New UI Claims declined last week, but unemployed and 99ers are under attack in every state.  So why won’t they FIGHT BACK?  

Jobless claims declined by 5000 to 382000 in the week ended March 19, 2011. BIG DEAL as that is still an annual job loss rate of 20 MILLION in the USA. Why don’t they ever mention that on the NEWS?  I skimmed over 55 related articles by the big news outlets and their affiliates like FOX, CBS, ABC, Huff-Post, Associated Press, Reuters and the like and NOT EVEN 1 of them pointed out the annual job loss rate of 20 million - NOT ONE!

Several State legislatures are trying to pass Bills which would require drug tests for jobless benefits. Isn’t is funny how they gripe and moan about not having the money to pay UI benefits - but they want to incur the extra expense of administering a drug testing policy? 

So far Oregon, South Carolina, Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Texas and at least seven other states have introduced this type of legislation and it has also been suggested as well on a federal level - but this legislation has of course failed every time. 

Does anyone see any resemblance between leaders of Foreign oppressive regimes calling their protesting masses “Druggies” and our own American politicians inferring the American unemployed masses are also on drugs? The leader of Libya, the ousted leaders of Egypt and Tunisia as well as Yemen's current leader all have done so. Many Republican Senators, members of Congress and certain State legislators have too. It is outrageous and they seem to all be working from the same disgusting, disrespectful playbook. 

When those in power in any country lose respect for their hurting masses - it is easier to dismiss them as victims of Drug Induced Lunacy than to deal with the problem honestly and effectively. To suggest that the Long Term Unemployed are all druggies is absurd and anyone saying so is trying to abdicate their own guilt in condemning millions of their fellow Americans to hunger and Homelessness.

Another unbelievable epidemic in America is how many states are either not taking advantage of the Federal UI extensions Obama traded Wealthy American tax breaks for last December.  These states are actually not only hurting the long term unemployed who live in those states - but many states are also cutting back on the number of weeks their initial claims can be paid out. Funny how the GOP won the right to word that legislation in such a way last December to assure states had to enact new laws of their own in order for the unemployed to take advantage of these “so called” extension of UI Benefits - BUT NO additional LAWS were required for the RICH to take advantage of their tax breaks. The reason is quite clear. Neither Obama or the Congress wanted anyone to be able to get that extra UI Benefits money being extended to the more recently long term unemployed.

So with 11 states refusing that extra money and perhaps more to come, you would think now they have enough money to cover the expense of extending benefits to the 99ers RIGHT?  But nobody is even discussing this fact are they?  The money is already allocated - considered spent and spent in the 2011 budget. 

I decided to call Rep. Lee of California to suggest this idea and the staffer seemed unimpressed. So I called Boehner then Cantor’s office and to my amazement - Boehner’s & Cantor’s people showed far more interest in what I had to say. Those I spoke to on the Speaker’s staff asked me how I came up with that idea. I responded by asking them “why didn’t you think of that? Isn’t that why we pay you the big bucks?”

At a time when America is still losing jobs at a rate of 20 MILLION per year - is NOT the time to punish those who lose those jobs-ESPECIALLY when it is our government who is responsible for greasing the wheels of our demise via lucrative incentives for all corporations who send our jobs abroad.

CNN Money this week reported: Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan are all close to cutting the initial weeks one can claim UI from 26 to 20. This would not be such a bad thing if they would take the amount of UI benefits one would get for 26 weeks and pay that to you in 20 weeks instead - or even lower the UI payroll tax deducted from a worker’s paycheck - but NO! They are trying to increase what the average worker pays into the system and cut the benefits received and also reduce the amount the employer pays as well. More proof that these politicians work only for the corporations and NOT for “WE THE PEOPLE.”  

So why aren’t we Fighting back? First thing is we are so spread out and disconnected from each other. Many 99ers are in the age group where we do not FaceBook, Tweet or fully use Social Networking on the INTERNET. Well If you register with the 99ers Data Base you will not need to mess with the crap often associated with Facebook or other sites. Personally I cannot stand Facebook and view it merely as a necessary evil these days. Twitter has also been basically useless to the unemployed cause as it comes to anything more than visibility. Before everyone slams me for saying that, let me clarify. Twitter has done NOTHING at all to advance the cause for extending UI benefits - that is a fact. Visibility is important but UI Benefits to survive and Jobs to thrive are the goals here. 

Rhonda Taylor of Rhode Island, frequent contributer  here on Jobless Talk, Co-Host of her own Blog Talk Radio show Re-Difining the American Dream and prolific 99er advocate extraordinaire has created a data base for 99ers. The purpose of this is to have a way to contact as many of those in the 99er Nation for protests and gives her a geographical "map" of sorts so she will know how many busses will be needed and from what locations for the big Washington 99er convergence planned for this Spring.

Rhonda has proven herself trustworthy and since she will be administering the 99er Data Base - I have already registered and suggest all unemployed Americans do the same. Register now at: Register here.

It is not just the 99ers who need to fight back. We need every Jobless American to stand with us in this fight for our survival. We are all 99ers. Some of us are the 99ers of yesterday, others the 99ers of today and the rest of the unemployed are the 99ers of tomorrow. Only the way things are going - if the politicians have their way NOBODY will even get 99 week of UI in the future - needed or not. Don't wait for it to happen to you. Every week the 99ers go without income - more people lose their jobs because ours is a consumer based economy in America. There is simply no way approximately 7 million jobless who no longer can buy goods or services cannot have a detrimental effect on the economy. 99ers were the first hit by the crumbling economy and the last to get hired apparently - or we would have jobs by now.

OK, I am not saying that there are not some on UI benefits who prefer to collect benefits rather than working. Fact is there are people who game the system in every walk of life, but the tired old argument that UI Benefits must be withheld in order to motivate the unemployed back into the workforce clearly lacks merit or substantiation if over a year after the benefits have stopped - you still have been unable to secure employment. Same goes with the other lame assertion that the long term unemployed are too picky in accepting employment they feel is beneath them. Come on man - Nobody in their right mind would prefer hunger and homelessness to working a minimum wage job.  Any proclamation to that effect is as worthless as the party spewing such.

It continues to baffle me how, with millions of 99ers out there in America - how few of those have opted to be involved in their own fight for survival. 

EXAMPLE: U-Cubed (Union for the Unemployed) is a free, well organized and fully funded community service project of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) designed to assist the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, and to provide them with a structure that allows them to take advantage of their growing numbers. U-Cubed is just over 1 year old and yet has less than 5,000 members at present. We really need to change this. There is a direct correlation between the states with high U-Cubed involvement and politicians not pushing around the unemployed. Check it out.

Speaking of U-Cubed: Eight California cities made the U-Cubed March Madness Unemployment brackets, but  Fresno, CA ranked #1 "Most Unemployed" City in America with an unemployment rate of (17.2).  See the brackets at http://www.unionofunemployed.com/files/2011/03/bracket-final.gif

 ***If you are not yet engaged in U-Cubed Please DO SO TODAY 

U-Cubed on:

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/ucubed

TWITTER: @U_Cubed

WEBSITE: http://www.unionofunemployed.com

Get out there and meet with real activists. Find them locally in groups like U-Cubed, on College Campus or other community (computer) bulletin boards , contact MOVE-ON.org and US Uncut. 

The weather is getting better out there now so no more excuses. I realize that the 99ers for the most part are an aging population but none of us are getting any younger and if you want to get any older - you had better stand up and fight for your survival in whatever way you can. Be visible and proactive. Do whatever you can to demonstrate clearly to our elected officials in your own state and Nationally that you mean business and you will not just go away and die.

SEND THEM a CLEAR MESSAGE: We will not be ignored and we WILL stand up and FIGHT for our survival.