Friday, April 16, 2010

Bill Is Law To Extend Deadlines Through June - Questions From Longest-Term Unemployed Unanswered - Blogger Addresses Activists For Tier 5

Notice how long that title is?

For those on Tiers 1, 2, 3, EB, and if your state qualifies, 4, Congress and the President signed into law today a bill which extends the current availability of UI Tiers until June.  Congress is expected to take on the issue of extending the benefits through the end of the year and also implement extensions for the way states borrow the funds for unemployment insurance programs before that deadline ends.  

For those who are longer-term unemployed and exhausted the maximum benefit of 99 weeks, this action does not provide assistance for you. 

It remains confusing to write about these extensions as Congress has yet to address the need to extend benefits beyond the maximum amount of 99 weeks.  An immediate smoke-screen also appears thanks in part to larger media outlets using the words "unemployment extension", at will.  The media has to be doing this to attract larger audiences.  Which we have to understand that to a degree.  They are in the business to make money then report the news nowadays. 

After all, being specific is boring and lengthy and doesn't bode well with Twitter.  Plus, it does not attract the crowd who oppose these extensions which make for an interesting online soap opera in the comment section of the articles.

There have been a few brave sources make an attempt to correct this journalism error.  In fact, quite a bit more in recent weeks.  Things such as this do not happen because the media suddenly cares.  These things happen thanks to the 99ers out there who are doing all they can do each and every day.

In between searching for jobs that just aren't there, posting news updates to other forums so that your fellow unemployed know the 4-1-1 about what is truly happening, calling members of Congress to get their words heard, calling/emailing the press to get them to take notice of the situation, starting online petitions to Congress and asking your fellow unemployed to spread the word for you, and dealing with your own personal calamities and hardships.  No one could ever convince me that all of the 99ers are "bums" looking for government handouts.  These tasks far exceed the normal routine of a day by day job. 

It is safe to say that there is an army of 99ers on the Internet fighting for what they believe.  Each and every 99er is on a mission to survive and get their voices heard.  There may not be much organization in this standing army but there is something just as strong and that is determination.

If only Al Qaeda were on the Internet.  99ers would destroy them all.

It has always been the opinion of this blogger that if you take on an initiative to petition to this Congress for the need to take action for the longest-term unemployed, we will support and advocate for you.  Whether your form of petitioning is just calling Congress or posting comments on inaccurate news stories or starting up an Internet Talk Radio show where other unemployed can call in and share stories and information or starting your own website and advocating for this need, US Unemployed Blogsite will find room for you on this blog.  Isn't that a form of organization and making the unemployed aware of resources? 

There was a comment posted on a previous post that these can sometimes appear self-serving.  My response to that was, "yes, you better believe it is self serving".  Only in the sense of helping to advocate for a Tier 5 extension, though.  If an unemployed person happens to land a spot on Oprah and get coverage on this issue - great!  Go make a name for yourself and advocate for a Tier 5.  Although Oprah is a stretch, you get the point. 

Let's face it though, that scenario really is turning lemons into lemonade.  Imagine the prospect of a totally broke unemployed person gaining some success and spreading the need for a Tier 5 at the same time to a larger audience.  That's an interesting story to the people who have not been living in this nightmare for the past two years.  This speaks to the American entrepreneurship that is in all of our blood.  It only proves the point that the longest-term unemployed are talented people in a bad job market getting creative.  Last time I checked, Internet commerce was doing quite well.  Some unemployed may very well find meaningful employment with the Internet.

The 99ers are making slow progress.  Just a short month ago there were no sources pointing out that this extension does not help the longest-term unemployed.  No matter what you have decided the role you will take on for yourself will be; if you have the extra time and resources to advocate for a Tier 5, do it.  At least there are some news outlets now reporting on the issue.  We are all doing something right to even change that.

This will not be over though until a bill is on the floor that helps the longest-term unemployed.  Whatever you are doing out there - keep doing it.  Some of the media sources are picking up on this grassroots effort.  That's publicity.  That's the people exercising their rights of free speech and others taking notice. 

Congress isn't going to act if we were all doing the exact same thing and the truth is we are all a diverse people with different ideas.  We are all mostly using little start up capital or we wouldn't be collecting unemployment to begin.  It's not as if the unemployed can appoint representatives from each state and convene in a large body like the United States House of Representatives and get paid a six-figure income to just argue with each other and ignore the real needs for millions of Americans for our personal gain.

Do not allow the media and Congress to divide the needs of the unemployed.  No matter what your political beliefs may be, if you are a 99er and your member of Congress is not representing your need for jobs and until then, unemployment extensions, you are not being represented.  The last time I checked this was a free country where we could demand action from our elected officials.

The unemployed are not divided we are just a little unorganized at the moment. 

As this blog seems to be evolving into a temporary political activist source, more will be posted about people starting their own opportunity to help us organize.

More information about the 99ers and what they are doing to make this extension happen coming soon.  Thanks to everyone for doing what they do and for the sake of our country and all of it's citizens I hope and pray the unemployment crisis in this country can get resolved as soon as possible.
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