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Ear to the Ground

The Jobless Go Begging in Washington State

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Posted on Apr 7, 2012
ep_jhu (CC-BY)

Thousands of jobless workers in Washington state will lose their unemployment checks starting later this month when the federal government begins withdrawing emergency benefits because overall state unemployment has dropped below 8.5 percent.

The problem is that the system ignores individual workers’ needs among the roughly 175,000 people collecting unemployment checks.

Read the state Employment Security Department’s official notice of the program’s termination here. —ARK

KiroTV:

That the unemployment rate is falling is good. The bad news is that because the rate has fallen below 8.5 percent, emergency unemployment compensation – cash supplied by the federal government – is going away.

That means 12,000 unemployed workers will lose their extended benefits on April 21. Another 11,000 will lose them by late June, and another 40,000 people could run out of benefits during the final six months of the year.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, April 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

Mona - Thanks for that intersting comment. As someone who has lived in WA for a long time, I find your pointed observations and criticisms dead-on accurate. I used to really like it here, but in recent years it has become incredibly difficult for me to enjoy living here: As I mentioned earlier, this is supposed to be a liberal sanctuary but even with the huge number of uber-wealthy individuals and corporations one will never find a more stingy, nasty population when it comes to public works, general improvements, etc. And now, after the legislature has just ended another session with severe cuts to more public programs, I wouldn’t want to be poor or disabled around here.

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By heterochromatic, April 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

EZ—- you big bully! stop picking on that little bully.

http://youtu.be/j5lU52aWTJo

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By Mona, April 9, 2012 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve been looking for work in Washington State for a a loooong time already, even before these new figures.  None of the sectors mentioned by mrfreeze have anything to offer - whether it’s the corporations, the small business sector, government, schools, or public providers.  The area is in a lock-down, has been for a while, and for the most part, it’s a “clean cut mafia” of its own as to who’s “in” and who’s “out.”  And this is supposed to be a liberal/progressive area!  What a bunch of hooey.  There are all these “nativists” and the “buy local” folks - who are really just a euphemism for another type of provincial chauvinism, and not anything resembling progressive at all, if you happen to be looking for work.  In fact, generations of “innies” with their stupid attitudes and stupid “sophistications” and quiet prejudices and bigotries about anyone who is the least bit “different.”  I’ve never lived in a area for such a long time, feeling like an outsider.  Boy, do they make you feel like it!  Indeed, they should call the corporate bluff and let them show their cards if they’re really about to leave the state.  As if they would really high tail it to another part of the country?  They couldn’t survive outside Washington State, they’re such provincial clutzes.  Buncha hillbillies, for the most part.  Am I wrong?  Well, if anyone reading here from Washington State knows someone who can hire me - even filing papers or shuttling coffee in Seattle - and please don’t tell me how highly qualified I must be for these jobs - please please please feel free to contact me at truthdig on this page, and prove that this is not yet Detroit in a whole other way.  Put your money where your mouth is, and I will post a testament on Washington State’s behalf .. eatting my hat, so to speak.

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By Sheryl Hutchison, April 9, 2012 at 8:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I want to correct a couple of the comments here suggesting that the number of people on (or off) unemployment benefits is a factor in the unemployment rate: it isn’t.  The official unemployment rate counts people who are unemployed and actively seeking work; that includes people who are not on unemployment benefits.  If someone is unemployed and would LIKE to work, but isn’t actively looking for work, that person is not counted in the official unemployment rate.  Sheryl Hutchison, Communications Director, Washington State Employment Security Department.

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By thewata22, April 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course unemployment rate has gone down to 8.2% because people have run out of unemployment insurance and are no longer counted in the statistic.  Dropping the last 26 weeks will remove another large group of people from the statistic dropping the unemployment rate even more.  The month of March had dismal job creation about half of the previous two months.  So the heartless horrendous result of taking away thousands of people’s last life line is more people on the streets.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, April 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment

@ Surfboy

Dude, how dare you call me a bully.

I would be well within my rights to be deeply offended by your remarks.

What about all the strategic oil reserve stuff???

That is not relevant to Washington State, employment statistics or any of this.

You are being a jerk and obviously don’t want this to end.

Like I said before, have a shitty day butthole and thanks for nothing.

See you later alligator.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, April 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

@ Surfboy

You still haven’t addressed the irrelevance of your initial comment.

Stop being such a coward.

Fuck

You now have another choice to make if you choose to respond.

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mrfreeze's avatar

By mrfreeze, April 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

I’ve lived in WA State since 1986. One of the most ironic and ridiculous phenomena occurs here:

Boeing, the state’s largest most iconic private institution pays virtually NOTHING in taxes (http://www.seattlepi.com/boeing/article/Report-claims-Boeing-paid-no-taxes-over-past-2251088.php

Microsoft is pretty good at dodging taxes as well: http://microsofttaxdodge.com/response-to-common-criticisms-of-microsoft-tax-dodge-.html

Amazon does a good job of wriggling out of paying taxes: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017895493_amazonsalestax03.html

Here in my state there’s been a LOT of discussion about the loopholes and tax breaks given a lot of the large, iconic businesses but no headway is being made. Why?

Because the dumb-fuck citizens here have voted to hog-tie the legislature with incredible rules that keep it from implementing tax reforms. (Of course, conservatives call the elimination of loopholes tax hikes…go figure).
This happens because we have a California-style initiative process that let’s stupid people vote against their own self interest.

Also, all of these “job creators” threaten to leave the state if they’re required to pay into the state coffers. One day last year I was listening to the head of the WA State Round Table who basically came out and said as much. In other words, corporations can basically threaten the legislature and the citizens.

And yet, my small business friends (who blame unions, teachers, public employees, etc. for all our budget problems) are getting creamed with taxes because the big boys don’t pay any. There are lots of strange, incestuous relationships here in WA State.

You know the uber-irony of this is that in western WA, we are considered to be “liberal” (in stark contrast to eastern WA which is more like UT…...so conservative that it hurts…..oh, and many farmers out that way take government subsidies….go figure).

Yes, yes, these big businesses certainly do create jobs, but their employees use all the same (dwindling) services that the rest of us use. Boeing is the perfect example of a corporation that is “dedicated to education” and yet manages to pay nothing into a system that badly needs to train new workers. They’re more than happy to “socialize” that cost to the community colleges and universities that are being “de-funded.”

I could go on, but our situation is emblematic of many of the issues we talk about here on TD. Many of you want to change the system. Many of you believe in and preach a more egalitarian way to do things in America…Unfortunately, as long as corporations have all the gold, they make (and break) the rules for their own profit and benefit.

So it’s pretty clear what the mantra in “the American Dream” America is: screw you if you can’t find a job.

Oh one more thing….you should see how social services for the truly needy in WA have been cut. Zeus help you should you be disabled, mentally impaired, etc….You’re really screwed. Perhaps the legislature would find it easier to simply propose “exposing” all of the imperfect people out there….heck, it worked for the Spartans…..

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, April 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

@ Surfboy

That explaination made little more sense then this sentence from your previous comment…

“Maybe we are so wealthy that we don’t see the slums and hunger in other countries that our benign corporations are supporting in foreign lands.”

In case you didn’t see the problem, you wrote “in other countries” followed by “in foreign lands” which was a bit redundant.

Anyhow, I still don’t see how the comment was relevant.

The last and only book I can recall reading in which economics was the main subject is “Cornered: Monopoly Capitalism And The Economics Of Destruction”. I didn’t finish it.

Have a shitty day butthole and thanks for nothing.

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By berniem, April 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm Link to this comment

The un- and under employed in this nation should look to the tactics of our bretheren in Europe and the Mid-East. In actual fact this group constitutes a union of sorts with the benefit of not being fired or subject to other anti-labor legalities should they go “on strike”. Basically, this group should do what the powerful unions of the past did and shut the whole damn economy down! If a company or industry slashes its workforce for whatever reason it should be shut down in toto and not permitted to function at all. A national general strike is what is needed now to find out once and for all who those parasites that we “elect” actually work for! Perhaps a global workers’ revolution is what this nation’s citizens should join to put paid to the criminality and inhumanity of this rapacious economic system known as free market capitalism! FREE BRADLEY MANNING & TIM DeCHRISTOPHER!!!!!

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By berniem, April 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

The un- and under employed in this nation should look to the tactics of our bretheren in Europe and the Mid-East. In actual fact this group constitutes a union of sorts with the benefit of not being fired or subject to other anti-labor legalities should they go “on strike”. Basically, this group should do what the powerful unions of the past did and shut the whole damn economy down! If a company or industry slashes its workforce for whatever reason it should be shut down in toto and not permitted to function at all. A national general strike is what is needed now to find out once and for all who those parasites that we “elect” actually work for! Perhaps a global workers’ revolution is what this nation’s citizens should join to put paid to the criminality and inhumanity of this rapacious economic system known as free market capitalism! FREE BRADLEY MANNING & TIM DeCHRISTOPHER!!!!!

Report this

By berniem, April 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

The un- and under employed in this nation should look to the tactics of our bretheren in Europe and the Mid-East. In actual fact this group constitutes a union of sorts with the benefit of not being fired or subject to other anti-labor legalities should they go “on strike”. Basically, this group should do what the powerful unions of the past did and shut the whole damn economy down! If a company or industry slashes its workforce for whatever reason it should be shut down in toto and not permitted to function at all. A national general strike is what is needed now to find out once and for all who those parasites that we “elect” actually work for! Perhaps a global workers’ revolution is what this nation’s citizens should join to put paid to the criminality and inhumanity of this rapacious economic system known as free market capitalism! FREE BRADLEY MANNING & TIM DeCHRISTOPHER!!!!!

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By bpawk, April 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Why don’t all the unemployed in the country descend on Washington in front of the White House and demand jobs - what else do they have to do and what else do they have to lose?

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, April 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm Link to this comment

@ Surfboy

I am grasping for any connection, even a non-rational one to the article or to any of the previous comments (in this case there is just one).

I feel you are persecuting me with your irrelevant remarks and it is terrifying to say the least.

Please show some mercy!!!

Oh wait, was it meant for the Iran article???

Even then it is a bit of a stretch.

Can’t you see what you are doing!!!

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, April 7, 2012 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

You know what this means…

Unemployment is about to officially go down even further in Washington State (by default).

Hooray!!!

I like the way those numbers look.

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