Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

With millions of Americans unemployed: Why doesn’t Congress care? (video)

One in six Americans is unemployed or underemployed, but– except for a few politicians like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca)– Congress doesn’t care. In fact, the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives wants to increase unemployment and underemployment by laying off more federal employees and forcing others into furlough days. In fact, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) flippantly said if the budget cuts result in job losses “so be it!”

Back here in Arizona– the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature is following in their federal cronies’ footsteps and proposing draconian budget cuts— particularly in education and healthcare– which will result on more layoffs.

In a recent New York Times editorial, Paul Krugman writes that the US is “well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless. According to Krugman, Americans want jobs… period… but the Republican-controlled state and federal governments are obsessed with cutting budgets and jobs– not creating them.

In addition, US businesses– who had record profits in 2010– are sitting on their cash and trying to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of scared employees who don’t want to be laid off. According to Ed Schultz, 50,000 factories closed or moved abroad since George Bush took office; 75 percent of these factories employed more than 500 people– a loss of more than 18 million jobs. Adding insult to injury, many US corporations added jobs in their overseas factories than in the US, and they are starting new factories abroad.

From The Forgotten Millions

So one-sixth of America’s workers — all those who can’t find any job or are stuck with part-time work when they want a full-time job — have, in effect, been abandoned.

It might not be so bad if the jobless could expect to find new employment fairly soon. But unemployment has become a trap, one that’s very difficult to escape. There are almost five times as many unemployed workers as there are job openings; the average unemployed worker has been jobless for 37 weeks, a post-World War II record.

In short, we’re well on the way to creating a permanent underclass of the jobless. Why doesn’t Washington care?

Part of the answer may be that while those who are unemployed tend to stay unemployed, those who still have jobs are feeling more secure than they did a couple of years ago. Layoffs and discharges spiked during the crisis of 2008-2009 but have fallen sharply since then, perhaps reducing the sense of urgency. Put it this way: At this point, the U.S. economy is suffering from low hiring, not high firing, so things don’t look so bad — as long as you’re willing to write off the unemployed.

Yet polls indicate that voters still care much more about jobs than they do about the budget deficit. So it’s quite remarkable that inside the Beltway, it’s just the opposite.

What makes this even more remarkable is the fact that the economic arguments used to justify the D.C. deficit obsession have been repeatedly refuted by experience. [For the rest of this article, click here.]

When will this assault on American workers end?

[tnivideo caption=”US Companies Create More Jobs Abroad” credit=”Ed Schultz Show, MSNBC”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvVQtWV0gQ0[/tnivideo]

9 comments on “With millions of Americans unemployed: Why doesn’t Congress care? (video)

  1. realamerican025
    March 18, 2011

    If people were smart, they would refuse to support a government who does this to their people, but people are not smart, so the government will continue to get away with this until a massive riot or protest occurs.


  2. nizero
    March 18, 2011

    What exactly do you recommend the government do ?


  3. realamerican025
    March 18, 2011

    What do I recommend the gov to do?
    Basic logic will tell you how to solve this crisis. Why are people unemployed? Theres no jobs. Why are there no jobs? Because jobs are exported to different countries so companies dont have to pay them decent wages and give them benefits. How do we solve this?
    #1 Invest in industry, and I mean all industry, we need to manufacturer our own things and not import it
    #2 Drill our own oil, why are we paying ridiculous prices when we have enough oil in our own country to last for hundreds of years?
    #3 Tax companies that export jobs more, if they wont bring jobs here, then we shouldn’t support them
    #4 Invest in the hemp industry, hemp is stronger then paper and cotton, hemp oil is also cleaner then ethanol and can run a vehicle much better, it can also be re-grown and doesn’t damage the environment
    #5 Stop fighting a 10 year war in two different countries that never attacked us, the FBI released a list of people who were involved in 9/11, none of them were from Iraq or Afganistan, so why are we spending billions on wars we aren’t even profiting from? Blatant stupidity.
    #6 In fact, we should stop spending so much on military, and more on education, we already know how to kill people, why do we continue to invest in it? We need to invest in productivity that will make this Earth last longer before we destroy it.
    If we use our brains we can solve problems, but we refuse to do so. Are you happy with gas prices right now? Wait until summer, when prices SKY rocket…thank your illogical government for it


  4. You probably should read before you post on economics
    March 18, 2011

    Ok, read economics before you post. Try Human Action or, if you don’t have the stamina try the beginners, How a Economy Grows and Why it Crashes.

    Frankly, you should educate yourself before you post on economics, lest you sound like an idiot.  (P.S. quoting Krugmann just hurts credibility more than helps. He is the worst, and most consistently wrong economist which we have record of. In addition, he is part of the Keynesian school of economics which has been repeatedly refuted–over and over again by many different branches within economics.)


    • realamerican025
      March 18, 2011

      Everything you said had nothing to do with the topic at hand, people like you are funny though, you think you know it all, suggest books you’ve never read..also, I didn’t quote anyone. Those are all my own thoughts…please do not vote in any election…I can see you are part of the problem.


  5. leftfield
    March 19, 2011

    Why doesn’t Congress care?  Why should they?  The companies and interests that Congress works for are doing quite well, thank you very much.


  6. Pingback: With millions of Americans unemployed: Why doesn’t Congress care? (video) – Tucson Citizen | The Write Article

  7. Pingback: AZ Republicans deny extension of unemployment benefits - Tucson Progressive

  8. Pingback: In Light of Local Poverty, Tucson Needs Creative Direction & Progressive Economic Ideas | Tucson Progressive

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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