Class Warfare Blog

December 19, 2013

‘Tis the Season

Merry Christmas, you bums! To celebrate this season of gift giving the Republicans are kicking 1.3 million people off of extended unemployment benefits three days after Christmas. I say the Republicans are doing this because in the recent budget negotiations they went into those negotiations with that benefit cut off as a “non-negotiable demand,” meaning there would be no new budget without it.

When asked what the people losing this benefit should do, the response was “they should go out and get a job.” This attitude is apparently not informed by any knowledge in that the number of jobs available is much smaller than the number of people needing them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics “There were 3.9 million job openings in October, little changed from September. The number of openings was little changed for total private and government.” The BLS pegs the number of unemployed at 10.9 million with about 4 million not counted because they have given up looking for work (at least for one month). So, 15 million unemployed, 4 million jobs available, about 1 job for every 4 people wanting one.

Now, consider that the average unemployment check is roughly $300 per week (although there is quite a wide range, so some make much more than this and many quite a bit less, but we have to start somewhere). If one were to get a job that netted $300 per week, let us assume that they would have to make $400 per week to cover costs of payroll taxes, maybe income taxes, commuting costs, etc. At $400 per week and a 40 hour work week they would need a job paying $10 per hour, so immediately a good portion of the jobs available don’t pay that much. Worse, many which do pay that much won’t hire people to work 40 hour work weeks, instead they get many fewer work hours, so really they would need two jobs if the pay is $10-$15 per hour or less. There are not enough jobs for everybody to have even one job, but the Republican plan is for these folks to go out and get two jobs.

Oh, and by the end of next year another 3.6 million people will lose such benefits.

These are the same Republicans who ran the country, hell the whole world, into an economic ditch. They are now salving their political impotence by beating up on the poor and the temporarily down on their luck folks. They basically are saying that if you lost your job, the only reason you don’t have one yet is because you are shiftless and lazy.

Possibly, the fact that these unemployment monies get spent almost immediately to buy food, pay the rent, etc. supports the local economies of these laid off workers (you don’t get unemployment benefits unless you were working and paid into the insurance program) and the people who receive that money spend it again (this is called the multiplier effect), plus this stimulus is targeted in the areas that need it the most (areas with the highest unemployment) means this is the only form of economic stimulus that gets distributed to ordinary people, and since it is economically stimulative, the Republicans are against it.

They are also against any sort of jobs programs, like the ones that have been so successful in the past.

I don’t know, Grinches, Assholes, heartless, mean bastards, un-Christian . . . you’ll have to come up with your own label for the New Republicans yourself.

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20 Comments »

  1. A first principle of politics is that what gets subsidized gets sustained or even grows.

    That means subsidizing unemployment sustains unemployment.

    And it is a matter of record that the Obama economy is the worst since the Great Depression.

    Comment by silenceofmind — December 19, 2013 @ 8:36 pm | Reply

    • Where do you get this stuff? Are you on a list that gets talking points?

      Yes, what gets subsidized gets sustained. You’d rather those people not be able to pay their mortgages and get evicted? You’d rather they go hungry? The evidence shows that people do not stay on unemployment insurance for long, generally fewer weeks than they are untitled to. The fact that there are four job seekers for each and every job available tells you that there are not enough jobs to go around. You say, “tough, so starve.” A kinder gentler response is to help people when they are in need and the government is the representative of the people and in general, the people want to help those in need. Keeping those people from falling so far, they have less need of help getting back to something stable.

      And please don’t say that charitable organizatiosn will jump in to fill the gap. The US government supplies $80 billion in food assitance, the private food assitance organization (which I support) provide $5 billion. Its a matter of scale. If we could do what needs doing privately, I’d be all in favor of that.

      This is far different from corporate welfare. Corporations get subsidized then they use the money to hire lobbyists and pay bribes so that they keep them forever. Do you see the lobbyists for the unemployed? Do you see the unemployed writing $10,000 checks to Congressmen? Do you see the unemployed putting on fundraisers for their local pols?

      Comment by stephenpruis — December 19, 2013 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

      • Stephen,

        “This stuff” is called political science. Science is based on what is observable. And when what is observed time and again and repeatedly produces the same effects becomes a scientific principle, or first principle.

        Liberals think everything comes from talking points because that’s where they get their own information. Your teachers and handlers in the drive-by media tell you what and how to think.

        By knowing first principles it is possible to predict whether a regime will succeed or fail.

        Barack Obama was a known failure from the very beginning because his beliefs and policies violate the first principles that lie at the foundation of liberty and economic growth.

        Comment by silenceofmind — December 19, 2013 @ 9:42 pm | Reply

        • SOM, regarding both of your comments… is it observable to you that the economy in January 2009 was better than economy in December 2012? If not, what are the numbers on which you are basing your conclusions that Obama economy is the worst since Great Depression? The unemployment rate? GDP changes? Consumer confidence? Annual deficit? Dow Jones index?

          Comment by List of X — December 19, 2013 @ 11:26 pm | Reply

        • x,

          When discussing politics and economics it is of infinitely greater benefit to understand basic principles than to get mired down in a tangled thicket of data of which each side has its own version.

          Reagan cured the Obama economy (then caused by President Carter) in only 18 months by cutting taxes and stabilizing the money supply.

          And his cure created a boom that lasted 25 years.

          It’s been over 5 years and Democrats are still blaming Bush for President Obama’s malignant economic incompetence.

          Because leftism is such a failure for the common man, leftist leaders must always lie and find villains.

          Everyone except the most hardened imbecile now knows that President Obama is a proven liar who simply doesn’t have the character or ethics to take responsibility for the carnage he is causing in the economy.

          Comment by silenceofmind — December 20, 2013 @ 3:38 am | Reply

        • Ok. So no actual numbers, just the standard “Reagan good, Obama bad” fact-free fare. According to your logic, it must have been Carter’s fault that the economy tanked in 2008.

          Comment by List of X — December 23, 2013 @ 12:29 am | Reply

          • X,

            Numbers don’t mean anything without first knowing the principles that produce them.

            Liberals love bogging down any issue in numbers because without objective principles, those numbers can mean anything.

            The result is a discussion based on nothing but opinion, propaganda and untruth.

            Your inability to argue from the standpoint of first principles is proof that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

            That’s why you need talking points.

            Comment by silenceofmind — December 23, 2013 @ 4:51 am | Reply

            • Then I guess that conservatives don’t like the numbers, because when facts contradict the first principles, it’s the facts that must be incorrect.
              Trust me, liberals do have their own first principles (in two words, Keynesian economics). Just because they are different from yours doesn’t meant they’re wrong. And, by the way, one of general liberal principles is that when the facts contradict the theory, the problem lies with theory, not the facts. Yes, the numbers can be interpreted differently, but you still must be willing to interpret them – ALL of them. Otherwise, it’s a discussion based on nothing but opinion, propaganda, and untruth.

              Comment by List of X — December 23, 2013 @ 6:43 am | Reply

              • X,

                Almost every argument between postmodernists and Conservatives can be resolved by a simple understanding of first principles.

                It is impossible to discuss science or engineering rationally without understanding first principles.

                The same is true for political science. That’s why it is called a science.

                The nearly 3000 years of our Western Heritage beginning with the ancient Greeks and reaching its zenith with the Founding Fathers, is the discovery of basic principles that govern all of politics and economics.

                Comment by silenceofmind — December 23, 2013 @ 6:50 am | Reply

                • Political science is called political “science” because of chutzpah, not because it is a real science. It used to be called political studies or just politics. Remember when “social studies” became the “social sciences?” And interestingly, all people who aregue from first principles always end up at “the” first principle.

                  Comment by stephenpruis — December 23, 2013 @ 7:17 am | Reply

                  • Stephen,

                    You are expressing a mere personal opinion that is contrary to the facts.

                    Your erroneous personal opinion on this matter means that you studied political science and didn’t understand it, or that you were indoctrinated by leftist instructors or you never studied political science.

                    I have studied political science at the graduate level from multiple universities, both secular and religious.

                    They all cover the same ground: our Western Heritage.

                    Comment by silenceofmind — December 23, 2013 @ 8:57 am | Reply

    • SOM, so you’d support ending all corporate welfare… to the oil companies, big pharma, farmers, weapons industry?

      Comment by john zande — December 20, 2013 @ 4:12 am | Reply

      • Absolutely.

        All forms of income redistribution are mass theft committed by the government.

        A government that steals from its people, oppresses its people.

        Did you know that corporate Obama boot licker, Facebook, paid zero federal taxes last year?

        Welfare, corporate or otherwise is just a way for politicians to buy votes and secure loads of campaign cash from rich donors.

        Comment by silenceofmind — December 20, 2013 @ 4:39 am | Reply

        • So you’re against roads, education, NASA?

          Comment by john zande — December 20, 2013 @ 4:58 am | Reply

          • The government using tax revenue to finance roads is not income redistribution.

            You are using the logical fallacy of comparing apples and oranges.

            Comment by silenceofmind — December 20, 2013 @ 5:49 am | Reply


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