A tribute to the 99ers: We are not invisible.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why are they holding my check hostage?

Like many unemployed Americans, I have not received any unemployment benefits since mid-June. Unlike 4 million+ unemployed I still have benefits. Until extensions are funded, no one is discussing adding weeks. Additional weeks are crucial for the recipients and the economy. This breaks my heart for the 99ers. They are running out of options or worse. It scares me because I will be joining them soon. It angers me because it is bad economics and bad social policy. I still look for work everyday, but jobs aren't there. Like many I am frustrated that 41 senators can do this much damage. Why are they holding my check hostage?

The Senate Republicans are using a filibuster to keep the vote on funding from taking place. Their claim is fear of increasing the national debt. I always felt this is a convenient excuse andSen. Jon Kyl admits as much. Most pundits attribute this to pure partisan politics, but it goes beyond that. These quotes are a 30+ year snapshot of Republican opinion regarding the unemployed. It reflects a concerted effort to keep wages from increasing and keep employees in fear of losing their jobs. Think about it: Unemployment benefits aren't getting out and officials representing over 40% of the country call us lazy, hobos, substance abusers and worse, with impunity. Are you really going to fight for $10 a week? Be too busy to come in for a half day on Saturday, compensated or not? Call in sick when you are sick?

I don't think the Republicans stand in the lobby and talk about ways to suppress wages. It is just who they are. Government safety nets are socialism; repeal or privatize Social Security and Medicare; "The business of America is business". They are merely being true to character but things happen and you must reevaluate your priorities. No matter what drives your behavior you are still responsible for the consequences. Why didn't even one Republican Senator, Representative or Governor say "No matter what we believe, people are going without food and shelter. Philosophy can wait." ? They all bear that responsibility.

Am I being too harsh? Not harsh enough? Too simplistic for a complex issue? What do you think?

My apologies to Conservatives fighting for unemployment extensions. I whack the Dems. next time.

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