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Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’

It’s always nice when people agree with and say exactly what  you think; especially when they say it so well over at the Confluence:

My $0.02 on Shirley Sherrod

By Wonk the Vote

UTube and all the other media videos deserve the same scrutiny as your local grown fruit.

Ask these questions: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW, and WHY!!! if you can’t answer those questions, you don’t know what you are watching. If you don’t know what you are watching, you can’t make a decision. That sure as heck means you don’t go riling people up and firing them cause, you, Freda, are suffering from information deficit syndrome.

Now, you’d a thunk all those gal’ durned Harvard Grads would know that stuff by now.

Either, they really are a bunch of doofuses, or ?

Try this on:

1) As Wonk alludes, we are a long way from realizing the ageist and misogynist elements of this story. WHO, right now is being asked to take early retirement, or let go in the greatest numbers? Who as a group has earned the highest salary in the last few years, and thus has the greatest impact on the bottom line? If you can’t remove someone because of tenure, what other tactics are used? This is a long running storyline.

2) Liberals, and I am one, should spend a little time pondering a pattern of dispensability of the more liberal political elements and civil rights “Old Guard” on the part of the Obama administration. Van Jones wasn’t the only other example. In case you still don’t get it. Obama is NOT A LIBERAL! He is not on your side. Whatever is wanted must come from you and your actions.

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If you haven’t yet done so, The Gray Panthers urge you to SPREAD THE WORD to reinstate and extend unemployment insurance and contact you Senator TODAY:

In Unemployment Benefits Extension, a Logistical Headache for States

Overtaxed State Agencies Struggle to Keep Up

By ANNIE LOWREY 7/19/10 6:00 AM

[People seeking unemployment benefits wait in the lobby of an Employment Development Department office in California. (EPA/ZUMAPRESS.com)

On Tuesday, the Senate plans to vote on a federal extension of unemployment benefits, blocked by Senate Republicans for an unprecedented two months. The swearing-in of Carte Goodwin, the temporary replacement for the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), will give Democrats the crucial 60th vote to overcome a GOP filibuster and restore unemployment insurance to 2.5 million Americans….]

http://washingtonindependent.com/91871/in-unemployment-benefits-extension-a-logistical-headache-for-states

For more on Carte Goodwin try HERE and HERE.

The DOL has published a list of products we all want to think twice about purchasing. However, as you read the list you will see some of the difficulties in following through on this kind of a determination.  Take cotton for example; Benin, Burkina Faso, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are on the no-no list. Where did your last tee shirt come from? Do we have anywhere near enough inspection? See the list HERE:

ILAB News Release: [07/19/2010]

Contact Name: Gloria Della Clarisse Young
Phone Number: (202) 693-8666 or x5051
Release Number: 10-0914-NAT

US Labor Department publishes updated list of products made with forced or indentured child labor

[WASHINGTONThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs today announced the publication of a final list of products that federal contractors must certify under Executive Order 13126 are not produced with forced or indentured child labor. The list will appear in the July 20 edition of the Federal Register….]

http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm

As an older adult, around age 55?, my father had Whooping Cough and let me tell you, it wasn’t fun.  It is very hard to breath during the coughing attacks. He thought that he had been vaccinated as a child, leading us to believe that the vaccine had lost effectiveness. Check with your doctor about vaccines. Personally, if I were traveling to CA in the future, I’d check with my doctor about getting the vaccine as well.

Vaccine urged as whooping cough epidemic grows

By Bobby Caina Calvan

bcalvan@sacbee.com

Published: Monday, Jul. 19, 2010 – 12:37 pm

Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 19, 2010 – 1:02 pm

[State health officials today urged more Californians to get vaccinated for whooping cough, as the disease grew to epidemic proportions…]

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/07/19/2900460/vaccine-urged-as-whooping-cough.html

Border security and Immigration reform are two separate issues.  The former is used as a ploy to prevent the latter from happening. Ruben Navarrette shows how the two issues rotate around each other:

Politicians posture over U.S.-Mexico border

Ruben Navarrette Jr.

[“What do you mean I’m out of money?” says the bumper sticker. “I still have checks left!” In the immigration debate, some folks use the same logic to raise the issue of border security.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/06/29/EDAP1E6NQ5.DTL

You may remember that President Obama issued an Executive Order on May 22, 2010 directing the institution of a “ National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling”. The Commission released it’s final report today.  I guess it will be my evening read:

Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force Announced

Posted by Phil Larson on July 19, 2010 at 02:23 PM EDT

Obama Administration officials today released the Final Recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force, which would establish a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes (National Policy) and create a National Ocean Council (NOC) to strengthen ocean governance and coordination.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/initiatives/oceans

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February is Black History Month.

What does it mean to you?

There are well-known established sheroes and heroes of all sorts and stripes that might deserve mention in this month.  However, I want to discuss the month from a slightly different angle.

One of the events likely to occur under rightist governments, such as the previous one we just endured, is the erosion of children’s rights. Right-sided governments are more likely to work under the premise that children’s rights are those of the parents, rather than the children themselves. One example is the constant struggle over whether to allow young people the right to privacy in their visits to doctors and their personal health choices.

We are the keepers of the largest prisoner base in the world. As is prevalent elsewhere in other age groups, minority children are still more likely to suffer the brunt of unequal treatment. In this light, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) took particular hopeful note in January of President Obama’s stated intention over increased enforcement in his State of the Union Address.

01/28/2010

It’s Time to Step Up Enforcement of Children’s Rights

By Richard Cohen

[After a drastic decline in civil rights enforcement by the U.S. Justice Department over much of the past decade, President Obama’s declaration during last night’s State of the Union Address that his administration is “once again prosecuting civil rights violations” is a promising sign…]

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/its-time-to-step-up-enforcement-of-childrens-rights

We will have to wait and see whether the SPLC’s hope is fulfilled. In any event, one my heroes for the month would include the folks at SPLC.

A recent event on a different subject deserves scrutiny. As expected, the unemployment numbers, for the Nation as whole, in January looked better than previous months at 9.7%. I doubt this number truly represents the actually unemployed, since January, as will March, represented merely an end to those folks whose unemployment simply ran out. This is one of the great scams perpetrated by the cycling of employment funds, as people are dropped off the employment dole.

The DOL’s Economic News Release, dated Feb. 5, 2010 contains this tidbit:

[..In January, the number of persons unemployed due to job loss decreased by 378,000 to 9.3 million. Nearly all of this decline occurred among permanent

job losers.  (See table A-11.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) continued to trend up in January, reaching 6.3 million. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of long-term unemployed has risen by 5.0 million. (See table A-12.)…]

Upon review of Table A-11 one learns:

[…Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged workers in January, up from 734,000 a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)  Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.5 million people marginally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities…]

That means the number of discouraged workers is up by 366,000 people or 33% from a year ago. Since the long term unemployed is also trending up, and they are the next to be changed to discouraged workers and chopped off the unemployment figures, unless Congress acts, two things are likely to happen. The unemployment figures will get better shortly and most of these people will still not have found jobs.

While several other groups are higher (Black 16-19 ears old of both sexes was 43.8%!), for Black American men, January’s seasonally adjusted rate was 19.7%. The Root says “Despair has become Banal”, in their article on Black unemployment.

Today, I saw a commenter on another blog asking why there is no “White History Month”. Although, the commenter was attempting to be flip, it is a fair question from another viewpoint.

Wiki says:

[.. Some African radical/nationalist groups, including the Nation of Islam, have criticized Black History Month. Some critics, including actor Morgan Freeman, contend that Black History Month is irrelevant because it has degenerated into a shallow ritual.[6] He says that it serves to undermine the contention that black history “is” American history.[7]..]

We all need rituals and traditions. The comfort us and are shorthand touchstones for our memories and self-awareness. They remind us of the struggles we have endured and sacrifices we have made.  They provide us with aspirational models of humanity. However, they can also lull us into somnambulism over our current position. So I think that Black History Month is a commemoration that can still raise our consciousness. As a shorthand symbol for a few well-known people, also can prevent our growth.

Out of the history of the Civil War, the movement of Black Americans into the industrial cities that first offered employment as a consequence of the industrial age, and then the world wars, stratifies Black Americans today in those same cities: Chicago, Oakland, Richmond, Detroit, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, etc. When we gave up our own industry to cheap land, cheap and unorganized labor, non existent safety and health standard of other countries, and greed, we did something else. We left that labor pool behind with the hazardous waste of non-modernized factories. This is just as, right on schedule, after a twenty-year depreciation valuation ends, Toyota is now doing with NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA. Another 20 years and Texas will weep for her squandered land as well.

We are not there yet. I agree that Black History is American History. I also agree with President Obama’s premise that regions SHOULD be targeted to reduce unemployment. However, this CANNOT be the only thrust. Does he really mean that little sop over being a president for ALL the people meant that he could not push for employment from a civil rights perspective? I think it showed real fear on his part.

This statement simply does not track with the recent health bill that included line items galore toward insuring that minorities, tribes, veterans and women got dispensation in the package. This is a bill he would have signed and continues to promote in some version.

Black history is being made right now. History in the making is murky and often unclear. However, here are my employment sheros and heroes for the month: Al Sharpton, Benjamin Jealous, Marc Morial, and Dorothy Height, who even though the snow prevented her attendance, had the right message to deliver to this meeting.

I hope Congress will listen to them when the time comes, as well. Civil rights is an ongoing “becoming” backed by those who are willing to demand it.

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Today, it was reported, HERE, AND HERE, that the House of Representatives passed a bill extending ARRA. I am still awaiting that information from the Daily Record.

The actual title appears to be: H.R.4260 “Transitional Federal Medical Assistance Percentage Act”.

Title: To provide adjusted Federal medical assistance percentage rates during a transitional assistance period.

Sponsor: Rep Green, Gene [TX-29] (introduced 12/10/2009)      Cosponsors (7)

Related Bills: S.2833

Latest Major Action: 12/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.

If it is this bill, it is designed to last in some fashion four years, ending December 31, 2113. It includes adjustments; some are negative. It includes provisions for COBRA and unemployment compensation. It has provisions to States regarding how the bill, as an act, will articulate with their funds. There may be others that were packaged with it.

A similar and related bill has been introduced to the Senate as noted below:

S.2833

Title: A bill to provide adjusted Federal medical assistance percentage rates during a transitional assistance period.

Sponsor: Sen Reed, Jack [RI] (introduced 12/3/2009)      Cosponsors (9)

Related Bills: H.R.4260

Latest Major Action: 12/3/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance.

Taxpayers for Common Sense has a fairly snarky comment about it’s passage In the House’s effort to get this done by the Holiday recess.

[..”But they weren’t done yet – next up, the jobs bill – basically another round of stimulus. This bill would direct $27.5 billion toward more infrastructure spending, increase aid to states and extend several benefit packages. Unlike the two earlier bills, this one is unlikely to survive the Senate intact, if at all, since the Senate is momentarily more leery of swelling this year’s predicted $1.5 trillion budget deficit. “..]

http://www.taxpayer.net/search_by_category.php?action=view&proj_id=3065&category=Wastebasket&type=Project

Based on TCS’s view, we all better call our Senators this week. I suppose it’s possible they still haven’t heard how much we are hurting out here. Or, maybe they really think that a .2% bureaucratic paper shuffle really constitutes an improvement in the unemployment rate.

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My daughter, who has been left without employment as part of a harassment situation is, as a consequence, currently also without employment insurance compensation. Her husband, who was laid off earlier has been receiving compensation, and as many others in this position, was due to receive an extension this month. Upon assurances from the Employment Office that his extension was in the works and he need do nothing himself toward the extension, he anticipated a check last week.

Of course, it didn’t come. It now appears that he does indeed have to file for the extension himself and endure a three-week gap in checks. They are in a perilous situation financially, in part because he needs medications, and therefore $1000 a month COBRA, and therefore the physical ability to work, or fall to disability.

I set out this synopsis above, not to ask for commiseration or bemoan their situation, however, but to pounce upon a point that my bureaucratic ears picked up.

Take a look at the chart on this link HERE. As reported, there was a slight decline in the November unemployment rate over October’s from 10.2% down to 10%.

Going back to ancient history, which is my frame of reference in things bureaucratic, I recall that during the Ford reelection Campaign and The Carter reelection campaign, the employment statistics magically got better. We in the job development market then understood this to be mostly a consequence of chopping off the length of time people could receive checks, thereby “disappearing” the problem.

Assuming her husband’s check snafu was in fact just a bureaucratic error, as opposed to what happened in the Ford and Carter Campaigns, there still is the possibility that what happened to him happened to others. In a large enough population, events like this can account for .2% differences. So I’m curious. Did this happen to any of you?

There is some evidence that this dispensation of the extension did make the difference.

That being the case, why was there so much media hype to proclaim the 10% an improvement? Maybe it’s got something to do with this. The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” is due for renewal this month. If Congress doesn’t renew it, a whole lot of unemployed people are going to be in a world of hurt.  Yeah I know, the monster is full of things everyone wants to argue about.  Consider that if it can be said employment is getting better, the incentive to renew is reduced. But think about it. How many of YOUR neighbors have gone back to work? The Act has tied the immediate future of the unemployed to it’s renewal.

See what the Iowa Independent says about it HERE.

The problem is that we are running out of time – only 22 shopping days left till Jan 1, and Congress has been pretty busy with Health Care.

NOW is the time to start bugging the House to put the thing in motion.

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Recently, California’s US Senator, Barbara Boxer, released a report entitled “The Realities of Recession in California”.

(more…)

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A reminder of what the future brings: pragmatism, centrism, misdirection, and corporate interest. Citizens must keep their goals clearly in mind to win what promises to be  a wingdinger of a shell game. (more…)

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