The Unemployed, The Underemployed: An Economy In Peril
Not since the Great Depression has the United States suffered such agonizing prolonged financial woes for countless millions of Americans. When we have legions of unemployed citizens followed by more legions of underemployed Americans is keeping the United states from climbing out of that abyss of the economic calamity that actually started back following 9/11. This is a problem of epic proportions. In Europe they too are experiencing similar set of circumstances with a continuation of unemployment and underemployment which also is crippling their economy. This recent election in France signals that the much needed reforms to combat the acute crisis of unemployment and underemployment where the government has an obligation to help and protect those whose misfortunes remain will be enacted. Here in the United States the exact opposite is happening where government officials have taken away mush of that safety net that millions continue to rely on. A perfect example is when so many of our "illustrious" leaders in government tell the unemployed to get a job when there is so little opportunities available just shows how callous and unsympathetic our government has become.
Under a federal law, the rate of unemployment must be 10 percent higher than for the previous three years for the extended benefits to remain in each state. Who ever sponsored that legislation about having a 10% unemployment rate in order to extend benefits to those countless whose financial safety net is these benefits really doesn't know the true economic climate still facing the US today. When the supposed rate drops below that reported 10% it is those whose financial life line is these unemployment benefits now are striped away just because some reported statistic indicates a false sense of decline in unemployment, again really doesn't know the true picture facing the economy.
In Florida as in California the unemployment rate has been declining, or has it? These states are just some of eight states where the unemployed will lose support this May 12. The others are Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas, where over an additional 160,000 people will be affected. Fifteen other states have already eliminated that safety net. Since March 2009 when the program began, more than 1 million unemployed in Californians alone have received $5 billion in payments. Now just Imagine our economy without that additional $5 billion being pumped into it in California alone plus billions more from all the others nation wide who rely on unemployment now all of a sudden is gone is like putting the last nail into the coffin of our whole economy. It is these unemployment benefits that gives so many millions of people much needed spending power in local communities and is actually their life line from falling into an abyss of economic depravation.
That money, those unemployment benefits has a ripple effect all through-out the economy. It goes into supermarkets, gasoline stations, utilities, and many other services. That allows those businesses to hire more people, who, in turn, spend more money. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office says every $1 spent on unemployment benefits generates up to $2.00 in economic growth. The cutoff of benefits will also affects another 300,000 people who would have become eligible for the long-term program this year. This is in just California alone. Half of the people collecting unemployment in California have been unable to find jobs for more than six months. The agriculture industry is the largest employer in Merced County. The second largest employers in the county of 250,000 are the county and municipal governments. Last year more than 52,000 people sought heating assistance or help navigating the social services application process from the local Community Action Agency, which is stretched so thin they have to turn people away. Now put this on the national stage. The amount of capital that would go back into the economy is now gone, and instead of contributing to an economy whose benefits are no longer available will now be forced to draw the government back into deeper debt by way of food stamps, and all the other welfare systems that only keep an economy depressed.
In reality people all over the country are not working for lack of wanting to work. The sad fact is it is a lot of work to be poor, and a lot of hard work just to survive every day. With so many still keep applying for work but in truth there continues to be just not that many jobs around is and if there is these jobs pay so little that safety net of benefits if stripped away will keep the United States away from ever rejuvenating. Get HuffPost Business On ! --> Know something we don't? E-mail us at email@example.com -->