Monday, December 13, 2010
The price of "Globalization"...
How much have things changed in America when we have to invent a new word to describe the hordes of Americans that have exhausted two years of unemployment benefits and yet still have not been able to find a new job? In America today, there are at least 1.5 million "99ers" - American workers that have completely exhausted all of their long-term unemployment benefits and that still do not have jobs. Some say that the true number of 99ers is actually much higher than that. In any event, almost everyone agrees that we have a huge problem on our hands. Unfortunately for the 99ers, the tax cut deal that Barack Obama has reached with the Republicans only extends the existing structure of long-term unemployment benefits. It does not include additional weeks of benefits for the 99ers.
So what does this mean? It means that a very large number of unemployed Americans will soon be hurting even more. At this point, the average size of an unemployment check across the United States is approximately $302.90 a week. That is not much, but now imagine desperately trying to survive and having even that little bit of income stripped away from you.
Over the next few years we could see literally millions of American families forced from their homes and on to the streets.
Not that any economy can afford to provide unemployment benefits for their citizens indefinitely. The truth is that the federal government has already spent a ton of money extending long-term unemployment benefits for as long as they have.
But what are we going to do about all of the Americans that simply cannot find jobs no matter how hard they try?
Are we just going to tell them to go join a tent city? Are we going to tell them to dig through trash cans for food that other people have thrown out?
In America today, there are approximately five unemployed workers for every single job opening. The truth is that there are not nearly enough jobs out there for everyone that wants one. In fact, it isn't even close.
The U.S. economy does not provide enough jobs for all Americans anymore, and it probably never will again. It now takes the average unemployed American over 33 weeks to find a job. The number of long-term unemployed is absolutely exploding. As 2007 began, there were just over 1 million Americans that had been unemployed for half a year or longer. Today, there are over 6 million Americans that have been unemployed for half a year or longer.