“When faced with the facts, the strongest man cries.” These are the words to a song written and performed by Shawn Phillips that speaks volumes about what is happening with unemployment in America today. If only people could divorce themselves from the empty rhetoric of those that would contend that people are not working only because they are lazy, drug addicted persons just trying to milk the system and look at the cold hard facts; they would cry. Cry because they would finally understand what has happened to millions upon millions of people that have lost their job by no fault of their own in this unemployment disaster that is often referred to as the Great Recession.
A jobless recovery is what they are calling it for that is exactly what it is. The long term unemployed affected by this know this to be true. 5 people minimum for every job. If every job were to be immediately filled, 4 out of 5 of the unemployed today would still be jobless. That is a simple, yet compelling fact that every critic of providing additional assistance to the long term unemployed needs to get their arms around. They need to be forced to provide an answer to this problem. “We” need to provide an answer to this problem!
Latest statistics by the Department of Labor show that 16.1% of the workforce is either unemployed or under employed. This also is a fact. 16.1% – get your arms around that number for it means approximately 1 of 6 able bodied working age citizens in our economy today are not being afforded an opportunity to earn a decent living. Pursuit of happiness does not guarantee happiness, but it is part of our national psyche that we work together to provide at least the opportunity to our fellow citizens to achieve this lofty goal.
Our elected leaders should have no higher priority than solving this situation with our country having a huge lack of jobs and millions of her dedicated, hard working citizens out of work. It is a travesty that at a time when millions are becoming destitute, those that promised to work to create new jobs are now micro-focused on simply cutting government spending as if this is some great job creation scheme – it is a scheme alright, just not one that will create jobs! It is a scheme that will cost us more jobs to boot!
People need to be able to survive until the jobs are created. Short of creating jobs, it is necessary to provide a bridge for millions of Americans that have lost their job by no fault of their own. This is where H.R. 589 comes in. It will provide 14 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to those Americans hardest hit by this Great Recession; America’s millions of 99ers.
Those that wish to continue with their empty rhetoric that the long term unemployed are not deserving of additional relief at this time because it is just too expensive or that we just can’t afford it, or that it is just not deserved, continue to miss one simple and logical connection. Those that stick to their beliefs that continued defense spending and fighting the war on terrorism are more important than keeping our citizens alive miss this step in the analytical process – spending all of this money to protect ourselves from terrorist while letting millions of our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, parents, children, wallow in abject poverty instead with the constant threat of death due to indigence and homelessness is simply not logical. All this money to protect people that we are slowly killing anyway?
Get the emotions out of the decision making process. Get the politics out of the process. Look at the plain and simple truth and you will ask yourself, what are we doing? This has to change, and it has to change now, not tomorrow, but today! “When faced with the facts the strongest man cries.” Cry out to our elected officials and demand that they step up and pass legislation that will immediate create jobs and to have them pass H.R. 589 into law so that a bridge is created for the long term unemployed. Ask them to do it now, to do it today!