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Mon Jul 1, 2013, 11:34 AM

War On the Unemployed - By PAUL KRUGMAN

War On the Unemployed
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: June 30, 2013 419 Comments


Is life too easy for the unemployed? You may not think so, and I certainly don’t think so. But that, remarkably, is what many and perhaps most Republicans believe. And they’re acting on that belief: there’s a nationwide movement under way to punish the unemployed, based on the proposition that we can cure unemployment by making the jobless even more miserable.

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So what’s going on here? Is it just cruelty? Well, the G.O.P., which believes that 47 percent of Americans are “takers” mooching off the job creators, which in many states is denying health care to the poor simply to spite President Obama, isn’t exactly overflowing with compassion. But the war on the unemployed isn’t motivated solely by cruelty; rather, it’s a case of meanspiritedness converging with bad economic analysis.

In general, modern conservatives believe that our national character is being sapped by social programs that, in the memorable words of Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, “turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency.” More specifically, they believe that unemployment insurance encourages jobless workers to stay unemployed, rather than taking available jobs.

Is there anything to this belief? The average unemployment benefit in North Carolina is $299 a week, pretax; some hammock. So anyone who imagines that unemployed workers are deliberately choosing to live a life of leisure has no idea what the experience of unemployment, and especially long-term unemployment, is really like. Still, there is some evidence that unemployment benefits make workers a bit more choosy in their job search. When the economy is booming, this extra choosiness may raise the “non-accelerating-inflation” unemployment rate — the unemployment rate at which inflation starts to rise, inducing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates and choke off economic expansion.

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the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/opinion/krugman-the-war-on-the-unemployed.html?ref=paulkrugman&_r=0

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply War On the Unemployed - By PAUL KRUGMAN (Original post)
kpete Jul 2013 OP
abelenkpe Jul 2013 #1
LuvNewcastle Jul 2013 #10
fasttense Jul 2013 #16
HardTimes99 Jul 2013 #2
Brigid Jul 2013 #18
cascadiance Jul 2013 #3
antigop Jul 2013 #8
MotherPetrie Jul 2013 #4
nineteen50 Jul 2013 #5
SCVDem Jul 2013 #6
abelenkpe Jul 2013 #21
Enthusiast Jul 2013 #23
CarrieLynne Jul 2013 #7
antigop Jul 2013 #11
mckara Jul 2013 #9
toby jo Jul 2013 #14
DallasNE Jul 2013 #12
ctsnowman Jul 2013 #13
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2013 #15
Brigid Jul 2013 #19
Spitfire of ATJ Jul 2013 #20
Brigid Jul 2013 #17
hfojvt Jul 2013 #22

Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 11:39 AM

1. ..

"Still, there is some evidence that unemployment benefits make workers a bit more choosy in their job search."

Gawd forbid someone might hold out to accept a job in their field or with similar compensation to their old job.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 01:44 PM

10. They won't be happy until everyone is working for minimum wage.

Of course, if they really had their way, there wouldn't be a minimum wage.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #10)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:23 PM

16. A boss who pays you minimum wages is telling you

 

I would pay you less if I could get away with it.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 11:45 AM

2. Again, thanks for posting. Every one on DU needs to know that the 6 heirs

 

to the WalMart fortune control as much wealth between them as the bottom 30 million Americans combined! I swear, even Dickens would not make that shit up!

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Response to HardTimes99 (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:42 PM

18. Dickens didn't make anything up.

Hr was writing about what he knew and saw, and used the medium of fiction to make his point.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 11:59 AM

3. Yep, if Immigration passes, one more step in this direction with more H-1B visas on the market...

 


Just wait, Republicans, despite their engineering this bill in the Senate with this crap, will in the House claim that they "saved American jobs" by voting the Immigration bill down with it's H-1B crap in it. Obama and Democrats keep falling in to this sort of trap with their so-called "negotiations" on this bill and other things like SS with the budget, etc. too.

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Response to cascadiance (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 01:20 PM

8. and the "inevitable" one for 2016 said, "outsourcing will continue". nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 12:18 PM

4. K&R

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 12:54 PM

5. I have always wondered where the

unemployment benefits finely end up, in whose pockets or bank accounts, who is really getting bailed out here?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 01:00 PM

6. If not for our daughter

I'd be homeless.

Less than 2 months left on unemployment, haven't paid any taxes on the first 6 months and we will soon lose everything in storage. Can't pay ths cell phone or car insurance either at that point.

Maybe I should buy a gun.

In right wing world that is the cure for everything.

I am actually becoming paralyzed with anxiety and Xanax and Ambien only go so far.

I never thought electronics would be an obsolete field but it's a throw away world.

Screw abortion, where are the jobs?

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Response to SCVDem (Reply #6)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 03:25 PM

21. You're right. Where are the jobs?

That is where the focus should be.

Hope you find work soon!

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #21)

Tue Jul 2, 2013, 11:42 AM

23. The only acceptable stimulus is tax cuts for the wealthy and military spending.

We need revenue and public works on infrastructure.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 01:19 PM

7. I wonder how many adults in the USA are capable of working and how many jobs there are available..

I'd be willing to bet that theres not enough jobs for everyone to work......so there HAS to be some unemployed...why mistreat people when theres inevitably going to be some that cant work....

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Response to CarrieLynne (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 01:48 PM

11. not to mention that those older, capable of working, are often discriminated against due to age. nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 01:22 PM

9. Mark Blyth, Professor at Brown University, Offers a Better Explanation

 

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Response to mckara (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:19 PM

14. There was a bit posted somewhere recently by Blyth, DU I think, that I watched.

 

The man is brilliant. If he'd slow down just a tad he could reach more people, but you have to applaud genius at play.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 01:48 PM

12. Don't Give Me No Stinking Facts

The people out to punish the unemployed won’t be dissuaded by rational argument; they know what they know, and no amount of evidence will change their views.


It's not God's Law to provide any benefits to the unemployed or anyone else -- except for tax credits to pay CEO bonuses, etc. The logic for this could not be more backwards nor more upsetting.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:18 PM

13. Out one side of the con

face comes how bad the economy is under the "socialist" Obama out the other side comes how easy it is to find work and therefor you don't need government assistance.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:19 PM

15. Paul is STARTING to "get it" but some want to criminalize being unemployed....

 

They really believe that if you are out of work and living on ANY form of taxpayer funded or even employer funded program that you are indirectly or directly STEALING from them. Same goes for the disabled and the elderly. Hell, some think KIDS should work. They look at those old photos of child labor and think that was great because it instilled proper values.

For those who weren't around in the 60s and 70s, the talk from the Right at that time was to deal with the "hippie movement" by setting up work camps.

Back then, the Right used to be quite open about saying, "Hitler had a lot of good ideas."

They STILL have dreams of stormtroopers kicking in doors and rounding up every Latino in the country. The way they express their HATE shows that what they would REALLY like is a "shoot on sight" order.

Purging whole races was done in Europe for centuries. The classic "Joshua Method of Land Acquisition".

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:56 PM

19. The 1% think everything rightfully belongs to them,

Last edited Mon Jul 1, 2013, 04:46 PM - Edit history (1)

And that includes the labor of the rest of us. Anything they might deign to give us, even the paltriest of paychecks in return for working our butts off, is strictly on sufferance -- out of the "generosity" of our "betters." No wonder so many people take blood pressure meds and/or antidepressants -- if they can afford them, that is. Also no wonder the suicide rate has spiked for us fiftysomethings.

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Response to Brigid (Reply #19)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 03:24 PM

20. Just consider the talking point: "Just how much of MY MONEY do you feel you are entitled to?"

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:38 PM

17. "Well, now you know. And you should be angry."

How about frustrated? And TPTB should be maybe even a little fearful. Miserable and angry people with nothing to lose can be . . . unpredictable, to put it mildly.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 03:38 PM

22. he sorta undermines his argument

$299 a week? Sign me up!

I would note that $299 a week is $7.47 an hour for a 40 hour week. Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

So the average unemployment check seems to kick ass over a minimum wage job. Especially if you include the fact that the minimum wage job only pays $6.7 an hour after taking out FICA taxes.

I feel mixed about it sometimes, because I am used to making $8 an hour. The trouble with the $299 number is that the person getting that check used to be making $600 a week for working. And probably much of his lifestyle is based on spending most of that $600. So when he/she is cut to $299, it is a hardship.

But the person making $290 a week for working is forced to live on that all the time. From their (and my) perspective that person making $600 a week is already privileged - they have a better job than I do. They make much more money than I do. Sometimes a lot more.

And then they lose their good job and the still make more than I do for not working. Then to hear them scoff at the idea of taking a job like the one I work, like they are too good to do what I have to do. And why should they, when the system is set up to pay them more for doing nothing?

Unlike Krugman, I have actually been on unemployment and known other people on unemployment. When I was on unemployment, I was loving it. Damn, it was my first paid vacation in about 17 years. From March until August 2002. I wanted it to last forever, or otherwise as long as possible. When it finally ended, guess what? The part-time job I got only paid about $30 a week more than unemployment. I would have loved to stay on unemployment, but I only had about five weeks left until the money was gonna run out.

I felt lucky to get the job I did though, because it paid $10.69 an hour when the minimum wage was only $5.15. Plus, it had benefits!! Can you believe it? A part-time job with benefits!! It is great to work for the government.

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