The expiration of benefits for 1.3 million jobless Americans this weekend will exacerbate the worst period of chronic unemployment in post-war history, the chairman of the White House council of economic advisers warns.
The expiring programme, which provides emergency help for the long-term unemployed, was introduced after the banking crash in 2008 to cushion the impact of the recession but is due to end on Saturday. Congress had an opportunity to continue it, but failed to agree on an extension before breaking for Christmas.
Although recent improvements in the economy have boosted overall job growth, economists are concerned that long-term unemployment rates remain higher than at any time between 1948 and the recent financial crisis.
This country needs to take a long hard look at itself and its "definition" of capitalism and employment. Currently, it means disposability of workers on a whim. How can we ask our young people to be pioneers or adventurers or innovators or inventors when all the politicians can do is blather about "jobs." It is minimum wage thinking that produces minimum wage mentalities.
As the guy said who came to trim our trees the other day, "The problem with this country is no one gives a s--t about anything anymore." It was his opinion (with which I agree), not a whine or an excuse. We need to care again about who and what we are as people and a nation, and what we can be.
Careers, not jobs. Respect, not disposability
"The yuletide is a special hell for those families who have suffered any loss or who must admit to any imperfection; the so-called spirit of giving can be as greedy as receiving--Christmas is our time to be aware of what we lack, of who's not home." ~John Irving
What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence - even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!"
Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?... Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?
All of which complicates how we think about elder suicide. It might be another vestige of dogma, but why am I more inclined to privilege physical pain and external circumstances when I consider the ethics of suicide? Why does internal pain, in the form of mental illness and chemical imbalance, strike me as a less acceptable reason? And isn’t this why physicians’ opinions are part of the law—because we want to limit suicide to those who are unarguably rational?
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