Archive for unemployment – Page 2

Video- The Daily Show: John Boehner & The Budget Deal


You're Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't


the poor

What's pleasantly surprising is that despite Republican efforts to stall any safe jobs bill, the economy has picked up. Unemployment dropped in the latest report to 7%, the lowest number in five years.

That's forty-five straight months of improved job numbers. Now that's a great streak, but when you start in such a deep hole, it's more of a continued improvement, but not a clean bill of health.  A healthy overall unemployment number should be somewhere in the two or three percent range. Despite GOP obstruction, the President's plans, along with those of the Fed, are yielding small and steady results. And that could end up being bad news.

Job growth is bad news? Leave it to the GOP to turn improvements into detriments for hundreds of thousands. The Republicans are moving to punish those who weren't lucky enough to grab onto a job and make them suffer even more. The GOP doesn't want to renew the extended unemployment coverage for millions after their state support runs out. And of course, timing is everything. As much as it's a time of "cheer," it's also the time of great despair and the highest numbers of suicide. Being destitute, devoid of hope is a major cause. This is not the time to cut aid to the poor. Food stamps and unemployment need to be continued.

If the GOP really cares -- not that anyone believes that -- but if there's a chance there's a compassionate soul trapped in the body of a Republican, think about working on a reasonable jobs bill. Think about helping with passing a version of the Senate immigration bill. Stop your war on women and healthcare for the poor. And please don't penalize the unemployed who are just trying to find one of the few jobs out there that you haven't found ways to defund or restrict with blockage in the House and Senate.

Being a Scrooge is not only a stigma you'll be able to easily shun, but a compassionate one that you need to shed.

You can't have it both ways. You can't fight job creation on every level, then because the President's plans seem to be working, albeit slowly, slap down the job hunters who haven't been as fortunate.

Find a jobs bill and then, when enough people are working, you might consider cutting back jobless benefits. But now's not the time. Remove people from unemployment with jobs. That's the healthy way. Then the reason to trim extended funding will follow. We're not there yet.

Republicans, if you're not prepared to confess to the world that the President and his party has ushered through some steady economic growth, don't take it out on the less fortunate by further victimizing the jobless, the hungry and those in need. Increasing jobs, decreases unemployment. Don't cut essential programs. It's that simple.


Rand Paul Off His Rocker On Unemployment Being A Disservice


Rand Paul nuts

Maybe Rand Paul has a point. Yesterday he was all over the teledtubes promoting his philosophy that continuing, or rather extending, unemployment benefits is wrong. It's a bad path to take because it disenfranchises those people who are working so hard to make their bones. Why should someone, in his mind a lazy person, be rewarded for doing nothing.


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday he opposes extending unemployment benefits for workers, arguing that it would be a "disservice" to jobless individuals.

"I do support unemployment benefits for the 26 weeks that they're paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a disservice to these workers," he said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

Evidently collecting unemployment insurance payments, to the Kentucky senator, is a disservice to both the unemployed and the people who are fortunate enough to have a job. He claims it causes the working people to build resentment that others, the freeloaders, are being paid to do nothing while they have to toil away at their jobs for little more than the government tit the unemployed are being allowed to suckle.

So, the extension promotes injustice. I have to ask, to whom? To the person who's looking for a job but can't find one or to the person who finds part time work to survive  but doesn't qualify for benefits?

Paul is right that there's a disservice, but here's where it really lies. This is what frosts most employees, the lucky ones with a full time job. It's the disparity between their hourly wages and executive pay.

Workers don't become disenfranchised by those out of work collecting unemployment. They're disgusted by the obscene money top CEO's are making, not to mention the perks that go along with their positions, compared to their meager wages.

Take a look at this list from FORBES:

1 John H Hammergren McKesson 131.19
2 Ralph Lauren Ralph Lauren 66.65
3 Michael D Fascitelli Vornado Realty 64.405
4 Richard D Kinder Kinder Morgan 60.94
5 David M Cote Honeywell 55.79
6 George Paz Express Scripts 51.525
7 Jeffery H Boyd 50.185
8 Stephen J Hemsley UnitedHealth Group 48.835
9 Clarence P Cazalot Jr Marathon Oil 43.71
10 John C Martin Gilead Sciences 43.19

Those are the top paid CEO's of 2012. Now if you're an average worker at one of these companies, say making $30/hour you'd be earning around $60,000/year. And not all that many companies average $30/hour, but go with it for a minute.

The average annual salary of these aforementioned ten CEO's is over $61.5 million. So if you think there's anyone making $60 thousand a year who's worrying about someone getting a weekly unemployment check for the maximum of 26 weeks  for a total of $7800, you're off your Kentucky veranda rocker. Unemployment benefits aren't what causes jealousy and anger among working employees. Disgruntled employees are concerned about their pay and the incentive to work hard when their CEO's are making 1,025 times more than they're making. That's about $32,000/hour vs $30. You'd be angry too. But you'd put the anger where it belongs. On the corporate CEO rapists, not the poor and opportunity-less individuals. That's the real disservice.

Here we are facing Christmas season and the cold weather of the winter. Heavier burdens come our way during the winter months. Heating costs, warm clothes, hot food and higher risks from weather related illness and injuries. Here's what Rand Paul is leading a fight against -- a temporary reprieve for so many needy:

About 1.3 million long-term jobless Americans will lose federal benefits if Congress fails to reauthorize the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which expires at the end of December.

Without congressional action, the most time that people could get would be six months of state unemployment benefits.

So hopefully Congress will do the right thing. It's not common for them to do so, but maybe the holiday feeling of "good will towards all men" will prevail. If not, we've failed our country once again. Believe me, if this was a bill to raise their salaries or strictly add to the defense budget, every conservative and hawk in the Republican party would be falling over themselves to be a sponsor of the bill.


Video- President's Weekly Address: Calling on Congress to Extend Unemployment Benefits this Holiday Season



Bikini Graph time! 203,000 jobs added in Nov., unemployment falls to 7%, a 5-year low #BlameObama


bikini itsy bitsy

It’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph private sector Dec 2013 bikini graph Dec 2013 overall economy

The unemployment rate dropped from 7.3% to 7%. Oh my. Whatever will the GOP do now? I mean other than smear, attack, and lie relentlessly.


[T]he totals from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were even better than expected.

According to the new BLS report, the U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, ahead of economists’ predictions. In a pleasant change of pace, the public sector did not drag down the overall figures – the private sector added 196,000 jobs, while the public sector, which has hemorrhaged jobs in recent years, added 7,000. [...]

[S]o far in calendar year 2013, the economy has added 2.07 million jobs, which puts the U.S. on pace for the best year for job creation since before the 2008 crash. Indeed, this year is on track to the best for jobs since 2005, and the second best since 1999.

bamNow let's take a look at the Fox Biz news alert headline that was very visible in my very full inbox:

Consumer Sentiment Blows Past Estimates in December


Oh, do go on....

According to a gauge from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 in December from 75.1 in November, handily beating Wall Street’s estimate of a reading of 76. December’s reading was the highest since July.

Fox has always been notable for its accuracy in reporting, so who are we to challenge those numbers?

For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.


Don't believe the Chris Christie hype. He has a "crappy economic record..."


chris christie me me me

Back in October, I wrote about the wonderful Dean Obeidallah: Let's annoy the hell out of right wing haters. "You've never laughed this hard at a Muslim."

That very same wonderful Dean Obeidallah has a wonderful post about Chris Christie in the Daily Beast that he shared with me, one that I feel compelled to share with you in a huge way (no pun).

New Jerseyans should be ashamed of themselves for re-electing self-serving, narcissistic Gov. Photo Op. I'm talking to you, New Jersey Democrats. What in the world were you thinking?

All that, and still the guy won by a landslide. That was one of the biggest WTF Moments in recent memory.

Dean reminds us that Gov. MeMeMe ran and won against an unknown, underfunded opponent. He was so excited about a completely expected win against someone who deserved more but didn't stand a chance, that he felt an uncontrollable urge to tell everyone how dedicated to New Jersey he is on four Sunday talk shows.

He's so dedicated, in fact, that he may cut his second term short to run for president in 2016. How Palin the Quitter of him.

Chris Christie’s greatest obstacle to becoming president of the United States is neither his weight nor his conservative credentials. It’s his crappy economic record as governor of New Jersey. [...]

But Christie won big for two reasons, neither of which is his record. First, as a proud New Jersey native, I can tell you Christie connects with New Jersey voters on a visceral level. [...]

To make matters worse for Buono and better for Christie, a number of Democratic elected officials and political bosses broke ranks and either publicly supported Christie or sat out the election. [...]

When governors run for president, their record is their résumé. [...]

Their political opponents, meanwhile, will sift through their record like a CSI lab technician, looking for any hint of failure... It won’t take a person in a white lab coat to uncover Christie’s failings, however. They’re easy to spot. [...]

A lot can happen to the state’s economy between now and then. But unless the economic numbers improve greatly, Christie will be wishing people were still just talking about his weight and not what matters most: his record.

Dean goes on to list Christie's economic record’s lowlights. Please hop over to The Daily Beast for details.

Did I mention that Christie Now Refuses To Say Whether He Supports A Pathway To Citizenship?

And there's this: A Chris Christie Presidency Would Be a Disaster for Liberals. But Democrats vote for him anyway. His treating the president as legitimate apparently makes him a "moderate," and he still got Democratic votes.

what's the matter with new jersey


Bikini Graph time! Job growth picks up steam, 204,000 jobs added! #BlameObama


bikini itsy bitsyIt’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph November 2013 overallbikini graph private sector November 2013

According to the new BLS report, the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double economists’ expectations. The private sector added 212,000 jobs – the second best total of the year thus far.

The overall unemployment rate inched higher, from 7.2% to 7.3%, though as we’ve discussed many times, that’s not uncommon when job creation picks up.

Even better still are the revisions... a combined 60,000 additional jobs that had been previously unreported... [This year] the economy has added 1.86 million jobs, which puts the U.S. on pace for the best year for job creation since before the 2008 crash.

Can you imagine how much better this report would be had the GOP government shutdown not happened? And how much better off we'd all be? But in spite of all the Republican sabotage, the economy is plugging along and we had some unexpected job growth.

Boy howdy, will this ruffle a few GOP feathers! But oh wait, nobody's talking about good news. Everyone's too busy buzzing about the president's apology, the rocky Affordable Care Act roll out, and Chris Christie, Chris Christie, Chris Christie.

This is positive stuff, people. Smile.

For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.