Making unemployment pay…

Even eliminating the checks will not solve the problem.

By Jack E. Lohman

A recent FoxPolitics post highlights a problem that must be discussed, but in terms of the cause and not simply the effect.

With combined unemployment (9.9%) and underemployment reaching over 20%, are the jobless workers who continue receiving taxpayer-funded unemployment checks simply slackers who are contributing to the problem?

Indeed 99 weeks of unemployment checks is costly to society, but forcing these people to look for jobs that are unavailable does not change the problem. There will remain six people looking for every job available, though different workers may be drawing the government checks.

And clearly the guy who sits out unemployment for 90 weeks and then starts looking for a job, is not the guy I want working for me. Yes, the money we pay him gets filtered back into the economy, but he — personally — remains a slouch and should do some soul-searching.

Cutting him off at 50 weeks will not help, though it may increase crime and require more cops. But mandating 20 hours of volunteer time per week would help tremendously. It’ll help pay back society while giving the individual even more experience to add to his or her resume. Volunteer at the diabetes center, clean city sidewalks, or whatever. But get off your butt and contribute.

And if you don’t like the term “mandating,” let’s pay him zero for sitting on his tail and $15 per hour (up to 20 hours/week) to work in the “volunteering” capacity and offer free re-education in a new industry.

(For those looking for a job, the US News has great ideas HERE, HERE and HERE. Re-education in these industries is worth it, but pick something that the politicians can’t help outsource.)

We must correct the cause!

Many of us are tired of hearing about political corruption. I know I am. But it is at the core of virtually every public problem, including this one. It cannot be ignored, and this nation’s economy and democracy depends on our eliminating it. If we do not, we’ll likely see total rebellion and a violent attempt to overthrow our government.

I’d like not to see that happen.

The food of our political system is money. Over 90% of the winners of elections spend more money than the losers, and incumbents have more power and thus an easier time raising cash contributions. And if there’s going to be unemployment anywhere, they certainly don’t want to experience it themselves.

And CEOs, not being dummies, know that their money is power and works as intended. By regulating the politicians they can regulate the laws that affect their business and personal income, as the recent federal health care fiasco and financial ripoffs should demonstrate.

Cash contributions bought the politicians who passed NAFTA and sent U.S. jobs to Mexico and overseas, and they also passed laws to provide taxpayer subsidies to the guilty companies. Cash contributions bought the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall banking regulations that precipitated the crash of the world economy, and they bought the 2003 Medicare drug act which was and is a $780 billion giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry.

Yes, we need some targeted unemployment!

In our political system, that is. There’s hardly a decent politician among them. They get elected and enter clean, but become corrupted virtually overnight. And they can’t be thrown in jail because they write the laws they hide behind.

But they can be voted out. Whether you are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, we must throw the jerks out of office. Massive unemployment amongst our current state legislature and US Congress is desperately needed. Mandated term limits!

At least until we get the bribery out of the political system, or give challengers the resources to compete. Currently our best option is the Fair Elections Now Act, and you should ask your congressman to support it. And push for public funding of campaigns at the state level, remembering that the harder the politicians push back means the closer you are to the solution.

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