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Unemployment is, in case you've been living in a refrigerator carton because you lost your job, a pretty big problem right now. Depending on who you ask, we're currently undergoing the worst period of unemployment since the great recession of 1982-1983 (the conservative estimate) or the Great Depression of the 1930s (the liberal estimate). Either way, it's pretty bad, and it's been bad since the economy first took a nosedive at the tail end of the Bush administration. In some cities, there are more pages of foreclosure notices in the daily newspaper than there are want ads; employers all over the country report that they routinely get four to six times as many applicants for a job than they expect. Freelancers, highly educated people, and former professionals are now competing with high school dropouts for entry-level jobs; the workplace truism that you should never take a job making less money than your previous job is a thing of the past. The age at which people will receive their full Social Security retirement benefits has been raised to 67, which, considering that (thanks to increased costs, decreased employment, and insufficient health care coverage) fewer people are going to the doctor, means that if you're lucky, you'll get to enjoy eleven years of subsistence living before death. There are new, and especially disturbing, developments taking place: many firms are, absurdly, refusing to consider job applicants who are out of work, threatening to create a new upper class of the permanently employed, while some studies indicate that some of those now out of work will be so for years, or may never work again, threatening to create a new underclass of the permanently unemployed. As much as 35% of the working population are dissatisfied with their jobs and want to look for new ones, but are afraid of losing their current employment.

Here's how your Republican leadership responds to these facts.

Michele Rollins (R) is running for an open House seat in Delaware (unemployment rate 8.7%, over 35,000 people out of work):

"You cannot just keep paying people, cannot keep taxing us to pay people to do nothing, because they will continue to do nothing for a very long time."

Scott Bruun (R) is running for an open House seat in Oregon (unemployment rate 10.4%, over 230,000 people out of work):

"When we're talking up over close to two years and longer with jobless benefits, I think we really start talking about a European style system and all the problems that that sort of system brings...shame on our government, if you will, if the government is in a position where we're encouraging people to stay out of the workplace longer."

Sharron Angle (R) is running against Harry Reid for his Senate seat in Nevada (unemployment rate 14.2%, over 190,000 people out of work):

"What has happened is the system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job...What we need to do is make that unemployment benefit go down...The truth about it is that they keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does...You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job but it doesn't pay as much. We've put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry."

Richard Burr (R) is a senator in North Carolina (unemployment rate 10.1%, over 109,000 people out of work):

"The wrong thing to do is to automatically today extend unemployment for 12 months. I think that's a discouragement to individuals that are out there to actually go out and go through the interviews."

Ron Johnson (R) is running against Russ Feingold for his Senate seat in Wisconsin (unemployment rate 8.1%; over 240,000 people out of work):

When you continue to extend unemployment benefits, people really don't have the incentive to go take other jobs.

John Kyl (R) is a senator in Arizona (unemployment rate 9.6%, over 300,000 people out of work):

"It's not a stimulus for the economy, to try to help people through tough times. It's a necessary evil, in a sense. We'd like not to have to raise revenue in order to pay people for not working -- or not to pay them for not working, but because they can't get work."

Zach Wamp (R) is a congressman in Tennessee (unemployment rate 10.1%, over 305,000 people out of work):

"We must resist any more mandates to small business to help the unemployed — that we have continued to extend on a federal level, I think, unemployment compensation so long that there’s disincentives for people to actually re-enter the workforce or go out and look for a job. And this is creating a culture of dependence which we do not need. We want people out there scraping and clawing and looking for work and not just sitting back waiting."

To all the above-named, go fuck yourselves. Come back and talk some shit when you're out of a job.

To the combined million and a half out-of-work voters in the states the above-named represent, remember this come election day. Remember the names of the people who called you lazy and said you don't deserve any help because you're not trying hard enough to get a job.

To everyone else in the country, it can't be more clear: nobody who isn't rich should vote for a Republican. Ever.


Jul. 31st, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
AWESOME post. Thank you!
Jul. 31st, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
Those assholes. And you know, the Republican machine is so good at spinning this crap, they're going to have millions of idiot Americans spewing the same nonsense and believing it's rational come election time.

These are the same asshats who believe that everyone who loses their home is just lazy and taking advantage of "easy" bankruptcy and foreclosure laws. Hey, maybe some of those people lost their homes because all that free money isn't enough. Maybe they're losing their homes because the 9 hours a week they're able to pick up at the 7-11 just isn't enough.

Jul. 31st, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
I do have to wonder: do they even realize that to receive unemployment benefits in every state system I know of you have to weekly submit at least two employers you've contacted? Or do they instead realize that acknowledging that will alienate their "smug and secure upper class asshole" base?
Aug. 1st, 2010 12:00 am (UTC)
You're right, Leonard, of course. Preachin' to the choir, though. I doubt if many Conservatives are on your friends list...they can't read them big words!
Aug. 1st, 2010 04:33 am (UTC)
Hey opponents of the above idiots! Make negative campaign ads about these guys using the above quotes pronto!
Aug. 7th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC)
I was called "overqualified" for asking for more than nine dollars an hour.

These posts about the fact that our generation is completely fucked, work-wise, are the best things you've written.


flavored with age
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
Ludic Log


Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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