As someone who was unemployed for a year and a half, who worked my ass off looking for jobs, working on my resume and trying to find new and different things to do and new directions for myself, I am offended by people who say these things. While there are lazy people amongst the unemployed, they are, in my experience, not the norm. Just like any government program, there is always the assumption that the majority of the people benefiting from it are taking advantage - milking the system - and not those actually in need.
And, this, dear readers, is bullshit.
Below is a an overview of On The Point and links to some of the guests. No surprise that the most offensive of them is Stephen Moore, of the Wall Street Journal.
Give it a listen and see if you agree...
Census Bureau Says One in Seven Americans Lives in PovertyThe National Bureau of Economic Research said today the Great Recession that started in December 2007 officially ended in June of last year. But don't tell that to the 43.6 million people who are trying to live below the poverty line. That's 14.3% overall, or one in seven Americans and includes 20% of all children, 25% of blacks and Hispanics. It's the highest poverty rate since 1994, and the Census Bureau says it would have been worse except for government safety nets. Food banks, shelters and job-opportunity centers around the country tell us they're serving a new and different class of people, the recently unemployed. What's the reaction in Washington, six weeks before the November election? Will the private sector start hiring or should government create new jobs?
- Deborah Weinstein: Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs
- Jason Perkins-Cohen: Executive Director, Job Opportunities Task Force
- Frank Spencer: Executive Director, Stewpot Community Services
- Beverly Damore: Chief Communications Officer, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
- Stephen Moore: Member of the Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal
- Heidi Shierholz: Labor Market Economist, Economic Policy Institute