The unemployed, who have exhausted all their UI benefits, have tried to organize and have their voices heard, but the media (with the exception of a few such as Ali Velshi on CNN, Ed Schultz on MSNBC, and Arthur Delaney at the Huffington Post) have responded in a very lukewarm manner. Congress has been non-responsive as well, with the exception of 2 or 3 members who only made gratuitous gestures to help us with bills to extend benefits for another meager 13 weeks (remember the Tier V to Survive movement?) But those bills were never vigorously fought for, and were buried in the House or stalled and shredded in the Senate Finance Committee.
Public opinion has primarily been against us, especially with the slander coming from organizations such as Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. Billionaires such as Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers' Tea Party have had an agenda to marginalize us, depicting America's unemployed as lazy, ignorant, alcoholic drug users.
Murdock's media empire has been especially successful in that, they have waged a campaign blitz against us...the public sector against the private sector, the upper-middle-
But most people are either "sheeple" and believes what Fox News says, or they are the long-term unemployed in America - - - those who were left without a chair to sit in when the music stopped - - - the "sacrificial lambs" who were led to slaughter for the benefit of everyone else.
A recent article I read said uprisings and protests were up in America, but that the corporate-owned media, on average, only reports on about 12% of these. Even Fox News released a poll saying that 51% of America predicts political uprising within the next 10 years. (I predict much earlier judging by the townhall meetings.)
Most of the 70% of America's workforce that is gainfully employed full-time have been too busy working, raising kids, paying bills, going to the mall, and washing their cars to take little notice of the under-employed and unemployed in this country. What little exposure they do have to our plight has been depicting us in a negative manner. There has been no outcries or demands for helping the jobless much more...we've become just collateral damage of the Great Recession. One article in the Huffington Post has even labeled us as the "sacrificial lambs".
The 99ers have become synonymous with "pain in the ass", the problem that won't go away and is now becoming a thorn in the paw of others who would just rather move on and completely forget us. Some in the media have made noble gestures to help us, but too few people really care or give a damn...and they are just grateful that it's not them.
After 3 years of this recession and long-term joblessness, many bloggers and commenters are still pretty much saying the same things today as they were 3 years ago. The unemployed are to blame for their unemployment because they won't take lower paying jobs. Or they say we prefer to collect unemployment benefits, ignorantly ignoring the fact the millions have already exhausted all their benefits over a year ago.
No one wants to believe us (or refuses to), even our own families, that there are not 14 million jobs for 14 million jobless people. Un-frigging-
How many of these 14 million Americans have shattered lives, ruined with foreclosure, divorce, bankruptcy, homelessness and suicide? How many live in mental anguish or live in pain because they can't access medical help? How many languish in jail, in homeless shelters, or on the streets? People who only 3 years ago lived regular and normal and productive middle-class lives. Many worked 30 and 40 years and were college educated, but were also accused of being dumb, unskilled, and lazy.
Our president hasn't done one thing to help. Obama has never even publicly uttered the word "ninety-niner"
Obama's latest jobs bill was a complete and utter joke to anyone who's been unemployed for any length of time. Had he listened to anyone that's actually unemployed, we might have shared with him a few ideas. At first I thought the Republicans would just outright say "NO WAY!". But as soon as I heard Eric Cantor and John Boehner say "There might be a few things we can agree on" and "there are some parts worth considering"
Now all the 99ers can do is hope they can live long enough to collect a Social Security check, that is, if the Republicans don't get their own way first. Millions of Americans who lost their jobs and life's saving in 2008, 2009, and 2010 were forced to apply for Medicaid and food stamps, but the Republicans want to cut these programs too. What does the GOP and Tea Party want all these unemployed people to do...roll over and die?
The Republicans just say we're addicted to unemployment checks, and that we "game the system". And because 99% of poor people own refrigerators, they're all living high of the hog. One time Fox News had a shrink on, saying that just receiving unemployment benefits causes depression. Idiots, all of them!
I suppose with all the natural disasters and all the people left homeless due to tornadoes and floods and fires and hurricanes, it's overwhelming our federal resources. But the GOP doesn't want to raise taxes on the rich to fix all these problems. Instead, they just want to cut from the budget things that the poorest amongst us need...like food stamps and Medicaid.
From the Huffington Post: "I recognize that businesses don't need to look at people who've been out of work for two years because there's a rich field of people who haven't been out of work that long," said Joe Carbone, president of The Workplace Inc. "Unfortunately these folks are the sacrificial lambs of the Great Recession."
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Bud Meyers writes about the economy, corporate out-sourcing, labor statistics (the REAL unemployment rate), government and corporate corruption, and the plight of the long-term unemployed.