"They were described to me as a sort of union for the unemployed."
To be fair, I also said they were a tea party for the unemployed...
That "slick looking website" is a blogspot blog, man. If you have a spare hour, you could probably set up about five of 'em, and make 'em look just as slick & pretty. You could start your own hashtag in even less time--and judging from your many "a liberal to love" conservative fans, even have it become real popular, methinks.
"Politically, this is a group out there pushing for more benefits for the unemployed with apparently no end in sight; a bottomless pit of dependency."
The end is when there are jobs, Lee. The assumption you're making is that the unemployed do not want to work. That they're just laying around watching their color TV's and getting fat on government largesse, and if they just put a little effort in, they could all find work. It's a variation of the welfare queen arguments from the 80's, and it is kind of insulting.
Me, I'd tie the length of unemployment benefits to the unemployment rate; the lower the percentage, the shorter the time you have before the benefits run out.
It's as though people don't pay into unemployment insurance when they ARE working. True, some 99ers end up receiving more than they paid in, while other folks never take a dime of their contributions, but how is that any different from any private insurance policy or government program? Some folks don't submit a single claim to their Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy, while others have several surgeries in the course of a year. But both pay the premiums. One guy gets a government loan or grant that I don't qualify for or do not need. I get a different loan or grant that he doesn't want or need. Some folks qualify for and take alot, and some don't want or need any help at all. That's just the way it works.
I mean, you probably could ask Tiffani above whether her husband was sitting around on the couch, watching TV and waiting for his check, or spending every dang day on the internet or out looking for work, while he was collecting his 99 weeks of government cheese. I'm guessing it's the latter. Maybe he would've appreciated your link to the free self-help book, and the implication that I believe (and NYRedhead believed, obviously) came with it. I'm sure you didn't intend to be condescending, but I think you were, nevertheless.
Acknowledging one's status and arguing for the benefits s/he needs doesn't make one a victim in my book. Even if you think their time would be better spent knocking on one more door or reading one more "I did it, and so can you!!" inspirational tract, it most certainly isn't not doing…anything, really. It's being proactive, whether you agree with the efficacy or the goals of the endeavor or not.
I applaud those like Tiffani who live according to their political principles and don't want anymore help from the government than the 99 weeks they've already received. But I also applaud those who believe that helping US citizens in time of need is and should be a US government function, and are arguing for the help they (or their unemployed fellow Americans) need. That's a difference in political ideology, though. Some folks are more liberal on this issue, while others, more conservative.
Posted March 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm, LS blog time