Posts Tagged ‘99ers’

On a website called “Teir 5 Unemployment Extension Needed!!!!!” there is a forum article called “American law mandates full employment” that discusses the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act then links desperate unemployed people to a petition on Change.org calling for the president to Declare a State of National Emergency to Deal with the Economic Crisis.

“So what?” you might ask.  Keep reading.

Consider the stress of long term unemployment.  First, people are involuntarily removed from what is often the center of their lives.  That causes distress due to separation from their daily routine, meaningful contribution and work associates as well as feeling alienated, unneeded and unproductive.  Then the financial reality sets in, with unemployment compensation being only a fraction of their former pay.  Any savings is eaten away quickly, bills pile up and credit is trashed.  After several months of earnestly seeking work in this economy, most people find they have few responses, fewer interviews and zero job offers.  Finally, when the unemployed are cut off from compensation, becoming one of the growing numbers of 99ers, it feels like society doesn’t care if they live or die.

It has been scientifically proven that the brain of a person under stress resembles that of drug addict.  The “Washington Times” has an article that says “Long-term stress damages the brain, impairing everything from emotion and impulse control to certain big-picture analytical thinking. Long-term stress damages the brain, impairing everything from emotion and impulse control to certain big-picture analytical thinking.”  Long-term unemployment can also result in atrophy of brain connections caused by lack of new activity and skill development.  Even the average job search becomes routine, yielding little interpersonal interaction and becoming a virtual prisoner of one’s home.

After a while, even the most “together” people become disillusioned, disenchanted and panic-stricken.  Desperate people reach out for help like a frighten child for his mother.  Anyone who claims to want to help is seen as a savior.  That’s why multi-level marketing firms, commission-only employers and work-at-home scams prey heavily on the unemployed.

This petition appeals to the personal emergency each unemployed family feels.  By demanding the president declare a national state of emergency, the unemployed can get the satisfaction of acknowledging they are not alone.  They can feel a sense of solidarity with other disenfranchised people.  The petition reports the very cruel reality faced by many people losing homes and struggling to maintain the basic necessities of life and expresses the frustration most of us feel about Congress, the banking community and Wall Street.

Then after requesting a Tier V unemployment extension, the petition says “If the Senate and Congress fail to act in the next weeks before their planned vacation, then take executive action to enact a state of national emergency. This will enable FEMA to help the unemployed with food and shelter and the Department of Homeland Security to enact certain provisions that will help restore order….You need the power to seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and in a variety of ways control the lives of United States citizens”.  Read that again.

First of all, FEMA’s residential camps have barbed wire facing inward, like a prison.  There are all kinds of reports by non mainstream media about the building of these FEMA camps all over the country, executive orders on record for 30 years and other police-state secrets hidden in plain sight.  Do a goggle search on “FEMA camp barbed wire” if you want to begin to fathom the fact-based conspiracies taking place while most of us were complacently too busy to notice.  My point here is that unemployed people are being led to request imprisonment as a back up plan for Congress’ failure to respond to their very dire need for 1) Unemployment compensation and 2) Legislative responsibility to the people, not campaign financing corporations.  That is not the right answer.

Second, tucked within an emotionally powerful cry for help, the unemployed are being led to demand the government take drastic measures that would directly affect an immediate police state in what was once the land of the free.  These people feel helpless and unable to affect their own future after what I consider to be a planned demise of the middle class.

If you are unemployed, you are already a victim of the war against the middle class; me too.  But we don’t have to dig our own graves.  Think about your short term needs, absolutely.  Then look at the long term implications of your actions.  You might say “desperate times call for desperate measures” and you might be right if that means taking a job you wouldn’t ordinarily take, move to a city you where you might not want to live or leave your comfort zone.  However, when desperate measures are taken out of fear, they lead to more desperation.

The only way to get out of this crisis, whether or not you are unemployed, is to come together and actively create the world we want, recognizing when someone else makes it easy for us, they have something to gain at our expense.  Please beware.

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I saw a forum entry today on a site called “Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Needed” written by “Site Owner” calling for the unemployed to take immediate action by signing a petition calling for Democrats to give tax cut extensions to the very rich in exchange for 24 weeks of unemployment benefits to the 99ers, those who have exhausted all unemployment compensation and are left to die by the elite, legislatively rewarded for outsourcing jobs.  The bill in question is S.3981 which does not currently add any additional weeks of unemployment benefits. This petition is coordinated with a coalition consisting of the following groups:

Advocacy For the Long Term Unemployed (AFLTU)
All Education Matters, Inc.
Extend Unemployment Benefits
Gray Matters Coalition
Jobless Unite
The Layoff List

Now: Jobless / Next: Homeless
Philadelphia Unemployment Project
Tier 5 Unemployment Extension Needed
Tier 5 To Survive Unemployed Unite
The Unemployment Examiner
Unemployed-Friends
Unemployed States of America
Unemployed Underemployed Active For Progressive Change In Government
Unemployed Voices
Unemployed Workers Action Group (UWAG.org)
United, Angry, Voters (U.A.V.)
www.facebook.com/99ers
99ers United

In another letter received from the Unemployed Workers Action Group by Michael White said “We plead, beg, implore you to – just ONE last time! – call, fax, email, telegram the Senators to tell them to give tax cuts for the rich, in exchange for unemployment benefits for the poor. A bad deal? Yes. A stupid deal? Yes. Nevertheless, this is what we have to bargain with.”

Here’s my response:

NO! Trading billionaire tax cuts that do nothing to create jobs for what is reasonable and humane is NOT the answer.  Instead, redraft that letter and pay for the extensions with legislation that ties up loop holes for the very rich to abandon the middle class of America.  What is this compromise about?  Unemployment insurance is not the answer.  Unemployment insurance is absolutely necessary during this economic depression but tax cuts have proven for 10 years that they do not create jobs.  The rhetoric used by billionaires and their agents says employers are afraid to hire because there is uncertainty in the tax rate.  Well, that would explain job losses beginning at the end of this month; not for the previous 3 years.

Getting cut off from unemployment when our legislation is successfully designed to redistribute wealth to the very rich feels like society doesn’t care if we live or die.  It makes us feel valueless to society.  It steals individual empowerment from our souls … but only if we let it.  Any one of us who is willing to make a deal with the devil for 24 weeks of unemployment benefits is falling into the trap set for us by the elite powers that control the world. 24 weeks of unemployment will not be enough when economists predict the unemployment rate will remain high for years.  Even if it drops to 8% by 2012, how many among us will be gainfully employed at a wage high enough to resume a moderate middle class life style?  Who wants to hire the unemployed?  Haven’t you seen the advertisements that say “Unemployed need not apply”?

Think before you roll over and submit to the elite agenda.  That’s exactly what they want.  “Oh look, the unemployed people who have been out of work for years obviously think giving the richest people in the country a tax break is good for the economy.  They are supporting our cause”.

Wake up America!  You and I are collateral damage to the war on the middle class.  Bend over this time to the will of status quo and what will they ask for in 20 weeks?  There are plenty of better plans to support unemployed workers and restore this country’s middle class through well-paid jobs that need to be acted upon.  I know we are desperate, and it is by design.  Please do not cave into the elite agenda by buying into this action item.

The site owner responded by saying we have to dance to the song playing.  I think we, the people are the ones in charge of playing the song and choreographing the dance.

To all unemployed Americans, please think before you helplessly support negotiations that do nothing for your long term best interest.  Yes, you need help.  But please think about why you are in this position.  Research the massive deception to the masses of the world.  Look beyond your nose and realize short term peanuts will not fix any of the problems causing this economic depression, get you employed, stop the abuses from corporate America on our legislative process and realize you have been duped.  Stop in your tracks NOW and demand our government work for the people!

I watched the arguments about growing debt and heard rantings demanding individual responsibility as the Congress failed to extend unemployment benefits and completely ignore those out of work more than 99 weeks (aka 99ers).  As they reject bills to refrain from financially rewarding big corporations to outsource jobs, permit big money to influence results of elections and insist extending unpaid tax cuts to the few will create jobs, I shook my head in disbelief.  I’m not an economist but if tax cuts to the rich is good for our economy, wouldn’t we be in better shape after 10 years?

Over the past few years, my US Congressional offices have heard from me often.  They don’t respond to my questions except to send generic form letters about the general subject of concern.  So I thought I’d take a different tact.  The letter below is what I sent.  Feel free to send a similar letter to your “representative government”.

 

Forget the Unemployment Extension

Go home without extending unemployment benefits.  Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday knowing millions more families will suffer the financial and emotional hell of being evicted from their homes, food insecurity and premature death for lack of access to medical care as Congressional “servants” enjoy life time security with pensions and medical care.  Let them freeze to death as utilities are shut off for non payment.  Let them kill themselves and each other to aid in population reduction of redundant collateral.  Government doesn’t do anything to resolve the cause of massive unemployment.  Extending benefits just allows those receiving unemployment to remain complacent, grateful for the peanuts thrown to the starving masses.

Congress has ignored the plight of the 99ers so let’s add millions more to the misery.  Let Barack continue to discuss the officially unemployed and those who have given up looking, completely ignoring the millions more seeking work daily with no response.  They might use their extra time to research the ingrained corruption plaguing every institution of society.  Then perhaps they will be angry and frightened enough to fight for their lives.

Watch millions of families descend on Washington DC to protest the laws rewarding businesses for outsourcing, wasted debt created for endless war and secret projects, record profits and reserves held by business so they can buy Congressional favors and obscene executive salaries instead of employing Americans at reasonable wages.  Then Congress can pass some more symbolic legislation that industry predators draft.  Let every state be a “Right to Work (for slave wages)” corporation.  It won’t take too long before the middle class remembers the purpose of work is to live, not to contribute to and hasten its own extinction.

Go ahead and continue to allow a “global economy” to erode wages in the United States Corporation, of, by and for the elite.  Maybe people will start to question maritime law regulating business.  Go ahead and do some more “quantitative easing”, injecting hundreds of millions more valueless accounting entries to artificially inflate the stock market so that small investors can watch their retirement accounts evaporate again as powerful entities snatch up middle class illusions of wealth.  Go ahead and allow the (poverty-level) minimum wage be eliminated as corporate predators offer every job at straight commission or the slave-wages offered in China and India.  Desperate people will flock to those jobs, finding unethical ways to join the deception required for success in business.  The others, honest and compassionate people will soon realize they are working their lives away for less than it costs for basic food and shelter.  The division between the haves and have nots will increase exponentially.  But do it quickly so the masses will not be like boiling frogs, oblivious to the peril until they are cooked.

Please ignore the unemployment extension and allow 15 million families to understand that society doesn’t care if we live or die.  Surly you can continue to blame the rules or the other party in this shell game of government.  Let them realize once and for all that the American Dream is a LIE because capitalism necessarily punishes anyone who dare allow honesty and concern for the long term best interest of the client, company and planet.  Let the criminals destroying the economy get a way with a relatively small fine and the murders who intentionally sacrifice worker safety for profit free to violate humanity.  Help me open their eyes sooner rather than later that the government is designed to reward international bankers and their agents, liberty and freedom is a deceptive marketing ploy and that the will of the people has no sincere place constructing the laws of this nation.

Enjoy your holiday.

Fact:  It is an employer’s market and the system is imperfect. All of us, recruiters, job seekers, hiring managers, small businesses and people who still have jobs are part of the system. Every day people comprise the majority stake holders at any major corporation. The few major shareholders employ every day people to engage activities that affect other every day people.  We all get consumed with out own concerns, identifying with that which earns our income and often contribute to the agenda of powers that (think they) be unknowingly.  Have you ever thought about how what you do in the name of your employer affects every day people?

The middle class has unknowingly been at war with existing power structures for as long as there has been a middle class. When industry needed labor, it encouraged people to abandon family farms to become dependent on selling labor in return for food, shelter and medical care. For many years, the United States demonstrated the ideals of Capitalism, becoming an industrial and a technological leader.  Many of us buy into these beliefs and do what we can to attain “financial freedom”, even when it means treating our fellow middle-class citizens unfairly.

Every-day people established labor unions to set fair labor standards. The middle class began to enjoy ‘free time’, buying toys and contraptions to occupy this discretionary time.  Consumerism was born.  Throughout the invasion of Japanese cars, the introduction of Pac Man, Disco, Heavy Metal and Hip-Hop Music, middle class Americans maintained an illusion of expansion.  Credit was available to anyone that ‘could fog a mirror’.  When overtime was cut, we financed this lifestyle on credit cards …until the elite took a major withdrawal of middle class wealth from the financial markets in October of 2008 and credit dried up.  Most everyone believes the cycle nature of the economy is natural and try to retain our life styles during the down turns.

Although ‘Globalization’ has been confused with greedy redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the elite, the idea is to tap locally abundant natural resources and make them available for the good of the entire planet.  For example, the mid-western American states can efficiently grow food.  If the global system worked for the good of all, farmers would not be paid by the government to refrain from growing food.  They would not destroy ‘excess crop’.  What can be considered ‘excess crop’ when there are millions of starving people, some in shadow towns like Detroit?

Globalization was promoted as the wave of the future, as agents of the elite manipulated legislation to enabled giant corporations to reduce the American labor force.  American plants closed to reopen in countries with abusive or non-existant labor protection laws and minimal environmental protection.  Corporations market themselves as saviors, raising the living standard and bringing hope to developing nations.  At first glance, it looks like a good thing, to improve lives in impoverished countries.  However, raising the standard of living in one country by lowering another, results in zero net benefit; or worse.  Unfortunately, we have become so bombarded with “information” that we create blinders and focus on only that which affects us personally.

Especially because so many American people can not find living wages, now is the time to come together and demand Industry be held accountable for greed, deception and fraud, government execute the public agenda and to empower ourselves against the abuses causing this economic meltdown.  Individual power is limited.  Have you ever felt helpless to change the system?  Perhaps that is by design.  The current social systems serve to divide and conquer every-day people into socially contrived ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’ camps, limiting cooperation and therefore, perceived power to affect change.  In other words, it is in the best interest of wealthy players to maintain status quo and the best way to do that is to convince everyone else that there is nothing they can do about it.

When every-day people experience injustice, 99.99% of the time, the injustice is perpetrated by another every day person working in fear, hoping to maintain a means to buy food, shelter and medicine. One person may be a collection agent and the other a laid off auto worker, but they are both one, in a sea of masses, playing adversarial roles within the fabricated social structure, designed to benefit the obscenely rich.  It is in the interest of Big-Business to manage a fear-based society, by withholding life-sustaining necessities and to foster a divisive social structure.

I think about how I’ve made decisions throughout my life.  When I was a child, I wanted to pursue my passion as a source of living.  Everything I learned about capitalism said we all had the freedom to do what we love as our contribution to society and earn a life style to the extent we provided a quality product or service.  However, my parents, concerned for my ability to support myself, encouraged me to become educated in a field that offered unlimited opportunity; business.  I didn’t realize it then but looking back, I see how I decided to get an undergraduate and graduate degree in business administration out of fear – of being poor.  I made employment decisions to avoid adversity, rather than move toward abundance.

These past few years have become a scary time.  It is important to acknowledge these fears, strengthen personal and professional networks and change the way we think about employment.  Employment is selling time in return for the privilege of life.  Business exploits desperate people, lowering wages to 1970’s levels as executive pay and corporate cash reserves increase.  They flock to states with the highest unemployment rates, anticipating crowds willing to work on straight commission or at near poverty rates – then indignantly demand the elimination of unemployment compensation.  Some suggest eliminating minimum wage to solve the unemployment problem, as if working, not living was the objective.  Many people will agree you have no choice.  Don’t believe it.

Every day people can negotiate, learn to value their own time and talents and refuse to participate in systemic corruption.  That means recognizing that every business exploits human and natural resources to profit.  Exploit means to earn more dollars from the resource than it costs.  This is reasonable and in fact, necessary in any sort of capitalistic or trade-based society.  In order for it to work for the good of everyone, employees must earn enough money to live a balanced life.  When well-meaning friends and family suggest former executives take “anything” at any rate, just to feel like you have a purpose, smile and nod politely then flush that advice.  Few legitimate low-wage employers want someone who will quit as soon as possible.  Hiring managers in fear of their own job don’t want to hire someone who could replace them in a heart beat.  Besides, what sense of purpose is generated when someone who followed the rules of capitalism is forced take work he hates for insufficient pay due to no fault of his own?

Refusal to participate in systemic corruption applies to personal decisions about minimum standards for employment.  Employees often think of the Corporation as the only player setting standards, failing to accept responsibility for their own choices.  When you feel squeezed to accept unreasonable terms, you are in victim consciousness; desperation.  To reclaim personal power, answer the question ‘Do you work to live or live to work?  Unless people are passionate about work, they work to live. Life requires sufficient income and time off to enjoy life.  If possible, refrain from making employment decisions that do not provide for the means to enjoy life.

If you used to make $75,000 a year, you might consider $55,000 – $60,000 in this market but not $25,000 in his field of expertise using transferable skills.  Don’t even apply for full time work that will not provide for a reasonable life style, based on personal qualifications as well as the market.  If the job posting doesn’t include a salary range and you get an unacceptable offer, make a counter offer.  Working full time for less than enough to survive increases your stress levels by adding a lousy job to continued financial challenges.  It can eliminate time for job searches, family and pursuing passions that may provide for long term financial stability.  It is also unfair to your employer because you won’t be giving your best.

Accepting employment or employing people for far less money and benefits when nothing but the price of a new house has decreased is destructive to the employer and society.  Stressed employees make lots of mistakes, are less than fully productive, can cause quality and safety violations resulting in financial penalties to employers.  They focus on short term personal benefit rather than long term company success.  These people may have more than one job, working excessive hours instead of getting sleep and having fun.  This makes us less effective at providing quality, quantity and service required for a respectable corporate reputation.

Part-time or contract work can be better than no work.  It might lead to full time or facilitate finding better work.  However, specifically because employers do not pay benefits to part time employees, part-time or contract employees need to earn a higher wage than ½ a reasonable full-time job.  Accepting work for less than is fair and reasonable perpetuates the recession and long-term success of the country because without discretionary income you can’t stimulate the local economy, save for the future or fully contribute your unique talent to improve the world.

Practically no one is paid to stop the corruption and fraud plaguing the world. The only reasonably way to fight against corruption is to refuse to participate and take action to correct injustice. If that means earning less money than through unscrupulous and ruthless means, so be it.  It takes regular people reporting illegal and dangerous activities embedded in business, education, non-profit, religion and government to initiate corrective action.  Every decision every person makes in every-day activities contributes to the problem or the solution.

When we act out of fear, we contribute to the problem. When we act out of compassion, we contribute to the solution. Fear-based actions include standard ‘fight-or-flight’ responses as well as subtle actions with well thought rationale, having roots in unconscious programming.  Actions based in compassion include standard and subtle implications too.  For example, many people pursue professions based on the model ‘find out what they are buying and sell it to them’.  It is a perfectly rational model until the intentional manipulation of consumers is factored in and we realize people will buy what ever enough advertising, marketing, promotion and lobbying yield convinces them they need, and that it will change based on the agenda of businesses with the most money.

I propose and live by a different model that says ‘If you have a passion within your heart, there is someone that needs you to express it’.  That means hobbies can become a primary source of income.  Let the magnitude of that sink in.  While it is not always a means to address an immediate need, there is always a way to make a living doing what we love.  Love-based decisions move us toward what we want, whereas fear-based decisions move us away from what we don’t want.  Because love expands and fear contracts, we become more than we were when acting out of love and less of our true selves in fear.

Rational factors, such as consumer demand, competitors, barriers to entry, expected return on investment and investment recuperation period are all important considerations.  They are measurable, coming in all sorts of charts, graphs with any number of text-book theories.  Unfortunately, information is often intentionally manipulated, rendering it deceptive.  At best, rational factors demonstrate historical results from measured indicators.  Rationale can not verify proper weight given to intuition, predict synchronicity or rectify thousands of years mass-programming that work is not supposed to be fun.  With the current speed of intellectual progress, history can not predict the magnitude of human potential for an unprecedented consciousness evolution of every day people.  Trust your intuition and follow the path it urges you to go.

Regardless of man’s ability to measure, every action we take matters, regardless of apparent results. These seemingly insignificant actions form a collective of other right-action and it makes a difference.  One voice is drowned out by the loud clanks of a machine called status quo.  But a chorus of voices persistently singing harmoniously to a new song can draw a crowd.  When a crowd gets big enough, the fields of injustice are trampled, making room for a new crop.  Society needs to plant new seeds.

Make your voice heard by contacting those claiming to be ‘public servants’ with views, opinions, concerns and demands.   Speak or write with authority.  Government works for the people, even if the system is compromised.  Call the White House switch board at 202-456-1414 and leave a passionate message to the President.

Research concerns.  Read about history not found in school books.  Write letters to editors, news stations; comment on articles and in blogs.  Join causes that match your beliefs.  Refrain from subscribing to ‘group think’, also know as ‘herd mentality’.  Network with like minds.  Build vocational relationships.  Sharpen critical thinking skills.  Ask tough questions.  Refuse to accept lame excuses and unnecessarily complicated explanations.  If you don’t understand, know it is intentionally planned.  Ask again.  Confront abusers directly, with compassion.  Stand up for your rights and follow your dreams, no matter how futile it feels.

Don’t entrust your fate to unemployment predictions or your livelihood on the whim of an employer.  Use employment as a means to your ends and do something you enjoy as you develop your hobby into a career.  Negotiate fair terms and give employers a little more than agreed.  Think about the affect your actions have on other every day people at work, in social groups and in your personal decisions.  Be loyal first to yourself, knowing with certainty fair employment provides for a balanced life.

Acknowledge fear and its derivatives doubt, anxiety and confusion without judgment.  Fear in its most basic state is a natural signal that action is required.  Don’t ignore or cover it up. Discover it.  Personal introspection, development and acting on faith leads to empowered, right-action.  But the road to survival in the 21st Century job market isn’t straight.  In addition to the curves of a normal scenic route, expect U-turns due to construction.  It’s easy to try a new way of living for a day, week or month but slip back into fear when you don’t see immediate results.  Be committed to a new way of thinking as a way of life, not a short term experiment.  When you seem to “fail” at meeting your objective, realize you have more inner work to do.

In order to survive the 21st Century job market, you need to do extraordinary things.  It begins with a personal inventory of skills and talents.  Knowing your self and personal passion is an on-going project.  Anything within your soul demanding expression is something others require.  Packaging and marketing takes time, effort and defiant persistence.

Go back to school, follow your passion and stop trusting business or government to rescue you. Stop thinking you are informed because you watch the corporate-owned news. Stop believing you can’t do anything to improve your life. Take your unemployment as an opportunity to open your own business, go to school or become socially active.  Learn new skills to keep your mind sharp and developing.

This is a ‘make-or-break moment’ in human history.  The powers that (think they) be have been and want to continue to be in control.  If the middle class hadn’t taken such a blow with the market crash, wage reductions and unemployment, after decades of wealth-reduction, the elite would have had a better chance to slowly bleed the masses to death without anyone noticing.  So let’s make this time the proverbial ‘rope’ by which systemic greed and deception ‘hangs it’.  Learn to recognize this period of uncertainty as a wake-up call, when every day people do extraordinary things, have confidence in yourself and fulfill your dreams.