Once again, the unemployed in American take a backseat to other pending legislation. Says volumes, that the House and the Senate CAN'T pass the EUC Law and Cobra benefit extension through 2010 and as outlined in HR 4213. Once again we get thrown a bone, in the short term fix of yet another 30 day extension that would continue the benefits through May 5, 2010.
What is wrong with this picture?
Our economy is NOT in recovery as in order to correct the number of jobs lost since 2007; which by the way is 8.4 million, the economy would have to add back 100,000 jobs per month. The reality is, we are still shedding jobs. Someone tell the Obama administration, as if one were to believe the statistical sleight-of-hand of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released every month, America is in recovery. Forget the fact that it is a jobless recovery, as the talking heads Obama administration delivers the lie each and every month in their adjusted BLS report.
As Prof. Alan Nasser wrote in his article entitled "Mass Unemployment and the Current Economic Crisis: Fake Forecasts, Misleading Statistics, Misguided Policies;
"BLS performs a "net birth/death adjustment" on its unemployment data. The birth/death model uses business deaths to "impute" employment from business births. Thus, as more businesses fail, more new jobs are imputed to have materialized through business births. The birth/death model is based on statistics covering 1998-2002. This was a period during which explosive telecom and dot.com startups outnumbered business failures. That period bears no resemblance to today's flat economic landscape. While the "surplus" jobs created by start-up firms has been revised lower this year, BLS continues to report from the indefensible assumption that jobs created by start-up companies tend to offset jobs lost by companies going out of business. John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics estimates that at least 50,000 birth/death jobs were conjured up in this way in the most recent BLS report. What’s relevant for assessing the health of the economy is that job losses continue to be cumulative. Things continue to get worse at a slower rate, but this should be no comfort in the context of an economy that has lost 8.4 million jobs since December 2007, including more than 4 million in the last 12 months alone. More than 15 million Americans are looking for work, and 6.3 million have been unemployed for 6 months or longer, the largest number since the government began keeping records in 1948 and more than double the number in the next-worst recession, Reagan-Volcker’s downturn of the early 1980s. 2.7 million will lose their unemployment benefits before the end of April unless Congress extends payments. On top of all this, the economy must add 100,000 new jobs every month just to absorb first-time entrants to the labor force. These data point to the atypical nature of the current stream of job losses. We are not witnessing the kind of unemployment that attends a garden-variety recession. That type of unemployment disappears as the economy recovers. Peter S. Goodman points out in a detailed analysis in The New York Times that the recovery, whenever it begins, will not bring sufficient jobs to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed. (“The New Poor: Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs”, February 21, 2010) He describes the new poor as “people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives – potentially for years to come.”
So what does all this mean for us, the unemployed in a non-jobs producing economy?
It means that our elected representatives in the House and the Senate need to stop passing legislation like the recently passed Hire Act that WILL NOT create any new hiring but instead gives businesses a tax cut. It is a hollow attempt to give the impression that they are "creating JOBS" for Americans; when the reality is, this will not result in hiring. Lets be honest here, thanks to legislation called NAFTA, passed many years ago, many American Companies and American Jobs are now outsourced overseas, as why would American corporations hire Americans when they can get the job done cheaper over seas and get a tax credit to do so. We all were bought and sold years ago and thanks to the bail out of the too big to fail, we the American taxpayer not only will pay for the "bailout", we all are slowly losing the American dream through the loss of our jobs.
Congress and the Senate need to address the EUC Laws and extend this legislation through 2010. More importantly, additional benefit tiers need to be added to this legislation, as many of the long term unemployed will be losing all benefits, or as in my case, have already run out. I find it amazing, that Obama who detailed in his SOTUS, that JOBS were to be the focus, immediately began his push for Health Care reform and in fact, today, the vote will take place in the House. Good to know that, the 15 million Americans who are unemployed in this Country today, might have federally mandated health care but no way to pay for it.
Sad to say, the media is once again only focused on Health Care. Also, recently made comments by Senator Kyl that the unemployed are laying out and NOT looking for jobs as we accept the handout only adds to making the fading unemployment problem into an invisible entity. And being invisible lends to blending into the background and hence a huge problem for the unemployed in gaining not only National attention but more problematic, getting some legislative relief by our elected voice of the people in DC.
I think it is time for the unemployed to rise up and make our feelings known, that we are NOT going away and we demand that our plight NOT be forgotten. What is it going to take to wake up the Government to this "not going away, anytime soon" problem? These are real people we are talking about who were living the American dream and bought into the middle class ideology only to have it swept away in the torrent of the wild river run by the financial markets. The sad reality is; unless a political movement emerges with the explicit goal of directly reversing these tendencies, none of this will change under current policy.
We the unemployed, need to do our part! It is past time: Unemployed Americans need to protest our loss and become visible! We can not allow ourselves to be silenced.