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In Just Two Months, More Than 33 Million Americans Have Filed for Unemployment

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/14/just-two-months-more-33-million-americans-have-filed-unemployment

Much of the Republican blather regarding the unemployed and getting them back to work is the potential for disincentives that Covid-aid-based programs may create for them to stay away from work. OK, I can work that math out in the spreadsheet of my mind. Partial solution: offer–not command–back-to-work plans–with combat pay that corrects for such offsets. Trump has claimed to be a “war president”, so let’s see the Republicans get creative. Hell, we’ll have a vaccine for stupidity if we wait long enough for that to happen.

The sign shown on the unemployment office door looks like they don’t care about anyone who doesn’t have an internet connection.

“In Just Two Months, More Than 33 Million Americans Have Filed for Unemployment”

So when some governors want to open up their states and have people working again i read stuff like “Too Fast, Too Soon”, “Reopening’ Means Workers Will Die”. Then some the bright idea to have people live on handouts for, well, we don’t know when. I guess until we run out of stuff and those $2000 will buy a loaf of bread.

Wasn’t this supposed to be about flattening the curve? So we don’t overwhelm hospitals. What changed?

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What a mess this is. Both parties are dealing with this as if it is a financial crisis where if interest rates are low enough, tax rates are lowered and virtually unlimited cash is shoveled to corporations then the economy will rebound. They are dead wrong and locked into a mindset that refuses to consider what is best for people. UBI is a quick and immediate fix. Money into the hands of all would tide us over until we find a level of stability but without that the number of employed simply will continue to grow as demand for goods and services continue to drop - it is a vicious cycle. The epidemic makes it impossible for business as usual and, furthermore, corporations will continue to relentlessly downsize regardless. Perhaps this oncoming depression will force these kind of changes, but not likely unless the current ruling elites are somehow booted out of office.

Six months ago those who don’t have a personal computer and internet connection could have gone to the library to do it. But those are closed, too.

Now they have to go to Office Depot (an essential business) and pay money and get help using their computers to file. Or likely the Chicago Daley Democrat machine will furnish ward-heelers to help working people to do that. Could be one reason why working people “pulled the lever” again and again for Daley.

More than one progressive, … I think I saw an instance moments ago on Common Dreams - says that if we want essential goods produced and distributed, then we need to pay those people much more, call it “combat pay”, to do it. Others of the Green New Deal ilk have said that the economy should be reorganized, so that there are fewer jobs doing service, such as manicures and dog-grooming for those better-off who can pay for it, and more leisure sitting on our hands getting a check and looking at the cleaner water and air, and the birds and butterflies returning to our fields.


The writers on the financial pages often write that consumers are 70% of the economy. Not mentioned is how much of that spending is tertiary, discretionary, non-essential, with most of that tertiary discretionary non-essential spending done by the top half of our economically unequal population. Now, under the coronavirus, the mass of consumers have pulled back on their discretionary spending, and the bottom half dependent on trickle down from the top half, have lost their jobs.

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