Tuesday, May 29, 2012
With the standard measure of unemployment still over eight percent, (it dropped one percentage point over the past year), all the states which haven't already done so will now cut the maximum duration of the period a worker can be eligible for unemployment compensation. From the Yahoo news blog The Lookout:
Hundreds of thousands of jobless Americans are losing their federal unemployment benefits earlier than they expected due to new rules passed in February that make it harder for states to qualify for extended jobless aid, the New York Times reports.
At the height of the recession, Congress passed a law to boost unemployment assistance to up to 99 weeks: The unemployed would receive federal money instead of state funds if they continued to be jobless past the traditional period of six months. In February, Congress extended this law, but added rules that would draw down the number of weeks the government would pay for, based on whether a state's jobless rate had decreased and other factors. Now, only three states still offer 99 weeks of assistance, and all three will stop doing so in September.
The only reason the current depression, which began at the end of 2007 and will turn five years old this coming December, the only reason it's not as bad as the Great Old One of 1929-1939 is because of government payouts to the proles, Social Security and unemployment insurance, mainly. Nearly all of this money is used for life's necessities -- rent, food, fuel, and bills. If there's any left, a person might be able to see a doctor or dentist. People aren't making payments on Cadillac Escalades with their $275 a week unemployment checks.
So once again, the victims of this second Wall-Street depression in 80 years pay the price, and this, as the song says, "While there are others living among us who go unmolested, though in the wrong."