I have long been an ardent skeptic of the entire American pop-psych school of positive thinking. I’ve thought it was bullshit. And I thought it was propaganda, designed to make people blame themselves for their job losses, or inability to get a new job. Or whatever kind of societal crap had been meted out upon them, that could be corrected if the public were actually, you know, involved.
Instead of taking action and joining a union or holding a greedy monster of a CEO accountable Americans just internalize the violence done to them and blame themselves. No wonder everyone is on prozac.
Then I read Barbara Ehrenrich’s excellent book “Bright Sided” and I was convinced.
Now there is science to back up the claim that all that self-help stuff we waste money on is total and utter shit.
In a recession whose genesis can largely be laid at their feet, Republicans have decided to own up to their responsibility by…wait for it…blaming the victims. Instead of determining how they might lessen the burden on the unemployed- especially the long-term jobless- Republicans have declared war on them.
It’s difficult to understand, much less explain, how Republican-dominated North Carolina could sharply cut unemployment insurance benefits. Republicans in the Tar Heel state were so committed to pulling the rug out from under the unemployed that they reduced both the duration of benefits AND the average weekly payment. Because of that, North Carolina is no longer eligible for $700 in federal assistance to the long-term unemployed.
Hey, how else are you going to get those lazy “takers” off their asses and convince them to get a job? Never mind the fact that North Carolina has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates (8.8%). Add in the fact that there are three unemployed Americans for every open job, and a reasonable person would have to ask Republicans where the jobs are. Long-term unemployment remains at historically high levels, but Congress (read: Republicans) long ago allowed extended unemployment benefits to expire.
Ah, so THAT’S how the GOP plans to broaden their appeal to their middle class….
(Read the full post at What Would Jack Do?)
An extension and response to Don Henry Ford and Brian Downing
Stephen Colbert shows due respect at 2006 Washington, DC power fest
We are in a strangely quiet period of our post 9/11 world. The pretext for the war on terror and evisceration of the Constitution remains unexamined and unexplained to any necessary level of detail. What really happened on and before 9/11? Is there any conceivable connection between what happened and the direction of policies since?
How could Bush get away with all he did based on the most spectacular failure in national defense imaginable?
How could the Bush policies carry over to the Obama administration without much change?
Why aren’t these problems being addressed: the largest wealth transfer in history from the dwindling middle class to the super rich; the 2008 collapse and the wholesale theft of trillions of dollars of home equity; real unemployment of around 23% when you count the underemployed and those out of a job for more than twelve months; health care for only those who can afford it; and unparalleled, documented threats to a sustainable environment for humans that go unmentioned by the middle and upper tiers of the power structure.
This is good news. Keep in mind that the real rate of unemployment in these areas is the Fed U-6 level plus the long-term unemployed who want to work and have been out of work for 12 months or more (no longer counted by the Feds). See Shadow Government Statistics
Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary
For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, April 10, 2013 USDL-13-0627
METROPOLITAN AREA EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT — FEBRUARY 2013
Unemployment rates were lower in February than a year earlier in 287 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 69 areas, and unchanged in 16 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Eight areas had jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, and 22 areas had rates of less than 5.0 percent. Three hundred three metropolitan areas had over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 58 had decreases, and 11 had no change. The national unemployment rate in February was 8.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 8.7 percent a year earlier.
You know the rest…
Reports from the arc of the angry Tea Party movement indicate that, yes indeed, there is a FEDERAL government and yes, it does provide a big payoff to be in one of the five states that comprise Tea Party Homeland. Each and every one of the states on the map receives back more from the federal government than it pays in taxes and other revenues (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas). These states voted for Mitt Romney by big margins and contributed a healthy share of the Tea Party Republicans in Congress.
Now it’s time to pay the price for this type of negligence. Businesses and defense workers, schools and health programs, you name it, are going to feel the lash of the Tea Party madness. This isn’t your normal budget drama that gets resolved at the last minute. It’s the apogee of Tea Party anger and cynicism. Just look at the way the Senate handled the Hagel hearings. They treated their former colleague with utter contempt. Recall John McCain’s anger. He’s one of the more reasonable Republicans.