This Is Important: The Unemployment Insurance Extension Does NOTHING For The 99ers

I had assumed that Obama’s deal to extend unemployment pay outs would rescue the estimated 2 million 99ers who will have run out of support during the next two months. With a Republican House controlling finances, I see no help for these people apart from private organizations which are themselves struggling for funds in the face of the recession.

With the poverty rate somewhere around 59 million and increasing, both older and young people unable to get jobs, I don’t know what is going to happen to millions cut off from assistance — a good number of these presumably (formerly) middle class and really inexperienced with basic survival tactics. I expect that our crime rates will increase — ranging from shoplifting to armed robberies. And I dread the likely increase in the suicide rate as people simply give up.

Were I able to get out and about, I would be joining protest groups. But age and health keep me at home. For several years I supported two elderly ladies in a two family house in Vermont who could no longer pay rents, but the costs were about $1,000 a month, so I sold the house after one died and I was sure that the other was secure living with a sister. My income is mainly from Social Security and pension funds that are secured, but not unlimited.

Imagine the elderly widow without children or near relatives who struggles home from a shopping to discover the locks changed on her doors and her treasured possessions scattered on the sidewalk? Among other things elderly people often have difficulty finding, let alone filling out forms for such things as food stamps. And food stamps are insufficient to feed people anyway. And they are being cut:

Lean Times: Food Stamp Recipients Face Cut in Benefits
By Gianna Palmer on Dec 11th, 2010

Many years ago I explored theology as a career because our churches were taking the lead with ending segregation, helping people in need, etc. But I was warned by my teachers (e.g. Reinhold Niebuhr) that Billy Graham was leading the church towards self-interest rather than help to others. Check out the Palin and Fox news versions of Christian duties towards one’s fellow humans — and Graham’s son, Franklin:

I dread the next two years.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent [blind copies]

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