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The Long Term Unemployed

February 11, 2014
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Picture 4If you live in a state like New Mexico, you start to comprehend how truly desperate our economic situation is.  If you live in a state like New Mexico, you fully comprehend that there is no hope, no future, and no opportunity.  There is no way to dig one’s self out of this economic morass that is only getting worse.  Sure, the market looks good, but the ultra wealthy are simply helping the ultra wealthy – on paper.  The rest of us can barely make ends meet.  That’s the brave new America.

According to Paul Krugman, long-term unemployment, those out of work for more than 27 weeks is at an all-time high.  We’re talking 35.8%.  That’s massive.  Until 2008, that number was usually around 10% and 20% of total unemployment.  Now thought, it’ s35.8%.

“...Third, in a weak job market long-term unemployment tends to be self-perpetuating, because employers in effect discriminate against the jobless. Many people have suspected that this was the case, and last year Rand Ghayad of Northeastern University provided a dramatic confirmation. He sent out thousands of fictitious résumés in response to job ads, and found that potential employers were drastically less likely to respond if the fictitious applicant had been out of work more than six months, even if he or she was better qualified than other applicants.

What all of this suggests is that the long-term unemployed are mainly victims of circumstances — ordinary American workers who had the bad luck to lose their jobs (which can happen to anyone) at a time of extraordinary labor market weakness, with three times as many people seeking jobs as there are job openings. Once that happened, the very fact of their unemployment made it very hard to find a new job….”

Just One Minute

Just One Minute

Naturally, the far right thinks these people are bums.  Never mind that they are more likely to be over the age of 45 and well educated.  They’re still bums.  Anyone who is not working is a bum, right?  Don’t expect anyone to want to help someone who is unemployed, let along long-term unemployed.

NY Times

NY Times

The libertarian way of thinking is that, if you are rich, you have worked harder and are better than everyone else.  It is the classic Puritan ‘work’ ethic – you work and you succeed.  If you don’t work, you fail.  If people don’t work, they shouldn’t be rewarded for failure.  Or, the way Ayn Rand worshipers view it, only the weak fail and the strong grow rich.

We are living in an economy that is almost as bad as the Great Depression.  As much as I admire Barack Obama, he has done almost nothing to improve the unemployment situation.  Granted, he’s ham-strung by the libertarian idiots of the right, but he wasted all of his political capital on the ACA.   The right isn’t willing to give him a break, in any way.  They won’t want to see him have any sort of success.  Ergo, it’s better to destroy millions of weak-minded, lazy, little people.  Why bother with them.  They’re not going to vote GOP.

The GOP no longer cares about people.  We the Little People are to be walked over, to be kicked, and to be destroyed.  Ed Kilgore wrote:

“....It’s always been preposterous, though. As I like to ask, when the Great Depression hit, did a quarter of the U.S. population collectively lose its moral fiber? Or worse yet, had these millions already fallen into decadence and sloth, causing a righteous God to smite them with unemployment and poverty? No, of course not. Yet there is a definite connection between recent conservative claims that the Great Recession was caused by the avarice and shiftlessness of low-to-medium income families—especially those people—who refused to live within their means, and today’s conservative claims the long-term unemployed could find work if they tried. What makes this approach so maddeningly persistent is that any concession to a more compassionate and factual way of looking at micro-economic catastrophe undermines the base-pleasing assurance that Americans fortunate enough to be doing well earned every damn penny via hard work and sturdy folk virtues. That’s why the “You Built That!” meme was so powerful among the Republican rank-and-file in 2012, beyond its ostensible audience of business owners….”

E.J. Dionne

E.J. Dionne

I’m living the libertarian economic disaster on a daily basis.  I live in an ALEC controlled Red State with an ALEC owned, corrupt, incompetent Republican governor who doesn’t give a damn about recruiting business.  I’m living in a county where the local county council has destroyed the value of land, basically making any possibility of being able to sell said property almost impossible.

In New Mexico, there is absolutely NO opportunity.  There is no way for a person to basically even survive unless they are basically already employed or are wealthy and have liquidity.  I live in a state where there is no hope.  There are no jobs.  There is no way out of this financial depression.  It’s not going to happen.  Those of us who were once extremely well off, but for one reason or other (my parent’s money was embezzled by their broker) we are now living on the edge of disaster.  Once upon a time I was as hard-hearted as the worst libertarian.  Those days are long gone.

To accuse those of us who are truly suffering of not working hard enough, of wanting to take away from those who have worked so darn hard for what they have is a lie.  I don’t want to take what they have.  I would like to have what was taken from my family given back, but that’s how the money world works.  We’re dealing with a group of extremely wealthy individuals who have no morals, honesty, or decency.  They are basically psychopaths, preying on those who are weaker than they are.

I would like to see a mechanism where the nearly $900,000 taken from my father, who was suffering from the early effects of Alzheimer’s returned to him.  It would make our life what it once was. That’s not going to happen.  We live in a winner take all world, where all the predators are glorified and the weak are to be kicked aside to die on the side of the road.  They deserve to die that way.  After all, they weren’t strong enough to protect what they once had.

What I truly despise is someone like Sam Zell saying how much better he is because he worked harder than those of us who are struggling.  My father’s parents lost everything during the Great Depression.  He went to work when he was 8-years-old, selling paper flowers, door to door, to earn a quarter, to buy kerosene so his mother could cook dinner.  His mother had already sold her jewelry, furs, and sterling.  They’d sold the new car, and lost their house.  They were living in a little house, with practically nothing.  My father never stopped working until he was 80-years-old.  And – he worked.  For the ultra wealthy to glorify what they have, and how hard they work is an insult to the tens of millions of people like my father, who worked hard, and paid millions in taxes.

We now live in a country that despises weakness.  We’ve sold our soul to the 0.01% and to the evil forces of Ayn Rand.  All the goodness that was once America is being sucked from us by a handful of men, followed around by their worshipers.  Those who have been kicked around by life are to be kicked around even more.  That’s the way with this brave new America.  We hate weakness.  We hate the poor.  We hate anyone different.  Only the psychopathic strong shall survive.

Let’s face it, the uncomfortable truth is the fact that those who worship at the feet of the ultra wealthy are the real prostitutes and failures of the world.  They are so dependent on the crumbs that the psychopaths toss to them, that they would slaughter their own families for a piece of the action.

God help us all!

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