Sunday, February 21, 2010

A National Emergency

Despite claims of an economic recovery, millions of American remain unemployed with their benefits about to run out, and no jobs in sight.

Economists say the recovery may fail to create enough jobs to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Large companies are increasingly owned by institutional investors who crave swift profits, a feat often achieved by cutting payroll. The declining influence of unions has made it easier for employers to shift work to part-time and temporary employees. Factory work and even white-collar jobs have moved in recent years to low-cost countries in Asia and Latin America. Automation has helped manufacturing cut 5.6 million jobs since 2000 — the sort of jobs that once provided lower-skilled workers with middle-class paychecks.


Some poverty experts say the broader social safety net is not up to cushioning the impact of the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Social services are less extensive than during the last period of double-digit unemployment, in the early 1980s.

On average, only two-thirds of unemployed people received state-provided unemployment checks last year, according to the Labor Department. The rest either exhausted their benefits, fell short of requirements or did not apply.

“You have very large sets of people who have no social protections,” said Randy Albelda, an economist at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. “They are landing in this netherworld.”

For anyone to find this acceptable, rather than a national emergency, is a travesty.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Welcome to The Unblinking Eye. Good post.

  3. The declining influence of unions is almost complete, only 13% of American workers are unionized. The Corporates can do what the hell they want with peoples hours and benefits. Keep spreading the word.

  4. Wait wait, so corporations are in it to make money?

    THOSE MONSTERS, how dare they!

  5. Making money is a noble profession, exploitation of labor is not.

  6. How is firing people because you can get labor elsewhere for cheaper "exploiting"?

    Working is not a right.

  7. The GOP policies of corporate welfare at taxpayer expence have led to the most inequitable distribution of wealth in our nation's history. The bottom 40% of American's own just 0.2% of the wealth.