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Ear to the Ground

Unemployment Benefits Run Out

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Posted on Dec 1, 2010
Flickr / Daniel Lobo (CC-BY)

Just in time for Christmas, unemployment benefits, which average $302.90 a week, are starting to run out for about 2 million Americans. Unless Congress acts, more will join their ranks. The Washington Post reports on what it’s like to tell your 9-year-old there aren’t going to be presents this year.  —PZS

Washington Post:

That means Christmas is out of the question for Wayne Pittman, 46, of Lawrenceville, Ga., and his wife and 9-year-old son. The carpenter was working up to 80 hours a week at the beginning of the decade, but saw that gradually drop to 15 hours before it dried up completely. His last $297 check will go to necessities, not presents.

“I have a little boy, and that’s kind of hard to explain to him,” Pittman said.

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By Tired of all the crying !, December 17, 2010 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So why is it that so many of you feel that an
entitlement exist between those who don’t work and
those that do? Why is it that people who work hard
for their money should have to give it to those that
don’t work at all? Why is it that more then 50% of
those who run out of unemployment benefits find a job
in less then 60 days after losing benefits. Why is it
that we think that it is a good idea to pay people to
do nothing? The best motivator to get working and
create jobs is to have too. Hunger is an extreme
motivator.

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By Peter McAteer, December 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is terrible news for everyone collecting unemployment so close to the holidays. I was lucky enough to find a job recently using http://www.Uvisor.com and now I’ll be able to buy presents for my kids this Christmas. I really recommend anyone who is looking for a job to check these guys out, if it could work for me it can for you! Best of luck and happy holidays everyone.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, December 3, 2010 at 5:38 pm Link to this comment

The hypocrisy of demanding that unemployment insurance be paid - when the Reps haven’t cared about paying for any of their greedy corporate take overs and military occupations around the world.
What a load of chicken crap.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Chuck Schumer asked Lamar Alexander (one of the closest to what might be called a sane Republican senator) the following:

What if the level of tax cuts was raised to $1 million rather than $250,000? But that all income over $1 million wouldn’t get the extension?  Could he vote for that?

Alexander wouldn’t answer.  The Re-thugs will stand firm that the richest 5% of all Americans are entitled to an AVERAGE of $85,000 a year in tax cuts!  Most Americans would be damn happy to have $85,000 in income!

Our nation has gone insane.

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By purplewolf, December 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm Link to this comment

ITW: One repug actually claimed that the unemployed do not spend their checks and that they save them. DUH! Still hanging onto the false idea that the rich make jobs. Where? These out of touch politicians need to be tossed out of their cushy no work jobs and get no benefits and take all their money away and lets see how long they would last in the real world.

Photoshock: Unfortunately the way people handle things is through violence, they use violence even against perceived imaginary slights. Sarah Palins is a good example of flying off the handle everything she doesn’t understand something and then blows it out of proportion the wrong way. Violence is inevitable.

Jim Yell: This will be the third year in a row that social security will remain the same rate. All of my other bills have gone up even while cutting to the barest of necessities.

Faith: You forgot all of those whose unemployment ended years ago that are not counted and those who have given up looking for a job as there are about 6 people for every job offering and do not forget many of those job offer ads are not legitimate ads,as in the 70’s on to current date, many businesses put out signs saying they are looking for workers when they have no openings and the same with newspaper advertising-it is a tax write off.

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By PatrickHenry, December 1, 2010 at 8:34 pm Link to this comment

Maybe we shouldn’t buy those refueling tankers the lobbyists are pitching on the radio about in Washington D.C. 24/7.

The money can be better spent helping out our nations citizens and not another multi-billion dollar contract favoring a very few contractors.

EADS or Boeing. both represent a huge waste of money and only perpetuate the military industrial complex.

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By faith, December 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment

I encourage everyone to write to Senator Scott Brown.  Share your views with him
since he is so proud that he was personally able to stop funds for those who are
unemployed and without work.  We need some humanitarians as elected officials. 
We need men and women in Congress who have mercy and compassion on the
less fortunate.  We need it now.

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By faith, December 1, 2010 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment

The unemployment numbers do not include many young people that have been in
college and graduate/professional schools during the past few years.  They have
returned to live at home.  They cannot qualify for unemployment because they
have been in school and not in the work force.  This is a shame and it makes me
wonder what is wrong with Americans that they would consider voting for a
republican at this point.  Yet, they did.  Enough so that the republicans took back
the House of Representatives.  Our nation is in serious trouble and there is going
to be a revolution.  Just what type remains to be seen.

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By Queenie, December 1, 2010 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment

Where can I send this kid a present?

Anybody?

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By Mark, December 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Take that, you lazy loafers!

This just in: The AP is reporting that all 42 Republican Senators have told Harry Reid the they will block all Democratic intiatives in the lame duck session UNTIL the Bush tax cuts are extended.

Surely, this is the greatest country in the world!

God bless America!

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By Inherit The Wind, December 1, 2010 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

I’m waiting for GRYM to stand up and cheer this “cost savings” while lambasting the Dems for not wanting to give a tax break that is, ON AVERAGE, in excess of $85,000 to the wealthiest 5% of Americans.

Let me see…if the average unemployed person gets, say $305/week. x 52 = $15,860.  Divide that into $85,000 and you find that you could fund almost 27% of all Americans.  Since about 10% are actually out of work, that tax cut, if not given, funds the unemployed for over 2 1/2 years…

People on unemployment spend money. They will spend that $15,860.  The wealthiest 5% won’t spend that $85,000, so it won’t flow into the economy.

So…why are do the Re-thugs want to give that money to the wealthiest where it will do NO good instead of to the unemployed where it will be spent and stimulate the economy?  (That’s a rhetorical question: The answer is obvious—corruption and power means more than people starving).

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By Fooled & unemployed, December 1, 2010 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“...the corporations remain undeniably silent and
uncaring about the needs of the society in which they
operate…”

Agreed 100%

We live in an inverted totalitarianism, a commodity culture, the cult of the self,
a superficial charm, a penchant for lying, no remorse, no guilt, unfettered
capitalism mistaken for individualism, the television is a reflection of our
society, winners are rewarded for their lack of empathy towards others. In
general the inverted totalitarianism applied here is the anonimity of the
corporate state.

The corporation purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, the constitution,
even religion, and maintains internal levers to subvert and thwart democratic
process by way of armies of hired corporate lobbyists, controlling the
newspapers, magazines, radio, and the most influential of all, media news,
thereby controlling the vote. Most of the time the masses are diverted with
celebrity gossip and trivia. Economics dominating politics. For the greed of the
few at the top of the corporations.

It will get much much worse before physical action is taken because here we
are, sitting, comfortable, typing on our computers. I am guilty. I was fooled
too. Politicians = Liars

History is on course to repeat itself. I hope that I die before I see that fully
developed.

I am ashamed of my failure to identify this until now.

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By Jim Yell, December 1, 2010 at 11:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We, that is the government borrowed shamelessly from China to fund an un-necessary war, to keep that war going longer than any war should and to reward the banks and investment community for looting the country. How to fix it, certainly not by enforcing regulations where they still survive and not by recovering the money quite simply stolen by banks. Oh yes, Obama Administration forgot to give the money with stipulations and so a lot of gangster bankers and investment people got huge bonuses in a year they were destroying jobs and surpressing wages and had already destroyed many peoples investments and yet except for Madoff no one has really been punished and even in Madoff’s case his hideous family was allowed to keep most of the stolen wealth.

So how do we make up the short fall? Decrease military expenses by cutting back on occupation of countries that are wealthy and populous enough to defend themselves? NO. Stop redundant or un-necessary research & developement? NO. Stop a War that has cessed to bring results or even the hope of results? NO. How can we do it? The way that Corporate America always does it? Yes, let’s drop the pretense of care for the aged, the ill and those people who lost their jobs because of the unsupportable profits of Investment and Banks? Yes, it is clear that is the strategy the Republicans most want and the Democrats seem ready to boost too.

It is already projected that food costs will go up 20% in the coming year. SS income has already been frozen for a year now and the move on is to freeze lower wage earners for at lest two more years and the bloated wealthy are still calling for their fortunes to be tax free. I think higher minimum wages and punishment for these bucaneers is the only way to resolve this and it is of course the one thing Obama refuses to do. He is not a Progressive, he is not and never has been a Liberal and while he is just right of center, he is in the hands of the Republican Monster. Let’s face it he misrepresented who he was and what he believed and yet the right wingers call him a lefty even though he has yet to do anything very left yet. Ignorant people probably deserve the abuse they get, at lest that is what the Republicans and corporate America believes. The mafia couldn’t have said it better.

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By Leonard, December 1, 2010 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tell me about the effect of unemployment on the economy, sure, but quit whining
about Christmas.  I know how to tell a 9 year old there won’t be any presents this
year, “hey, 9 year old ... there won’t be any presents this year, get over it”.  Now,
telling him there’s no dinner or heat ... that’s another story.  But using the tears of
Christmas to push this story is nothing but a lame distraction.  Or wait ... are we
just so used to a society that reacts to every lame distraction that it’s the only way
to message these days?  Ugh.

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By photoshock, December 1, 2010 at 9:56 am Link to this comment

The poor and middle class have no voice anymore. We,
the people have become a non-entity in the eyes of
Congress and the corporations. We are so much dead-
wood that needs to be burned. It is a tragedy that
the Congress which is supposed to represent the
interests of the people, does no such thing anymore.
We, the people the true government of the US are now,
we the sheeple, and considered nothing more than the
dross in the gold to be burned and cast aside.
How in the world, when corporations are considered
people by the Supreme Court of the US are the people
to be heard? We are not!
The moneyed elite, cannot stand that the people that
made them the money, need money to live. This is
economic slavery as opposed to real slavery. We the
economic slaves are supposed to take care of
ourselves and not worry if there are no jobs
available. The corporations have outsourced all the
production jobs and still cling to the Second Wave
thinking and production status. We cannot stand much
longer for this or any governing body to remain
lackluster about the needs of the people. Revolution
is going to happen, whether it happens violently or
with a whimper is going to depend on the fact that if
the corporations remain undeniably silent and
uncaring about the needs of the society in which they
operate, if then, then there will be violence and
anarchy. If the people, are the ones to decide, then
the corporations will listen and they will heed the
voice of their consumers.
I hope that the revolution is not violent, but,
forced into a corner, the people will react violently
to the corporate monsters that have been created by
this system.

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By FiftyGigs, December 1, 2010 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

This is what progressives “voted for” by their indifference in November.

Don’t pretend to care now.

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By G.Anderson, December 1, 2010 at 3:40 am Link to this comment

unfortunately the unemployed don’t have lobbyists.  Seems like that’s what you need to
have in order to get the congress to take any action.  Maybe it would be a good idea to
list the names along with pictures of all who opposed the extent ion
  of unemployment benefits so that their faces can become well known to the millions of
future street people and homeless.

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