Saturday, June 26, 2010

GOP Tools

The GOP, who since the inauguration of President Obama has suddenly found an overriding concern about "the deficit", has chosen to deny the struggling unemployed extra weeks of negligible unemployment checks, in order for those unable to find jobs to keep a roof over their heads.
That's because the GOP, in spite of behaving like public funds are unlimited when it comes to bailing out their corporate masters on Wall Street, quickly morph back into the greedy, miserly Scrooges that they are when it comes to even the most minimal assistance for "the small people." As noted on this blog a couple of days ago, the average unemployment check is $320.00 per week, which means that half the payments are less than that. No one could pay all their bills on that amount around here, and I can only imagine how much worse it would be in urban areas. Yet we have these GOP brain-trusts like Rep. John Linder of GA calling unemployment benefits "too much of an allure." Please. That paltry sum is hardly an incentive to lay around the house all day watching The Price is Right, as these incredibly ignorant GOP bubble boys suppose.
The reality is that there are five job seekers for every available job opening, and thanks to the "Free Trade" bullshit which was largely engineered and promoted by the GOP, millions of jobs have been lost to the third world during the past couple of decades. Furthermore, many of the jobs that went overseas were the higher paying production, engineering, technical, and manufacturing jobs. Many of the jobs being created now are jobs that are low-paying service and labor jobs. Mid-level management and tech jobs have been decimated. And many of the so-called "newly created jobs" that are being touted by Gov-Corp are temporary positions that will not continue beyond a specific timeframe.
Look at the graph below, which shows the average lengths of time people have remained unemployed since about 1950:



As stated in a recent piece in The Business Insider, "It is getting really hard to find a job in the United States. A total of 6,130,000 U.S. workers had been unemployed for 27 weeks or more in December 2009. That was the most ever since the U.S. government started keeping track of this statistic in 1948. In fact, it is more than double the 2,612,000 U.S. workers who were unemployed for a similar length of time in December 2008. The reality is that once Americans lose their jobs they are increasingly finding it difficult to find new ones."
And according to projections by Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder, 22% to 29% of all current U.S. jobs will be offshorable within two decades. There is nothing stopping corporations from exporting American jobs to the cheapest possible sweatshop in the most profitable third world hell-hole they can dig up (literally). Labor laws? Workers' rights? Environmental protections? Dream on! Casualties of the multi-national profit machines - idealistic, progressive dreams that have been ground into dust as the machines roll over them, steamrolled under the relentless, soul-less pursuit of more resources to consume and more profits to generate for the world's wealthiest stockholders. And more cheap junk for Americans to buy - for a little while longer, at least.
I think what's become obvious, in the contemptuous way the millionaire congressional elites treat the American citizenry, is the fact that the wealthiest Americans really don't need a functioning and relatively well-off middle class anymore. The labor functions that once were fulfilled by the middle class worker can mostly be done elsewhere for far less cost to the corporation. We have become, for the most part, expendable.
What's needed by the elites now is a generation of willing lower-wage service workers - people to wait on the well-to-do in their upscale restaurants, clean their exclusive homes, maintain the grounds, work their banquets. The wealthy still need drivers and nannies; retail clerks and hair stylists.
While the professions of teaching and nursing have been harder to outsource, that pain has been eased by imposing far longer working hours and additional job duties. In general, this amounts to dumping the workload of three people onto a single worker, and then calling it cost management. Of course, the employee is so burnt out that they often can't last in their field until retirement age rolls around - but that's no matter to the corporate or Gov-Corp employer. There's always a fresh crop of younger human resources graduating from their educational "programming" at the university, and best of all, they can be paid much less!
I don't think there can be a more blatant statement of our value in the eyes of those who are paid to allegedly represent us: Refusing to help the unemployed with such minimal amounts of assistance, but approving - virtually no questions asked - billions upon billions of taxpayer money for corporate welfare and bailouts. Which nearly ALL the republicans and democrats did in 2008 for Dubya. Without regulation, without oversight, without even knowing for sure who all got what - something we STILL don't know, because the Fed and its congressional lackeys don't believe we have a right to know.
These slick corporate executives weren't even required to forgo their multi-million dollar bonuses, and were not removed from their jobs - in spite of the fact that it was their underhanded, unethical dealings and extremely poor judgement that got them into their mess in the first place. A mess which caused a worldwide economic meltdown.
But where were the GOP cries for "accountability" and "responsibility" then? (Weren't those the words they used when making it nearly impossible for average americans to discharge their debts through "bankruptcy reform"?) And where was the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the deficit when Cheney-BushCo was borrowing gazillions from China to fight the entirely bogus Iraq invasion - the premeditated oil war based on outright lies and fabricated evidence? Strangely, none of them seemed remotely concerned about the deficit then. And Dubya had inherited a surplus!
The next time you hear some idiot wingnut going off about the deficit, do me a favor and ask them those questions. Ask them why the deficit has only become a problem for them since Obama took office. And why their "deficit "concerns don't extend to any expenditures except those involving social programs and assistance. Their answer, if they can actually frame one, is sure to be entertaining in a sad, sick sort of way.

Also see this article: How Conservatives Helped Cause the Economic Destruction of America.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Re: The Unreported Catastrophe

Anna, you didn't allow access for comments on the groundwater contamination due to hydraulic fracturing, so I'm leaving my two-cents worth here simply because it's too important a subject. I hope you don't mind. Plus, it's all interrelated, really, because the unrestrained priority of corporate dominion over that of human needs has converted the principles of our founding fathers into a complete sham.

It's the age-old story that free-market enthusiasts (i.e., capitalists) never want to examine and include in their argument: Extraneous costs. We hear about incidences such as these all the time. Whether it's perchlorate (ingredient in rocket and missile fuel) in groundwater, nitrates as a byproduct of factory farming, or the contamination of drinking water supplies with hexavalent chromium, brought to light by Erin Brockovich in a case against PG&E in 1993, or one of thousands of other carcinogens manufactured and released into our environment every year.

Capitalists only care if they're caught, because then it affects their bottom-line. Otherwise, they operate strictly in a manner as we've become all too familiar with the last few years: privatize the profits and socialize the costs. These costs are our health and our lives.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Anna, this one's on topic...

Of course, the righties never want to acknowledge the perverse and obscene "defense" budget that smothers us each year. Pressed for a response, they'll always reply with some glib answer about "not being willing to leave themselves wide open for attack", or "not being willing to sacrifice security", or some other irrational or parroted one-line explanation. They'll think nothing about spending nearly $750 billion annually for "defense", but felt compelled to hit the street as tea-baggers when the same amount was estimated over a ten-year period to overhaul healthcare.

Obviously, conservatives fail at performing basic math. As far as the relatively paltry amount that an extension of unemployment benefits would cost, obviously the Senate republicans do too.

9:30 AM  

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