Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nothing but Chaff

My little sister Mary Ellen just recently found a job after being unemployed for 14 months. I don't need to tell you that if you're 56 years old this is a long time, a real long time. I sure worried about her, and I think she worried a whole lot more than she let on. But she's a trooper. When the good fortune of a job finally came along--not in the kind of work she had been doing for 20 years either--she just took it in stride. She's happy with the new work, and I cannot tell you how relieved I am for her. Because I know the real story. People like my sister are nothing but chaff in the current economy, and they are likely to stay that way for a very long time.

The facts of the case, her case being a precise fit, are that since 2007, the number of people who have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks is up 191 percent. That, folks, translates to a bit fewer than 4 million people.

Well, aren't these people being taken care of, you say? Nope.
In Washington, the plight of the long-term jobless has largely faded from the policy conversation. At the moment, the federal government offers virtually no help to the 3.8 million Americans who have been out of work for more than six months. The maximum duration of unemployment insurance payments fell from as long as 73 weeks to 26 weeks in most states in January.
A jobless aid bill is expected to win final approval from the Democrat-controlled Senate early next week, but it is not expected to pass the Republican-controlled House as currently constructed. Source
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