White House: Unemployment Insurance Must Be Extended To Help Spur Job Creation

As the deadline to approve the payroll tax cut extension looms 10 days away, White House officials are speaking out to urge Republicans in the House of Representatives to approve the measure that only days ago was hailed as a bipartisan compromise when it passed in the Senate. However, the White House says Republicans have now changed their tune.

National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling spoke to reporters on a conference call today on why the White House feels it is so urgent that this extension passes, highlighting the importance of continuing the unemployment insurance benefits.

“This is critical to millions of working families and it is critical to our economy and job growth as well,” he explained. “To understand how important it is for the House of Representatives to immediately agree to the bipartisan Senate compromise, one should know that by the week ending January 14, 697,000 Americans who are unemployed and still out pounding the pavement looking for work to support heir families will be abruptly cut off of unemployment insurance and lose their benefits… By the week ending March 3, 2.66 million Americans out pounding the pavement out looking for work will see their unemployment benefits cuff by no fault of their own.”

U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis also weighed in on why she thought the Republicans withdrew of support for a measure their leader had just approved, saying, “The Tea party is throwing the Senate bipartisan compromise over the side of the boat” to the detriment of American workers.

Consumerist asked how extending unemployment benefits will help job growth, as the White House Council of Economic Advisers says failure to pass the extension will harm that job creation.

“What the congressional budget office and other economists understand is that nobody lives check-to-check more than a family who is struggling through unemployment, and so that unemployment check is used right away for for the basic necessities of life –food, rent, clothing, healthcare,” says Sperling. “So it not only is a lifeline to the families that are still struggling to find jobs, it is money that goes into the economy right away, every dollar virtually, and that leads to more demand, for services, more customers and more small business shops, and ultimately that leads to more growth and more hiring when you’re still trying to get your economy back to full strength.

Adds Solis, “Each additional dollar that is extended through unemployment insurance benefits, it generates two additional dollars.” She points to last January’s growth in the job market as a result of extending the payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits in December 2010.

“As a result of those measures we know that it works as a stimulant to help stir and motivate the economy,” she explains. “They do spend that money, they need it now, because they continue to be attached to the job market, they spend that money to put gas in the car and go find jobs.”

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  1. Southern says:

    While I certainly feel badly for the unemployed (and the anti-business tax policies that keep them that way), after almost 3 years they need to call this “extended unemployment benefit” what it really is – welfare.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      That is an interesting point. I don’t know much about either program, but it would be interesting to find out how the benefits differ between them.

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Why does it matter what it is called?

    • duncanblackthorne says:

      I see. So, what? It’s better in your opinion for there to be more homelessness and poverty, which will inevitably lead to more crime as people become increasingly desperate to just survive? You like seeing mothers and children living in cardboard boxes in alleyways? Spoken like someone who has a job and a place to live. All these people want is to be earning a living again. Unemployment payments aren’t some sort of government-paid vacation, you fuckwit. Doesn’t affect you, so you don’t give a fuck. Nice.

      • Snoofin says:

        In MY opinion people should take 2 lower wage jobs if needed like Ive done in the past instead of sucking on unemployment/welfare while of sitting back on the couch waiting for a job in their field that pays at least as much as their last job to pop up.

        Every day as Im driving around doing my job I see lots of help wanted signs but they are fast food or retail jobs, or they are jobs that actually require work. UPS, FedEX, and Amazon have been begging for workers for years to work in the warehouses loading trucks and picking orders but people dont want to do a job where they sweat and make 9 or 10 bucks an hour. Last week Hersheypark had a job fair and guess how many people showed up for it that were over 17 or 18. Probably about 2% of the applicants.

        • FatLynn says:

          If you think it is okay that people have to work two jobs to make ends meet, while Jamie Dimon pays himself another 7-figure bonus funded by taxpayers, you are part of the problem.

          • BorkBorkBork says:

            You should do what you need to do to provide for yourself and your family, regardless of what Jamie Dimon is making.

            • FatLynn says:

              Look, if I had kids who were starving or something, that would be one thing, but I am under no moral obligation, as an individual who supports only myself, to work instead of collecting welfare or unemployment or anything else. The attitude that people don’t deserve government help is a very dangerous one, as it is born from the belief that people can just change their situation at will. Economic mobility is a myth, and the wealthy are very good at using it to appease the masses.

              (NB: I am lucky/privileged enough that I have never had to worry about unemployment. Unlike many others, however, I don’t attribute this to being brighter or more hard-working than anyone who does.)

          • DeadFlorist says:

            Welfare for the poor=socialism and indolence.
            Welfare for the rich=market-based solutions!

        • little stripes says:

          Yeah, and then when you’re told that you’re overqualified, what do you do then?

          • Snoofin says:

            You dont tell them about your advanced education and previous job as a biophysicist. Most jobs like retail/fast food/warehouse jobs dont require resumes. You usually just fill out a paper application or simple form online.

            • Me - now with more humidity says:

              And they require a chronological listing of jobs. When they find out you lied (even by omission), think they’ll hire you? I sure as hell wouldn’t.

            • TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

              yyeeeaaaahhh … I’m going to call you out on that one. What am I supposed to put in my application for employment history for that last 13 years where I have built my career?! I used to be one of these wage slaves your so critical of. Am I supposed to lie on all these job applications? Did you know that recently my town had 600 people apply for 11 minimum wage positions at a local big box store?

              Let me tell you how the interview would go if you even GOT one.

              “So your employment history for the last 7 years is blank. What have you been doing?”
              “Ummmmmm . . . . “
              “We’ll get back to you.”

              You are lieing to yourself to justify your unrealistic OPINION

        • LadyTL says:

          Great, there is jobs in your area. That is not true though in every part of the country and of you are already broke you can’t exactly move to a different part. Also, you do have to live a life sometimes since you cannot work 24/7. Sometimes two jobs is not enough depending on where you live. Everyone situation is different and sometime people need help. Not many homeless people get jobs since they do not have a steady address or a way to get clean and no one gets a job starving to death.

        • smbizowner says:

          the reality is, if you are a well educated person looking for a lower paying job outside your former vocation, NO EMPLOYER will hire you because you’re not staying any longer than it may take to find a better job elsewhere.

          and if your over 49 U R screwed. anyway.

    • Hoss says:

      No one has gotten benefits for three years.

      What exactly is your issue with Welfare benefits? Care to elaborate?

      • hansolo247 says:

        That most people that get them, if the rubber hit the road, would probably figure out how to do without them…without robbing someone.

        Think about it this way…and this is pretty economically sound. Person A works, Person B is on welfare…but is able to work. Money is taken from A to pay B. B sits on his ass spending A’s money, and A must make do with less. There is a macro-level in the demand for goods and services…which is limited at A’s income (or A-welfare + B = A). If this redistribution was halted/reduced, A would demand more goods and services due to having more of HIS money…and so would B, but B would have to do something to earn them. There would be an INCREASE in the supply side and the demand side for goods and services.

        What is so damn hard about that?

        • LadyTL says:

          The simple fact there is not enough jobs in this country for every person who is actually trying to get them.

          • a354174 says:

            In my area (dayton Ohio) every fast food and retail center is freaking out because they cannot hire people fast enough.

            There are jobs, they just have to look and find them.

            • FredKlein says:

              Ah, but those are just menial, minimum wage jobs! Don’t you know that everyone deserves a $100,000/year job with full benefits, and no responsibilities?

              • AstroPig7 says:

                Your world is only black or white, too? Amazing!

              • MrBeetle says:

                And, those fast food places will not hire someone with an engineering degree and a few years experience, because they know that they will jump ship as soon as something better comes along.

            • LadyTL says:

              Wow I didn’t know the entire country was only made up of Dayton, Ohio. Geez I must have been labeling my address wrong all these years. Oh but wait there is other places in the country. I live in St. Louis, MO and barely any fast food and retail places are hiring because they get dozens of applications for a single job so they fill up fast.

        • Me - now with more humidity says:

          What a gigantic load of overly-generalized and insulting crap! I’ve been on UI twice and it barely covers the basics – usually, it doesn’t even come close. You get to choose between rent or food. Can’t have both. It was actually a huge incentive to find a new job and quickly. But that’s quite a feat these days, especially for someone with basic skills.

          As Jon Stewart says, “Be a f$%^&ng human.”

          • tooluser says:

            And you survived. That’s the point. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable and a stigma. You are not supposed to like it, and you should fight like hell to get back where you were, or better. As an adult, you are supposed to work very very hard to plan out your life and account for risks. Sometimes you will still get screwed. It’s no one else’s obligation to help you. When you need help, thank God if you get it. Being without financial support is not party time and you do not deserve even a moment’s respite until you are back on track. That’s pretty damn harsh, and pretty damn human. This, from a monkey. That’s how it works out here.

        • The Slime Oozing Out From Your TV Set says:

          That when person A loses their job, and there are more applicants than there are available jobs, person A is screwed w/o UIC, regardless of what person B does.

        • jason1111 says:

          That works under the assumption that A’s taxes immediately go up or down with B’s unemployment benefits. In reality that isn’t true. In most cases, A pays the same taxes (and has the same amount of income available for consumption) regardless of B’s unemployment benefits.

          B’s unemployment benefits add to the economy immediately and only take away in the long term. Which is good, since we are immediately in a recession and can work out the long term later when the economy is better.

      • thehungjury says:

        I think it’s 99 weeks, right?

    • kobresia says:

      I’m sure all the funemployed are just kicking-back in their safety-net/hammock and don’t really want jobs anymore. Heck, most of them probably didn’t want to work in the first place and were just waiting for the opportunity to be laid off, then they were all like, “Score! I’ll never have to work again!”

      It’s still unemployment insurance, really. This sort of insurance generally lasts a “reasonable” amount of time that allows the worker to find another job, because having no income for several months and losing one’s home (and phone/mailing address) and all those other things that require a continuous flow of money really can make it substantially more difficult to land a job. Everyone who is eligible for unemployment insurance essentially paid into it (albeit indirectly, since it’s a requirement that employers pay the premiums) for the appropriate duration of time.

      Most folks thankfully never have to cash in that insurance benefit, but those who do deserve to get the benefit just as a homeowner who has fire insurance is entitled to the payout if the house burns down through no fault of his/her own. That’s the fundamental difference; welfare is received by people who may have never paid into the system, it’s not insurance, it’s a dole. UI benefits are being extended repeatedly because this nation is facing a crisis that has dramatically extended the reasonable amount of time required to land a new job for a large segment of the working, but currently unemployed population. The UI benefit will end when it is obvious that most people who were laid-off during the recession should’ve had sufficient time to find employment again.

    • Ihmhi says:

      If you’ve ever been on said benefits, you’d know that it’s not as wonderful as you think. You’re not handed a fat check every month. You have to make sacrifices and hard choices.

      Do you think the parents who skip dinner so their kids can eat are leechs who are too lazy to work?

      • tooluser says:

        There are lots of people who milk that system for every cent they can get. In many states you can hold a 32 hour a week part-time job and *still* collect unemployment. The entitlement mentality that free giveaways invoke is like crack for the masses. Great evil shall surely follow.

        • LanMan04 says:

          citation needed

        • Me - now with more humidity says:

          There are SOME people… as with every system. “Lots” is a word that requires proof.

        • chargernj says:

          in New Jersey, you can work while on unemployment, but whatever you earn at work is subtracted from your unemployment check. It protects a small amount before the deductions begin. The idea is to get people working, even if only part time which reduces the strain on the system while providing incentive to work a job, any job.

          So now why is this a bad thing?

    • denros says:
      • a354174 says:

        Hahahaha

        Of course they increase job search activities. You are required to apply to two jobs a week. After 15 minutes of searching the 2 are applied for and you can go on your merry way.

        When you are working you are normally not actively looking.

        • ajlien says:

          You’re right, this country isn’t in economic crisis and jobs are everywhere! Every media outlet, activist, economist and protester have been wrong. You win.

          • Gaz says:

            That is a straw man. He never suggested the country wasn’t in economic crisis, nor did he say that jobs are everywhere. He only laid out his belief that applying for 2 jobs doesn’t take very long.

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        Here’s a study from the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) that shows:
        1) the average unemployed worker in the U.S. spends less than 4 hous per week loking for work
        2) workers who expect to be recalled by their previous employer search substantially less than the average unemployed worker
        3) the more generous the unemployment benefits the less time is spent looking for work
        4) the predicted wage of the job being sought is a strong predictor of time devoted to job search
        5) job search intensity for those eligible for Unemployment Insurance (UI) increases prior to benefit exhaustion

        http://ftp.iza.org/dp3667.pdf

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      When you work, you pay into it. It’s insurance, not welfare.

      • rushevents says:

        “When you work, you pay into it. It’s insurance, not welfare”

        Um no. Employers pay unemployment insurance – employees pay social security.

        ME – oh I’m just an HR manager what would I know?

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        That’s not true. Haven‚Äôt we had this discussion before?

        Repeat after me:
        My employer pays my UE insurance during my employment. If I am laid off, this insurance fund will pay me for 26 weeks (can be extended during tough times, but it’s up to the states to decide).

        After it runs out I am paid extended UE benefits by the Federal Government. This money comes from the taxpayers, or more accurately, from the magic money making machine called the Federal Reserve. I can get this benefit up to week 99 in most states (there is talk of extending this).

        Now lather, rinse, repeat until you can recite it.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      I’m a contract worker for a declining federal agency, and I’ve been preparing for a layoff for about two years now. We’ve been saving a lot, and now that I’m getting close to being ready I have to admit there is a part of me that would like to have an extended leave. If I do get laid off, I will not likely look for work any time soon. We have enough saved that we can survive several years on unemployment and still maintain what we have. I have a lot of projects I’d like to tackle, and a layoff would give me that opportunity. I am 53 years old and I‚Äôve had a job nearly continuously since I was 12 (seriously). I put myself through college while working full time and raising a family. I am fucking tired of working.

      Am I a crazy asshole for thinking like that? I imagine there are a bunch of chronically unemployed folks who would think so.

      • smo0 says:

        No, not at all.
        I was told by a very successful accountant, that in order to keep going the way she was accustomed to living – at her age (your age approximately) she would need to have 3 million saved… part of it properly invested to keep gaining interest for emergencies.

        That was her estimate – I would see if you were around that point and go with that.

  2. Phil Keeps It Real [Consumerist] says:

    Help me Rhonda, help, help, me, Rhonda !

  3. Costner says:

    I’m a bit torn on the umemployment thing. Study after study shows that people don’t really get serious about looking for work until shortly after their unemployment runs out. Many people (especially those with lower paying jobs) just milk it out as long as possible and then head back to work a month or two before their benefits are set to expire.

    I have sympathy for those people who are really out there looking for work and just can’t find something, but on the flip side not having unemployment tends to force people to consider jobs they otherwise may have felt were beneath them.

    For example, a family member of mine is unemployed and feels he should be able to walk in to a general managers position in the food and beverage industry making $60k+ a year because that is the salary he had at his last real job several years ago. Because of this, he doesn’t even consider looking for other positions which he feels are below his skill level. He could have a job next week as a bartender, server, maybe even a food and beverage director or assistant manager – but he isn’t willing to even try.

    You can bet if the government checks stopped coming…. he would be working. In my are unemployment is under 3.5%, and jobs are plentiful if a person wants to work.

    That said, I’m sure there are areas where jobs simply are few and far between – and for those people it would really suck to all of the sudden have zero income. I’m not sure what I would do in that position, but it would be hard so I can see why some people need these benefits.

    • AuntySemantic says:

      One of the problems is that it’s very difficult to get an interview if you’ve apply for a job that’s below your skill or experience level. This is the case for a lot of reasons….the company thinks you’re old, or you’ll leave if something more appropriate comes along, you want too much money etc.

      This is the reality of the job market. I wanted to do temp office work to get me through until I found a job in my profession and every time I went to an agency they wouldn’t even look at me because I had no formal office experience even though I had in fact done all those office tasks as part of every one of my jobs i.e. word processing, content management, customer service etc. In the end I ended up creating a fictitious resume and got a friend to back me up with a reference so I could get temp work.

      And the fact that I’m 59 was a big negative as well.

    • ckspores says:

      Unfortunately, when you are educated and apply for jobs that are “below you” or outside of your profession, many employers won’t hire you because they assume (many times, correctly) that you will just leave when a job in your area comes along.

      My husband would LOVE a job stocking grocery store shelves, cleaning tables, or delivering pizzas (and has applied for all three as his state aid runs out next week and as things stand, there won’t be any federal money coming) and has been turned down for all of them. And, he didn’t just start considering these jobs that are beneath him recently. Ever since he was laid off he’s been applying for any job he could do and would be qualified for from his profession to busboy.

      It isn’t always as simple as getting ANY job.

      • duncanblackthorne says:

        Yes, THIS, times a thousand.

        I’m supposed to take a job that pays a fraction of what I was getting, just because someone else thinks that there shouldn’t be unemployment insurance? Bullshit.

        Here’s another angle for you: You take a job that is well below your skill and experience level, as well as below your pay level, and it makes it THAT MUCH HARDER to get a REAL job later on, when things improve, because you TOOK that job and you don’t get taken seriously anymore.

        • ChuckECheese says:

          Your response, which I agree with in spirit, is that workplace meritocracy is mostly a lie. Our work culture is much more of a paternalistic-authoritarian culture, where favors are meted out to those who are favored by the already favored. Often true talent and capability is deliberately shunned, because it is important to those in charge that their workforce be compliant more than competent. Important decisions are made based on a person’s appearance and clothing, and yes, by what other jobs they previously held, even if they were merely placeholder jobs while searching for something else.

          Anything that makes you appear less desirable to employers (who like to boost their own status by surrounding themselves with people whom they feel boost their own status) will cause you to be ignored, no matter how good you might be at a given job. Don’t even get me started on nepotism and cronyism.

        • Costner says:

          “I’m supposed to take a job that pays a fraction of what I was getting, just because someone else thinks that there shouldn’t be unemployment insurance? Bullshit.”

          Thank-you for providing a prime example of why extending unemployment benefits time and time again doesn’t actually solve the issue. Apparently taking a job which is “beneath you” is a bad thing, while cashing government checks is perfectly acceptable.

          And people wonder why the number of people on disability has grown exponentially the past decade. Hint: it isn’t because more people are actualy disabled.

      • AuntySemantic says:

        SO true.

      • Snoofin says:

        You know you dont have to put all your higher education and advanced skills on a resume. In fact most grocery stores and pizza places near me dont even take resumes, you just fill out a paper application. If you dont tell them, how would they know you used to be an architect or phsycologist

    • ChuckECheese says:

      Yes, you should be sure, because the national average is that there are 8 people seeking every available position. There is no lack of workers; there is a lack of jobs. I just reviewed the BLS statistics, current to October.

      It can be argued that if your family member and everybody else took the 1st job that was made available to them at whatever wage was being offered, that the wages and work conditions, and the standard of living in the U.S., would plummet. So I support this person’s decision to hold out for something that pays a living wage.

      Where is this shangri-la that has only a 3.5% unemployment rate? North Dakota? South? Often a reason there is a low unemployment rate is because there is a lack of suitable housing – workers who would take the available jobs have no place to live. Or the place is such an insufferable shithole (OKC, Tulsa) that everybody with an ounce of sanity got out, and there are a relatively high number of low-paying, low-status menial jobs left for those who are left.

      If your area has a 3.5% unemployment rate, it means there’s probably some structural issue with the local economy. For instance, there is a dominant industry, and your family member cannot obtain work in that industry, say, due to lack of qualifications. Or, everybody has left the area, and there are plenty of jobs left for those who stayed.

      • Costner says:

        I’m in an area with massive growth of call centers. Over the past six months, there have been hundreds and hundreds of positions opened up – my own employer included. I know people who work in these call centers who have master’s degrees…. they know it isn’t long term – but it is something.

        For my own company, most people working the call centers have some type of higher education. For many it is a two year degree, for others a BA or BS, and quite a few are still working through school part time. A handful have masters degrees (although it is not common).

        Thing is – the jobs are here. Housing isn’t an issue. Unemployment is low, but employers are still having problems finding people. I’ll admit we are somewhat insulated from the national economy, but when I see people in my own family milking government benefits for no legitimate reason I have a hard time believing it isn’t happening elsewhere. The studies I have read tend to confirm that – or at the very least do a poor job of countering it with solid data.

        Like I said – I’m sure there are people who do really need 99 weeks of unemployment because their areas might have been hit harder, but eventually – no matter what number you put out there someone is going to run up against it. So what do these people do after 99 weeks that they wouldn’t have done after 75 weeks or 50 weeks? If we really need to extend them to 99 weeks, why not to 130 weeks… how about 200? At what point do you stop paying people to not work and realize it isn’t sustainable?

        I’d be much more apt to support a system that offers subsidies for people to take lower paying jobs or even volunteer work. At least then they are contributing to the economy and to society, and when someone has a job and a purpose, they can build upon it. It leads to bigger and better things. It spurs growth around them. On the flip side, paying someone for not working at all rewards those who wish to remain unemployed. Almost everyone in a part of the country that actually deals with winter will tell you that many construction workers live all winter from unemployment. Does that seem like the intended use of the system?

    • TasteyCat says:

      For many people, it just makes more sense to collect checks from the government. Ultimately, we shouldn’t be paying people for doing nothing. There should be a point to unemployment, beyond just sustaining somebody. They should be required to do something to improve their skills or community work or something that would be of benefit to themselves and/or others.

    • ChacoKevy says:

      I think you are misrepresenting the studies from which you are forming your opinions. Yes, there is a big spike in re-employment when an individual’s UI benes are about to expire, but you say “Many people (especially those with lower paying jobs) just milk it out as long as possible” you sound as if you are working under an assumption that UI benes incentivize the majority of the unemployed. The average/median length of unemployment, even now, is 40.9/21.6 weeks with 99 weeks of eligibility.
      http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t12.htm

      I wish the BLS showed this data of the people who run against 99 weeks…

      P.S. I assume we both read Scott Sumner? http://www.themoneyillusion.com/?p=12198

    • little stripes says:

      “He could have a job next week as a bartender, server, maybe even a food and beverage director or assistant manager – but he isn’t willing to even try.”

      HAHAHAHA. No. No he wouldn’t. He is over-qualified. And he knows this.

      • kobresia says:

        Add to that, he also probably wouldn’t be hired even if he was desperate to get any of those jobs, because the hiring manager would see that he’s overqualified and would probably not be happy and would bail at the first opportunity.

        • LadyTL says:

          Or he could not get hired because of having no experience in those jobs and most of them are looking for at least a year if not more of being a bartender, server or manager in food service.

          • Costner says:

            He has many years of experience in those areas which is what eventually led him to upper management. He could easily fall back upon those old skills even if it was just part time. In my area there have been several new resturaunts and banquet facilities open up in the past year… and they have all had to hire staff.

            If he really wanted a job – he would have one, but he has admitted he doesn’t want to take a job that he feels is beneath him so he won’t even apply. Meanwhile he applies for jobs way above his experience level. He applied for a GM of a Country Club that was about ten times the size of the last place he worked – that would be like the manager of a Motel 6 applying to be general manager of a Ritz-Carlton.

      • Costner says:

        There are many ways around that. He has experience at different levels of management, so leaving out his stint as a GM when applying for lower level jobs would work just fine.

    • Hoss says:

      Assume everyone on unemployment jumped at the next job that paid one-half their former job.. That leaves you and the next guy out of a job because there is someone worth twice as much willing to take yours… Sure there aint as many unemployed as employed but there aint as many openings as unemployed either so watch your back

    • FatLynn says:
      • Snoofin says:

        That study most likely applies only to people finding jobs in their field for what the same money they used to make. People can go out and get a job tomorrow if they want but they would have to work hard and get seaty and dirty instead of sitting in an office in their suits. If I lost my job today I could be employed by the end of the week working in an Amazon.com warehouse or loading trucks at FedEx. Youre obviously a OWS person based on your comment above about someone making a big bonus. I guess you think everyone should make the same amount of money even though some people work harder and arent lazy. Go sit in your tent

        • AstroPig7 says:

          Either you haven’t been in the job market for a long time or you were incredibly lucky, because even the low-paying jobs are now few and far between. Do you know what the just world hypothesis is?

          • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

            Let me guess. It’s a hypothesis. About a just world. And how, in that just world, people get what they deserve, both good and bad. And sadly, it’s an impossible dream because there is no just world. There is only the ever present threat of pain. And loneliness. And poverty. And death. And our quixotic quest to avoid them.

            Paradoxically, we need to believe there is a just world to cope with the guilt we experience when we see less fortunate others. So we invent reasons why they deserve to suffer. There must be something wrong with them. They are lazy. Or immoral. Or stupid. Or irresponsible.

            Bottom line:
            Life‚Äôs painful, but fortunately it‚Äôs also very short. If you’re lucky you might find someone to share the ride with for a while. But don’t count on it. Or anything else for that matter. Regardless of how good a person you think you are.

        • tsukiotoshi says:

          Really? When I was desperately looking for work in my field in DC I was also applying for service industry/retail jobs to try to get me through in the mean time. I never got one invitation for an interview for those jobs because in DC they didn’t need someone like me, even if I did have experience in retail. Yes, as you said above I could have omitted my advanced degree but what the hell would I have put for the 3 years I was in law school and not working anything but legal jobs? Besides the fact I won’t lie to get a job. I did eventually find a job in retail, but it was after I moved back to my home state where the application pool for retail jobs around Christmas is lower and I had a lot of experience with the subject matter of the store. Not every job market is one where anyone can waltz right in and get a job in fast food or retail. Those employers turn people away, too.

        • FatLynn says:

          That’s a nice ad hominem attack, but in reality, my income will be close to 6 figures this year, and I will probably owe less than 10% of it to the federal government, when all is said and done. By your logic, I have “worked harder” than everyone who earned less than me this year, so clearly I wouldn’t have any time for things like protesting.

          Remember folks, if you earn more money, you are a better person!

      • hansolo247 says:

        And it’s right there in the article.

        THEY HAVE TO LOOK FOR WORK TO KEEP THE CHECK COMING.

        No, I’m not against unemployment insurance at all. I’ve used it.

        But…2 years is a long time and gives a level of security that one may…how do I put this…not work as hard as they maybe SHOULD be looking for work?

      • Costner says:

        That study is very much open to interpretation. Just look at this quote:

        “the report finds, ‚Äúbeneficiaries of federal UI benefits have spent more time searching for work than those who were ineligible for UI benefits.‚Äù ‚ÄúIn fact, since Congress enacted federal unemployment benefits, time spent looking for a job has tripled among the long‚Äêterm unemployed who are out of work as a result of job loss,‚Äù the report adds.

        I can read that as people on unemployment are working harder to find jobs, or I can read that as people on unemployment are simply spending more time looking, because they are forced to look for jobs in order to keep the gravy train flowing, AND the longer they receive unemployment benefits, the longer they have to keep looking! It is a self-fullfiling prophecy because every time you extend benefits you are practically guaranteing that people will look for jobs longer.

        Case in point my unemployed family member. He looks for jobs every week, but they aren’t jobs he is qualified for or they are jobs so far outside of his field he knows he won’t even get an interview. He had to submit inforamtion online about so many jobs per week and it is due Sunday at Midnight I think it is…. so you know what – he is on the Internet filling out information a few hours before the deadline. I know on one occasion he mentioned he applied for “too many” jobs that week, so he carried over the extra and reported them the next week.

        He is looking for work LONGER than those people who aren’t on unemployment… but he isn’t looking for work HARDER. That is the difference. If he didn’t have that government check rolling in, you can bet he would be pounding the pavement taking jobs “beneath” him or in other industries.

    • tooluser says:

      I knew a guy who worked in a grocery store, and who didn’t want to be the store manager. They kept offering it to him, but he liked being an assistant manager better. He didn’t want the responsibility, to be accountable for the store profit numbers, and to be exempt from overtime.

      If only more people could aspire lower, yet remain off the public teat.

      • LadyTL says:

        Why would you want to be exempt from overtime pay? I can’t think of anyone who would volunteer to do extra work and not get paid for it.

        • haggis for the soul says:

          If you are an employee who is exempt from Fair Labor Standars Act, as some upper level and more highly paid employees can be, you don’t get the same overtime rate as a non-exempt one. You could get the same pay for working overtime, or even less.

    • smo0 says:

      I’m not sure that applies.

      In my case, I’ve only been on unemployment once in my life.
      I was fired from a job (for medical reasons) In November, 2007 (also I was on unpaid disability so I had zero income) I went on unemployment because I had car payments that needed to be paid and rent. I was went through denial where you have to plead your case so I ended up not getting any unemployment until january, the next year. (It was a check of back pay) – however, I already had applied and got a new job in mid december. So I got about 1 month’s worth of unemployment.
      When I lost my job in October 2010 – I was denied unemployment, I didn’t even fight it – I went from that time til Mid May 2011 of not getting a dime… this job was only 3 months then I was unemployed again (denied benefits because I didn’t make enough money at that job (7.35 an hour) then I got my current job which started in November.

      It’s been a rough ride – and my current job pays 9 dollars an hour, the job I had before (not including the one I had during the spring/summer) paid me 16 dollars an hour.

      Lesson here, if you can get employment – do so, and stay on it for as long as you can – because you might end up feeling guilty about living off the system, only to get a scrap job which automatically prevents you from getting any kind of unemployment benefits until you find yet ANOTHER job that pays you the minimum required.

      I don’t know how it is elsewhere, but people in Nevada drain it dry because it really is bad here.

  4. AuntySemantic says:

    Are you people F***ING serious? Nobody chooses to live on unemployment insurance. I just got a job after being unemployed and underemployed for almost two years. New York, where I live, pays a maximum of $405 a week BEFORE taxes, which you can’t afford to have withheld. Rent, food, utilities….those are just the bare bones. There’s health insurance and on and on.

    I took a job that pays 20K less than the job I lost and I was glad to get it.

    • Costner says:

      “Nobody chooses to live on unemployment insurance.”

      Really? Because I know three people that do just that. Maybe you are in a different salary range that makes living off of unemployment far, far less income than you normally would earn, but for a lot of people who are making minimum wage or slightly more – unemployment is almost as good as working… especially if they can earn some extra cash under the table working on side projects or for their uncle’s bar collecting cash tips.

      • AuntySemantic says:

        Fine. There are people who try to game every system. The fact is the unemployment rate is quite high and there are four or five applicants for every job….at least professional jobs.

        And in New York you only the maximum benefit of $405 a week if you were making a decent salary. Minimum wage workers get less.

      • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

        Anecdotal evidence counters anecdotal evidence to the contrary! :)

        On a serious note, if we (the US) want to continue to think of ourselves as a top-tier nation, that’s the sort of thing that will happen. When you have a leader, people ride the coat-tails. That’s just life. I for one would rather there be some abuse in a program that seeks to keep people fed and sleeping in beds if that means those that need help can get it.

        There’s a tax cost to this, sure, but it’ll come out of me anyway. If not via taxes, by losses from being mugged and robbed, even lower property values living next door to a tent-city or on Streetwalker Strip, higher insurance premiums, higher prices from companies trying to recover their losses for the same reasons, etc.

        • FatLynn says:

          THIS. People need to understand that welfare/unemployment/whatever is not some generous thing the wealthy give to the poor. It’s something the wealthy do to preserve the status quo.

      • ajlien says:

        I do know people who have probably sat on their unemployment and welfare benefits longer than they should have, this is true…but if their reasoning is that the job they could get is not going to pay them much more, and welfare benefits barely cover the necessities of life, shouldn’t that translate into “Companies need to start paying everyone a reasonable living wage” instead of “All the unemployed are lazy bums”??? The reasoning behind even the “lazy” unemployed is completely sound in your anecdote, I can’t really blae them.They should work at a fast food joint with laughable wages because you think it’s the right thing to do?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      “Nobody chooses to live on unemployment insurance.”

      When you make broad generalizations like that you are almost guaranteed to be wrong. I believe you when you say your unemployment would not even cover basic necessities, but seriously, there are people out there who milk that shit – I know one quite well.

    • yaos says:

      You sound lazy. Get a job.

  5. SporadicBlah says:

    yea yea yea, Blame it on the Republicans. They voted it down because of all the OTHER shit thats in the SAME BILL. Read the bill. It includes tax breaks for 16 million Americans, extension of unemployment benefits of 99 weeks, federal reimbursement of doctors serving Medicare patients, continuation of the pay freeze on federal workers, drug tests for jobless applicants, AND pollution regulations for industrial boilers ALL IN THE SAME TAX BILL. The vote is YES or NO. Its ALL or NONE. UN-BUNDLE THAT SHIT and make some progress !!!

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Hmm, and you are against all that stuff in there? That medicare thing is the same as the social security tax, it’s a vote for an extension of a current policy, it’s not some new thing. This is the fault of House Republicans as it already passed the Senate. They didn’t even have the balls to vote it down, so did that “pass on it” thing so they could just leave and start their vacations without having to cast an unpopular vote.

    • Firevine says:

      If they unbundled things, they couldn’t blame each other for killing the good parts anymore. One issue at a time bills would utterly neuter the power of congress to connive the public. Good for us, not good for them. Never going to happen.

    • humphrmi says:

      Yeah, right… it’s all the add-ons that the House didn’t like, like mandating granting a permit for an oil pipeline. Oh, wait, that was the House’s version of throwing in unrelated add-ons onto the payroll tax cut & unemployment extension.

      • hansolo247 says:

        Right, proving your own point.

        Both parties are a bunch of damn gamers, and have NO problems throwing their constituents under the bus for points.

        Vote a third party, or at least someone with some effin principles. The only one I can think of with a D/R next to his name is Ron Paul…and maybe, MAYBE Al Franken.

        • humphrmi says:

          Well actually I was only disproving SporadicBlah, who seems to be proposing that the Republicans took the high road and rejected a bill that had unrelated add-on legislation. When in fact they did the exact same thing in the house.

          I’m with you bro (or sis… whatever…) – large scale fail on both sides of the aisle this year. I like to call them our “9% Esteemed Legislators”.

          Oh, and Han shot first!

    • skakh says:

      Right, extending unemployment insurance is a bad thing? Assuring doctors are properly reimbursed for medicare so they will continue to treat people on medicare is a bad thing? And, you can’t be serious, regulations to limit pollution is a bad thing?

      These are not the reason the GOP clowns in the House are against this bill. As we all know, those rascists will do anything to make sure President Obama is defeated. You may say you are against the rascals in the House, but you voted the GOP clowns in!

      Now get back to defending tax cuts for the wealthy, we all know they need them.

  6. BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

    I have been underemployed or unemployed for the last 40 months. It’s been exhausting and a horrible way to live. Unemployment was never a crutch for me. However, we need to reform unemployment laws to allow people to work as much as they can and still pull some unemployment benefits. The all or nothing approach fails taxpayers, claimants and state coffers. The choice shouldn’t be between underemployed or unemployed, one should be able to do both (even full-time work) and earn prorated benefits without jepordizing a full stomach. I lost my unemployment benefits connected to a $75k job because I accepted a part time job paying $8 an hour and worked “too much”. It’s the story of many people. If the regulations force claimants to sit on their hands waiting for the *perfect* job, the process screws all of us over.

    • SporadicBlah says:

      The maximum allowable income here is $50 a week. After that you will loose all unemployment.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      While I agree in theory, it’d be hard to do in practice. Many people are already trying to find out how much of cash-based employment is going on with the “unemployed” – its a problem many acknowledge but also know its nearly impossible to detect.

      A better way to do unemployment is to simply reduce unemployment dollar-for-dollar for however much you earn, but then phase that out over a few months. We need to encourage people to work at least somewhat, because the argument that this will trigger long-term growth is a bit of a fallacy. That money being given to the unemployed came from somewhere… and even saving/investing spurs the economy, slower in the short-term, but in the long-run it all evens out.

      • catskyfire says:

        I think a earn 2 dollars, lose 1 dollar of benefits would work really well.

      • BrightShopperGettingBrighter says:

        A dollar for dollar solution seems fair to me, but with attention paid to the unemployed’s career level.

        If the claimant was once a high level employee and a much lower level temp job comes up, it shouldn’t shut the door completely on the original claim. It’s a decision that shouldn’t be forced.

        Claimant’s income prior to lay off was $1450 per week.
        If claimant earns $400(pre tax) a week though full time work
        State benefits are $450(pre tax) maximium per week.
        Let the person work, pay them the $50 difference weekly.
        Keep the claim open, drawing $50 a bucks a week until a suitable job replacement is found.

        Then it would be extended benefits actually working for those who want both a safety net and remain a productive, tax paying citizen.

        • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

          And it would save the government billions. But do many others have your work ethic? Most would rather sit rather than work for less than what UI pays. What’s the incentive to work?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      That’s really an excellent point, I also don’t understand the all or nothing situation with unemployment. Especially now, in the current employment climate a partial system would help many people, and it sounds like it would save the government money in the long run because they wouldn’t have to pay out so much plus people with jobs tend get other jobs more easily than someone with no job.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    2% doesn’t save families, but it does go where it should – to the retirement plan I’m already paying for.

  8. TasteyCat says:

    Didn’t Obama say he was going to veto this bill?

    I was unemployed for a while several years ago. Amount of weeks of unemployment I got: 0. Yet I managed to survive.

    As for the payroll tax cut, feel free to cut taxes if you have a way to pay for it. But don’t rob social security. Drop the federal income tax rate.

    • hansolo247 says:

      Oh, no worries…

      The 2% is being made up for by the treasury borrowing it by selling bonds to the federal reserve (and/or a few other bond buyers…whoever they are). It’s real easy when you describe it…and you’ll be comfortable to know that SS is safe:)

      1. Money created…credit the federal reserve’s liabilities (as that’s what a dollar IS)
      2. Federal reserve buys a bond from the treasury…debit federal reserve asset, credit National Debt liability.
      3. Treasury uses the “cash” to debit the 2% to the SS trust fund’s assets, but the Treasury then spends the actual cash on something else, giving the SS trust fund an IOU instead of actual cash. These IOUs are actually not counted in the national debt I might add.

      So, you can see this is a clear and economically sound model. Note that China is not involved…they kind of got out of this game a while ago for the most part…the Fed holds almost half our our national debt…most of the borrowing since 2008, in fact.

      I hope you realize that the start of this transaction sequence involves the Federal Reserve (which is NOT a government entity) just creating money out of thin air…and I hope your eyes open.

      THIS is the primary reason I’m voting Ron Paul. Some of his other ideas are a little out there, to be sure, but on this, he’s dead-on.

      • AstroPig7 says:

        By “a little” you surely mean “so far out I can’t see them anymore”, right?

        • hansolo247 says:

          Which idea?

          If you think a specific idea of his is bad, which one is it and why?

          • AstroPig7 says:

            How about returning to the gold standard? The price of gold is incredibly easy to manipulate (through hoarding and speculation), and its relatively small supply makes it unsuitable as a replacement monetary base. I’ve read that only a few politicians advocate returning to it, and there’s a good reason for that: it’s a reactionary measure that will only hurt us in the long run. I understand the desire for simplification and to cap the growing trouble with the fiat money system, but the gold standard is too far removed from reality to work.

            He also thinks global climate change is a hoax, alternative medicine practitioners (including unmitigated quacks) should be given free reign, and that evolutionary theory is “is just a theory”. I don’t expect every president to be current on science, but this sort of backward thinking can have dire consequences. I appreciate Ron Paul’s work as a gadfly, but making him president would be highly problematic.

            • Philosoraptor says:

              Highly problematic? For who? Any of those dire predictions about a gold based currency affect the Swiss Franc? You remember the US was on the Gold Standard; was the price of gold manipulated?
              No, it stayed between $18 and $19 for over a hundred years.
              http://www.nma.org/pdf/gold/his_gold_prices.pdf

              The reason for the gold standard (or ANY standard) is to put some theoretical limit on government spending. But I guess that would be highly problematic.

              • AstroPig7 says:

                It would be highly problematic for anyone who thinks the leader of their country should be able to rationally consider basic tenets of reality (e.g., evolutionary theory). As for the history of the gold standard:

                * Are you aware that our adherence to this standard was one of the prolonging factors of the Great Depression?

                * Have you looked at the price of gold over the past few years? Being susceptible to wild manipulation and actually falling victim to it are completely separate.

                * Are you aware the Swiss Franc has not been on the gold standard since 2000-05-01 and before then its backing was only required to be 40% gold?

                * Current estimates put the amount of available gold at 20% of the world’s actual money. Limiting government expenditures only works when the limit is high enough for the government to properly function. (I support removing excessive expenditures and inefficiency from government, but without removing vital social programmes I don’t see how the gold standard could provide enough money for the U.S. government to work.)

                • hansolo247 says:

                  So you are advocating a system where a private entity can create as much money as it wants with no oversight? And then give it to anyone it pleases?

                  THAT is even whackier than the gold standard!

                  A stable currency is critical for any long-term economic stability. Whether its gold, copper, aluminum, whatever…it has to be based on SOMETHING of value other than a fiat.

                  And exactly why is the view on evolution even a factor? It IS a theory (and one I buy into) and it is not universally accepted, but a man’s views on evolution rank next to dead-last in the list of what’s important. What IS important is he would not make it his personal mission to decide what gets taught in classrooms…he’d leave that to the state and local governments. On global warming, the more pressing issue is pollution. These are common attacks by his opponents…because its really all they’ve got.

                  Right now, the economic plan of the Democrats and Republicans is to run a $1.5T deficit each and every year…forever. How long do you think we can do that?

                  • AstroPig7 says:

                    I never said I was advocating the fiat money system, but it’s more economically feasible than the gold standard and it’s the status quo, so I had to use it as a comparison. I’m open to alternatives, but they have to make sense. This is also true of your complaint about the Democrats and Republicans, because I agree their method isn’t working, but there must be a more rational alternative. (By the way, I personally have little faith in someone’s ability to reason when they say ridiculous things, which is why his views on evolutionary theory, which is not &147;just a theory”, and global climate change ring more harshly with me. Evolutionary theory is the best and most widely accepted explanation of how we reached our present state, so lack of universal acceptance is negligible, especially since those who don’t accept tend to be cranks and religious nuts.)

                    • hansolo247 says:

                      So we agree on a standard…gold, silver, aluminum, copper, stormtrooper armor, whatever.

                      Really, when you have a standard (even gold) it keeps the value consistent (with minor inflation as new material is found and deflation as it is consumed). Whatever you use, the result is still the same. Gold has been the tradition, so people gravitate to that. Given its relatively stable supply and limited (yes there is some) economic utility, supply should remain consistent, so it really does make the most sense. But the argument over what to use is relatively unimportant…the standard just needs to have a stable supply. Gold is actually pretty plentiful…the government just doesn’t have any because it was spent…which is why we now have fiat currency.

                      I do agree that evolution, while still a theory, has almost universal acceptance to the point that is basically a de-facto law. I also think not believing in it is a little backward, but I’ll give the guy a pass. Why? Because it’s not a core part of his campaign, and I believe he can leave his personal beliefs (including his abortion position, which I disagree with) at the door when it comes to policy decisions. The guy has a MD, so in the science discipline, he’s easily above-average…but he’s also clearly religious…and I will not fault him for that.

                      Some of the guy’s quotes are out-there, but make sense. He once retorted to a statement that the supreme court ruled SS/Medicare constitutional, and he zinged back that they said the same about slavery. Of course, all of his critics basically said he thought SS/Medicare = slavery…which is not even close. I loved his argument, by the way. The supreme court is the final say on the law of the land, but they are not always right. Do I believe SS/Medicare are unconstitutional…no…if one can opt out. Would I opt out…probably not, but the option should be there. Those programs really should be handled at the state level, though.

  9. dush says:

    2 months of payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits will spur job growth?!

    • jessjj347 says:

      methinks you don’t understand what’s going on….

      • dush says:

        “White House: Unemployment Insurance Must Be Extended To Help Spur Job Creation”

        This subsidy or insurance payment or whatever you want to call it surely helps the economy stay more stable for a while, but spurring job creation? And doing it for just two months definitely won’t encourage any business to create any jobs.

  10. FatLynn says:

    I don’t understand why we keep extending benefits, instead of creating new government jobs. Take the unemployment money and put people to work.

    • hansolo247 says:

      Damn fine idea.

      Then actual work would be done for the money we give to able-bodied people. This is kind of similar to the WPA, in fact. While I’m generally against such things, sometimes you have to do something, and this is a something that is likely to work.

      But then we wouldn’t pay others to do this work, which would save money…this is bad

      I think they should be treated as contractors…we really don’t need a large government payroll.

      • FatLynn says:

        Spending multiplies spending. You are right; we don’t want this to go on indefinitely, but a year of real spending on jobs would do much to stimulate the economy. There are plenty of publics works projects that could happen in a year.

        And you know what else? We should borrow to fund it. The alarmist talk about the debt is total nonsense, according to virtually every real economist (read: not pundit).

    • jayphat says:

      I once made that comment to a woman I was working with on a job site. Now mind you, she was working +30 hours on this job site and I made the recommendation of “if we’re paying people unemployment benefits, lets put them to work in their municipality, like cleaning up roads or parks or other sanitation work that needs done.” You would have thought I had just murdered her family. “When I was on unemployment, I was working at two bars under the table and there would have been no way I would have been able to have that money coming in. How dare you consider such an idea.” Yes, how dare I consider using my tax money wisely.

    • scoccaro says:

      This! I worked in government IT and they would scrape together uses for their $3,000,000+ budget every year and it was on stupid stuff like new printers to replace the ones that were only a year old or individual scanners for every desk while they would have hired two new techs so the ones that we did have didn’t have to work from 7am to 7pm everyday and make time and a half on their overtime hours. You are completely right @lynn, they should be creating more jobs in government.

  11. Geekybiker says:

    I was on unemployment for quite awhile. The amount I was paid on unemployment vs the amount I would have made at a low end job after expenses meant I netted more sitting on my ass and hoping for something better to some along. I feel bad for people who can’t fine work. I really do. I’ve been there. However it has to end sometime.

    • Snoofin says:

      You couldve worked 2 jobs instead of sitting on your ass collecting the check. I did that for 4 years when I was younger because I had to and I was too proud to take handouts. I guess doing what it takes to survive has been replaced by I dont have a job, gimme money gubmint!

      • AstroPig7 says:

        “If I did it, then everyone can do it! The job market and the world are exactly the same now as when I was younger! Also, my situation is exactly the same as everyone else’s! I… hey, why is everyone laughing at me?”

        • tooluser says:

          Your snarkiness does not make you correct.

          • LadyTL says:

            His snarkiness doesn’t make him wrong either.

          • AstroPig7 says:

            Considering how often snoofin has repeated this nonsense, it’s difficult for me to respond with anything serious. Working as many jobs as necessary is not what I’m mocking. Sometimes that level of effort is required to rise above debt and get back on your feet, but acquiring even a low-paying job in this economy is nowhere near as easy as snoofin makes it sound. Furthermore, holes in employment history, and many employers do treat low-paying jobs as holes, don’t look good.

      • Me - now with more humidity says:

        Yes! Because there are so many available jobs that everyone can have two!! And Gummy Bears!!! And unicorns!!!!

        Get a clue.

      • frank64 says:

        I was unemployed for about two years, I got a job a year ago. For me, I really couldn’t get a lower end job economically. The risk was too great. If I lost it, or worked part time and made too much, I would have lost everything. It also would have greatly increased the chances of me being locked in to a low end job. It was better for me to hold out.

        Thankfully a stimulus grant paid for enough training to get me a job making more than I was before with more growth potential. It took a year for me to find the grant and get it, and it really wasn’t designed for me. I had to fight real hard for it. They should make it easier because many people who would benefit don’t qualify. Still, even without the grant I was much better off waiting for a equal job than permanently locking myself in a lower end job, especially with the unemployment rules that would have made it very likely I would have lost everything for trying.

        • Geekybiker says:

          Sure. In theory you could get two jobs and make more if you could find the jobs. You’d also be giving up your time to go to interviews for a job closer to your level, and time to really search for jobs. Its not like I wasn’t applying to jobs far below my level, but those wouldn’t call back either in this climate. I’m not the only who found that nobody wants to hire someone overqualified for a job either. Also taking a job will affect your COBRA status and most low wage jobs don’t come with health care. Sometime taking the low paying job just to get off UI is shooting yourself in the foot. Had UI run out would I have been asking “Do you want fries with that?” You bet. I’m not above a job, I’m just making smart financial moves for myself.

  12. RiverStyX says:

    Too much fraud and deception on the employer’s end, doesn’t work in the real world and Obama needs to stfu and just finish up his last year so somebody can replace him – they can’t be much worse, the man is all bark and no bite. I’ve been wrongfully terminated before (I was being classified a 1099 illegally and complained) and filed an unemployment claim. Twice. The owner lied and said that I quit, I even complained to the IRS about them evading taxes and firing me..never heard from them either.

  13. Robert Nagel says:

    I am an employer and I am having a terrible time hiring. Where an ad on Craig’s list used to bring a dozen responses and 5 or 6 people in for an interview. I now have been advertising for over a month for two different jobs. Welder and lathe operator. I have had 2 people show for an interview. On was hired and showed up drunk his first day. The second started on a Monday and quit the next Wednesday.
    I cannot compete with free money. Why would anyone take a job that is, at best, going to give him an extra $50 or $100 per week. To him, or her, the job only pays a couple of bucks an hour. Add to this the fact that right now there is the possibility of collecting for 2 or 3 years. If you take a job and get terminated for cause the benefits are gone. Why would anyone risk losing these benefits for a job that is only going to pay a couple of bucks per hour?
    There has to be a way of weaning people off of these benefits. Perhaps a declining balance payable as time goes on or a subsidy of a portion of the benefits to be paid in addition to the new jobs pay. Whatever it is this country is going to have unemployment for as long as it subsidizes it.

    • bitplayer says:

      I feel for you with your situation but the fact is a lot of people don’t have the skills that you are looking for. I’ve read about some job training programs trying to get more skilled laborers like the ones you need. Honestly all these people with degrees in crap like social work and English would have been better off learning a trade. Community colleges used to be good at teaching that kind of thing but demand has far outstripped budgets.

      • Robert Nagel says:

        The problem with some of these “programs” to teach skills is that they replicate the failure of the schools by not requiring performance. Everybody graduates when in reality most should wash out, leaving the ones who are actually able to do the work.
        I had a friend that was a teacher at a local tech school teaching CNC skills. He said that the test they gave to supposedly qualify entrants was a joke. Everybody could pass and they provided the help to get it done. The result was a lot of people wasting their time and either their or our money. I don’t have an answer for the training problems, but as long as there is a 7-11 or a McD’s with a help wanted sign, there isn’t any reason to subsidize indolence.

        • cosmic.charlie says:

          Any people say unions are a bad thing. When if fact they do help assure quality of the applicants. Maybe you should look to that.

          One of the first places I would look for work if I needed was in a machine or tool shop. Those skills are readily transferable from job to job. Not to mention, building stuff is fun.

    • ajlien says:

      So, to sum up, your argument is “If the government would get out of our way, businesses could start paying all the unemployed a couple of bucks an hour and everything would be fixed.”

      K, well that sounds great.

      • Geekybiker says:

        No, a couple bucks a hour more than unemployment. The point being that people would rather not work if they’re not making a ton more money working. While not true of everyone, I’m sure there is a not insignificant portion of people on UI that feel that way. Its the same probably you get with any welfare type program. Why work if the government will pay you almost as much not to work.

    • MrBeetle says:

      I guess you need to pay more, to hire people who care about their work.

      Minimum wage means “I really, really wish I could pay you LESS, but I can’t because it’s against the law”.

  14. oldwiz65 says:

    The Republicans will not pass it unless the bill includes requirement to approve the Pipeline from Canada to Texas to transport oil sands for refining. They don’t care about the possibilites for an ecological catastrophe as a result of the pipeline. The oil industry is paying the Republicans big bucks to make sure this passes. No way will anything pass without it. The Environmental Impact Statement was prepared by the same company designing the pipeline, so of course it says it will be perfectly safe with no risk of environmental damage.

    • tooluser says:

      The pipeline will transport refined oil from the oil sand bitumen, and diluted bitumen, not the oil sands themselves. It may require further refining before use and/or shipment from the terminal.

      We have a chance to buy quality oil from our dearest neighbor, in pursuit of our energy independence goals and a stronger nation. Or we can choose to not pursue our stated goals, and to let our dearest neighbor form closer ties with an economic competitor, weakening our nation.

      • smbizowner says:

        sorry,

        the only reason they want to ship that tar sand oil to Texas is so that can easily be exported to the highest bidder. What make you think that refined oil products will stay here in the states?

        and yes we have a tar sand pipe line here in Michigan – it ruptured and only “spilled a little” (according to the pipe line owner). So far they have recovered over 1.1 million gallons with continuing recovery to resume this spring. That will be 2 years after the “little spill” We were just lucky that oil didn’t get into lake Michigan. for more info Google: enbridge oil spill in Michigan

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      I’m not a fan of the GOP in general, but I have to give the Republican governor of Nebraska props for standing tall against this pipeline running through his state’s aquifer.

  15. Me - now with more humidity says:

    Increasing demand first drives economic growth. Increasing supply first does not and never has. Period.

  16. bitplayer says:

    Some jobs aren’t centrally located. I think it’s easy to loose money working a job when you factor in gas, parking, time away from family, etc.

  17. yaos says:

    Cut all benefits, let the socialist revolution begin.

  18. Akuma Matata says:

    When the gov taxes stuff it gets less, and when it subsidizes stuff it gets more. Why is it all that surprising that when you subsidize unemployment you get more unemployment?

  19. jojo319 says:

    I’m curious to know what you guys think IS an appropriate amount of time. Saying “until the recession ends” isn’t very realistic, considering they say it’s technically over.

  20. SoCalGNX says:

    In about 2 1/2 years, I spend time looking for a job everyday. I put in more than 1,000 job applications of all kinds. Part time, full time, temporary, seasonal ANYTHING. I applied to jobs I was qualified for and ones I wasn’t. The unemployment rate in my area is still over 14% and has been for a long time.
    For all you smug posters who think people in this situation are sitting on their thumbs doing nothing, I suggest you try living on about 40% of what you make now and see how it goes. Live without medical and dental insurance too. And if you are really brave, recreate the same conditions for your spouse like I lived through.

  21. silenuswise says:

    So many idiots posting here. Do you honestly think being on unemployment is a life of luxury? It’s a necessity and a lifeline, for those who receive it. If you haven’t been on it, then count your blessings. If you haven’t received assistance from a person or institution a single time in your life, then count your blessings. Although you might want to double-check that: there’s a pretty good chance you’ve benefited in some way from public investment throughout your life.

  22. AgostoBehemoth says:

    You should pay higher taxes – the problem now is they are not high enough. We have a deficit problem and raising your taxes is the way out. Now, each side can blame the other, but the taxes will go up.

    everyone wants and wants, but no one wants to pay. It is not the rich peoples fault. It is your fault, the person reading this. Pony it up buddy, write the check. If you dont have enough left over, then get a second job, even a third if needed. Don’t whine about it, just do it. Thats the way its done.

    Also -why would we want oil from Canada? I prefer to get oil from countries that believe that woman driving cars leads to prostitution, and that showing female breasts causes earthquakes and that in the case of rape, it is the womans fault. Screw the Canadians, let them sell their oil to the Chinese.

  23. jeffile says:

    Are extended unemployment and payroll tax holiday to become permanent benefits? Sorry, I meant to say permanent welfare subsidy.

  24. jojo319 says:

    One President/Congress gives cuts/benefits that always seem to run out AFTER the next election cycle to get votes, then leaves them to the next President/Congress to “try” to end them. If people really believe that these people “care” about the people, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. It’s all about votes and retaining power.

  25. maxhobbs says:

    Except that most all of the “free money” they get goes towards house payment, then food, then gas.

    House payment is just to give to the banks to pay down your debt, it does not spur any type of boosting the economy.

    Gas money doesn’t exactly do much for the economy, yes it may benefit a few gas distributors and Arab Sheiks.

    The only “shopping” or “boosting the econony” is through grocery stores, wow, that really helps the economy, right?

    If anyone is getting this “free money” and using it to buy clothing, electronics, eat out, go to movies, vacations, etc… then they don’t deserve to get it. And don’t tell me that clothing is “essential”, every single one of you have a closet full of clothes that you barely wear and if you are that destitute go to Goodwill and buy a shirt for $1.

  26. cornstalker says:

    I was unemployed for a couple months a few years ago, and it was a really stressful time. The unemployment benefits I received turned a financial free-fall into more of a parachute drop. When I applied for benefits, they told me I had to make two contacts every week to qualify. “Two contacts?” I thought. I’d be crazy not to try making more than that every day. Cold calls suck, but I heard the clock ticking on my benefits and knew I couldn’t waste one day. I was fortunate to find a job after just a few months.

    A friend of mine openly admitted that he only made the bare minimum of two contacts per week just to keep his benefits going. This lasted nearly two years. You can probably predict when he finally found a full-time job — shortly after the benefits ran out.

    (… but then, what does any of this have to do with job *creation*?)

  27. human_shield says:

    I lost my job and got a lousy job instead of mooching off other people. Stop extending unemployment!! If you can’t get a job after a few longs, go work at Starbucks.

  28. human_shield says:

    I lost my job and got a lousy job instead of mooching off other people. Stop extending unemployment!! If you can’t get a job after a few longs, go work at Starbucks.