More lazy-ass blogging: Once you get past the Viagra commercial, this 60 Minutes piece on unemployment in Silicon Valley and environs is pretty good at showing what the face of long-term unemployment looks like in this country now. These are people who did everything they were supposed to, played by the rules, and still ended up out on the street.
I actually attended a meeting of “Job Connections,” which is shown early on in the clip; I stopped going because of the overly religious nature of the meetings (every meeting starts and ends with a prayer, and the whole thing is run by a Presbyterian minister), but I recognized several of the people shown, having met them at meetings of another “12-step group” of unemployment professionals that I’m a member of.
And yes, Scott Pelley, paying out unemployment benefits for 99 weeks or beyond is somewhat expensive. But how much more so are the fucking pointless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (not to mention the defense budget itself, which makes up 60% of all discretionary spending), the tax breaks for multi-millionaires, and the other tax breaks and subsidies that make up all the corporate welfare that gets paid out every fucking year. It’s a question of priorities: do we want to spend tax dollars on people who have been out of work for two years so that they can pay their bills, or on blowing things (and people up), or on making sure that some rich asshole somewhere can afford to buy a new yacht?
At some point the powers-that-be are going to have to realize that this is not going away soon. If the Democrats survive the election with one or both of their majorities intact (hopefully with most of the Blue Dog assholes swept away), they’re going to have to FUCKING DO SOMETHING. And do it fast.