Wednesday, June 09, 2010

OP: The social injustice for long term unemployed still exists and continues to fester

The "Jobless In America" series of articles began one full month ago when the first state that was covered was California.  Having written about only 10 of the 50 states thus far, with Illinois next on the list, it is without saying that these articles are moving at the pace of a glacier.  But at least they are moving.  And sadly it seems that even with the slow pace at writing these articles, all 50 states will be covered before the United States government takes up the needs of the long term unemployed.  As many of you are increasingly taking notice, it seems that it is easier for the United States government to give money and resources to foreign countries than it is its own citizens. 

Of course the efforts of the long term unemployed to gain congressional recognition began many more months ago.  Nearly all is lost for some - including hope.  Long term unemployed need to know there are people fighting with them on this issue and will be here until the problem is resolved through job creation.  There are reasons to remain hopeful.  There are many reasons to politically fight and plea for extended unemployment benefits.  This is just the absolute least thing that should be done for the unemployed and as more and more exhaust benefits - the least is not being done.

There are many questions to be answered which right now the answers do not exist and it is just not useful to the immediate needs of the unemployed.  For example, I would like to know why a 20 acre shopping facility in my community has received nearly $300,000 of stimulus funds but there are no construction workers on the site.  That shopping complex alone would create hundreds of jobs in a rural area of Tennessee - but day after day when passing by that facility there is no movement.   In fact, this one particular county alone received nearly $2 million in stimulus funds to create jobs.  Answers are going to be sought for this - but for right now the country is still in a triage stage. 

The long term unemployed who have exhausted benefits need money now to not just prevent a double dip recession but also for the more moral reasons such as so they can provide for their children and themselves with the most basic necessities such as housing and food.

To a person without a job right now, this is not just a case of a political malpractice.  Each and every day, it seems like this is social holocaust.  Let me be clear with my readers, in many ways it is.  Members of Congress know this.  What they are not counting on though is the majority of American people knowing this.

The issue of unemployment has now become too politically safe for democrats.  Democrats need not do anything  for the rest of the year for the unemployed and they can all safely prove to be a better candidate on the issue of unemployment insurance to the majority of Americans who vote than the republican candidate who opposes unemployment insurance altogether.  And then there's another half, perhaps some from the same half of others, of the United States population under the spell right now that if more government spending occurs it will cause the sky to fall from the heavens and the entire world as we know it to come to an end. 

A deficit is still a deficit and a debt is still a debt - the amounts are arbitrary and considering the circumstances, what the hell would another $200 billion do in the long term as far as paying down the debt?

Nearly each and every state in the union is facing budget problems and is making cuts to necessary functions as the first (and only) stimulus for Main Street fades.  Additionally, more and more persons will fall into the ranks of the unemployed as these cuts escalate.  As this is being typed right now, there's a teacher that knows that he or she will not have a job next year and is planning for it.  At least these persons are being forewarned.  The long term jobless right now who have exhausted unemployment insurance were given no notice and more voices need to be advocating for the hardest-hit in this Great Recession.

Some politicians are feeding fear to the people demanding resolution to the deficit.  For whatever reason, these persons have completely forgotten that the country is still healing from the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression and are buying into this fear.  This fear of the deficit is why the issue of unemployment is so politically toxic and it is taking months for important and time sensitive legislation to clear Congress. Both political parties are playing the safe card through the 2010 election cycle.  Pelosi's answer stating that they will take up the issue again in November seemed to be code for if democrats still have a majority and these problems are still ours to correct then we will do something, of course.  Right now we choose not to be on the causing controversy about the deficit.  This is an A-list political card republicans could use against democrats - if only they did not already make their stand opposing these extensions.

Some persons who have not been impacted as badly by the financial collapse are seemingly discarding the immediate needs of up to 20% of the United States population.  There's a reason that main stream media is called "main stream" media.  It reports the stories that the majority of the viewing audience want to see.  Slowly, the persons who were victims in this Great Recession are being counted.  It should be in the interest of each and every person who is unemployed to want and help retain as much and as many sources reporting on this as possible so that larger audiences of Americans see the message. 

The recent news of the House Ways & Means starting a subcommittee hearing on the issue of the long term jobless is encouraging, but shouldn't this issue be on a faster track?  The entire country is a hospital right now in the sense of healing from the financial collapse and it seems like the persons in the ER are being quarantined rather than treated.  Some disgusting companies are even being so blatantly discriminating to state in their job ads that they will not hire anyone who is currently unemployed. 

If a true and organized boycott were to occur, it should be on these companies discriminating against the unemployed.  Such a boycott is simply consumer choice, right?  Just as there's no specific law on the books for the companies who are discriminating hiring unemployed and mostly displaced workers, that's the power of consumer choice if an organized boycott occurs.  As more and more of these stories surface, a list is being created and documented for these companies denying their fellow Americans any opportunity for a job. 

My only advice to the unemployed is to continue the fight.  Take comfort in knowing that you are documented and being recognized by some of your fellow Americans.  Advocacy is happening and results are waiting. Waiting until November is not the solution.  No one can promise when relief will come but the promise of the emergency flare being fired and seen can be made.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the 111th Congress does have the "99er petition" found at  It is my sincere hope and the relentless advocacy of this blog that action is taken as soon as possible.
blog comments powered by Disqus