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Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich

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Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #40 on: Dec 22, 2013, 03:46:58 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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Have you ever noticed that, when food for the poor becomes the target of government officials, you don't immediately hear hysterical screams of "class warfare," but when the ill-gotten gains of Wall Street mega-banks become the target of tax reform advocates, you do?

Why do you suppose that is?

Because the reactionaries who employ this obvious double standard love "liberty" so much?

Or is it because they're more contemptuous of the poor and destitute than even the establishment Left is, and therefore can't resist giving Wall Street Democrats a continual public relations cloak of "left cover"?

Keep those questions in mind as you read the following...

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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article35079.htm

The New Crime of Eating While Homeless

By outlawing dumpster diving, Houston is making life impossible for the most vulnerable.

By Jim Hightower

May 26, 2013 "Information Clearing House" -"Other Words" -- Whenever one of our cities gets a star turn as host of some super-sparkly event, such as a national political gathering or the Super Bowl, its first move is to tidy up — by having the police sweep homeless people into jail, out of town, or under some rug.

But Houston’s tidy-uppers aren’t waiting for a world-class event to rationalize going after homeless down-and-outers. They’ve preemptively outlawed the “crime” of dumpster diving in the Texan city.



In March, James Kelly, a 44-year-old Navy veteran, was passing through Houston on his way to connect with family in California. Homeless, destitute, and hungry, he chose to check out the dining delicacies in a trash bin near City Hall. Spotted by police, Kelly was promptly charged with “disturbing the contents of a garbage can in the [central] business district.” Seriously.

“I was just basically looking for something to eat,” he told the Houston Chronicle. But, unbeknownst to both this indigent tourist and the great majority of Houston’s generally generous citizens, an ordinance dating way back to 1942 says that “molesting garbage containers” is illegal.

Also, in 2012, city officials made it a crime for any group to hand out food to the needy in the downtown area without first getting a permit. It’s a cold use of legal authority to chase the homeless away to…well, anywhere else.

Such laws are part of an effort throughout the country to criminalize what some call “homeless behavior.” And, sure enough, when hungry, the behavioral tendency of a homeless human is to seek a bite of nourishment, often in such dining spots as dumpsters. The homeless behavior that Houston has outlawed, then, is eating.

[Continued...]


http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/16/2307891/miami-criminalize-homelessness/

Miami Considers Jailing Homeless People For Eating, Sleeping In Public

By Scott Keyes
ThinkProgress
July 16, 2013

Being poor could soon be a crime in the city of Miami.

As though life weren’t already difficult enough for people who can’t afford regular housing, they could soon find themselves thrown in jail and their possessions confiscated if they’re caught engaging in certain everyday activities in public.

Before the late 1990s, Miami police frequently arrested homeless people for such “crimes” as sleeping on park benches, eating on sidewalks, or congregating in public places.

But in 1998, the city of Miami came to a landmark agreement, known as Pottinger v. City of Miami, whereby police officers were instructed not to arrest homeless people they caught committing minor “quality of life” offenses, but instead offer them a bed in a nearby homeless shelter. This new emphasis on providing homeless people with housing has been remarkably successful. In the 15 years since Pottinger, the number of people living on the streets has dropped from approximately 6,000 to 351, largely due to more shelters and support.

Despite the program’s success, one Miami City Commissioner wants to back out of the deal and resume arresting homeless people for living on the streets.

[Continued...]


http://www.prisonplanet.com/it-is-illegal-to-feed-the-homeless-in-cities-all-over-the-united-states.html

It Is Illegal To Feed The Homeless In Cities All Over The United States

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
August 27, 2013

What would you do if a police officer threatened to arrest you for trying to share a sandwich with a desperately hungry homeless woman that really needed it?  Such a notion sounds absolutely bizarre, but this is actually happening in major cities all over the United States.  More than 50 large U.S. cities have adopted “anti-camping” or “anti-food sharing” laws in recent years, and in many of these cities the police are strictly enforcing these laws.  Sometimes the goal appears to be to get the homeless people to go away.  Apparently the heartless politicians that are passing these laws believe that if the homeless can’t get any more free food and if they keep getting thrown into prison for “illegal camping” they will eventually decide to go somewhere else where they won’t be hassled so much.  This is yet another example of how heartless our society is becoming.  The middle class is being absolutely shredded and poverty is absolutely exploding, but meanwhile the hearts of many Americans are growing very cold.  If this continues, what is the future of America going to look like?

An organization called Love Wins Ministries made national headlines recently when police in Raleigh, North Carolina threatened to arrest them if they distributed sausage biscuits and coffee to homeless people living in the heart of the city.  Love Wins Ministries had been doing this for years, but now it is apparently illegal.  The following is from someone who was actually there

    On the morning of Saturday, August, 24, Love Wins showed up at Moore Square at 9:00 a.m., just like we have done virtually every Saturday and Sunday for the last six years. We provide, without cost or obligation, hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to anyone who wants one. We keep this promise to our community in cooperation with five different, large suburban churches that help us with manpower and funding.

    On that morning three officers from Raleigh Police Department prevented us from doing our work, for the first time ever. An officer said, quite bluntly, that if we attempted to distribute food, we would be arrested.

    Our partnering church brought 100 sausage biscuits and large amounts of coffee. We asked the officers for permission to disperse the biscuits to the over 70 people who had lined up, waiting to eat. They said no. I had to face those who were waiting and tell them that I could not feed them, or I would be arrested.

Does reading that upset you?

It should.

And this is not just happening in Raleigh – this is literally happening all over the country.

[Continued...]


http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/11/26/2995011/los-angeles-homeless-meals/

Los Angeles Considering Proposal to Ban Feeding Homeless People in Public

by Scott Keyes
ThinkgProgress
November 26, 2013

There’s a perpetual yuppie belief that society’s true failing isn’t the fact that half a million residents don’t have shelter, but that some do-gooders have the audacity to give homeless people food. The latest epicenter of this thinking is Los Angeles, where the City Council is considering a ban on feeding homeless people in public areas after complaints from nearby homeowners.

Los Angeles has the second highest homeless population in the country, at 53,800 individuals, according to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report. And although the number of homeless people went down nationally over the past year, it increased by 27 percent in Los Angeles.

For a quarter-century, the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition, a group of community members who strive to meet homeless people “on their own turf, talk to them, and listen,” has served meals to the hungry every evening. On any given night, volunteers will hand out as many as 200 meals.

[Continued...]


http://www.prisonplanet.com/church-group-targeted-by-city-for-feeding-homeless.html

Church Group Targeted By City For Feeding Homeless

Mikael Thalen
Prison Planet.com
December 6, 2013

A street ministry in Olympia, Washington focused on feeding the homeless is currently fighting attempts to have their work criminalized by the city.

Ben Charles, founder of Crazy Faith Ministries, has fed the area’s homeless population every Thursday and Saturday from the same parking lot for the last two years, handing out as many as 5,000 meals per month.

“As anyone who works with the impoverished will know, the best and sometimes the only way to help them is to meet them right where they are, rather than expect them to come to you,” said Charles.

Although the group has had a long and highly supported presence in the area, complaints began arising regarding issues such as vehicle traffic being blocked from the growing number of hungry people coming to be fed. In October, Charles received notice from the Olympia Police Department that his group would no longer be allowed to use the lot, although unable to cite any law broken.

Despite the city’s attempts, Crazy Faith politely declined to comply, saying the lot was the only area available to use. Charles, who is of Native American decent, refused to give up the Native tradition of helping others in his community.

“We and our street family are the public and we are peacefully gathering together for our common good. That is the birthright not only of Native people, but the constitutional right of all Washingtonians,” Charles said.

Unsuccessful in getting the group to vacate, the city is now attempting to use red-tape and bureaucracy by passing a new ordinance that would require the group to purchase permits for any activity in city-owned parking lots. Using any lot without permission from the city government could result in fines and jail time.

[Continued...]


http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/12/05/3026611/louis-homeless/

St. Louis Church Ordered To Stop Handing Out Hot Meals To The Homeless

BY Scott Keyes
ThinkProgress
December 5, 2013

On Sunday, a Missouri street church that serves hot meals to the homeless was honored with a front-page feature in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. On Monday, city health department officials took notice and told the group to immediately cease handing out food.

For over a year, Churches on the Streets has served St. Louis’ homeless population. On Monday nights, dozens of the city’s more than 1,300 homeless people convene to share a hot meal and listen to a sermon from Edward “Pastor Paul” Gonnella, 50, whose own previous struggles with crack and prison give him credibility with those attendees facing similar issues.

Unlike most congregations, Churches on the Streets has no building to call home. They meet, with the private owners’ permission, at the Cotton Belt Rail Depot. “You have to go where there is need,” Ralph Valdes, an organizer with the church, told the Post-Dispatch. “A lot of the people here don’t feel welcome in the churches, which is sad. So we try to put out the idea that you are accepted here, that there is hope.”

“We’re hoping to get them off the drugs, off the alcohol and get them lives,” another volunteer, Cindy Cooper, who spends most Mondays cooking for congregants, said. “When they don’t show up for a certain length of time, I call the morgue. It tears your heart out because you get so attached to these people.”

But on Monday, the St. Louis City Department of Health told Churches on the Streets that they must cease serving hot homemade meals because they lack a permit.

[Continued...]

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^^  Good grief, what is with you blame-the-victim-firsters?

Are you people really that sick?

Are you really that sadistic?

When you're not demonizing poor people and waging class warfare against them, do you torture helpless animals just for the fun of it? (That's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I'm genuinely curious.)

And speaking of "animals," when stories like the above become an object of discussion, is that when those around you get to hear you blab about how farmers "domesticate" wild pigs by offering them free food -- the obvious implication being that human beings are the moral equivalent of animals? If so, then whether you like it or not, and whether you want to admit it or not, your'e not nearly as "different" from the abortion-promoting "liberals" as you so proudly proclaim to be. Deal with it.

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #41 on: Dec 22, 2013, 04:20:45 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/4-out-of-5-americans-face-joblessness-poverty.html

4 Out of 5 Americans Face Joblessness, Poverty

Rampant Inequality – Which Destroys Economies – Skyrockets to the Highest Levels In History

by Washington's Blog
August 2, 2013

Associated Press reports that around 80 percent of all Americans deal with joblessness, near poverty, or reliance on welfare at some point in their lives.

AP notes that inequality is going through the roof:

An increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor and loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs [are the likely] reasons for the trend.

***

The risks of poverty also have been increasing in recent decades, particularly among people ages 35-55, coinciding with widening income inequality.

The U.S. compares very poorly to most other Western industrialized nations:



Washington may pay lip service to reducing inequality. But – as we will show below – bad government policy is largely responsible.

The Hard Facts of Inequality

A who’s-who’s of prominent economists in government and academia have all said that runaway inequality can cause financial crises.

Extreme inequality helped cause the Great Depression, the current financial crisis … and the fall of the Roman Empire.

But inequality in America today is actually twice as bad as in ancient Rome, worse than it was in in Tsarist Russia, Gilded Age America, modern Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen, many banana republics in Latin America, and worse than experienced by slaves in 1774 colonial America.

Inequality has grown steadily worse:







It is worse under Obama than under Bush.

A recent study shows that the richest Americans captured more than 100% of all recent income gains. And see this.

There are 2 economies: one for the rich, and the other for everyone else.

[Continued...]

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"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #42 on: Dec 23, 2013, 11:20:58 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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Since it’s long been fashionable among blame-the-victim-firsters (particularly if they’re in the top 20%) to dehumanize and, in many cases, outright demonize the poor, I thought I’d help shatter some of the self-serving myths to which this shameful trend has given rise by posting the following excerpt:

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Perhaps the best way to define poverty is to listen to people who considered themselves poor. I attempted to do that in 1994 and 1995, working with a group of women from the Young Mothers Program in the South Bronx who agreed to help me with this book. Our first task was to define poverty.

We sat in a circle of folding chairs, and we were all proper people, serious about the work. Sometimes the women were tired, for we met at the end of the day and they had frequently endured the unrelieved stress of a confrontation session. Now and then children came into the room, and there was rarely a time when someone in the group did not have an appointment to keep elsewhere, for the poor, as they said, do not choose their lives. In that way, the conversations we held were extraordinary, for there was nothing mandatory about them.

Over time, the aspects of poverty, as described by the women, fell into categories: privation and oppression, which produced different feelings in them.

Privation came first, told by H, a big woman, whose hair was dyed in a curious way, tiny blond braids on a cap of black. She had lost many teeth, so that her speech was both slurred and sibilant, and because her back was injured, she could not move with grace. Of all the women in the group, H wore the weariest clothes, the most ill-fitting clothes. In summer, her feet were tucked into ragged shoes, like bedroom slippers, but she gave the appearance of being barefoot.

“Poor is a little girl who worked in the fields all day,” she said, remembering Barbados, where she was born. Her words came in the form of a litany, loud at first, diminishing, and finally lost in tears.

“Poor is all day in the dirt.
“Poor is too tired to eat.
“Poor is walking barefoot on a tar road in the hot sun.
“Poor is a house with no electricity.
“Poor is no water in the house.
“Poor is going outside to use the toilet.
“Poor is not having a mother to take care of you.
“Poor is being carried around in a fish basket when you’re a baby.
“Poor is a little girl making rice for her grandma, that little, hard rice we have in Barbados, cooking the rice, but not cooking it right. Grandma says the rice is good, but you know it’s hard. I didn’t put enough water in the pot. The rice was hard.”

Sobbing took her breath, and H could not speak any more. The little woman who sat beside her, dark and thin, wizened before she was thirty, rubbed her back and soothed her, cooed to her. It was a long time before anyone else spoke.

From the other side of the room, M, a fat-faced, puffy, pallid woman of forty who had lost all her five children to the Child Welfare Agency, spoke. She poured out the words, running the sentences together in a low, thick-ended voice made coarser by the hard vowels and perverse final consonants of Puerto Rican Spanish violated by the New York streets. “I was so poor when I was growing up that all my teeth rotted by the time I was five years old, because I never had a toothbrush. My ass got all red and bleeding, because I didn’t have no toilet paper to wipe myself. At night, in bed, I couldn’t lay still, I couldn’t sleep, because I had nothing to eat for five days. I used drugs, I sold myself, I did anything just to stay alive.”

She, too, silenced the room. Like H, she brought tears to the other women’s eyes, but no one touched M, no one soothed her. She sat alone, she made a distance between herself and the rest.

Other women spoke of hunger and crowding, but hunger was the common thread. It sorrowed them, it debilitated them, it left them weeping. Hunger meant tragedy, a fate that could not be overcome no matter how they tried; hunger meant that nothing more could be found, it implied an end to dreaming. They resigned themselves to hunger, in the way that the dying no longer feel their pain.

They reserved their anger for the other poverty: They raged against oppression, which they associated with the game. “It makes me feel low-class,” one woman said, as if to describe the rules of the game, “not upper-class, not middle-class, low-class; I can’t have self-esteem when I’m low-class.”

“Poor is homelessness,” P said. She looked around the room, as if to gather the agreement of the others, who set their jaws and looked ahead and nodded, for most had known the streets and the shelters; they could recall a night, a week, a season in the park. Nothing spoke so clearly of the relative world as homelessness; the word itself existed only to remark the existence of something better.

When the silence had made its point, she closed out the others for a moment, and spoke directly to me. She began in anger: “I got a nine-month-old baby, a nine-month-old daughter and a twelve-year-old son. I’m f*kin homeless, living in a shelter. All of these things. It’s pressure and it’s stressful. It’s stressful. I’m actually using you, Earl, I’m actually using you to vent, because you know I don’t get a chance to say, ‘I’m sick of being poor. I’m sick of being a single parent, I’m sick of being an addict.’ So, I’m using you, Earl. Help me get my daughter into day care which is safe, get me back to school. I don’t want to be on welfare. Can you tell them that I don’t want to be on welfare? My life’s goal is not to be a welfare bum bitch all my life.”

A soldier’s anger came into the room, and remained, for relative poverty isolates the rich from the poor, the poor from each other. In the game, everyone plays against everyone else. There was no more touching.

They turned to education; everyone agreed that lack of education was a form of poverty, but it produced no discussion, no passion, for education of the kind the winners know was too far away, which made it cool and beautiful but unreachable.

No matter who tried to define poverty, the welfare department turned up as an aspect of being poor.

“Food and shelter,” A said, “became I have a education. I finished high school. I know how to read and I know how to write. I can get a job, but if don’t have food and shelter, even if I have a education, I’m not gonna have what I need. I define poor as being on welfare, because without welfare my rent wouldn’t be paid. If I wasn’t getting no welfare or anything like that, I wouldn’t have no shelter and those food stamps wouldn’t be comin to me and I wouldn’t be able to eat. That is poor, not knowin where your next meal is gonna come from, havin to depend on society or welfare. For me that’s poor.”

C carried the discussion of the welfare system on to the issue of what wounded most deeply. She spoke, as always, in a blunt, irrefutable way, using words as if they were bludgeons made of mixed languages and Brooklyn streets. She was the one who found the heart of things, the bitter one, the one who had been to prison, who had touched the bottom the others feared. They studied her, as if to see how long she could avoid destruction.

“Right now, I’m living in a place that ain’t mine,” she said. “Even though I get welfare, it’s not enough. What if they cut you off?”

The rest of the day followed her. The others could not let go of the idea of the absurd in their lives: almost everything intended for them was used against them. “What if they cut you off? What if the computer makes a mistake?”

No woman could escape the question of the differential, the relativity described with such eloquence by the counter and the desk in the welfare office.

M said, “They act like they’re givin us their paychecks. They look down at you. It’s like my worker, she says, ‘Well, who knows what you’ve been doin with that money?’ So I says, ‘Let me tell you somethin, sweetheart, I worked, I pay taxes just like you’re doin right now. You’re no better than me. And it don’t give you the right to talk to me any way you can. I can change workers. I can report you. And if that person doesn’t want to do right, I’ll report that person.’”

Her voice had risen to a shout by the end, color had come into her pallid cheeks. And then she fell from anger to defeat: “In reality, they treat you like you’re a piece of shit,” she said, “like you’re just a roach, a cockroach. You don’t mean shit. They don’t care about you.”

C rescued her: “For me, I give an example. I’m on my own case budget, that’s what it’s called. I had my own apartment. They were only give me two fifteen. Where in the hell would I find a apartment for two fifteen unless it’s tore up? It would have to be all broken down. I feel that’s unfair, even though the welfare is always doin it. By starting us off and paying two fifteen a month, that’ll bring down our self-esteem even more. I have to move all the way, way into the ghetto, maybe where it starts.” Everyone laughed, even M.

P leaned into the conversation again. Although she was not as large as some of the other women, she gave the impression of weight, like a Henry Moore statue, smooth and dense, the immovable occupier of a certain place in the world. She said, “I know it’s big business who’s on his [the case worker’s] back, saying we’re tired of picking up the slack, we’re tired of paying for women laying down having baby after baby for the same old chump. Goin down to these welfare systems and sayin, ‘No, I don’t know who my baby’s father is. No, I don’t know this. No, I don’t know that.’ Because the welfare system is set up like that. You can’t go in there and say, ‘Yeah, John Brown. I got four kids with John Brown, and me and him is layin up in this Section Eight apartment.’ It don’t work like that. John Brown has to disappear from the scene, like four years ago. You ain’t never seen the niggah, nothing but it ain’t bullshit. I need your help, this is how desperate I am. We all know and understand that all that shit is lies. It’s lies, but this is what you’re forced to do. That’s what I mean when I said it’s degrading. It does not promote a sense of family. I can’t go down to a social worker and say, ‘My man did not graduate from high school, therefore doesn’t have what it takes to get certain job skills, therefore does not have a job. I love him. He’s the father of my children. I would like to keep our family together. Can you please help us?’ Look, you can’t go in there with that. That nigger got to be twenty miles north of West Motherf*ckland and nobody can’t find him. And you have to be totally desperate as to be deprived and degraded.”

A said, “I think that poorness have to do with the generations. It start from whoever was way back.”

“I say poor is the spirit,” D said. “If you feel poor in the spirit you ain’t gon do nothin.”

The list grew during the conversations: The compassionate union of H’s description of desperate poverty never returned; absurdity stayed in the air, always the enemy, attacked by C and others, too. P changed the understanding of absurdity and the thrust of the conversation from then on, when she said, “People don’t just wake up with this idea: Oh, I wanna be poor or I wanna get food stamps or I wanna live in the ghetto. Nobody grows up with this idea that you just wanna stay at this one level. You know, there are certain things that happen that set up the dynamics so you stay right there, in the ghetto.”

-- Earl Shorris, New American Blues, pp. 32-37

-----------------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #43 on: Dec 23, 2013, 11:27:08 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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"...I am firmly convinced, as I have already said, that to effect any great social improvement, it is sympathy rather than self-interest, the sense of duty rather than the desire for self-advancement, that must be appealed to. Envy is akin to admiration, and it is the admiration that the rich and powerful excite which secures the perpetuation of aristocracies. Where tenpenny Jack looks with contempt upon ninepenny Joe, the social injustice which makes the masses of the people hewers of wood and drawers of water for a privileged few, has the strongest bulwarks."

-- Henry George, Social Problems, p. 244


"In a society where unjust division of wealth gives the fruits of labor to those who do not labor, the classes who control the organs of public education and opinion—the classes to whom the many are accustomed to look for light and leading, must be loath to challenge the primary wrong, whatever it may be. This is inevitable, from the fact that the class of wealth and leisure, and consequently of culture and influence, must be, not the class which loses by the unjust distribution of wealth, but the class which (at least relatively) gains by it.

"Wealth means power and ‘responsibility,’ while poverty means weakness and disrepute. So in such a society the class that leads and is looked up to, while it may be willing to tolerate vague generalities and impracticable proposals, must frown on any attempt to trace social evils to their real cause, since that is the cause that gives their class superiority. On the other hand, the class that suffers by these evils is, on that account, the ignorant and uninfluential class, the class that, from its own consciousness of inferiority, is prone to accept the teachings and imbibe the prejudices of the one above it; while the men of superior ability that arise within it and elbow their way to the front are constantly received into the ranks of the superior class and interested in its service, for this is the class that has rewards to give. Thus it is that social injustice so long endures and is so difficult to make head against.

"Thus it was that in our Southern States while slavery prevailed, the influence, not only of the slaveholders themselves, but of churches and colleges, the professions and the press, condemned so effectually any questioning of slavery, that men who never owned and never expected to own a slave were ready to persecute and ostracize any one who breathed a word against property in flesh and blood—ready, even, when the time came, to go themselves and be shot in defense of the ‘peculiar institution.’

"Thus it was that even slaves believed abolitionists the worst of humankind, and were ready to join in the sport of tarring and feathering one."

-- Henry George, Protection or Free Trade, pp. 294-6


"You go back hundreds of years to sharecroppers. Economically, many historians wrote that...they were worse off than black slaves here in the U.S. Because the slave was supposedly property, you wanted to keep them alive. Sharecroppers died of malnutrition many times in bad years. And they had to sign a contract to buy their clothes, their sugar, their flour -- everything -- from the company store. You've heard the song, 'I owe my soul to the company store.' When the blacks got supposedly 'free' after the Civil War, many of them just became the lowest rung of the sharecroppers. Most Americans have ancestors who came over here as white slaves. Oh, it was only a seven-year indentured servitude, but you generally never got off of the plantation. But, oh, don't worry, poor whites still enjoyed looking down on blacks. It's all about a snobbery: 'Oh, at least I get to look down on somebody.' And that's why only around 2% of whites in the colonies -- then later in the North and the South -- actually owned slaves, but over 90% (in surveys that were done at the time) of poor whites supported it early on...because they got to look down on somebody. And it wouldn't even matter if the black slave going and picking something up in town for the master was even healthier and had a little bit more fat on their belly than the sharecropper wearing rags, he could still order the black around. And, again, this is all what you see at the country clubs, and what you see in cliques in schools -- humans love tribal hierarchies. And the TSA and the government system and the corporate system gives them all these little power-tripping hierarchies to feed on people and to perch on top of them and control them."

-- Alex Jones, The Alex Jones Show radio broadcast, 4/29/11, 1st hour
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #44 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:28:13 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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"Hooray! This means less 'dependency' on government, and thus more 'liberty.'" -- The Austrian School

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/us/benefits-ending-for-one-million-of-unemployed.html?_r=0

Benefits Ending for One Million Unemployed

By Annie Lowrey
The Washington Post
December 27, 2013

WASHINGTON — An emergency federal program that acts as a lifeline for 1.3 million jobless workers will end on Saturday, drastically curtailing government support for the long-term unemployed and setting the stage for a major political fight in the new year.

he program, in place since the recession started in 2008, provides up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work. Its expiration is expected to have far-reaching ramifications for the economy, cutting job growth by about 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households below the poverty line.

An extension of the unemployment program did not make it into the two-year budget deal that was passed just before Congress left on its winter recess. When the federal program expires, just one in four unemployed Americans will receive jobless benefits — the smallest proportion in half a century.

“I really depend on unemployment,” said David Davis of Chantilly, Va., adding that the $1,600 a month he receives is helping keep him afloat while he interviews for new positions. “I’ve got a résumé that knocks your socks off. The reason for this long period of unemployment is that the work just isn’t there.”

At one point, Mr. Davis, 68, made more than $100,000 a year as an information technology expert and web designer. He is now living on ramen noodles and $140 he counted out from his change jar. Since being laid off over the summer, he has missed mortgage payments, forcing him to take out a reverse mortgage on his home. He sold his car and got a late-1990s model Ford Taurus, and is looking to cut his utility and cellphone bills. Soon, he might start taking Social Security.

“It’s very stressful,” Mr. Davis said. “At least I’ve had the ability to maneuver my finances so I don’t wind up homeless. That’s one goal, to avoid living on the street or in my car.”

[Continued...]

-----------------------------

But are taxpayer-financed "benefits" ending for corporate welfare recipients?

Are they ending for war profiteers?

Are they ending for the prison-industrial complex?

Are they ending for the NSA's Soviet-style surveillance grid?

Of course not.

And are either Wall Street Democrats OR "Tea Party" Republicans speaking a single word of protest against this shameful and inexcusable inversion of spending priorities?

I'll let readers answer that question for themselves.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #45 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:34:52 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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"Hooray! This means less 'dependency' on government, and thus more 'liberty.'" -- The Austrian School

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/27/congress-unemployment-insurance_n_4509790.html

It's Not Just Poor People Getting Hosed When Congress Lets Unemployment Insurance Expire

By Sam Stein & Arthur Delaney
The Huffington Post
December 28, 2013

NEW YORK -- David Torian is an Ivy League-educated lawyer and a onetime chief of staff to then-Rep. Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.). He has 23 years of experience in congressional and government relations, witnessed and practiced politics at the highest level, and has been well compensated along the way.

On Dec. 28, he will also be among the 1.3 million Americans who will lose their long-term federal unemployment insurance benefits.

Unemployment is not just a blue collar problem. As Torian's experience shows, it can affect even Beltway power players. And it comes without much, if any, warning. When the consulting firm that Torian worked for after his time on the Hill folded, there were few options available. He took time off to help his sister tend to their ailing mother, who died at the end of 2012. The Washington resident then went looking for work. While he found that his government affairs experience was a draw, his age, 49, was not.

"I get interviews but lose out in the end because prospective employers tell me my experience makes me 'over-qualified' and they do not feel I would stay long in the position if it was offered," Torian told The Huffington Post.

For over a year now, he has been receiving unemployment benefits as he tries to find a job. The benefits, roughly $430 a week, were set to last another few months. But he has been informed that his last check came this past Wednesday.

"The whole experience of not working and looking for work has been extremely stressful on me. It’s a pride issue. It is an embarrassment issue, too. A lot of my casual friends don’t know I’m not working. I’m too embarrassed to tell them that I’m out of work and on unemployment insurance," he said. He had hesitated to talk on the record because of that.

When lawmakers skipped town for Christmas break this year, they left unresolved what to do about federal unemployment insurance. The benefits, available to jobless workers who had used up six months of state-funded compensation, had been running since the Great Recession hit in 2008. Early in 2012, Congress began scaling back the duration of federal benefits as the economy improved. There was uncertainty as to what would happen at the end of this year with even better economic conditions. Now, with the program set to lapse, recipients such as Torian are left gaming out a petrifying next few months.

Already, he said, he's moved to a cheaper home, maxed out credit cards, and gone through his savings and 401(k) accounts. He's found some work on the side through a friend. But the income isn't enough. He figures that he can pay rent for three more months without the unemployment insurance. He's thought about looking for more blue collar work. But he has no background or skill set in those fields.

"I’m in and out of depression mode," he said. "I will stay in my apartment for days without leaving. It’s emotionally draining."

Unlike food stamps -- another safety net program that Congress likes to kick around -- Americans don't qualify for unemployment insurance by being poor. In fact, you can only qualify for unemployment benefits if you had a solid work history prior to being laid off.

[Continued...]

-----------------------------

^^  Keep the above in mind as you examine the following...

         http://www.epi.org/types/economic-indicators/jolts-picture/
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #46 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:36:04 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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"Hooray! This means less 'dependency' on government, and thus more 'liberty.'" -- The Austrian School

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-dreier/republicans-jobs_b_4514001.html

Will Heartless Republicans Screw Themselves By Screwing the Jobless?

by Peter Dreier
The Huffington Post
December 29, 2013

In 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt first proposed the idea of unemployment insurance during the Depression, business lobby groups and their allies in the media and politics created an echo chamber to justify their opposition to this idea to cushion widespread hardship and help jumpstart the economy.

James L. Donnelly of the Illinois Manufacturers Association testified before Congress that unemployment insurance "would undermine the fabric of our economic and social life by destroying initiative, discouraging thrift, and stifling individual responsibility." Unemployment insurance "places a premium on indolence," warned George C. Lucas of the Publishers Association, quoted in the Washington Post. An editorial in the Los Angeles Times warned that unemployment insurance would tempt Americans "to join the slacker and chiseler class." John Gall, representing the National Association of Manufacturers, warned that it would "kill off that spirit of individualism."

Yesterday (Saturday), 1.3 million jobless Americans lost their unemployment benefits because Republicans in Congress refused to pay for extending them beyond 26 weeks. By mid-2014, another 1.9 million long-term unemployed workers and their families will exhaust their jobless benefits, bringing the number of jobless workers without benefits to 4.2 million.

But if you think Republicans have a hard time sleeping because of the suffering they've caused, think again. To justify their callousness, they simply recycle the same arguments that their right-wing counterparts used eight decades ago.

"If you extend it beyond [26 weeks], you do a disservice to these workers," Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) recently told Fox News. "When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy."

During a hearing on unemployment insurance earlier this year, Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and chair of the House Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Job Creation and Regulatory Affairs, said: "If that's not a disincentive to work, I don't know what is."

(Three years ago, when Congress was also locked in a battle over unemployment benefits, Martin Regalia, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the powerful business lobby group, echoed similar views: "Paying people to stay out of work may be the wrong move.")

These statements reflect an odious blame-the-victim ideology. Last year Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who was Mitt Romney's VP running mate and now chairs the House Budget Committee, warned that jobless insurance and other safety net programs are a "hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives."

These views -- which are shared by many other Republicans in Congress, have no relationship to reality, as the New York Times explained in a Sunday editorial:

[Continued...]

------------------------------

"Thank you so much, Republican reactionaries, for giving us 'left cover' yet again. We knew you'd be way too arrogant, self-righteous, and contemptuous of the poor and unemployed not to." -- Wall Street Democrats

::)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #47 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:37:14 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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To all you "Tea Party" Republicans out there: just so you know, it's political stupidity like the above that gives Obama Democrats a continual supply of political fodder with which to produce things like the following...

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sosmT3vsoKw


So for the millionth time, would you please stop providing these authoritarian control-freaks a convenient foil against which to define themselves in the eyes of the bottom "47 percent"?
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #48 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:39:36 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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"Hooray! This means less 'dependency' on government, and thus more 'liberty.'" -- The Austrian School

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/29/scott-brown-unemployment-benefits-are-welfare-that-should-be-phased-out-slowly/

Scott Brown: Unemployment benefits are ‘welfare’ that should be phased out slowly

By David Edwards
Raw Story
December 29, 2013



Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott (R) said on Sunday that he supported slowing phasing out long-term unemployment benefits because people needed “welfare” and the program should not be halted abruptly.

During a panel segment on Fox News, Senior Political Analyst Brit Hume opined that he had a “sense” that people who were receiving long-term unemployment benefits “had them for a long time” and the program was supposed to be a “temporary measure.”

Hume admitted that Democrats might see some political benefit if Republicans were portrayed as “hard-hearted” for refusing to renew benefits for the long-term unemployed earlier this month.

[Continued...]


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-louise-slaughter/the-house-gops-holiday-gi_b_4518986.html

The House GOP's Holiday Gift to the Unemployed

Rep. Louise Slaughter
The Huffington Post
December 30, 2013

Right before they left for the holidays, Republicans in the House of Representatives left a lump of coal in the stockings of 1.3 million Americans. On Saturday, long-term unemployment benefits for those struggling Americans expired, leaving them and their families to face the continuing fallout of the recession with nowhere to turn for assistance.

While many have heard about the disastrous impact this will have on 1.3 million people and our entire economy, few are aware that a bipartisan solution was at hand. Republicans could have avoided this latest manufactured crisis by including the extension of unemployment benefits in the recently enacted budget and paying for it by ending unnecessary corporate welfare to big agribusiness companies. But Rep. Paul Ryan, leading the Republicans in the budget negotiations, refused.

When the budget came to the floor of the House two weeks ago, I led a vote to reconsider extending unemployment insurance during debate on the rule. Every single Democrat voted to allow a three month extension of benefits to come to the floor -- yet only one solitary Republican was willing to cross the aisle to extend these critical benefits. Watch my speech from the House floor on extending unemployment benefits by clicking here.

Republicans justified their position with a perverse logic -- that it builds character for people to go hungry and taking these benefits away will help people find work. This flies in the face of both the economic and moral implications of cutting off this emergency aid. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that because these benefits are injected directly into our economy, a failure to extend long-term unemployment benefits will mean the loss of 200,000 jobs. That means families looking for work will have fewer jobs to compete for and no benefits on which to fall back. The fact of the matter is that people receiving unemployment insurance, including 20,000 veterans, want to work and are actively looking for a job. In the United States of America, we believe in providing a lift up, not a kick while you are down. Unemployment insurance is that lift up.

[Continued...]

---------------------------------

^^  Once again, keep the above in mind as you examine the following...

         http://www.epi.org/types/economic-indicators/jolts-picture/
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #49 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:40:34 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/rand-slaps-down-rand/?_r=0

Rand Slaps Down Rand

Paul Krugman
The New York Times
December 31, 2013

Rand Paul has lately been citing Rand Ghayad’s research as a reason to eliminate long-term unemployment benefits. Rand Ghayad replies, “You know nothing of my work.” Which is true: as the good Rand documents, it’s clear that neither the bad Rand nor anyone on his staff read beyond the opening sentence or two.

And in general, the whole notion that the way to cure unemployment is to slash aid to the unemployed is an astonishing case of sloppy thinking allied to cruelty.

What Ghayad showed was that employers are reluctant to hire workers who have been unemployed for a long time. Paul takes this as evidence that we need to make long-term unemployment even harder to endure than it is now, to force workers to get jobs sooner. What’s wrong with this idea? It’s fallacious at two levels.

First, the notion that unemployment benefits have a major negative impact on job search is no longer supported by most labor economists. The papers right-wingers love to cite are, in general, two or more decades old; it’s now generally believed that much of the apparent effect of benefit expiration came from the way firms handled temporary layoffs, which are much less common than they used to be. Evidence from recent data shows much smaller effects.

Second, and at a deeper level: The level of unemployment in America today has nothing to do with job search or the lack thereof. Think about it. It’s possible (though dubious) that an individual worker who is currently unemployed may increase his or her chances of getting a new job by engaging in heroic efforts — making hundreds of phone calls per week, expressing a willingness to accept minimum wage or less, whatever. But none of this gives employers any incentive to create a new job. All this worker can do is move closer to the head of the line, getting a job that would otherwise have gone to someone else.

And the reason for this condition is that we have a depressed economy, where the number of jobs is limited by inadequate demand.

[Continued...]

------------------------------

^^  Republicans in general, and "Tea Party" Republicans in particular, just don't get it, and apparently never will: the more they arrogantly wage "war on the poor" in the midst of a banker-engineered depression -- all while continuing to line the pockets of war profiteers and corporate welfare recipients (er, beg pardon, I meant "producers") -- the more they make Democrats look like, if nothing else, the "lesser evil" in the eyes of the bottom "47 percent."

Then when they end up losing easily winnable elections as a result of this, they'll actually have the nerve to whine and complain.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #50 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:41:51 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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Tea Party Republicans in Congress? Uh, if you care about getting reelected (and I'm sure you do), you just might want to put away the Austrian School literature for a moment and realize that now even Bush Republicans are recognizing what a public relations disaster that the ending of extended unemployment benefits (particularly when combined with the recent cutting of food stamps) in the midst of a banker-engineered depression -- and more specifically in the context of an economic environment in which there are several times more people in need of work than there are job openings -- will be for their (and your) party if they don't speak out against this obvious and inexcusable inversion of spending priorities....

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/30/opinion/frum-joblessness-benefits/

Out of jobs, out of benefits, out of luck

By David Frum
CNN Opinion
December 30, 2013



The old deal made rough sense.

The United States would provide only a very thin social-insurance cushion for people of working age, but jobs would always be available. Critics might deride the jobs as McJobs: often poorly paid, often offering scanty benefits. But better McJobs than No Jobs. To anyone who proposed tighter job protections or more generous social benefits workers came the crushing answer, "Do you want us to be like Europe?"

While American generated tens of millions of low-wage service jobs, the economies of Europe struggled hard not to lose jobs, even during good times. The tradeoff was patiently explained by free-market economists and is by now familiar to us all. More job rules mean less jobs; fewer rules will bring more jobs.

And for a quarter-century, from 1982 until 2007, the old deal held true. Wages didn't rise much, but demand for nurses' aides, fast food servers and other low-wage service workers surged and surged -- so much that for the first time since 1913, the United States again found itself welcoming a mass immigration of poor people, arriving legally and illegally from Guadalajara and Guangzhou, eager to accept America's abundant $9-an-hour jobs.

Then, suddenly, the old deal broke down. It broke down as abruptly, as utterly and as seemingly irretrievably as a previous old deal broke in 1929. Mass and long-term joblessness characterize the U.S. economy of 2014 as surely as plentiful low-wage jobs characterized the U.S. economy of 15 years ago. Look at the output statistics, and the United States has recovered from the crisis of 2008. Look at the job numbers, and it seems the United States never will.

What are Americans to think of and do about their new economic dispensation?

One answer is to deny that the dispensation is new at all.

Republicans in Congress are working to repeal the emergency job benefits put in place in 2009, on the familiar theory that if we quit paying the unemployed, they'll stop being unemployed. Extended unemployment insurance coverage lapsed on Saturday; 1.3 million long-term jobless lost benefits that day, and those still receiving benefits will lose them if they remain without work for longer than 26 weeks.

Food stamp coverage has been cut once and will probably be cut again in 2014. Proposals to raise the minimum wage gain no hearing in the Republican-majority House of Representatives, whose members condemn such proposals as job-killers.

Yet these familiar arguments bump into an unfamiliar situation. Almost six years after the economic collapse of 2008, the ratio of job seekers to unfilled positions -- which peaked at 5.5 to 1 -- has declined to 2.9 to 1, a ratio that would until now have indicated severe recession.

The huge backlog of unemployed workers exerts downward pressure on the wages of those still working. The old employment deal seems a formula for a massive write-off of the great majority of working Americans lacking specialized skills.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #51 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:42:46 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/12/why-republicans-have-no-ideas-about-unemployment.html

Why Republicans Have No Ideas About Mass Unemployment

By Jonathan Chait
New York Magazine
December 31, 2013

Last Saturday, the extension of unemployment benefits originally passed at the outset of the economic crisis expired. The position of Democrats in Washington, backed by a growing mountain of economic research, is that macroeconomic and humanitarian considerations alike both argue for an extension of unemployment benefits.

The position of Republicans in Washington is rather strange — less a moral or economic argument than an expression of indifference. "These have been extraordinary extensions, and the Republican position all along has been 'we need to go back to normal here at some point,'" argues Representative Tom Cole. “[W]hat we did was never intended to be permanent. It was intended to be a very temporary solution to a very temporary crisis," echoes Representative Rob Woodall. Of course nobody intended for the crisis of mass unemployment to last five years. Nobody intended for the crisis to happen at all. It is simply weird to argue that, since the problem has gone on longer than intended, the response to the problem must end as well. The fire trucks don’t shut off the hoses simply because the fire should have been put out by now.

Yet the weirdness, far from being random, reveals something deeper at work. The most obvious thing, of course, is a general lack of concern for the fate of the unemployed — or, at least, a casual assumption that the unemployed themselves must be to blame for their plight. But even a more generous reading of the Republican position, taking its most serious defenses at face value, reveals an intellectual hollowness. Half a decade into the economic crisis, the Republican Party has no serious ideas about the Great Recession.

One of the few Republicans to directly defend his party’s refusal to extend unemployment benefits is Rand Paul. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, Paul’s ideas about unemployment insurance are cracked. Paul has repeatedly cited studies that show that employers discriminate against job candidates who have been out of work a long time. Paul simply assumes that people are staying unemployed so they can continue collecting unemployment benefits. But the economics paper Paul cites, according to the economist who wrote it, suggests the opposite of his conclusion.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal editorial page gamely defends the Republican stance:

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #52 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:47:52 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/12/31/hillary-clinton-calls-for-restoring-jobless-benefits/

Hillary Clinton Calls for Restoring Jobless Benefits

By Rebecca Ballhaus
The Wall Street Journal
December 31, 2013

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is pushing for quick action to restore jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. She tweeted Tuesday afternoon that she was proud of her work on “bipartisan efforts to save unemployment insurance” a decade ago, and added: “Let’s do it again quickly in this new year.”

Two weeks ago, before jobless benefits for 1.3 million Americans expired Dec. 28, Mrs. Clinton tweeted: “What happens to kids in families cut from unemployment insurance & food stamps? They’re #2SmallToFail, & deserve an equal chance to succeed.”

Mrs. Clinton’s support for restoring the emergency unemployment benefits comes as congressional Democrats vow to make the issue a priority in 2014. “Extending unemployment insurance is the right thing to do for millions of Americans who are trying to support their families,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a written statement Saturday. She blamed Republicans for preventing Congress from passing an extension of the benefits and warned that if the benefits for the long-term unemployed aren’t extended, the U.S.  economic recovery will slow, costing up to 240,000 jobs in 2014.

[Continued...]

-------------------------------

^^  Well isn't that just special? Now even Hilldog gets to capitalize politically on the GOP's sadistic obsession with reducing the deficit on the backs of the poor and unemployed instead of on the backs of war profiteers and corporate welfare recipients.

Let's all give those reactionary Republicans in Congress a big round of applause for giving corporate-whore Democrats "left cover" yet again:

    
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #53 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:50:21 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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"Hooray! This means less 'dependency' on government, and thus more 'liberty.'" -- The Austrian School

http://www.kansascity.com/2014/01/01/4722491/extended-jobless-benefits-are.html

Extended jobless benefits are gone

By Diane Stafford
The Kansas City Star
January 01, 2014

About 1.3 million of the nation’s 4 million long-term unemployed no longer are getting unemployment benefits.

That includes more than 3,700 Kansans and more than 22,600 Missourians who have been out of work for at least 27 weeks, the official definition of long-term joblessness.

All extended federal benefits ended last week because the budget deal reached by U.S. Senate and House negotiators didn’t include extension of the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. The added benefits were authorized in 2008 and extended 11 times as the recession and its effects dragged on.

Senate Democrats may try to reintroduce the program in January, to provide a three-month extension with retroactive payments, but any attempt is expected to be opposed by Republicans.

An additional 2 million unemployment recipients nationally will exhaust their regular state benefits in the first part of 2014 and have no further access to extended federal benefits.

Regular state jobless benefits have been capped at 26 weeks in Kansas and 20 weeks in Missouri. As of 2014, Kansas also is capping state benefits at 20 weeks.

Because of the recession’s length and depth, some long-term recipients of jobless aid had been eligible to receive up to 99 weeks of aid. But three tiers of extended benefits programs wound down as the economy improved, and the final extensions ceased at the end of 2013.

About 4 in 10 of the nation’s 11 million unemployed had been getting either state or federal jobless aid, down from more than 6 in 10 of the unemployed in 2010.

With the federal cutoffs, only about 2 in 10 unemployed people will be receiving jobless benefits in January, the lowest share of government assistance since the Labor Department began keeping such records in 1950.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #54 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:52:57 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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Tea Party Republicans in Congress? Uh, if you care about getting reelected (and I'm sure you do), you just might want to put away the Austrian School literature for a moment and realize that now even Bush Republicans are recognizing what a public relations disaster that the ending of extended unemployment benefits (particularly when combined with the recent cutting of food stamps) in the midst of a banker-engineered depression -- and more specifically in the context of an economic environment in which there are several times more people in need of work than there are job openings -- will be for their (and your) party if they don't speak out against this obvious and inexcusable inversion of spending priorities....

Just to amplify the above point, first observe the disapproval ratings for Congressional Democrats as reported within the last year...

     http://www.pollingreport.com/cong_dem.htm

...then compare that with the disapproval ratings for Congressional Republicans within the same time frame:

     http://www.pollingreport.com/cong_rep.htm

As you can see, even the highest reported Democratic disapproval rating is still lower than the lowest reported Republican disapproval rating.

And as what has happened (with Republican approval) in recent weeks with regard to both food stamps and extended unemployment benefits begins to have its full effect on literally millions of American families, the aforementioned gap in disapproval ratings will continue to widen in favor of the Democrats.

Are Tea Party Republicans so brainwashed and so disconnected from political reality as to actually think they can reverse that trend by arrogantly accusing anyone who dares disagree with their anti-social safety net austerity agenda of being a liberty-hating "socialist" or "collectivist"?

If so, then they quite frankly deserve whatever losses they experience in the upcoming mid-term election.

(Remember where you heard it first.)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #55 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:53:36 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-fulop/unemployment-benefits-expiring_b_4528981.html

GOP Hit on Unemployment Benefits Hurting Americans -- What Else Is New?

Steven Fulop
The Huffington Post
January 01, 2014

Out of work "Americans rely on their unemployment benefits to pay for the mortgage or rent, food, and other critical bills. They need our assistance in these difficult times, and we cannot let them down."

This is one of the strongest arguments for unemployment benefits ever made by a president. Surprisingly, these words came not from President Obama but from President Bush in a radio address in 2002.

Yet his party in Congress almost unanimously ensured that these vital benefits ended last week for 1.3 million Americans and will end for a further 1.9 million Americans in the first six months of 2014. Of the more than 3 million who have been heartlessly cut off from these earned benefits, the greatest number comes from New Jersey, according to a House Ways and Means Committee report.

President Bush, who might well be the most conservative president in American history, looks like a progressive compared to today's GOP lawmakers, who are cruelly letting their fellow Americans down. For instance, Sen Rand Paul, a would-be presidential candidate, declared in brutal language that extending benefits beyond 26 weeks -- the program that ended last week extended those benefits for up to 47 weeks -- creates a permanent underclass of Americans. For Paul and most of his colleagues, the reality of still high unemployment is the fault of Americans desperate to work rather than their far-right policies which hamper the American economy.

His approach -- and that of most Republicans in Washington -- couldn't be more wrong. Extending unemployment benefits is a lifeline that is needed until these Americans can again find work. I often talk with residents of Jersey City who have been looking for work for much too long. Not once have I been asked for benefits. Rather, I am always asked to help them find a job. That's what they want -- to work. Not one wants the benefits but they need them until they are working again.

In other words, the cure isn't the GOP's ruthless medicine. Bluntly stated, the cure is jobs. And, again, that's where the Republicans have it so wrong.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #56 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:54:05 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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And the controlled-opposition establishment Left's political capitalization of reactionary Republican stupidity and sociopathic indifference to the plight of the poor and unemployed continues...

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/02/unemployment-benefits-expire-congress-wall-street

Congress to the unemployed: eat confetti

Unemployment benefits are expiring for more than a million Americans. Congress will only do the right thing if we speak up

Amy Goodman
theguardian.com
January 02, 2014

Is this really how we want to start the new year, by denying unemployment benefits to more than a million Americans who have lost their jobs? The bipartisan budget agreement passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama protects military spending, but promises to throw the most desperate in our economy into increased financial hardship, thrusting hundreds of thousands of families beneath the poverty line. The long-term unemployment rate is at the highest it has been since the second world war, while the percentage of those receiving the benefits is at its historic low. Meanwhile, Wall Street bankers are popping the corks, celebrating a banner year for the stock market. As brokers await their bonuses, many more of the unemployed will head for the breadlines.

"This is the wrong thing to happen at the wrong time for our economy", Imara Jones told me. He is the economic justice contributor for Colorlines.com, and served in the Clinton White House, where he worked on international trade policy. He said:

    Jobless benefits are actually stimulative to the economy. Every $1 we provide to someone of unemployment benefits yields $1.60 in economic activity. And that's why the loss of these benefits is going to rob our economy of $41bn.

People living on the edge financially spend what they have to get by. Those in the top echelons of our economy, the top 1%, can take their income and hold on to it, or stash it away into an offshore account.

The unemployment-insurance program traditionally granted 26 weeks of replacement pay for workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. The extended benefits, signed into law by President George W Bush, lengthened the time period to up to 99 weeks. Benefits average just $300 a week. According to the Washington Post, the average job search lasts 35 weeks, so the current 26-week benefit will create added stress on families already struggling.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #57 on: Jan 02, 2014, 12:54:49 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.kentucky.com/2014/01/02/3014524/gop-view-of-jobless-fails-economic.html

GOP view of jobless fails economic and moral tests

By Eugene Robinson
Kentucky.com
January 02, 2014

WASHINGTON — To 1.3 million jobless Americans: The Republican Party wishes you a Very Unhappy New Year!

It would be one thing if there were a logical reason to cut off unemployment benefits for those who have been out of work the longest. But no such rationale exists. On both economic and moral grounds, extending benefits for the long-term unemployed should have been an automatic bipartisan vote in Congress.

It wasn't. Nothing is automatic and bipartisan anymore, not with today's radicalized GOP. In this case, a sensible and humane policy option is hostage to bruised Republican egos and the ideological myth of "makers" versus "takers."

Benefits were allowed to expire last week for 1.3 million people who have been unemployed more than six months. Since they have been scraping by on unemployment checks for so long, their financial situations are already precarious, if not dire.

Extending unemployment benefits is normally done in a recession; Republicans correctly point out that we are in a recovery. But there was nothing normal about the Great Recession, and there is nothing normal about the Not-So-Great Recovery. Job growth is improving but sluggish, with unemployment hovering at 7 percent, not counting millions who have given up looking.

An extension should have been part of the budget deal. Democrats offered an amendment extending benefits for three months, and they identified savings elsewhere to pay for it. But House Speaker John Boehner refused to allow a vote.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that extending long-term unemployment for a year would cost about $25 billion, which would add to the deficit. But the measure would boost economic growth by 0.2 percent and create 200,000 jobs. Given that interest rates are at historical lows and that the imperative now is to create growth and jobs, refusing to extend the benefits is counterproductive and cruel.

Sadly, cruelty is the point.

The Republican far right perceived the budget deal as a defeat, even though it caps spending for social programs at levels that many Democrats consider appallingly low, because it does not slash Medicare and Social Security. For some in the GOP, accepting an unemployment extension favored by Democrats would have been too much.

For some other Republicans, unemployment isn't about spending, growth, deficits or politics. They see it as a moral issue. To them, extended benefits coddle the unemployed, encouraging them to loll around, presumably eating bonbons, rather than pound the streets for any crumbs of work.

This view is consistent with the philosophy that Mitt Romney privately espoused during his failed presidential campaign. It sees a growing number of Americans as parasitic "takers" who luxuriate in their dependence on government benefits; 47 percent was the figure Romney came up with. The "makers" who create the nation's wealth are not really helping the down-and-out by giving them financial support to make it through tough times, this philosophy holds. Much better medicine would be a kick in the pants.

I wonder if these Ayn Rand ideologues have ever actually met a breadwinner who has gone without a job for more than six months. I wonder if they know that some jobless men and women don't have well-to-do parents or a trust fund to fall back on. I wonder if they understand that unemployment benefits don't even cover basic expenses, much less bonbons.

[Continued...]

----------------------------------

^^  Now does everyone see why I created the following thread?

http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=252703.0 (Is the secret to authoritarian Dems' success Austrian School "libertarianism"?)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #58 on: Jan 04, 2014, 01:08:06 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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And the controlled-opposition establishment Left's political capitalization of reactionary Republican stupidity and sociopathic indifference to the plight of the poor and unemployed continues...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/02/senate-democrats-bill-reinstate-unemployment-benefits

Senate Democrats plan fast-track fix to reinstate lost unemployment benefits

• Democrats plan to make poverty and inequality election issues
• Senator Reed tells Guardian: 'Many of these people are desperate'

Paul Lewis in Washington and Dominic Rushe in New York
theguardian.com
January 02, 2014

Democratic leaders in the Senate are planning to fast-track legislation to extend unemployment insurance, a move that would provide a lifeline to more than a million jobless Americans who lost their benefits five days ago.

Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island whose bipartisan bill will ensure a three-month extension of the federal benefits program, told the Guardian the measure would stimulate the economy and alleviate what he called the “mental torment” suffered by those long-term unemployed who now feel abandoned.

The benefits, which apply to people who are unemployed for longer than six months, were left to expire on Saturday after a bipartisan budget deal on federal spending for the next two years failed to include a reauthorisation of the program.

“On a human level, many of these people are desperate,” Reed said in an interview on Thursday. “It is the difference between being able to pay their mortgage or not. Many of these are people who have worked for decades. They had good jobs, and they’ve been sending out sending out thousands of résumés, but they’re in a job market that is terrible.”

Reed’s bill, which is co-authored by the Nevada Republican Dean Heller, will only extend the federal benefits until the end of March – a temporary fix designed to allow congressional committees to work on a more permanent solution for the long-term unemployed. It would be applied retroactively, reimbursing those who lost benefits over the last week.

In a clear sign that Democrats plan to make poverty and inequality major issues in this year’s Congressional mid-term elections, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, told a reporter in his home state of Nevada earlier this week that the bill will be put to a vote when the Senate reconvenes on Monday.

[Continued...]

---------------------------------

^^  To all you "Tea Party" Republicans in Congress: you just can't stop giving these pro-war/pro-police state/pro-victim disarmament/pro-carbon tax/pro-wage tax/pro-fractional reserve banking control-freaks "left cover," can you?

::)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #59 on: Jan 04, 2014, 01:09:42 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2022586484_unemploymentinsurancexml.html

Long-term jobless voice fears as unemployment checks end

Unemployment checks for 25,000 Washington residents and 1.3 million people around the country ran out on Dec. 28 after Congress didn’t renew extended benefits approved during the Great Recession.

By Emily Heffter and Kyung M. Song
The Seattle Times
January 02, 2014

After working for 14 years as a billing specialist, Uzorigwe Alintah has not earned a paycheck for a year. He is among many in the Seattle area and one of 4.1 million nationwide — nearly 40 percent of the 10.9 million jobless — who have been unemployed for more than six months.

This week, Alintah joined another unenviable group: He is among the millions who are out of work but no longer receiving unemployment benefits.

Alintah’s weekly unemployment checks are stopping because Congress didn’t renew emergency aid that had stretched the normal 26 weeks of state benefits by additional 37 weeks. Benefits for 25,000 Washington residents and 1.3 million people around the country ran out on Dec. 28.

As a result, only about a quarter of out-of-work Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, the smallest share since such federal record-keeping began in 1950, according to the National Employment Law Project.

“I’m worried, you know. How am I going to pay my bills? How am I going to live?” Alintah said Thursday at a round-table in Seattle organized by U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina.

DelBene and her fellow congressional Democrats want to make restoring the expired benefits a political priority as they return from the holiday recess. Senate Democrats are scheduled to hold a vote on a three-month extension Monday.

Most Republicans oppose it. They say after nearly six years, the extended aid has lasted long enough and shouldn’t continue without further spending cuts to offset its $25 billion annual tab.

Of the 88 co-sponsors of the two bills in the House and the Senate to renew the emergency benefits, only Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, which has the nation’s highest unemployment rate with 9 percent, is a Republican.

Sen. Patty Murray pushed to include extended unemployment aid in the budget agreement she struck with Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin last month, but Republicans rebuffed it.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #60 on: Jan 04, 2014, 01:10:29 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/a-moral-and-economic-impe_b_4537627.html

A Moral and Economic Imperative to Extend Unemployment Benefits

Dave Johnson
The Huffington Post
January 03, 2014

Federal unemployment assistance for 1.3 million people who have been unemployed longer than 26 weeks expired last Saturday, after Republicans blocked efforts to extend them. 3.6 million more people will lose these benefits over this year. Restoring these benefits is a moral, economic and political imperative.

On Monday the Senate will hold the first procedural vote on bringing back unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work longer than 26 weeks. The hope is to break a Republican filibuster so the extension can be passed and sent to the House (where Republicans will likely refuse to even allow it to come up for a vote).

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-ETnmLVfas

A Moral Imperative

When the financial crisis hit the country we provided assistance to ("bailed out") the largest banks. We have a moral imperative to also help our fellow citizens. A democracy provides assistance for people who need help. A fair and just society provides assistance for people who need help. A moral society provides assistance for people who need help.

At this point in the "recovery" there is still only one job for every three people who are still bothering to actively look for work. With Saturday's expiration of federal unemployment assistance the share of unemployed people receiving jobless aid is now down to just one in four -- the lowest level on record (since 1950). The rest -- three of four unemployed -- are left on their own. (See the full National Employment Law Project (NELP) report on this here.)

The Washington Post put up some interactive maps showing the states where the impact will be felt the most. Note that North Carolina is left out of this map because Republicans there have already cut off unemployment assistance for the long-term unemployed and dramatically cut it for the short-term unemployed.

Reminder: It is more blessed to give than to receive. Here are just a few quotes from the Christian Bible:

    "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."

    "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you."

    "But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?"

    "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me."

    "If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, be warmed and filled,' without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?"

An Economic Imperative

There is also an economic imperative to help the unemployed because cutting off long-term unemployment benefits hurts the economy-at-large. It drives wages down. It decreases "demand" in the economy which causes even more unemployment. Specifically, the loss of this money in the economy will cause the loss of 238,000 more jobs. It will also force even more people onto Food Stamps and other public assistance even as these programs are cut. Laura Clawson at Daily Kos points out, Failing to extend unemployment insurance isn't just mean, it's stupid, (See the chart.)

But the thing is it helps a few people get even richer because high unemployment forces wages down. This fight is also about plutocrats hoping to push people into desperation so they are forced to accept lower wages and poor working conditions. This drives a stake into the heart of the meaning of democracy.

A Political Imperative

There is a political imperative to push for extended unemployment benefits because the American Majority wants this.

Hart Research Associates conducted a mid-December poll for NELP. The main findings of this poll were:

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #61 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:16:53 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/04/republicans-unemployment-benefits-cuts-bill-voters

Leading Republicans' states among worst hit by jobless benefits cuts

Analysis shows rolling cuts to unemployment benefits will severely hurt constituencies of prominent GOP leaders

Paul Lewis in Washington and Kenan Davis in New York
theguardian.com
January 04, 2014

Senior Republican senators including Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul represent some of the states most affected by the controversial cancellation of long-term unemployment benefits, according to a Guardian analysis of data released this week.

Democrats, with strong backing from the White House, are orchestrating a major push to restore the benefits, which mostly apply to people who have been searching for work for more than six months.

Around 1.3 million people lost unemployment insurance benefits last week, after a bipartisan budget deal on federal spending failed to include a reauthorisation of the program. A further 72,000 job-seekers are expected lose their benefits from Saturday, a rolling tally that will continue through the year.

Figures released this week by the Department of Labor, and analysed by House Democrats, provided the first state-by-state breakdown of the first tranche of American job-seekers whose benefits were cut off. The knock-on impact has been estimated to be costing the US economy up to a billion dollars a week.

Until now, Democrats have been putting pressure on Republicans from states with the highest overall rate of unemployment. However, Guardian analysis shows that states with the highest flat rates of unemployment have not necessarily been hit the hardest by the benefits cuts.

The variable impact can be explained by differences in regional labour markets and ratios of long-term, as opposed to short-term, unemployed, as well as variations in the way states administer the federal benefits program.

The result is differences across the country in the proportion of job-seekers who have seen their benefits cut over the last week.



Of the 25 worst affected states, most are represented by Democratic senators. However, in addition to the 34 Democratic senators feeling the most pain as a result of of the benefits cuts, there are 16 Republicans.

They include high-profile figures such as Rubio, who represents Florida, where 73,000 job-seekers have lost, on average, $231 a week.

Four in every 1,000 people lost benefits in Kentucky, which has an 8.2% unemployment rate and is represented by McConnell, the Senate minority leader, and Paul, who like Rubio is considered a potential presidential candidate for 2016.

The data is particularly embarrassing for Paul, who in recent weeks has been one of the most visible defenders of the decision to cut the extended jobless benefit programme.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #62 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:17:29 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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Is there anyone in the anti-war/anti-police state/anti-NWO/pro-liberty movement who's as horrified as I am by the thought of Hilldog being our next President?

Well guess what? President Hilldog is exactly what we're going to get if a critical mass of infowarriors don't start telling Republicans in general, and "Tea Party" Republicans in particular, to stop taking out of the social safety net budget what they should be taking out of the war, police state and corporate welfare budgets.

And if that means telling the Austrian School propaganda machine to go Cheney itself, then so be it!
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #63 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:18:19 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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To all you "Tea Party" Republicans in Congress: you just can't stop giving these pro-war/pro-police state/pro-victim disarmament/pro-carbon tax/pro-wage tax/pro-fractional reserve banking control-freaks "left cover," can you? ::)

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-01-05/reid-presses-unemployment-extension-as-republicans-demand-offset

Reid Presses Unemployment Extension as Republicans Demand Offset

By Heidi Przybyla
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 05, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pressed Republicans to support a three-month extension of emergency longer-term unemployment benefits, something Republicans say they could support only if Democrats find a way to pay for it.

The Senate is due to vote tomorrow to advance a bill sponsored by Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Republican Dean Heller of Nevada, though it’s unclear the legislation has the votes to pass. In addition to Heller, Reid would need four more Republican votes for the bill to get Senate approval.

“Never with unemployment like this have we even considered not extending them,” Reid, of Nevada, said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program. Benefits for the long-term unemployed expired on Dec. 28. The program was intended to help jobless people after they exhausted state benefits, typically lasting six months.

In addition to focusing on the need to help struggling job seekers and their families, Democrats are saying the extension will buffer the economy since the jobless will immediately pour the money into purchases of goods and services. “The gross domestic product would be increased by $23 billion,” said Reid. “It’s the right thing to do.”

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #64 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:20:44 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pressed Republicans to support a three-month extension of emergency longer-term unemployment benefits, something Republicans say they could support only if Democrats find a way to pay for it.

Excuse me?

Do Republicans not control the U.S. House?

Are we supposed to believe that House Republicans weren't aware that there are tens of billions in tax dollars being wasted on corporate welfare subsidies?

Are we supposed to believe that House Republicans weren't aware that there are tens of billions in tax dollars being wasted on the drug war?

Are we supposed to believe that House Republicans weren't aware that there are hundreds of billions in tax dollars being wasted on imperialist wars of aggression overseas?

Are we supposed to believe (or, better yet, ignore) all of that merely because these self-serving reactionaries have wrapped themselves in the flag of "liberty" and "freedom"??

Folks, if you care about the future of your children and grandchildren, this controlled-opposition debate has got to stop, and it has to stop now.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #65 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:22:49 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/01/06/unemployment-insurance-extension-lacks-gop-support/

Unemployment insurance extension lacks GOP support

By Ed O'Keefe
The Washington Post
January 6, 2014

A bipartisan plan to once again provide federal unemployment insurance for more than 1 million Americans appears to be falling short of the Republican support needed to clear a key procedural vote scheduled for Monday evening in the Senate.

Payments for about 1.3 million out-of-work people expired last month after lawmakers did not extend the program as part of a bipartisan budget agreement. Responding to the concerns of liberal interest groups, Democratic lawmakers and the unemployed, Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) vowed to hold votes on restarting the benefits as soon as the Senate reconvened in 2014.

Supporters are rallying around a proposal by Sens. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) that would provide benefits to eligible workers for three months, at a cost of $6.5 billion. A procedural vote on the plan is expected Monday evening after a vote to confirm Janet Yellen as the new head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The plan needs at least 60 votes of support to survive a threatened GOP filibuster. With Heller and 55 members of the Senate Democratic caucus, supporters still need at least four votes. But many GOP senators say they will not back extending the program, because Reed and Heller did not outline a way to pay for the billions of dollars in benefits. And even if the proposal passed the Senate, House Republican leaders have expressed no interest in extending the program because the Senate proposal lacks a "pay for."

Reed argued in an interview that the short-term extension would not require supplemental cuts because Congress historically has considered unemployment benefits as emergency funding.

"Let's get the benefits going for people who need it in difficult times, and then in that three-month period, there's a chance for [lawmakers] to look at longer-term extensions" and find ways to offset the costs of the program, he said in the interview late last week.

During a conference call with reporters Sunday, Reed said he is talking to "everyone" about supporting the extension. But Democratic aides said most of the attention is focused on Republican senators whose states are suffering from high unemployment rates: Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Bob Corker, (Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Mark Kirk (Ill.), John McCain (Ariz.), Rob Portman (Ohio), Patrick Toomey (Pa.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.).

Spokespeople for Alexander, Chambliss, Isakson, Portman and Wicker said Sunday that the senators plan to vote against the Reed-Heller plan because the cost of extending the program isn't offset by spending cuts. Aides to Corker and Kirk said Sunday that they didn't know how the senators planned to vote, while spokespeople for McCain and Toomey didn't respond to requests for comment.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #66 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:23:28 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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OMFG! At first I thought the following story was from The Onion.

Can you say, "unintended self-parody"!!??

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/06/hayes-republicans-being-too-wimpy-in-fight-over-unemployment-benefits/

Hayes: Republicans being 'too wimpy' in the fight over unemployment benefits

FoxNews.com
January 06, 2014

[Video clip omitted - see original article]

Fox News contributor Steve Hayes told viewers on "Special Report with Bret Baier" that Republicans have been "a little too wimpy" in the debate over whether to extend emergency unemployment benefits - a debate that was scheduled to be put to a vote on the Senate floor Monday night, until weather-related travel problems forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to push the vote until Tuesday morning.

The expired benefits have been consistently renewed since the economy plunged into recession in 2008.  While Democrats nearly unanimously support extending the benefits again, some Republicans have voiced opposition to this extension because the current plan doesn't provide for spending cuts elsewhere to make up for the deficit.

"They make a very pragmatic, practical argument about deficit neutrality," Hayes said. "I think that's a fine argument, as far as it goes. But I think Republicans are being a little too wimpy on this. I think it's time to make a moral argument against extended unemployment insurance forever."

Hayes argued that the benefits, once granted sporadically for dire circumstances, could actually lead to greater unemployment levels and are in danger of effectively becoming an entitlement program.

"We’ve been hearing that it'll be cut off now for the better part of five years," Hayes said.  "There used to be widespread, bipartisan agreement in Washington that unemployment insurance was sort of the last place to go, the last place that somebody who was down on their luck could turn. Now, it's increasingly becoming a way of life."

"What's surprising to me," Hayes added, "is that Republicans aren't making a moral case about how often unemployment insurance that goes on forever leads to more unemployment."
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #67 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:24:52 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.businessinsider.com/the-problem-with-the-republican-antipoverty-agenda-is-that-it-doesnt-exist-2014-1

The Problem With The Republican Antipoverty Agenda Is That It Doesn't Exist

Josh Barro
Business Insider
January 07, 2014

Republicans are in a pickle.

The Senate is voting today to extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits. Democrats are talking up a sharp rise in the federal minimum wage. Most Republicans oppose those ideas, but they still want to show that they care about reducing poverty.

What can they do? Washington Post reporter Robert Costa tweets:

    Robert Costa @costareports

    The challenge for Rs is that as they ramp up antipoverty msg, they remain inconclusive on next legislative steps
    10:05 PM - 6 Jan 2014

"Inconclusive" is a nice way to put it. The truth is Republicans have no legislative agenda that would address poverty.

Broadly there are two poverty problems in the United States. One is a cyclical trend: The labor market has been slack for the last five years, leaving many people involuntarily unemployed and limiting workers' ability to bargain for higher wages. The other is secular: Labor's share of national income is declining, wages are rising more slowly for low-skilled workers than high-skilled ones, and rises in family income at the bottom have come primarily through fiscal transfers, not wages.

These problems require different solutions, and Republican ideas don't address either.

On the cyclical side, Republicans favor a variety of policies that would make the unemployed and marginally employed worse off. They want to cut government benefits to the poor: they oppose extension of emergency Unemployment Insurance benefits, they want modest cuts to food stamps, they want to repeal the Medicaid expansion.

Of course, Republicans don't want the poor to live off government benefits; they want them to get jobs. Unfortunately, Republicans also oppose macroeconomic policies to promote full employment, such as deficit spending, infrastructure investment, and monetary stimulus.

The Republican theory seems to be that if the government "just got out of the way" by cutting taxes, spending and regulation, then labor market would magically tighten, people would get jobs, and wages would rise. Empirical evidence for this proposition is lacking.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #68 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:25:19 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/07/unemployment-insurance-busting-republican-myths

The GOP couldn't be more wrong about cutting unemployment insurance

If the government has any responsibility to its people, it's not to force them into poverty when they have no other financial options

Heidi Moore
theguardian.com
January 07, 2014

How do you improve the economy? If you ask some Republican members of Congress, the best way is to throw 1.3 million people into deeper poverty, starting this week.

For some time, right-wing think tanks and conservative politicians have held on to a number of arguments that they believe prove it's a good idea to let unemployment benefits lapse for 1.3 million people. None of those arguments holds up under the least bit of scrutiny. America's economy would be far better off if Congress extended unemployment benefits.

To look at their points, one by one, is to understand that the Republican opposition to extending unemployment benefits is dishonest. It also stands to alienate many Republican voters, particularly in the south, where poverty is widespread.

GOP myth #1: Cutting unemployment benefits forces the unemployed to get off their couches and bootstrap themselves into good jobs

That argument may be true in a good economy, but it's false in a rocky one, where there aren't many jobs to go around. The scale of the US unemployment problem is far past the reach of bootstrapping. The US has over 10 million people unemployed, 4 million of them for more than 6 months (what we call the "long-term unemployed"). There are nearly another million people discouraged at being unable to find work, and 8 million others in low-wage, temporary jobs because they can't find full-time work. In short, it is the worst employment market since the recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s. In addition, families, thin on cash, aren't helping each other as much, leaving the unemployed without a private fallback from family and friends.

The truth is, "bootstrapping" is not open to everyone. It is determined by class, education (which is often a function of class) and race. Pew Research found that those who "bootstrap" successfully already come from a place of privilege: they are mostly white, college-educated, and in dual-earner families. This is an economy where even a college degree is worth less than it used to be. There are twice as many college graduates working for minimum wage jobs now than 5 years ago. And roughly one out of every eight recent college graduates are unemployed (pdf), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

GOP myth #2: Extending unemployment benefits will be a drag on the economy

The implication here is that cutting benefits will boost the economy and force people to get jobs. It's a nice fantasy, but it doesn't work out that way. North Carolina tried cutting off benefits six months ago when the state found itself strapped for cash. The result? It wasn't that more people found jobs. Instead, 95,000 people dropped out of the workforce. Net result: an increase in unemployed workers slammed the state's workforce to its lowest level in 37 years, worsening the state's already deep economic inequality.

GOP myth #3: Unemployment benefits should be extended only after the government can cut other programs to "afford" it

Many Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, claim aid to the unemployed should only be extended if the government cuts other programs in order to pay for the additional aid to the jobless. There are three major problems with this.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #69 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:26:33 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/01/three-problems-gops-case-against-extending-unemployment-benefits/356810/

Three Problems with the GOP's Case Against Extending Unemployment Benefits

Philip Bump
The Wire
January 08, 2014

House Republicans return to Washington being asked to stand together — not in support of an agenda but in opposition to the Democrats' plan on unemployment. A memo released by party leadership shows how shaky that ground is.

It's a different Washington, D.C. than the one they left in December — a Washington where they're on defense, struggling to define (and then sell) strategies for helping the 1.3 million people who lost unemployment benefits in December. The Democrats have made restoring those benefits a priority — successfully. "President Obama has the fight he wants," Politico's Reid Epstein writes, and it's hard to disagree. The seesaw 113th Congress first saw Democrats giddy over the Republicans' stumbling shutdown, then the Republicans dancing around the rubble of Healthcare.gov. Now the pendulum is swinging back toward the Democrats, who successfully (and surprisingly) cajoled six Republicans into allowing consideration of benefits for the long-term unemployed to move forward — a big victory that Obama wasted no time in trying to leverage.

On Wednesday morning, one of the first orders of business for House Republicans was a party caucus, at which, according to The Washington Post's Robert Costa, unemployment benefits would be a topic. Costa indicates that the party doesn't feel urgency on the issue of restoring the unemployment benefits, in part because that proposal is still making its way through the Senate.

But that didn't prevent the House Republican leadership from distributing a memo with suggested talking points on the topic. The memo, obtained by Costa offers both a frame for the Republican argument and responses to data points used by advocates of extending the benefits. Of the two, the framing seems to have the most traction so far. The Republican argument that any extension of benefits for those long-term unemployed must be offset by cuts in spending elsewhere has at least been considered as a possibility by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to The Hill.

The data points though? Less robust. Taken in order:

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #70 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:27:36 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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To all you "Tea Party" Republicans in Congress: you just can't stop giving these pro-war/pro-police state/pro-victim disarmament/pro-carbon tax/pro-wage tax/pro-fractional reserve banking control-freaks "left cover," can you? ::)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/01/09/morning-plum-dems-slam-gop-senate-candidates-over-unemployment-benefits/

Morning Plum: Dems slam GOP Senate candidates over unemployment benefits

By Greg Sargent
The Washington Post
January 9, 2014


Anybody there? 1.3 million and counting have lost
jobless benefits. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


Is it conceivable that the 2014 elections might not prove to be exclusively about Obamacare and nothing else?

With the battle over unemployment benefits raging, Dems are increasingly focused on the fact that some House Republicans expected to oppose an extension under any circumstances — no matter what “pay for” is agreed to — are also running for Senate.

Today, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will hit multiple Republicans who are vying for their party’s Senate nomination in red states over the Republican refusal to extend benefits – in keeping with the broader Dem effort to make 2014 about economic mobility and inequality. Dems are targeting GOP Senate candidates in Georgia, Arkansas,  Kentucky,  Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, and West Virginia. Here’s the release hitting House GOPers running for Senate in Georgia:

    Phil Gingrey, Paul Broun, and Jack Kingston have turned their backs on Georgians looking for work and it’s costing Georgia’s economy millions. Gingrey, Broun, and Kingston have all opposed extending critical unemployment insurance in the past for Georgians looking for work. That kind of irresponsible economic ideology caused 54,400 Georgians to lose critical assistance on December 28.

    “Gingrey, Broun, and Kingston’s reckless and irresponsible economic agenda is hurting Georgians who are looking for work, hurting the state’s middle class and will likely cost Georgia’s economy at least $28.9 million by the end of the week,” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Phil Gingrey, Paul Broun, and Jack Kingston are siding with Washington special interests and the Tea Party instead of doing what’s right for Georgia’s economy, and the middle class and working people are paying the price.”

It’s not yet clear how House Republicans will handle the current extension. GOP leaders have said they are open to the extension if it’s paid for and coupled with a GOP job creation measure. But it’s difficult to imagine any circumstances under which House conservatives support an extension, since groups such as Heritage Action have come out against it even if it’s paid for. You can imagine this becoming an issue in GOP primaries, making a Yes vote even harder. It’s also possible that the Senate will fail to pass an extension, in which case the GOP-controlled House will probably not act at all — an outcome that will also be used against House GOPers running for Senate.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #71 on: Jan 09, 2014, 04:28:16 pm »
 

Geolibertarian

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When I say that the Republican Party's ridiculous obsession with taking out of the social safety net budget what they should be taking out of the war, police state and corporate welfare budgets is only helping pro-war/pro-police state/pro-fractional reserve banking/pro-Wall Street Democrats politically by giving them "left cover," I'm not doing so just to hear myself talk. I'm trying to draw attention to a political reality about which an alarming percentage of conservatives and right-leaning libertarians seem to be in willful denial -- a reality that, if gone unrecognized and unaddressed much longer, will likely result in Obama Democrats taking back control of the House by default later this year, and in Hilldog winning the Presidency by default in 2016. Is that what you want?

Perhaps the following will give relative newcomers at least some idea of what I mean...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/obamas-cheap-labor-promise-zone-fraud/5364315

Obama’s Cheap-Labor “Promise Zone” Fraud

By Barry Grey
Global Research
January 09, 2014



In a White House speech Thursday promoting his supposed offensive against inequality, President Barack Obama will formally name five communities as so-called “promise zones.” The White House on Wednesday released a statement identifying impoverished neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Antonio, as well as Southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, as the first such zones. Another fifteen regions are to be designated in the coming months.

In an attempt to lend an aura of progressive reform to the measures it is proposing, the administration scheduled the speech for the week of the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of a “War on Poverty.” Besides the “promise zones,” these measures include a restoration of three months of jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed and a small increase in the federal minimum wage.

The counterposition of these paltry proposals to the last significant social reforms in the US, including Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps, only underscores the repudiation by the political establishment and both big business parties of social reform and their joint drive to dismantle the reforms of the past. Obama’s claims to be fighting inequality are belied not only by his past record, but by the further attacks on the working class he is presently pursuing.

The White House and the Democratic Party are cynically seeking to use the Christmas-time expiration of benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed workers, which they engineered by dropping an extension from the two-year budget deal they negotiated with the Republicans, to attack the Republicans and posture as advocates of working and poor people in advance of the 2014 midterm elections. The Democrats have already indicated they will agree to new social cuts elsewhere in exchange for Republican acceptance of a mere 90-day extension of the benefits.

The increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour being advanced by the Democrats would leave the base wage, in real terms, lower than it was in the 1960s.

Obama’s “promise zones” are at once derisory in their scale and funding and reactionary in their content. It appears that the proposal has been cobbled together by combining and repackaging previously announced “revitalization” efforts such as “promise neighborhoods” and “choice neighborhoods.” It is not clear whether any additional funds are proposed for the new program. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the administration has since 2009 spent a mere $350 million “in 100 of the nation’s persistent pockets of poverty.”

This compares to the trillions of dollars handed over to the banks and corporations in the form of taxpayer bailouts and the tens of billions in monthly subsidies to the financial markets provided by the Federal Reserve Board. The Democratic-controlled Senate this week ensured the continuation of this policy by handily confirming Obama’s nominee and Wall Street’s pick, Janet Yellen, to succeed Ben Bernanke as the next Fed chairman.

Obama’s singled-minded focus on covering the bad bets of Wall Street and further enriching the financial elite, in part by driving stock prices and corporate profits to record highs, has fueled a staggering increase in social inequality. The total wealth of billionaires has more than doubled since the stock market hit bottom in March of 2009. Since then, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index has risen by 170 percent. More than 95 percent of all income gains in the US during Obama’s first term went to the richest 1 percent of the country.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #72 on: Jan 18, 2014, 01:52:18 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/01/10/morning-plum-political-ground-shifts-against-hammock-theory-of-poverty/

Morning Plum: Political ground shifts against Hammock Theory of Poverty

By Greg Sargent
The Washington Post
January 10, 2014

The story of the morning is that Republican Senators who are inclined to support an extension of unemployment benefits may not do so because of procedural reasons. The broader tale here, however, is that more Republicans seem to be searching for reasons to oppose the UI extension that aren’t rooted in ideological opposition.

Initially, Republicans such as Rand Paul were outspoken in arguing an extension would do a disservice to the jobless – Paul Ryan’s Hammock Theory of Poverty. Senator Paul subsequently shifted, and other Republican Senators said their objection was to a lack of an offset, though just enough supported a three-month extension to get it past cloture. Now that Dems have offered a pay-for on an 11-month extension, Republicans are citing procedural objections.

Paul Krugman, in a column about the battle over the War on Poverty, says this overall shift is located in shifting public views of the economy:

    If progress against poverty has nonetheless been disappointingly slow — which it has — blame rests not with the poor but with a changing labor market, one that no longer offers good wages to ordinary workers…the problem of poverty has become part of the broader problem of rising income inequality, of an economy in which all the fruits of growth seem to go to a small elite, leaving everyone else behind.
     
    So how should we respond to this reality? The conservative position, essentially, is that we shouldn’t respond…for decades their position was a political winner, because middle-class Americans saw “welfare” as something that Those People got but they didn’t. But that was then…hard times have forced many more Americans to turn to safety-net programs. And as conservatives have responded by defining an ever-growing fraction of the population as morally unworthy “takers” — a quarter, a third, 47 percent, whatever — they have made themselves look callous and meanspirited.
     
    You can see the new political dynamics at work in the fight over aid to the unemployed. Republicans are still opposed to extended benefits, despite high long-term unemployment. But they have, revealingly, changed their arguments. Suddenly, it’s not about forcing those lazy bums to find jobs; it’s about fiscal responsibility. And nobody believes a word of it.

Look at this from another angle. Republicans looking to mitigate political damage in the UI fight have another play in addition to complaining about fiscal responsibility: They think they can win the politics of it by citing the need for an extension itself as an indictment of the Obama economy.

But this strategy seems rooted in a failure to appreciate that many voters see the current economic situation as something extraordinary, as the cause of multiple long running trends that are tilting the playing field against working and middle class Americans. These views of the economy seem to be what are driving rising concerns about inequality, and a majority of the American people want government policies that do something about it. Yet Republicans seem to think they can get muddle through the UI battle with a combination of protestations about fiscal responsibility and blame directed at Obama for the plight of the jobless, a political argument that already failed in 2012.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #73 on: Jan 18, 2014, 01:53:25 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.globalresearch.ca/obamas-phony-campaign-against-inequality/5364455

Obama’s Phony Campaign Against Inequality

By Andre Damon
Global Research
January 10, 2014



President Obama, announcing his so-called “economic promise zone” initiative in a White House speech on Thursday, gave a performance that expressed the cynical and contemptuous attitude of his administration and the entire ruling class to the plight of working people in America.

The event was staged as part of the administration’s supposed campaign against inequality, whose entire substance, besides the “promise zones,” consists of a call to restore long-term unemployment benefits and enact a small increase in the minimum wage.

Speaking in the midst of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression, with the poverty rate rising and social inequality at historic levels, Obama made no attempt to present an objective picture of the social crisis in America. He offered no statistics on poverty, unemployment, hunger or the vast chasm separating the financial elite from the rest of the population. Nor did he attempt to explain why the social crisis had worsened during his tenure.

His remarks were perfunctory, off-the-cuff and punctuated by jokes. He gave no concrete details about the five “promise zones” he was announcing—in impoverished neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Antonio, and in Southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

He stood in front of a group of students from the Harlem Children’s Zone, a charter school funded by tens of millions of dollars in corporate donations that has become a model for the assault on public education being spearheaded by the Obama administration. The school’s CEO, Geoffrey Canada, a leading figure in the movement to convert public schools to charters, appeared in the 2010 documentary Waiting for “Superman”, which blamed public school teachers and principals for the problems caused by poverty and lack of funding. Obama singled out Canada as an inspiration for his “promise zones.”

Obama noted the presence of the Republican senators from Kentucky, Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell. Paul, who is ranked as one of the most conservative Republicans in Congress by the Heritage Action Network, told Fox News that Obama’s “promise zones” resembled his own proposal to set up low-tax “economic freedom zones” throughout the US. “They say the sincerest form of flattery is in imitation,” Paul quipped.

Obama avoided any criticism of the corporate-financial elite, which has exploited the economic crisis to drive down wages, increase speedup and generate record profits and CEO pay. He went out of his way to make clear that his initiative was business-friendly. “This month I’m going to host CEOs here at the White House, not once, but twice,” he said.

The speech came a day after the White House published a fact sheet on its “promise zones” program, which made clear that the initiative was nothing more than a repackaging of various pro-business, anti-public education programs. The real content of the proposal is to offer business tax cuts in each of the zones. The fact sheet concluded by saying, “President Obama has proposed, and called on Congress to act, to cut taxes on hiring and investment in areas designated as Promise Zones… to attract businesses and create jobs.”

Obama opened his remarks by invoking Lyndon Johnson’s January 1964 call for the eradication of poverty and joblessness, noting, “It is now fifty years since President Johnson proclaimed an unconditional war on poverty in America.” At the time, Johnson called the elimination of poverty a test of the capitalist system. Yet the current president said nothing about the failure of that system to come anywhere near putting an end to poverty.

And while Johnson’s Great Society, extending the social reforms of Roosevelt’s New Deal, enacted government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps that significantly reduced poverty, Obama signaled the purely token character of his proposals by declaring that “government doesn’t have all the answers”, “no amount of money” can solve social problems, and the best that can be done is to “make a difference.”

Obama gave his speech the same day the Census Bureau reported that in the first three years of his presidency, nearly one third of the country’s population, 31.6 percent, fell below the federal poverty line for at least two months.

He spoke even as his administration was intensifying the austerity policies that had inflicted pain and deprivation on tens of millions of Americans. It was widely reported Thursday that congressional Democrats had agreed to cut $9 billion in food stamp benefits on top of the $5 billion cut that was implemented last November.

The White House’s rhetorical pivot on inequality coincides with an administration-backed budget deal that leaves in place over a trillion dollars in sequester cuts while slashing federal workers’ retirement benefits and imposing regressive consumption taxes.

The administration has backed the plans of Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to use bankruptcy to slash the retirement and health benefits of city workers and sell off the artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, is being exposed every day as a scam to slash health benefits for tens of millions of Americans and boost the profits of insurance and health industry corporations. It is the first step in an assault on the key social programs—Social Security and Medicare—that Obama cynically invokes for public consumption, even as he plots with the Republicans to cut and ultimately privatize.

The declared focus on social inequality is a marketing strategy aimed at rehabilitating the image of the Obama administration amid growing popular anger over its right-wing social policies, its illegal domestic spying programs, and its foreign policy of militarism and war. The phony campaign is being coordinated with the trade unions, in conjunction with their fast food protests and lobbying for a rise in the minimum wage, backed by the allies of the union bureaucracy in liberal and pseudo-left circles.

By means of this ruse, the Democrats hope to bolster their chances in the 2014 midterm elections and hold back the growth of working class opposition.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #74 on: Jan 18, 2014, 01:54:19 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/01/republicans-have-to-hurt-poor-before-loving-them.html

That Awkward Moment When Republicans Have to Hurt the Poor Before They Can Love Them

By Jonathan Chait
New York Magazine
January 10, 2014



“Poverty,” reports the New York Times, “is suddenly the subject of bipartisan embrace.” Before poor people get too excited about this new development, some clarification may be in order. The parties are not embracing a shared program to alleviate poverty, nor even the goal of doing something at all about poverty anytime soon. There is merely shared agreement to discuss poverty as a subject.

What hasn’t changed is the general shape of the Republican economic agenda in either the long run or the short run. Republicans agree that government takes too much from the rich and gives too much to the non-rich, and its domestic agenda is constructed largely as a corrective to what Republicans see as excessive redistribution. Republicans also believe that nothing about the immediate labor market requires any changes to their general economic policies. (That is, they don’t believe high unemployment justifies temporarily relaxing their opposition to deficit spending or to worry less about coddling the unemployed.)

The near-term agenda remains completely unaltered. Republicans remain unified in their desire to cut food stamps and end emergency unemployment benefits unless offset by other cuts to domestic spending. Nearly all support ongoing state-based campaigns to deny Medicaid coverage to uninsured people too poor to qualify for tax credits to buy private insurance.

The awkwardness of the current moment is that Republicans have yet to agree on any kind of alternative policy framework for anti-poverty policy, and in the meantime they are still waging a current legislative fight to roll back existing income support for the poor and block a minimum-wage increase. When forced to defend these positions, they are making the odd argument that being poor stinks.

“You don’t dream when you’ve got food stamps,” says Paul Ryan. Neither can you dream when you’re collecting UI: “Even if you had an extension for three months, what are you doing to solve the broad picture of the economy and creating jobs,” said Senator Jerry Moran. For that matter, even low-wage jobs are no picnic, either. “Raising the minimum wage may poll well, but having a job that pays $10 an hour is not the American dream,” says Marco Rubio.

It is certainly true that being unemployed, or poor enough to qualify for food stamps, or making the minimum wage is no fun. Everybody agrees that faster economic growth, low unemployment, and higher wages would make people happier than being poor. The question is, given the actual labor market, why would withholding benefits from unemployed workers create jobs when jobs are so scarce? Few Republicans care to address that question straightforwardly.

[Continued...]

--------------------------------

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #75 on: Jan 18, 2014, 01:54:59 am »
 

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http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/10/1268619/-MUST-SEE-EXCELLENT-Jon-Stewart-commentary-on-income-inequality?detail=facebook

MUST-SEE: EXCELLENT Jon Stewart commentary on income inequality

BruinKid
Daily Kos
January 10, 2014

Last night, Jon Stewart really hit it out of the park on the state of income inequality in our country as portrayed by Fox News, and the right-wing's completely delusional justifications for what they think are good and bad ways to go about fixing it.

As you know, there's a bit of a divide in this country — income inequality, the left thinks it's unfair because of systemic disadvantages built in for the less affluent; the right thinks it's unfair because apparently those disadvantages aren't systemic enough.  And they don't like the fact that the rich are being demonized, especially given how compassionate they are to the disgusting poor.

    ERIC BOLLING (10/13/2013): The makers make it, the government takes it from them, and then they give it to the takers.

    STEVE DOOCY (1/9/2014): ... a nation of takers ...

    BILL O'REILLY (1/8/2013): ... welfare cheats ...

    JOHN STOSSEL (4/9/2011): ... freeloaders ...

    NEAL BOORTZ (10/14/2010): ... the moocher class out there ...

    STUART VARNEY (7/9/2011): 99% of them have a refrigerator.

    ERIC BOLLING (9/9/2012): Subsidized freeloaders who'd rather watch Jerry Springer on the couch or occupy a park, than go out and earn a living.

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER (1/22/2013): There's a lot more people who want to suck on the teat of the state.

(audience laughter)

You know that moocher class, that just comes right up to the state, and is all like, "Oooh, look at 'em teats!"  (Jon motorboats)  "Gimme some of that unemployment benefit!"  (Jon motorboats)  You know, the state's very voluptuous.

It's actually honestly hard to listen to them talk about it.  I wish there was some shorthand way to represent their feelings towards the recipients of these benefits graphically.


    

That's on their morning show.  And what note do you give the graphics designer for that?  "Hey, give me the dirt-stained hand of the moochy poor bursting alien-like through the heart of this once mighty nation.  And then give it a little ragtime underneath, you know, it's a morning show."  (audience laughter)

Can you imagine that when it reasonably came time to try and temporarily extend long-term unemployment benefits — which average, I dunno, $256 dollars a week, and ran out in December — can you imagine, the right must have had many reasons why that's a terrible idea.

    BRIT HUME (12/28/2013): The people who are losing unemployment benefits have had them for a long time.  It is supposed to be a temporary measure.

    JULIET HUDDY (12/28/2013): This was supposed to be a temporary fix.

    STUART VARNEY (1/7/2014): We've gradually extended and extended and extended them.

    JOHN BOEHNER (1/8/2014): We would consider extending emergency unemployment benefits if it was paid for.

    PBS (1/7/2014): One way he {Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)} suggested is to eliminate new health care subsidies for the poor.

Oh!  What a great deal!  "I would happily extend your unemployment benefits for the mere cost of your health care."  It's like a wonderful O Henry story with an ironic twist ending.

"Look, honey, I sold all our food to get you that doctor's appointment!"

"What?  I stopped treating my cancer to get you this banana!"
 (audience laughter)

"Oh-ho!  We should've talked."

You know, I'm not certain that making sure these programs are paid for and finite is the worst idea, if that were their consistent position about benefits to other groups.  For instance, maybe those who punch their hands through the chest of America to receive the supposedly temporary Bush tax cuts.


    SEN. RON JOHNSON, R-WI (1/5/2011): We also need to make tax cuts permanent.

    SEN. JON KYL, R-AZ (7/11/2010): We should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates.

    JOHN BOEHNER (8/8/2010): What you're trying to do is get into this Washington game, and their funny accounting over there.

    MITCH McCONNELL (8/22/2010): This is existing tax policy.  It's been in place for 10 years. ... Why did it all of a sudden become something that we "paid for"?

(in McConnell voice) "Why do we have to pay for it?  It's been in existence for over 10 years!  Giving money to rich people doesn't cost anything!  (audience laughter)  All the payment we need is their beautiful smiles!"

'Cause the real outrage isn't the bonuses or tax cuts that go to the highest earners.  The real outrage is the Showcase Showdown lavish value of the golden parachute welfare packages this country now dispenses.


    GREGG JARRETT (9/17/2013): Food stamps, SNAP cards, disability, unemployment checks, public housing.  The Cato Institute did a study, just came out, said the full plate of welfare benefits now pays more than $12 dollars per hour in half the states.  And in other words, sitting on the couch eating bonbons is more financially lucrative.

WHAT THE F*CK?!?!?!?  (Jon facepalms)

No, you're right, that is a perfect encapsulation of the lifestyle of the poor and long-term unemployed — bonbon wishes and couch-sitting dreams!  (audience laughter)

But I guess, maybe there is a real point in there.  What's your incentive to work 40 hours a week in a shitty job when you can make the same shitty salary not working?  I guess one solution would be raise the minimum wage, so that there would be a discrepancy.  What do you think of that?

    GERRI WILLIS (2/13/2013): Raising the minimum wage could be just about the worst thing he could do for the jobs market.

    JONATHAN HOENING (12/7/2013): Wages aren't arbitrary, Arthel.  They're not based on whim, they're not based on feeling, and they're not charity.

    STUART VARNEY (12/3/2013): Someone fresh out of high school that didn't get a diploma, they don't really have any basic skills, do you think that they deserve $15 an hour?

    FOX BUSINESS GUEST (7/29/2013): Why stop at $15?  Why not raise the minimum wage to $100,000?

WHY NOT??  (audience laughter)  Why not pay people in cocaine and unicorns?  (audience laughter)

But I get it.  Your solution is we can't make employment more attractive, we can only make unemployment less attractive.  'Cause anything else is a moral hazard.

    SEN. RAND PAUL, R-KY (12/8/2013): When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group.

    NINA EASTON (1/6/2014): Dependency does not get people out of poverty; jobs do.

    CHARLES PAYNE (1/8/2014): A lot of people are lazy, and a lot of people are becoming lazier.

    1/8/2014:

    STEVE DOOCY: You know what it's like.  You have been on unemployment as a struggling actor before.

    DEAN CAIN: Yes. ... You see some of the movies I've done?  Do you think I wanted to do all of those movies?  I mean, I gotta be honest.  You sometimes have to go to work.

    STEVE DOOCY: You take a job!

    DEAN CAIN: Maybe it's not the job you want, but you take the job.

    ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Sure.

Exactly.  Actor Dean Cain is right.  I don't care if the auto parts plant shut down after 40 years, get your ass off your couch, stop eating those bonbons, and star in The Dog Who Saved Christmas.  (massive audience cheering and applause)

Well let's be honest.  Now sure, we feel bad for the deserving unemployed.  But are we really sure that all those people collecting their fat $256 dollars a week really need it?

    BILL O'REILLY (11/12/2013): Welfare fraud outta control.

    STUART VARNEY (11/17/2010): Fraud rampant in many programs across the country.

    GRETCHEN CARLSON (1/6/2014): I've spoken to people who say, you know, I'm better off getting unemployment than going off of financial aid.

    GREGG JARRETT (1/4/2014): Now the surfer dude in California told us, why work when the government pays me not to work?

    BRAD BLAKEMAN (10/31/2013): Fraud, mismanagement, and abuse.

    KIMBERLY GUILFOYLE (12/5/2011): Trust me, milking the system, OK?

    DONALD TRUMP (1/6/2014): You have many, many people, I'll bet you it's a big majority of the people, that are sitting back and not pulling their weight.

Far be it from me to bet against such a successful casino owner (audience giggles), but I will wager the percentage of unemployment scammers is less than "a big majority".

Still, the position is clear.  Because a few people on unemployment might be committing fraud, everybody's benefits should end, nobody's should get extended.  I'm curious, how did they apply that same reasoning when people on Wall Street were caught definitely committing fraud?

    CHARLIE GASPARINO (10/3/2011): Yes, Wall Street has a perception problem, but you know, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    KEN LANGONE (8/21/2013): And the fact that you may have a few bad apples....

    MICHAEL STEELE: There are bad apples in any situation.

    FOX NEWS GUEST (7/24/2010): You're right, there's a few bad apples.

    BALD GUEST ON KUDLOW REPORT (5/13/2010): The market will always have a few bad actors, and you find 'em, and you shoot 'em, OK?  But you don't kill the market.

And by "actor", I mean "CEOs", and by "shoot 'em", I mean "pay them millions to leave". (audience laughter)

All right, so when it comes to Wall Street, you can't judge everyone by a few bad apples.  I mean, who hasn't had a couple of bad actors and apples, right?  But when it comes to the unemployed, if you find a few bad apples, napalm that f**king orchard!  (audience laughter)

I think I'm beginning to get it.  If it's a policy that benefits the rich, then it doesn't have to be paid for, should last forever, and is good for America.  But if it benefits the poor, we can't afford it, we should end it as soon as possible, and it will destroy our nation from within.  Because when you give money to people who don't have it, it corrupts them.  But people who are already rich have a money immunity built up already.  (audience laughter and applause)

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #76 on: Jan 18, 2014, 01:55:40 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/01/10/to-understand-gops-poverty-challenge-start-with-republican-voters/

To understand GOP’s poverty challenge, start with Republican voters

By Patrick Egan
The Washington Post
January 10, 2014

Joshua Tucker: The following is a guest post by my colleague, New York University political scientist Patrick J. Egan.  Egan is the author of “Partisan Priorities: How Issue Ownership Drives and Distorts American Politics” (Cambridge University Press 2013).

*****

Republican stars such as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have launched a full-court press to convince the public that the GOP has the right policies to address persistent poverty.  Their rollout of proposals and reforms is all part of an effort by the Republican Party to establish a reputation for caring about — and doing something about — poverty in America.  It is keyed to the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, which gave birth to programs at the heart of America’s anti-poverty efforts including Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, and Head Start.

These programs were enacted in a breathtakingly productive 11-month span by President Lyndon Johnson and a Congress overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats (over the objection of majorities of Congressional Republicans).   They help explain why a reputation for fighting poverty has long belonged nearly exclusively to the Democratic Party in the public’s mind.  We can assess this by looking at how Americans respond when asked which party they believe is better at “handling” or “dealing with” poverty-related issues.  The figure below displays results from all such questions appearing on national polls between 1980 and 2008 (compiled from surveys housed by the Roper Public Opinion Archives.)



The graph shows why the GOP is eager to change the national conversation on poverty.   As can be seen at the bottom of the figure, the public trusts the Democrats as the party to handle poverty by overwhelming margins — by some 30 to 50 percentage points.  Poverty is thus one of the issues that political scientists say is “owned” by the Democratic Party.  (Other surveys show Democrats also own issues like education and the environment; Republicans own issues such as national security and crime.)

But there is a glaring exception to Democrats’ ownership of the poverty issue, and that is when a survey question mentions “welfare.”  As shown at the top of the graph, here the numbers flip to a slight Republican advantage.  The topic largely fell off the public’s radar after the passage of welfare reform in 1996.  These data show the benefits that could accrue to today’s GOP if it successfully portrays the War on Poverty in the same way — as flawed and in need of reform.

Will this strategy work?  In my new book on issue ownership, I show that parties own issues in part because their rank-and-file voters are deeply committed to prioritizing these issues.  These commitments are then reflected in how the parties govern.  I find that Democrats and Republicans spend more public dollars — and pass more landmark legislation — on the issues they own when they are in power in Washington.  Americans are aware of these priorities, and they tend to name the party that places a higher priority on a particular issue as the one better able to handle that issue.

And therein lies the problem for Republican leaders seeking to claim ownership of the poverty issue: their voters aren’t particularly concerned about poverty.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #77 on: Jan 18, 2014, 01:56:18 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/12/unemployment-cuts_n_4585083.html

Unemployment Cuts Leave Many With Bleak Options

By Josh Boak and Sam Hananel
The Huffington Post
January 12, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — A cutoff of benefits for the long-term unemployed has left more than 1.3 million Americans with a stressful decision:

What now?

Without their unemployment checks, many will abandon what had been a futile search and will no longer look for a job — an exodus that could dwarf the 347,000 Americans who stopped seeking work in December. Beneficiaries have been required to look for work to receive unemployment checks.

Some who lost their benefits say they'll begin an early and unplanned retirement. Others will pile on debt to pay for school and an eventual second career. Many will likely lean on family, friends, and other government programs to get by.

They're people like Stan Osnowitz, a 67-year-old electrician in Baltimore who lost his state unemployment benefits of $430 a week. The money put gasoline in his car to help him look for work.

Osnowitz says an extra three months of benefits — one option Congress is debating to restore the program —would enable his job search to continue into spring, when construction activity usually increases and more electrical jobs become available.

He says he's sought low-paid work at stores like Lowe's or Home Depot. But he acknowledges that at his age, the prospect of a minimum-wage job is depressing.

"I have two choices," Osnowitz says. "I can take a job at McDonald's or something and give up everything I've studied and everything I've worked for and all the experience that I have. Or I can go to retirement."

The emergency federal aid ran out last month, a casualty of deficit-minded lawmakers who argue that the government can't afford to fund it indefinitely and that unemployment benefits do little to put people back to work. Since their introduction during the 2008 financial crisis, extended benefits have gone to millions who had exhausted their regular state unemployment checks, typically after six months.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #78 on: Jan 18, 2014, 01:57:56 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anthony-w-orlando/do-the-math-people-dont-c_b_4578856.html

Do the Math: People Don't Choose to Be Poor or Unemployed

Anthony W. Orlando
The Huffington Post
January 12, 2014

God, I wish I were poor.

And unemployed. That's the good life. Poor and unemployed.

I mean, just look at all the cool stuff you get. Medicaid and welfare. Food stamps and unemployment insurance. And don't forget public housing.

This stuff is so awesome that it's like a "hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives." That's what Paul Ryan says, at least, and as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, he's supposed to know these things, right?

According to Ryan and his fellow Republicans, if I have unemployment insurance, I'll never want to work again. Senator Rand Paul says it will cause me "to become part of this perpetual unemployed group." With an average benefit of $269 per week, I'll be living on Easy Street.

This is a common belief. There's an email making the rounds from a 54-year-old consulting engineer who makes $60,000 a year and has to pay $482 a month for health insurance under Obamacare, but that's not his biggest complaint. He's really upset that his 61-year-old girlfriend who makes $18,000 a year only has to pay $1 a month for health insurance.

He thinks she has it so easy that she can afford to pay more, but he's wrong.

On average, Americans earning $18,000 a year pay more than $3,000 in taxes, so she really only has $15,000 leftover to pay her expenses. She lives in Monterey, CA, where the average rent and utilities add up to $15,000 a year. So, after paying taxes, rent, and utilities, she's completely broke. She doesn't have money for food, let alone health insurance.

The consulting engineer thinks people will choose her lifestyle over his. "Heck, why study engineering when I can be a schlub for $20K per year?" he asks. (Nice way to talk about your girlfriend, by the way.) To which I'd like to reply: If being a "schlub" is so attractive, why don't you do it? Why don't you quit your engineering job and join the "$20K per year" club?

For that matter, why don't we all quit our jobs right now and start collecting unemployment insurance? How far do you honestly think we can stretch $269 a week?

I'll tell you how far: It would cover less than half of the basic necessities for the average American family.

That's why unemployment makes you more likely to have to borrow money from a friend, withdraw money from your retirement savings, and have trouble paying your medical bills, rent, and mortgage. It makes you more likely to have a stroke or heart attack, lose self-respect, have difficulty sleeping, and seek professional help for anxiety and depression. It makes you more likely to kill yourself, kill others, and drink yourself to death.

And if you've been unemployed for more than a few months, most employers won't even look at your résumé. It doesn't matter how qualified you are. It's like you don't exist anymore.

The last time it was this bad, with long-term unemployment close to 3 percent of the workforce, was the peak of the 1980-81 recession. Back then, the federal government kept extended unemployment insurance in place for almost two more years, until the long-term unemployment rate fell close to 1 percent. In fact, that's been standard operating procedure for every recession in the modern era, including 1990-91 and 2001. But now, with long-term unemployment as high as it's been since World War II, Republicans have killed the emergency unemployment insurance program, and they're fighting Democrats' efforts to restore it.

They don't seem to care that there are 2.9 applicants for every job opening. They don't seem to care that people on unemployment insurance actually spend more time searching for work than their fellow unemployed who are ineligible for benefits. They're sticking to their story.

On the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, many Americans are still operating under the assumption that people choose to be poor and unemployed, that they'd rather be lazy than rich, that they can afford the basic necessities of life. But the numbers tell a different story.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

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http://schalkenbach.org
 

Re: Blaming the poor for the crimes of the rich
« Reply #79 on: Jan 18, 2014, 01:58:42 am »
 

Geolibertarian

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/01/13/morning-plum-republicans-all-over-the-map-on-jobless-benefits/

Morning Plum: Republicans all over the map on jobless benefits

By Greg Sargent
The Washington Post
January 13 at 9:12 am

With a crucial Senate vote set for today on the Democratic plan to extend jobless benefits, Republicans continue to offer one reason after another for opposing the extension. At this point, their rationales are all over the place.

Oddly, though, it has fallen to a Republican Senator to reveal just how flimsy GOP reasoning on the issue has become. On Face the Nation yesterday, Marco Rubio declared that there is a “general consensus” that jobless benefits should be extended. If true, this is certainly welcome news. But note how Rubio said this. Asked by CBS’s Bob Schieffer if there is any way Congress might pass an extension, the Senator said:

    “I do think there is an outcome that we can arrive at. And if you look at it, I there is a general consensus that these programs need to be extended, but they need to be paid for.  And in addition to that, maybe not as part of this effort right away, but in the long term we need to figure out way to reform those programs so that we get more people back to work.”

Elsewhere in the same interview, Rubio, speaking in general about federal anti-poverty programs, said: “As far as the war on poverty is concerned, its programs have utility; they do help alleviate the consequences of poverty, but they don’t help people to emerge from that poverty.”

Taken together, these statements are useful additions to the debate. Their logical implication is that even if you think programs like UI need to be overhauled for the good of poor people themselves, that still isn’t an argument against extending UI right now. After all, programs like these “help alleviate poverty” in the short term. Those who care about helping poor Americans should support a temporary extension — to alleviate short-term economic suffering – while eying broader reforms for later.

The problem with the new GOP poverty agenda has been that Republicans have not convincingly explained why, if they are genuinely interested in helping poor people over the long term, they continue advocating for policies that will have an immediate punitive impact on them.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

http://monetary.org
http://schalkenbach.org
 

 

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