you can have personalized.

    I will be interested to see who is still shopping at Wal-Mart, how that trend is going. My sister’s family — decidedly “purple” in politics — will no longer set foot in the joint. That’s new this year. Word’s out how shabbily WM treats its employees.

    I’m thinking the Sarah Palin/Phil “Duck Dynasty” Robertson philosophy of life-worshiping contingent shops there, since it’s where “heartland Americans” shop, but who wants to shop for mostly cheaply priced, foreign-made stuff sold by store personnel, where the ones you deal with qualify for food stamps? No, no, no. Wrong on so many levels.

    I remember a city planning prof, who was also a small city manager, telling the class that he didn’t see much good from Wal-Mart recently locating in his area. He knew it was going to clean out local jobs, and be a net wash. That surprised a lot of students, who just saw “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

    Although actually it’s way worse. Those local stores paid rent to a variety of landlords, bought services locally. Not the Wal-Mart leviathan. And once they leave for greener pastures, they leave behind a hulking big box store and acres of paved parking for the municipality to patrol.

    So it will be interesting to watch Wal-Mart’s sales figures. They might start foundering, long-term. I hope so. Dreadful store with dreadful practices.

    • dnd

      Sra Dog,
      I don’t shop at Whole Foods (though I have), but not for political reasons. Actually I think it’s a brilliant business model, it’s just that their prices are significantly higher than anything around town for the exact same thing. And for that reason the fact that they are so popular amazes me. My preference are for local/regional places. A B Fruteria & Carniceria is my favorite. You’d think you were in a market in Mexico. You can get a 1 liter bottle of Valentina Salsa Picante (way better than Tobasco) for $1.99. They have a great butcher shop. Nothing sold in Styrofoam trays covered with plastic wrap.

      I don’t shop at Wal-Mart either (though I have). There may be a whole list of reasons, such as they sell crap that may or may not be cheaper elsewhere, they have nobody to help you find the crap you came to buy, etc. The real reason I won’t shop at Wal-Mart ever again is that they recently took over a shopping center in the town my Mom lives in. Whenever I visited Mom there was always something that needed to be fixed around her house. The local Ace Hardware in that shopping center, which had been there forever, was always helpful. They could tread a pipe, tell you what you needed to fix a problem, stocked stuff they knew homeowners needed in the town, had plenty of help and low prices. Well Wal-Mart decided that they would be competition, so they decided not to renew their lease. Try to get someone to thread a pipe for you at Wal-Mart. Lotsa luck.

      • dnd

        Holy smokes! Pot is now legal in Colorado. It’s reefer madness I tell you. Reefer Madness! Critics are saying they are concerned that teens will now have access to the evil weed. They also say that the ski industry is worried that people will start skiing stoned. What they don’t realize is that teens have been smoking dope for the last 50 years. And in that time you’d be hard pressed to not smell the evil weed on a chair lift.

        Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

  10. PS dnd: I hope someone does break out political leanings by beer. Think you could, as far as one generalizes there. Keep an eye out!

  11. I like that cancer patients and others suffering will now have access to legal marijuana. That’s progress, and humane. Who knew the arc of justice puts off reefer smoke too?

  12. It’s a winter wonderland out there in Northern Virginia today. Not that much snow — nothing like NYC or Boston — but pretty white sparkling stuff and a brilliant blue sky.

    Haven’t ventured out for the paper yet. Looks frigid! Local kids already had week off; they don’t go back until next week. However, none of them are outside either. Not even a dog walker. Brrrr.

    iPhone says it’s 19 degrees. And windy.

  13. tempebev

    I saw the lines for buying pot on TV – Colorado is certainly going to be making bucks! The weather in the northeast looks terrible. Can’t even imagine what that much snow and the temperature must be like. Of course we’re just fine in sunny Arizona. The heat is tolerable compared to all the snow and freezing temps. Good luck, Dog. I hope you aren’t the shoveler! Live it up D! AP – it’s always good to hear from you. Brian, keep up the good work and weight loss.

    We don’t shop at Walmart or Whole Food for the reasons you all mentioned above. Our choose is Trader Joe’s, Costco and Fry’s (Kroger).

    Can you believe it’s already the 3rd of Jan? Time is flying.

  14. Very little snow here to shovel, Bev. There’s probably a half inch max on our walk and driveway because of the winds. Ice will be the problem. Rather a lovely snow day. Thanks for the good wishes!

    Kentucky should legalize pot next. It’s pretty much their actual #1 or #2 moneymaking crop; be nice if they could sell it legally AND the state could tax it. Some could support Kentucky’s lovely and successful Obamacare program. (3 cheers for Governor Steve Beshear.!!!)

    Redwood country in California has had some problems with growers’ houses. Arcata, etc. Homes where renters move in and plant a container cash crop within. From USA Today from November 2012:

    “… Even Arcata residents who support legalization of marijuana have become fed up with high-volume indoor growing operations that take over much-needed housing and take advantage of the state’s loosely written medical marijuana law.

    The neighbors of these clandestine pot farms — operated behind curtains, shutters and alarm systems — complain of the skunk-like stink of cannabis, fire hazards, rising rents, vicious guard dogs, caches of guns, illegal pesticides, roadside dumping of unwanted growing gear, and late-night visits from shady characters. …

    …Measure I on next week’s ballot would impose a 45 percent electricity tax on households — with medical and other exceptions — that use three times the amount of power a typical family home does. The measure takes aim at commercial growers who maximize production by packing homes full of high intensity lights and irrigation systems that gobble electricity and sometimes cause fires from overloaded circuits.

    “Our hope is to drive the large-scale growing operations out of town,” said Shane Brinton, a city councilman and vice mayor who has pushed the novel idea.

    “I don’t view it as anti-marijuana,” said Brinton. “It’s a land-use issue, a public safety issue, and environmental issue as well.”

    ….The amount of electricity that would subject a resident to the tax amounts to a $700 per month bill, and is equivalent to the power used by a big chain drug store. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. reports that 633 homes — one in 15— are using that much juice, indicating they are raising pot rather than families.”

  15. Yippee! The blockquote command kinda worked. Cribbed that from Balloon Juice.

    Cribbed the USA Today story from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/11/03/pot-town-industrial-growers/1679181/

    I will follow up and find if the proposed measure passed. Could be economic development all the way around, no?

    FYI: to blockquote long comments in WordPress (and yeah, I realize I’m the main offender in putting them up):

    insert text

  16. Oh. The blockquote command works too well.

    What you do is type in

    and then your text

  17. Oh. Not a technical writer or genius as you can see. Try again.

    Command is

    and then your text

  18. I give up! Just go to Balloon Juice, type in some text in the comments box, highlight it and hit the “quote” function above the comment box.

    And there’s the command for how you do it. You can learn how to emote and italicize too.

    Balloon Juice is http://www.balloon-juice.com

    It’s better than Craig’s tired old blog by a factor of about a hundred. Lots of f word use too. And pet pics. Never forget the pet pics.

    Also: certified safe for Obama fans. You won’t be chased off for bad manners.

  19. Arcata’s measure to tax excessive electricity use passed, 68-32%.

    Here’s info from city website. You’ll be amused to see the word “marijuana” never once appears. They talk a lot about “greenhouse gas emissions” but skate right past “greenhouse pot growers”.

    http://www.cityofarcata.org/node/1645

    • dnd

      What’s really interesting is that the anti-regulation crowd is also the anti-legal pot crowd. Here in Colorado, selling and using dope is probably the most regulated of anything.

      • dnd

        Pot made David Brooks stupid:

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/opinion/brooks-weed-been-there-done-that.html?_r=0

        His anecdotal experience is valid, but does not apply to all. I certainly think it had a lasting effect on making him stupid. Here’s my anecdotal experience: some of us use to sneak out and smoke dope before calculus class in high school. I got straight A’s in calculus. I continued to smoke dope in college and graduated with degrees in Physics and Mathematics. I wonder what Mr. Brooks grades were in calculus class? Perhaps his drug experience left him so mentally debilitated that the only thing he could do is become a political pundit.

        Like Mr. Brooks I quit it in my 20’s, but there are many great contributors in the arts and sciences who were serious dopers, which leads me to believe Brooks is either trying to attract an anti-pot audience. Or perhaps he’s just a dope.

  20. dnd: I love your comment re Bobo and pot smoking. People really got into that topic on Balloon Juice last night. Fireworks.

    Mr. Brooks is not a hard sciences man. And not much of a pundit either, although NPR totebaggers find him palatable.

    PS: I’d smoke pot if it would give me an A in calculus! Suspect there ain’t that much causality there, alas.

  21. tempebev

    “Let It Be Me”

  22. from Reuters:
    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2014/01/03/us/politics/03reuters-economy-obama-unemployment.html?ref=politics

    HONOLULU — President Barack Obama will ratchet up his administration’s push for an extension of emergency unemployment benefits on Tuesday with an event at the White House attended by people whose benefits have expired.

    …Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, has vowed to bring to a vote a bill extending federal unemployment insurance benefits as soon as Congress returns from its holiday recess on January 6.

    The federal jobless aid has been renewed every year since 2008. Many Republicans oppose an extension of jobless benefits, arguing the program was always intended to be temporary. They have also said an extension would add to the federal deficit unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.

    We have a two-tier economy, and rising inequality. The GOP’s view is punitive and bad economics. Many consumers cannot spend enough to keep the economy ticking. Better the government continues to do so.

    And what do you do with people who find themselves in a jobless recovery? Yes, jobless benefits were intended to be temporary. However, technology is supplanting workers’ jobs. Corporations are sitting on piles of cash and will not spend or pay their non-executives better. They’re buying back their own stock.

  23. I usually get the Righteous Brothers and Everly Brothers mixed up.

    I never mistake either for the Brothers Johnson, though.

    • dnd

      Sra Dog,
      “Strawberry Letter 23” was written by Shuggie Otis, son of Johnny Otis of “Willie and the Hand Jive” fame.

  24. Shuggie Otis. Knew his name, did not know about father.

    My favorite name of the week: Snake Jagger. Artist and son of the late valet to Frank Sinatra, George Jacobs, who wrote what sounds like a fun book about his years with the Chairman of the Board.

    http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-george-jacobs-20140101,0,907304,full.story#axzz2pTEYD600

  25. tempebev

    Are you ready to see what doesn’t get done on Monday when the “Do Nothing” gets back to the business of doing nothing?

  26. Hell is kind of freezing over. DC projected to be in single digits and windy. So there’s that.

  27. Good luck, Brian. You’re doing great work. And wish I could catch up with you on the weight loss. 3 cheers.

  28. tempebev

    Woo Hoo! Liz Cheney drops out of Wyoming race – health concerns!

    • dnd

      Bev,
      I guess it’s just a coincidence that Liz Cheney was down 30% in the polls…
      We should have a pool as to how soon she moves back to Virginia. 😉

  29. What a tragedy for Wyoming.

    Hiding behind her kids’ skirts too. A patriot to the end.

  30. PS: Mark Warner’s up for re-election this year, but I guess Wyoming resident Liz Cheney cannot do anything about that.

  31. tempebev

    I love it when we’re collectively snarky 🙂

  32. 16 degrees in Atlanta,unfriggin real!

  33. Five degrees in Northern Virginia, south of DC. Wind chill likely below zero, but calm out there now.

    Fairfax County and many surrounding schools closed today. DC schools opened on time, except for two with problems.

    I have never seen it this cold. Polar vortex.

    Our snow is gone; it melted Sunday.

  34. Walked with my friend yesterday. She said her grade school daughter had been checking Siri on iPhone all Sunday night for weather updates, hoping school would be closed Monday.

    Neighbor: I was thinking “please, God, the schools have to open. 16 days with these kids. I need them to go to school.” Fairfax winter break just ended yesterday.

    So she got a one-day break.

  35. NoVA back in double digits. Twelve degrees.

    We sped through five degrees at 8:00 a to nine degrees at 9:00 a to our warmer temps now. Hello sunshine.

  36. Little too early in the day for popcorn while watching this Chris Christie presser.

    But I’m thinking sweating and twisting has got to be good for losing a few ounces, no?

    • dnd

      Gov. Christie’s body language and voice would lead one to believe that he is lying. Now his fired port authority high school buddy is pleading the 5th.

  37. tempebev

    Do you think an actual honest politician exists in reality or is “honest politician” an oxymoron?

  38. I think there are honest politicians, who are true public servants. Henry Waxman of California comes to mind.

    There are those who have a mission to serve the public — in the Elizabeth Warren mold — you all can come up with a list. I’d say Virginia Senator (earlier Governor) Tim Kaine fits on that list.

    It would be fun to think of some Republicans for the list — might be some, and it would be great to consider GOOD politicians of any persuasion instead of scamps, crooks, and sociopaths for a while.

    But career politicians, who are in it for the prestige and power? That’s where you see a lot of abuse, dishonesty and score-settling.

    Do they serve the public, or do they serve Mammon and their egos?

    • dnd

      I can think of lots of honest Republicans, but am having trouble thinking of any that are currently in office.
      I’m suspicious of Christie’s honesty, and I think we’re going to find out a lot more. This the kind of salacious story that the press loves to investigate. Even if he’s innocent in “Bridgegate,” which I doubt, there certainly will be others unearthed.

      If Christie is indeed guilty of political vendetta the question is do we want him in control of the NSA?

  39. tempebev

    Great answer, Dog. Very insightful and appreciated.

  40. U.S. to Recognize Utah Gay Marriages Despite State Stance
    The Obama administration on Friday said that it will recognize as lawful the marriages of 1,300 same-sex couples in Utah, even though the state government is refusing to do so.
    Wading into the fast-moving legal battle over same-sex marriage rights in one of America’s most socially conservative states, the administration posted a video on the Justice Department’s website. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that the federal government will grant federal marriage benefits to the same-sex couples who had rushed to obtain marriage licenses after a federal judge last month unexpectedly struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage.
    “I am confirming today that, for purposes of federal law, these marriages will be recognized as lawful and considered eligible for all relevant federal benefits on the same terms as other same-sex marriages,” Mr. Holder said in the video. “These families should not be asked to endure uncertainty regarding their status as the litigation unfolds.”

  41. What’s sad, Bev, is that I couldn’t think of many. (I’d put President Obama in the “honest politician” category, with the caveat that some of what he does is “political.” Others might disagree.)

    But it would be great to devote a whole thread to your topic. Public servants, and they’re sometimes harder to find because they’re not necessarily camera hogs.

    Al Franken? Sherrod Brown? Thinking on more…

  42. A great day in the Commonwealth of Virginia, if a soggy one. We have 3 Democrats in the top offices: Governor Terry McAuliffe, Lt. Governor (Dr.) Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring.

    To join up with Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

    However, most of the legislature is still GOP. (Boo, gerrymandering.)

    But I am one happy dog today. Progress. I will take it.

    • dnd

      A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there. Pretty soon you talking real money 😉
      The teabaggers clearly have their panties in a twist.

  43. Anything that puts the tea parties panties in a twist is well worth the trillion dollars!

    So I met with the powers that be here at CHOA yesterday and they have offered me another project after the completion of my current project in May. At min this will be a one year project but could very easily go up to 5 years as CHOA expands throughout the state.

    http://www.choa.org/about-childrens/locations-and-directions/childrens-speciality-services

  44. That’s basketball right?

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