Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on December 28, 2013 by Allahpundit

An emergency federal program that acts as a lifeline for 1.3 million jobless workers will end on Saturday, drastically curtailing government support for the long-term unemployed and setting the stage for a major political fight in the new year.

The program, in place since the recession started in 2008, provides up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work. Its expiration is expected to have far-reaching ramifications for the economy, cutting job growth by about 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households below the poverty line…

The loss of benefits is expected to drain billions in consumer spending from the economy next year. People losing their federal benefits — often benefits they expected to continue to receive for weeks or months into 2014 — described cutting back on Christmas, driving less, turning off the heat, draining retirement accounts, applying for food stamps, readying to move in with relatives and missing mortgage payments.

***

The end of unemployment checks for more than a million people on Saturday is driving out-of-work Americans to consider selling cars, moving and taking minimum wage work after already slashing household budgets and pawning personal possessions to make ends meet…

Some unemployed people said the loss of benefits might drive them to take minimum wage jobs to get by until they can find work at their skill level and in their field.

Richard Mattos, 59, of Salem, Ore., has been out of work since March, when he was laid off as a case manager at a social services organization. Without the unemployment income, Mattos said he and his wife will have enough money for one month’s worth of bills. Almost every day, he visits employment centers run by the state of Oregon or Goodwill Industries International.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” he said. “We could end up homeless because of this.”

***

“Even the four weeks without money would set me back. I don’t have any savings; I don’t have anyone I can borrow from. I’ve been on my own basically since I’m 18 and there isn’t anyone I can ask for money.

“Things are going to change drastically because, I hate to say it, but I’m going to have to go down to social services for food. It’s going to humble me. My son is hungry and I can’t feed him. I might lose my car. I’m not going to have a phone for people to contact me when I am looking for a job. It’s going to be hard. This is just hard. To not even be able to give your son anything when he’s hungry. We’re all scared, every one of us. Not just me.

“I keep a roof over our head. There’s food — maybe not steaks, but there’s food. [It’s] keeping our head just above the water, you know. We’re all about to drown. The 1.3 million of us are about to drown.”

***

Hirshfield has lived a largely ideal life. After leaving the insurance industry (where he had worked for 20 years), he joined a Connecticut bank as a vice president, earned a six-figure salary and lived comfortably with his wife and children, one of whom he had sent to college. The job was relatively stable and professionally stimulating. At 54 years old, he was happy.

Then it fell apart. The bank went through one, two, three restructurings. The last one cost Hirshfield his job.

He began training for a new career, taking a 30-week course in project management at the University of New Haven in hopes of widening his allure to prospective employers. But the search for work has been impossibly tough. He has been unemployed now for 14 months. For just over a year, he has been receiving unemployment benefits…

Hirshfield says he’s more open now to blue collar work. But like Torian, he isn’t sure if his skill set would be appealing to such an employer and he stubbornly (he admits) wants to hold on to the life he built.

“You grow into a certain station in life, and you want to maintain that,” he said.

***

The looming expiration of federal unemployment benefits for more than 1 million Americans is “simply immoral,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Friday…

Meanwhile, Republicans contend that Democrats dropped the ball by not offering a specific plan to cover the costs of an extension before heading home for the holidays…

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he plans to bring up an extension as his first order of business in 2014, but some Republicans have indicated they would only be willing to extend the program if the cost of another extension is offset elsewhere

Other GOP lawmakers have not said they would oppose an extension, but are concerned about the roughly $26 billion cost of extending the program for another year. Pelosi has said she does not believe that cost has to be offset, arguing the program does more good for the economy than it costs.

***

Some opponents of continuing the program say the roughly $25 billion price tag would be more effective at rehabilitating the labor market if put toward creating jobs, rather than extending a safety net. Some analysts also describe the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program as a recession-era holdover no longer needed in an economy—and labor market—that has been recovering for more than four years.

“This is an emergency program,” said Chris Edwards, of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington. “The emergency has long been over.”

“It is to an individual’s advantage—as soon as they are unemployed—to really try to get employed again,” Mr. Edwards said. “The curious thing about emergency unemployment benefits is that [they] induce people to wait to start searching for a job and that ends up kind of hurting them.”…

“The problem we have right now is not a shortage of people who want jobs,” said Jesse Rothstein, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “The problem we have is a shortage of jobs and that doesn’t get better if you make people more desperate.”

***

This is the argument that’s made: people have a disincentive to find jobs because of the unemployment insurance. End the insurance, give people the incentive to work. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul called the insurance a “disservice” to workers. And in the wake of North Carolina’s move, unemployment did drop in the state. It was near 9.5 percent at the beginning of the year; now, it’s around 7.5 percent.

But there isn’t the direct line that people like Paul suggest. First of all, at least one study suggests that no significant disincentive actually exists. And as Business Insider reported earlier this month, yes, the unemployment rate in North Carolina dropped — but so did the size of the labor force. People in North Carolina stopped looking for jobs at a dramatic rate over the course of 2013. Since the unemployment rate is the number of unemployed divided by the size of the labor force, and since the labor force only includes people looking for jobs, the unemployment rate fell. The graph at right, via the Federal Reserve, shows the link between unemployment and labor force size in North Carolina. Blue is unemployment; red, labor force.

People in North Carolina did get new jobs, of course, but Business Insider, citing JP Morgan’s chief economist, explains that this is in part thanks to “unemployed folks taking jobs for lower pay than they were waiting for.” But, JP Morgan’s Michael Feroli said, “the participation effect may be more important.” You have to actively look for work to collect unemployment benefits, and without that push, it’s easy for the long-term unemployed to lose hope.

***

Unemployment has reached multi-year lows in 27 states, a bit of positive news for state labor markets that are still struggling through a mild recovery.

In just over a third of states, there are more jobs now than there were when the recession began, according to an analysis of new Labor Department data by the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank focused on the needs of low- and middle-income workers. There may be more jobs in many states since the recession, but there are also more people

In 37 states, the share of jobs needed to return the local economy to pre-recession employment rates is at or above 5 percent, according to the analysis provided by Doug Hall, director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network at EPI.

***

US employers advertised the most job openings in more than five years in October, and the number of people quitting also reached a five-year high…

[T]he number of workers who quit rose 2.5 percent to 2.39 million, the most since October 2008. More workers quitting can signal a healthy job market, because most of those people likely either have a new job or are confident they can find one…

The job market remains competitive, even though the competition is easing. There were 2.9 unemployed people, on average, for each available job in October. That’s down from a ratio of nearly 7 to 1 in July 2009. In a healthy economy, the ratio is typically 2 to 1.

***

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***


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Comment pages: 1 2

Schadenfreude on December 28, 2013 at 11:27 PM

I see their gameplan hasn’t changed..Scare tactics..:)

Dire Straits on December 28, 2013 at 11:41 PM

Sorry..Fixed..:)

Dire Straits on December 28, 2013 at 11:42 PM

INC on December 28, 2013 at 11:29 PM

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and you and yours are doing well..:)

Dire Straits on December 28, 2013 at 11:45 PM

There ain’t no point in goin’ to the range w/ no ammo.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 28, 2013 at 8:48 PM

Skip the range. Just stand in the back yard and go, “Pew! Pew! Pew!”
That’ll save money…and you won’t have to spend so much time cleaning the gun.

Easy…peasy. Problem solved.

You’re welcome. :-)

Solaratov on December 28, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Dire Straits on December 28, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Hey, Dire!

Thank you. Yes, it was Merry. Our daughter was recovering from being sick, but at least it was at the end rather than beginning on Christmas!

I hope you had a happy Christmas day.

INC on December 28, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Hello all!

Today is my birthday!
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=azEiXfb-Hfg

Brat on December 28, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Happy Birthday!

I remember 50…vaguely.

And, as I recall, it’s a pretty good age. ;)

Solaratov on December 28, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Happy b-day brat.

SparkPlug on December 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Solaratov on December 28, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Thanks!

So far it is a pretty good age for me, I feel better than I have in several years. But all of today’s food and drink have done me in for the night. Time for beauty sleep.

Goodnight all!

Brat on December 29, 2013 at 12:01 AM

‘Night Sparky. Am a very frequent lurker. Always enjoy your comments!

Brat on December 29, 2013 at 12:02 AM

is there a single liberal who realizes that amnesty will make this situation ten times worse?

WisCon on December 28, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Oh! That can’t be right.

ALL the democRATS ( and half the republicans/rinos) are just positive that unlimited immigration and amnesty is the straightest road to 100% full employment.
UTOPIA…HERE WE COME!!!

/////////////////////////s///////////////////////////

Solaratov on December 29, 2013 at 12:10 AM

One year ago today:

Washington (CNN) – A plurality of Americans think President Barack Obama will do a better job during his second term than he did in his first term in the White House, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday morning indicates that 46% say they expect Obama will do a better job as president over the next four years than he did the past four years, with 22% saying he’ll do a worse job, and just over three in ten saying he’ll perform about the same as he did in his first term.

kcewa on December 29, 2013 at 12:11 AM

INC on December 28, 2013 at 11:50 PM

All is well with me..:)

Dire Straits on December 29, 2013 at 12:13 AM

Dire…

KCB on December 29, 2013 at 12:15 AM

A “Liberal Paradise” would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities, and only Law Enforcement has guns.

And believe it or not, such a place does indeed exist . . . it’s called prison.

Schadenfreude on December 29, 2013 at 12:19 AM

KCB on December 29, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Good evening..:)

Dire Straits on December 29, 2013 at 12:27 AM

KCB on December 29, 2013 at 12:15 AM

What kind of sammich? B9 makes em good.

SparkPlug on December 29, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Schadenfreude on December 29, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Actually I think they are spilt..I think a lot of them would be fine with a monarchy form of government with a king..:)

Dire Straits on December 29, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Dire Straits on December 29, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Obama has not created or saved any jobs. Plus he has ruined our health care system. Oh and he lies big lies. (:

Hi Schad. 2014.

SparkPlug on December 29, 2013 at 12:50 AM

SparkPlug on December 29, 2013 at 12:50 AM

I hear you..Lately I think a lot of folks are getting the same memo..:)

Dire Straits on December 29, 2013 at 12:59 AM

Obama has not created or saved any jobs.* Plus he has ruined our health care system. Oh and he lies big lies. (:

Hi Schad. 2014.

SparkPlug on December 29, 2013 at 12:50 AM

*It’s not just that he hasn’t saved or created jobs. He’s made jobs go away. Plus about a gazillion other destructive things.

(About the only good effect he’s had on the U.S. has the Tea Party movement, and that wasn’t anything he wanted to so. Also, a few people may have been shocked out of their Leftist delusion.

INC on December 29, 2013 at 1:03 AM

INC,

You are so right. (: 2014.

SparkPlug on December 29, 2013 at 1:17 AM

(: 2014.

SparkPlug on December 29, 2013 at 1:17 AM

Is this a Happy New Year 2014 or an ObamaCare 2014 or Election 2014?

Or some other apocalyptic 2014?

:D

INC on December 29, 2013 at 1:20 AM

People losing their federal benefits — often benefits they expected to continue to receive for weeks or months into 2014 — described cutting back on Christmas, driving less, turning off the heat, draining retirement accounts, applying for food stamps, readying to move in with relatives and missing mortgage payments.

Wow. That list is like a leftist’s wet dream. They hate Christmas and want people to have nothing to do with religion or religious celebrations, at all. They hate driving and think it is killing the planet. They hate heat and think that it, too, is killing the planet with its deadly “global warming” “pollution”. They are against retirement accounts and think that everyone should have to come to the feral government begging for money to sustain themselves. They think that 85 people should live in one room, together, taking up no more than 85 square feet, just like their idolized noble savages in the third world … except that the leftists would dislike families being together as there is little leftists hate more than biological bonds being continued in daily life. And last, but certainly not least, leftists are gung-ho that everyone should skip mortgage payments and just squat their houses, or any house they might want to squat in.

I don’t know, this all sounds like the leftist utopia realized.

The feral government never had any business mucking around in unemployment benefits, to begin with. That is not their job. Unemployment is a state issue. If leftists think that there’s not enough going to people in rough times, then they can donate all their money to charities to help the unfortunate, which is how it’s supposed to be done. Of course, we all know that leftists are the greediest pieces of sh!t on Earth and would never do anything like that.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 29, 2013 at 1:46 AM

Donovan – “Season of the Witch”

Anti-Control on December 29, 2013 at 1:53 AM

Don’t be afraid to stand in the Shadow of Love
The hour is late and you know that time waits for no one
See the glow of the soul in her face
Then you know that you’re caught in the shadow of love

Play the game take a chance or you haven’t the power of love

Anti-Control on December 29, 2013 at 2:11 AM

God Bless all of my good friends that have never met me here: Axe, Scrumpy, Moon Goddess, B9, ALT, “K”, Murphy, Sophie, Schade, whatcat, Bmore and All The Rest That I Have Forgotten At This Moment In This List……..

……”not meeting me” is probably why we still talk from time to time….God Bless you ALL!

williamg on December 29, 2013 at 2:26 AM

Donovan – “Season of the Witch”

Anti-Control on December 29, 2013 at 1:53 AM

Gotta Love The “Super Sessions” Version of This With Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper……and that jackass from CSN&Y……

williamg on December 29, 2013 at 2:32 AM

The end of unemployment checks for more than a million people on Saturday is driving out-of-work Americans to consider selling cars, moving and taking minimum wage work after already slashing household budgets and pawning personal possessions to make ends meet…

When the recession hit, and we were looking at the company my husband worked for circling the drain, we did all of these things. We drained our retirement account as well- But you know what? We did not take a dime of taxpayer money, and worked menial jobs while we furiously worked to get back to full employment. We have been full time employed for 5 years. I feel sorry for the unemployed, but everybody I know who is getting benefits milks them, and then they start looking for work. Take that away and watch unemployment go down.

Kristamatic on December 29, 2013 at 2:46 AM

So the guy who has been out of work for a year (and on unemployment) spent 30 weeks going to school to learn a skill he has already dropped.

Terrific.

Meremortal on December 29, 2013 at 2:50 AM

The Media Has Already Said: We DON’T COUNT PEOPLE WHO HAVE DROPPED OUT OF THE WORKFORCE in The Media’s “Unemployment Numbers” – which is WHY the “Media’s Unemployment Numbers” have been steadily, if insignificantly, Going DOWN for Obama…….and I mean EVERY BIT of that Double Entendre…….

……They didn’t count it that way when mmmBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH was President!

williamg on December 29, 2013 at 3:15 AM

Bobby Darin – “Work Song” (live)

Anti-Control on December 29, 2013 at 3:40 AM

williamg on December 29, 2013 at 2:26 AM

God bless you too Williamg, you’re one of the nicest commenters here.

smoothsailing on December 29, 2013 at 5:26 AM

Schadenfreude on December 28, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Hmmmm! Now, being paranoid, I would tend to think that the rats know that impeachable offenses were perpetrated by the chief perp.

OldEnglish on December 29, 2013 at 6:18 AM

You know when all these people drop off the rolls the unemployment rate is probably going to show a drop and the admin is going to take credit.
It’s one more way they win elections. Its called political strategy. They have it we don’t.
If unemployment goes down in reality they win.If so many people drop out of looking for work and unemployment still goes down they win.
………………..
It’s like obamacare. Sign people up on Medicaid you get single payer. Collapse the insurance companies into bankruptcy and then bail them out GM style. You still get single payer of sorts with govt. looking over their shoulder.
They will win no matter what.they know where all deeds lead while we watch. Even if they lose elections from zerocares results the single payer mandate will stick unless our side grows a pair.

rodguy911 on December 29, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Hirshfield says he’s more open now to blue collar work. But like Torian, he isn’t sure if his skill set would be appealing to such an employer and he stubbornly (he admits) wants to hold on to the life he built.

“You grow into a certain station in life, and you want to maintain that,” he said.

Boo hoo.

http://www.persecution.com/

davidk on December 29, 2013 at 7:26 AM

http://careerbuilder.com/

davidk on December 29, 2013 at 7:47 AM

Having to take a minimum wage job instead of living off taxpayers? How HORRIBLE! How, how MEAN!!

WannabeAnglican on December 29, 2013 at 8:08 AM

Up is down, down is up. More expensive is less expensive. More people out of work is less people out of work. Welcome to the New America.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 29, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Some unemployed people said the loss of benefits might drive them to take minimum wage jobs to get by until they can find work at their skill level and in their field.

ummmm shouldn’t they have been doing that in the first place????

employers would rather hire someone working a min wage job than a person who has been on their butts for 2 years….

am i wrong?

cmsinaz on December 29, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And, Trolls.

O/T: My take: “It Has Been Quite a Week for Christian American Conservatives”

kingsjester on December 29, 2013 at 9:49 AM

On November 07, President Obama said to Chuck Todd that some 10 million or more would have their policies cancelled, and that it was such a small percentage of the American people, maybe 5% total, that would lose their insurance coverage, and although he was “concerned,” it was a small price to pay for the transition to glorious Obamacare. The media totally agreed and made no story of the 5%.

Now in December, some 1.3 million will lose extended federal unemployment benefits, and that would be about 0.4% of the American people, and that is way too high. The media will take this ball and make a huge story of it.

Liberal hypocrisy, as usual.

DublOh7 on December 29, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Here are some interesting things about Christianity to consider, written by Dr. Ray Pritchard and posted on christianity.com:

…never saw this before!

KOOLAID2 on December 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM

Pelosi has said she does not believe that cost has to be offset, arguing the program does more good for the economy than it costs she never intended to keep the promises she made in 2006 & 2007

Nancy Pelosi, 2006:

Over the past decade, the Republican controlled Congress took our nation in the wrong direction. Too many Americans are paying a heavy price for those wrong choices: record costs for energy, health care and education; jobs shipped overseas; and budgets that heap record debt on our children. For millions, the middle-class dream has been replaced by a middle-class squeeze…

Democrats are proposing a New Direction for America…

With integrity, civility and fiscal discipline, our New Direction for America will use commonsense principles to address the aspirations and fulfill the hopes and dreams of all Americans. That is our promise to the American people….

Our federal budget should be a statement of our national values. One of those values is responsibility. Democrats are committed to ending years of irresponsible budget policies that have produced historic deficits. Instead of piling trillions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren, we will restore “Pay As You Go” budget discipline.

Budget discipline has been abandoned by the Bush Administration and its Republican congressional majorities. Congress under Republican control has turned a projected $5.6 trillion 10-year surplus at the end of the Clinton years into a nearly $3 trillion deficit– including the four worst deficits in the history of America. The nation’s debt ceiling has been raised four times in just five years to more than $8.9 trillion. Nearly half of our nation’s record debt is owned by foreign countries including China and Japan. Without a return to fiscal discipline, the foreign countries that make our computers, our clothing and our toys will soon be making our foreign policy. Deficit spending is not just a fiscal problem – it’s a national security issue as well.

Our New Direction is committed to “Pay As You Go” budgeting – no more deficit spending.

Nancy Pelosi, 2007:

After years of historic deficits, this 110th Congress will commit itself to a higher standard: pay-as-you-go, no new deficit spending. Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.

- New Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 01/04/2007

ITguy on December 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM

And as Business Insider reported earlier this month, yes, the unemployment rate in North Carolina dropped — but so did the size of the labor force. People in North Carolina stopped looking for jobs at a dramatic rate over the course of 2013.

Interesting that they talk about this only in terms of North Carolina, when the same is true nationally.

===============================================================

Oct 2009 Unemployment as % of Labor Force: 10.0%
Oct 2009 Employment as % of population(*): 58.5%
Oct 2009 Civilian labor force participation rate: 65.0%

===============================================================

Nov 2013 Unemployment as % of Labor Force: 7.0%
Nov 2013 Employment as % of population(*): 58.6%
Nov 2013 Civilian labor force participation rate: 63.0%

(*) population = Civilian noninstitutional population age 16 and above

===============================================================

On a national scale, unemployment dropped 3 full points (from 10% to 7%) while employment only increased one-tenth of a point (from 58.5% to 58.6%).

The unemployed did not go from unemployed to employed, then went from unemployed to not in labor force (Civilian labor force participation rate droppd 2 full points (from 65% to 63%).

Again, the primary reason that unemployment fell 3 points is because the labor force participation rate fell 2 points.

Employment did NOT improve significantly while unemployment fell.

ITguy on December 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Since the unemployment rate is the number of unemployed divided by the size of the labor force, and since the labor force only includes people looking for jobs, the unemployment rate fell.

Yes, but there’s more to it than that. All other things being equal, shrinking the denominator of a fraction makes the result BIGGER, not smaller. The reason why a shrinking labor force makes unemployment smaller is because the NUMERATOR of the fraction (# unemployed) is = Labor Force – Employed. Shrinking the labor force has a big effect on the numerator, by significantly shrinking the number considered unemployed. As labor force shrinks, the numerator shrinks a lot, the denominator shrinks a little, and the net result is that the unemployment percentage gets smaller.

ITguy on December 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM

In just over a third of states, there are more jobs now than there were when the recession began

So in just under two-thirds of the states, there are LESS jobs now than there were when the recession began.

There may be more jobs in many states since the recession, but there are also more people…

In 37 states, the share of jobs needed to return the local economy to pre-recession employment rates is at or above 5 percent

If the employment population ratio were back to December 2006 levels (the last time that Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and Presidency) then nearly 12 Million more Americans would be employed right now.

ITguy on December 29, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Comment pages: 1 2