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The Mean Team Piles on Jobless Americans


Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, americans, children, culture, dishonesty, education, family, government, JOBLESS, politics, society, unemployed )

Kit
- 415 days ago - commondreams.org
I've been unemployed before, and I can tell you it's a misery -- all the more so today, when there are far more people out of work than there are job openings.



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Kit B. (276)
Thursday July 11, 2013, 7:57 pm
Poster image from Common Dreams


"Come on, team let's get mean!"

This is not the chant of rabid football fans, egging on their favorite team to crush the opponents. Rather, it's the raucous war cry of far-out right-wing ideologues all across the country who're pumping up Team GOP to pound the bejeezus out of America's millions of unemployed workers. Far from a game, this is real, and it's a moral abomination.

I've been unemployed before, and I can tell you it's a misery all the more so today, when there are far more people out of work than there are job openings. This leaves millions of our fellow Americans mired in the debilitating misery of long-term unemployment.

But that's not miserable enough for a feral breed of Ayn Randian political zealots who are lobbying Republican governors, legislators and congress-critters to punish the jobless for ... well, for their joblessness. In this perverse universe, the conventional wisdom asserts that unemployment benefits and other poverty-prevention programs are sapping our nation's vitality by allowing "moochers" to live the Life of Reilly and avoid work.

The GOP's budget demigod in the U.S. House, Rep. Paul Ryan, expressed this dogma in a fanciful homily deriding America's safety net as "a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency." This from a guy whose family's wealth was gained from government contacts and who has spent practically all of his adult life in the sweet-swaying hammock of congressional privilege, presently drawing $174,000 a year from Old Uncle Sugar.

As ridiculous and just plain mean as this attitude is, it plays well in the insanity that now defines "the debate" in Republican primary elections. So, state-after-state (as well as Congress) are succumbing to this pound-the-poor, right-wing screed by frenetically slashing unemployment benefits.

Behind this faux-philosophical push are the smiling barons of corporate America. Without jobless payments, you see, desperate millions will be forced to whatever low-wage, no-benefit, dead-end jobs the barons design.

What's at work here is a profoundly awful ethical phenomenon that has seeped into the top strata of American society: Our nation's corporate and political elites have developed an immunity to shame.

It has become morally acceptable in those lofty circles to enrich themselves while turning their backs on the rest of us. Even more damning, they feel free to slash America's already tattered safety net, leaving more holes than net for the workaday majority of Americans who've been knocked down by an ongoing economic disaster created by these very elites.

For a look at how shameful these privileged powers have become, turn to North Carolina. Until recently, this Southern state maintained a fairly moderate government with a populist streak, taking pride in its educational system and other public efforts to maintain a middle class. No more. A shame-resistant political leadership has recently taken hold, consisting of corporate-funded tea party extremists who loathe the very idea of a safety net.

The new bunch has been gutting everything from public schools to health care, and now they've turned on hard-hit citizens who're out of work. In a state with the fifth-highest jobless rate in the country, and with no recovery in sight, the right-wing governor and legislature recently whacked weekly unemployment benefits by a third, leaving struggling North Carolinians with a meager $350 a week to try to make ends meet, while simultaneously eliminating millions of consumer dollars that those families would otherwise be putting into the state's economy. Then, just to give the jobless another kick, the petty politicians cut the number of weeks people can receive unemployment aid.

This official minginess automatically disqualified the state from getting $700 million a year for long-term jobless payments from the federal government. Yet Gov. Pat McCrory issued a cockamamie, Kafkaesque claim that the gut-job ensures that "our citizens' unemployment safety net is secure," while providing "an economic climate that allows job creators to start hiring again."

Yeah, we'll all hold our breath until those "job creators" get going. Meanwhile, the GOP wrecking crew doled out a fat tax break for the corporate elites for doing nothing. Take from the poor, give to the rich: backward Robin Hood. If ignorance is bliss, McCrory must be ecstatic.

Meanwhile, his shameless immorality has unleashed a growing storm of weekly demonstrations known as "Moral Mondays." For information about this remarkable citizens' uprising, link to the North Carolina Justice Center: www.ncjustice.org.
*****

By: Jim HIghtower | Common Dreams |

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.
 

Brian M. (145)
Thursday July 11, 2013, 8:06 pm
The rich get richer on the backs of all of the rest of us. Let's call it what it is: class war.
 

JL A. (275)
Thursday July 11, 2013, 8:25 pm
Perfect explanation of why the faith community and civil rights community have been having Moral Mondays in North Carolina to be the voice of Christianity and morality and show the legislators how shameful their choices have been in what is becoming a nationwide movement. A related petition is available at:
https://secure3.convio.net/sojo/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=671
 

Beverly T. (82)
Thursday July 11, 2013, 10:48 pm
I want to know where is the MORAL UPROAR from all the "Representatives of Christ", the CHURCHES.
Do they ONLY care about what is happening in our bedrooms or vaginas ???? (yup, bluntly put)
Is that their ONLY perspective of life as a Christian that matters to them ???
Does NOTHING else that Jesus taught have ANY MEANING or bring any obligations toward people other than THOSE ISSUES ???
There is something REALLY wrong with this picture and I for one most certainly wouldn't hang it in my house.

I'm not trying to insult Christians or ANY belief, it just seems that the leaders of these faiths seem to be failing the true members of their religion as much as the leaders of our country are failing the true members of this country. I mean they all CLAIM to be TRUE BELIEVERS, the real question is....of what ????
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (273)
Thursday July 11, 2013, 10:55 pm
Speechless Kit
 

Micheael Kirkbym (85)
Friday July 12, 2013, 10:25 am
The unemployment rate if they told the truth has been varying between 27 - 30% since 2010. Still, people keep coming. When the leaders have no vision the people are scattered upon the hills like sheep without a shepherd.
Then again if truth were told maybe the vision they have is to reduce global population; bring the last bastion of freedom and freedom of speech [America] to its knees so that they and all the rest will welcome a one world government. Novus ordo seclorum - new order of the ages indeed! Lucifer must be well pleased with the sweet offer of our suffering caused by and offered up to him by his Elite Corporatist devotees.
 

Robert B. (57)
Friday July 12, 2013, 11:06 am
Yes, this state is being run by the clueless clowns of the GOP circus.
 

Angelika R. (146)
Friday July 12, 2013, 12:06 pm
"What's at work here is a profoundly awful ethical phenomenon that has seeped into the top strata of American society: Our nation's corporate and political elites have developed an immunity to shame."
Excellent article, so well stated. If these Moral Mondays, when nationwide, can leave any impression on the heartless bunch remains to be seen, ii's doubtful.
Already signed earlier the petition JL provided.
 

lee e. (114)
Friday July 12, 2013, 1:42 pm
It's so important to get involved in State politics - the GOP is gerrymandering and imposing its amoral idology insidiously, while corrupting the country! We need to revolt1
 

lee e. (114)
Friday July 12, 2013, 1:47 pm
Thanks for the post and also (the petition JL A)
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Friday July 12, 2013, 4:54 pm
Noted & posted
 

Ros G. (90)
Friday July 12, 2013, 5:32 pm
Thanks Kit for this article - We have seen this creeping into Australian politics for the last 20 years or so..it is a "Class War" as Brian describe between the haves' and have nots'. They try to make out that these "dole bluggers" are ruining this Country by taking and giving nothing back. The truth is that there aren't the jobs to go around - jobs have been declining since the '70's - with new technology and sending manufacturing overseas. Then of course as the article start..smaller business and others have lost their nest-eggs due to fiscal mismanagement via big banks, shares, etc. They haven't increased unemployment benefits here for over 30 years due to this sentiment..our unemployed do it tough but nothing like the US. A partnered couple would receive $500pw includes rent allowance, also access to full Medical care and cheaper prescriptions $5.80each, additional payments made for each dependent child. They have free access to training and higher education as well. If not studying they must do 15hours per week each of volunteering work which may lead to some form of employment. On top of this they can earn a bit of income from casual work before their payments are scaled back. This benefit is ongoing - no time frame and it's a National system. The hidden agenda to all this is, as stated to drag down the wages of employed people..corporates want people to work for the same amount that employees get in China & India..why have a workforce overseas when you can create the same conditions at home.. with the blessings of the Governments..Shame on them, Shame on them all.
 

Past Member (0)
Friday July 12, 2013, 5:36 pm
"It has become morally acceptable in those lofty circles to enrich themselves while turning their backs on the rest of us. Even more damning, they feel free to slash America's already tattered safety net, leaving more holes than net for the workaday majority of Americans who've been knocked down by an ongoing economic disaster created by these very elites."

That says it in a nutshell.
 

Angelene B. (143)
Friday July 12, 2013, 5:49 pm
:( not fun at all
 

Laurie H. (710)
Friday July 12, 2013, 8:14 pm
This is a sobering, sorry state of affairs, no shortage of SHAME to go around, but then, they don't give a damn.~ Thanks Kit for sharing/posting~~
 

steven brockwell (0)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 12:01 am
Europe has the same problem, i often wonder what the people in governments get paid for. what is really dumb we keep giving handouts to other country's but still find it hard to feed our own. somethings wrong
 

Ros G. (90)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 12:07 am
Thanks JL A petition signed with pleasure.
 

TomCat S. (286)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 12:59 am
Signed.

Republicans would have us believe that Americans stay unemployed by choice.
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 6:26 am
Thanks.
 

Joanne Dixon (38)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 6:56 am
Petition signed earlier. I would also like to point out, since it doesn't seem to have been mentioned here yet, that the right wing legislators are showing their colors by grumbling about "Moron Mondays."

Beverly T, many of the Moral Mondays faith leaders are in fact Christians.
 

Arielle S. (317)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 8:31 am
"Nearly all men can stand adversity. But if you want to test a man's character, give him power." ~ Abraham Lincoln I guess we know what kind of character these people - these very small people have.
 

David Menard (43)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 3:06 pm
The rethuglicans are not guided by any real moral priciples of any "religion" just those of fascism and corporatism painted with the twisted paint of theocratic self righteousness to justify their twisted robber baron philosophy. and soothe their vestigial conciences . Some things never change.Take away their $$$$$$$$$$$ and power granted to them by their corporate masters and most could not handle living like the rest of us and would probably start tossing themselves outta windows.
 

Ros G. (90)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 4:22 pm
Religions are Corporations now before we had Governments they were the Government - that's what the Crusades were all about...sounds familiar...the Right wing of Governments is not only the voice of the Church(Religion) but also the voice of Power... they have had good teachers over the Centuries. There is always a Right Wing in every Political Party not just the Republicans, here in Australia our EX PM Julia Gillard was an atheist but beholden to the Right Wing of her Party. Beware of the Wolf in sheep's clothing - you don't always get to know who really is pulling the strings.
 

marie Taylor clarke (166)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 5:04 pm
Noted
 

Birgit W. (144)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 5:40 pm
The evil cabals don't care about us. Jim Hightower said it all.
 

Peta Clarke (25)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 7:34 pm
It goes beyond belief when people become unemployed and can't find work it is no use in saying live cheaper, go without and things will come good. No way utilities keep going up, food prices increase, transport costs increase, no hospital benefits etc. Hopefulness is gone, no real support from governments it is a sad, sad world.
 

Ros G. (90)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 10:32 pm
So true Peta..but you need a caring Society to bring around change..not one that thinks..I'm not going to pay taxes to help these people. I've never been unemployed have worked and paid taxes every year since 1970, have never bemoaned my tax dollar been spent on those less fortunate than me...even if it is at times by their own doing..yes, the alcoholics, drug addicts, etc...who am I to judge..I have never walked a day in their shoes..and if I do someday..I would like that safety net to break my fall.
 

june t. (65)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 12:29 am
it's a sad world we are creating.
 

Jaime A. (32)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 3:45 am
Noted, thanks.
 

Michael M. (58)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 12:38 pm
Before and after Ceasr Chavez, migrant workers competed so hard for jobs that they felt no fear or consideration for the poisonous pesticides being used.

Such overpopulation as exists nearly everywhere will cause
wilful ignorance
unprecedented corporate control over humanity and environment
violence

These are already the stock in trade of the US republican party (Excepting Texan Johnson, all the wars since WWII were aggressive wars begun by that party which is busy attempting to stratify the US into extreme haves and extreme have-nots).

Unfortunately economic neoliberalism (free trade treaties abandoning government rationale for existence:the good of its own citizens, loosening of exchange laws, etc) has also infected the democratic party, and so they also promote this same social stratification, and responding to the fear and terror inculcated by republicans, have also abandoned common sense, care, and loyalty to their voting base.

The USA is appearing to eschew social equity as a necessary part of civil society. I do not know if such a direction alone could save the world's natural environments and ecosystems, the primary source of well-being for every human. It is the most necessary and most neglected issue in the solipsistic societies of the world today.
 

Kathleen R. (138)
Monday July 15, 2013, 10:08 am
noted, also signed Petition that JLA had link to
 
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