Re: Extended unemployment benefits

1

Guaranteed minimum income! Woo, high-fives!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:07 AM
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18 more tries to get it right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:08 AM
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I feel as though I'd have a better grasp of what you're going for here if I knew what you meant by "bootstrap solution."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:12 AM
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It should just be automatically pegged to the unemployment rate without requiring further Congressional action. If it's below 6% you get X weeks, if it's 6-7% you get X*Y weeks, 7-8% X*Z, etc. Apply whatever numbers for X Y Z make sense. That would be good for the economy too, there's a reason they're called automatic stabilizers.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:15 AM
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Bootstrap: having to incur an awful, recurring battle just to extend benefits every couple months.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:15 AM
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Oh, great. 4 is the comment that counts as the OP. Done!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:16 AM
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I would use "ad hoc" in place of bootstrap there.

Hey, maybe rather than waiting for the one comment that contains the post, maybe we should just workshop the existing post!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:17 AM
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Dammit, SP.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:17 AM
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Bootstraps are what you pull yourself up by or a resampling technique.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:18 AM
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If anything, I would argue people have too few bootstraps these days.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:20 AM
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Maybe I didn't mean "bootstrap" but there's some word that I'm thinking. "Ad hoc" is better but it's not the one I'm thinking of. Ham-something. But now all I can think of is hamstring. Hamstring a solution? Hamstrap? Hamhock?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:20 AM
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Jockstrap?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:20 AM
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Prices on hamfists are also rising.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:21 AM
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Haphamzard? Hamas?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:21 AM
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Jerry-rigged?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:21 AM
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Good, now I can hijack the thread-
Those of you on the other place know that I'm out of town this week, returning this evening, and I gave a talk yesterday. My dad had some cardiac event on Monday that required catheterization Tuesday and had some bleeding complications, he's back home now and sounds fine, can go back to work next week. My mom didn't tell me all this until this morning because she didn't want me to worry about it during my talk. Mom- thoughtful or not?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:21 AM
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Hemlock? Padlock?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:22 AM
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Jury-rigged?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:22 AM
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16: Probably?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:23 AM
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16: Depends how big a deal your talk was. Mom was definitely being thoughtful, but may have overestimated how crucial it was to be on your best game. Ie it wasn't a job talk, unless it was.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:23 AM
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21

I put a question mark after "probably" because apparently I can't equivocate enough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:23 AM
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22

I want to say that Bill Clinton dealt with this problem by advocating welfare to work programs, and that changing the emphasis from sustaining people indefinitely to training them for jobs and helping them find jobs was a part of his election platform. So I want to say that nobody has been advocating sustaining people indefinitely on unemployment benefits in either party for over twenty years now.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:23 AM
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17: These Republican proposals to deal with unemployment just keep getting worse.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:24 AM
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Off the cuff?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:26 AM
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Not a job talk, just a conference presentation, albeit to a large audience that could have funding/business deal implications, but mom didn't know the last detail anyway.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:26 AM
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...mom didn't know the last detail anyway.

Because you didn't want her to worry.

"And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon,
Little boy blue and the man in the moon...."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:35 AM
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This sort of reaction is why I hate talking about immigration issues. Any actually politically possible reform has this sort of ad hoc, irrational structure to it, and I kind of hate them all. On the other hand, the status quo is miserable, and if the best politically possible reform is ad hoc and irrational, then I need to suck it up and support it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:39 AM
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I still hate the rhetoric of extended-extended-extended-extended benefits, though, because I feel like it plays into Republican narratives and that drives me crazy.

Yet another option that boils down to:

Republican: This makes no sense! It should be done a different way.
Normal person: Okay, let's do it a different way.
Republican: No, let's abandon the whole idea.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:39 AM
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22 seems wrong in important ways. I guess the most important one is that welfare (that is, TANF) != unemployment.

For better or worse, many people do think of cash welfare (TANF) as something "free" that you get, compared to unemployment insurance, which requires that a) you have been employed in the past, and b) you paid into the system to create the unemployment benefits in the first place.

Obviously in the big picture they are both safety-net programs that (should) protect people from falling deeper into poverty. But muddling them together is

And on the OP, I sympathize completely with heebie's point. This is one of a hundred or more issues where I resent having to wholeheartedly defend a dumb, jury-rigged system because the only politically likely alternative is for it to go away.

K-12 school funding, food stamps, health insurance -- so many of our systems are compromises between people who think that they should not exist at all, and people who want to help. Argh.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:43 AM
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30

Muddling them together is wrong, I meant.

And meanwhile ned and LB have made my point better than I did. Oh well.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:44 AM
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31


I don't know why I used the word "option".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:45 AM
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16: I had a similar situation several years ago: dad had some chest pains the day before I took the bar exam, significant blockage found, scheduled for catheterization/stent the morning of the exam. I found out when I came out of the exam and checked my messages. I was pissed as hell but it was certainly well-intentioned--it was a fairly low-risk situation, and they figured (correctly) that it would have distracted me from a high-stakes exam. So I'd say thoughtful. Though I did make them promise not to do something like that again.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:48 AM
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33

I thought 1 got it right. But I guess 4 is an okay politically-more-plausible half-solution, or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:50 AM
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Oh, and SP, I think whether it is "thoughtful" depends entirely on you (and presumably at this point in your life your parents' knowledge of you).

For me, it would be infuriating -- because my whole family knows that I HATE having information kept from me, and would always, always rather know, even if I'm walking into a high-stakes situation.

For my sister, withholding it might be a loving and thoughtful thing to do, because she wouldn't be able to concentrate on the higher-stakes thing and would be glad, later, to know that we had not burdened her with it beforehand.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:51 AM
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16: My mom's appendix burst while I was in Europe trapped by Eyjafjallajokull. My dad didn't call me until I got back, at which point she was still in the hospital but clearly going to be okay. I was pretty upset with him---"jesus, dad, peritonitis! she could have died!", and he said he wanted me to enjoy my trip and he was sure the doctors had everything under control.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:54 AM
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36

They did something similar when I was 10 and my pet rabbit died when I was away at camp, they would send letters saying how rabbit was fine, etc., then when they picked me up at the end of the summer, Surprise, your pet died but we didn't want to ruin your summer! I was upset when they told me and said I wanted a dog and they said ok but never got me a dog. I got myself a dog when I graduated college.
I guess this situation is a little different.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:56 AM
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37

My parents have done this too, and I hate it. I do think they're being thoughtful, but also: "being thoughtful" is plausible cover for "I've got my hands full and don't really want to deal with causing one more person to worry."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:58 AM
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33: yeah, I mean, pondering 1 after posting it occured to me that it would inevitably be hijacked by people who just wanted to destroy unions, and the necessary relatively confiscatory taxes would get beaten back until it was horribly underfunded and just left people in essentially the same amount of poverty as ever. But, you know, ideally and all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:58 AM
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39

Ok, onto the real business: what word was I reaching for?!? It's driving me crazy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:59 AM
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37: Reassuring people does suck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:59 AM
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36: yeah I don't think replacing your dad with a dog would have really made up for things.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 10:59 AM
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42

"Bootstrap" makes me think "jackknife", but no.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:00 AM
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43

24 to 39. They are both related to the edges of things you wear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:00 AM
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44

Jackboot?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:00 AM
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45

I don't think my parents ever hold back information about illnesses, but they certainly don't bother with a special phone call or email unless it's something really serious. Partly this is just because I am an awful son with no sense of filial piety so a long time can go between conversations.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:00 AM
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46

Melting pot? Damn it, George Orwell.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:01 AM
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47

Hamhanded? Hamfisted?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:02 AM
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48

Ham-Love?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:02 AM
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49

Cantilevered?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:03 AM
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50

kludge


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:07 AM
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51

Welfare hack.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:09 AM
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52

hey you 48 go away


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:12 AM
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53

I am an awful son with no sense of filial piety
Did I mention that I've posted several comments here but haven't called him yet?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:14 AM
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54

I'm getting the feeling there is no actual phrase out there that I'm thinking of. Must be bootstrap, after all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:15 AM
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55

They did something similar when I was 10 and my pet rabbit died when I was away at camp, they would send letters saying how rabbit was fine, etc., then when they picked me up at the end of the summer, Surprise, your pet died but we didn't want to ruin your summer!

A man heads out on vacation and leaves his friend to look after his cat and his elderly mom. The man calls home to check up and asks, "How's my cat?" His friend answers, "It's dead." The man is besides himself in grief and anger. He says, "Don't you have any feelings? Did you have to just blurt it out? You could have said, 'You're cat's on the roof and it won't come down.' Then when I called back tomorrow, you could have told me, 'You're cat is still on the roof, we've tried the fire department and everything but it still won't come down.' Then the next day, you could have told me that it died. His friend apologizes. The man asks, "So how's my mom?" His friend says, "Your mom's on the roof and she won't come down."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:17 AM
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They did something similar when I was 10 and my pet rabbit died when I was away at camp...

Do you have a sibling who is ten years and nine months younger than yourself?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:19 AM
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It should be in the Mary Poppins thread, but listening to my kids mangle the catching-mice and the wooden-leg-named-smith joke are both hilariously good times.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:19 AM
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58

"Seat-of-the-pants"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:21 AM
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58 seems promising.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:22 AM
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I think I was just thinking of being hamstrung. Do people ever say hamstringing a solution? But then when I wrote it out in 11, it no longer seemed like anything but a body part.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:26 AM
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Count me as a member of team ignorance is bliss. If someone makes the reasonable judgment that telling me something isn't going to help them (including whatever long-distance emotional support I might give) on net, then I don't have a problem with them focusing on solving the problem/taking care of themselves, whatever. Rather than having to deal with me.

I'd like to think I'm generally a net positive. There are plenty of situations where I probably wouldn't be, though, so people who know what's up can make their own judgments.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:26 AM
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60: No.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:30 AM
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62: Should they start?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:30 AM
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No.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:31 AM
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65

You should picture me standing like Yul Brynner in the first part of The King and I for 62 and 64.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:32 AM
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64: Can we write a script to replace "ad hoc" with "hamstrung" or "bootstrap"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:34 AM
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Let's just whip up a back-of-the-pants, seat-of-the-envelope solution to this


Posted by: Heebie in 50 years | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 11:34 AM
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68

Heebie: How is what you're looking for different from jury-rigged?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:20 PM
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69

Or jerry-built?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:36 PM
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70

Marginally better than George-built.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:39 PM
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71

Or hamstrapped?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:40 PM
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72

Peterbilt.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 12:50 PM
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29: I confess that I am unaware of the intricacies of welfare and unemployment, having sought neither, but it would seem to me that there is some overlap regarding the goals of each program. To my knowledge, unemployment is available to people who have recently lost their jobs and are seeking new work. You don't just receive checks indefinitely; you have to show that you are seeking work. And I think the emphasis on finding new work has been a part of the program for at least twenty years. Is that not correct?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 1:33 PM
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74

A real problem with our current system is how tied it is to having been at least at one point successfully integrated into the full-time labor force. Temps basically can't get unemployment, and what with that being the biggest growth sector of the economy, that's a problem.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 2:21 PM
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75

I know I've mentioned this here before, but when I was on unemployment three summers ago, I had to certify my continued unemployed status and attest that I had actively looked for work each week by a certain date and time. But you could only do the certification on the state's unemployment website during normal business hours. Want to certify at 2 in the morning? Nope! At 2 minutes past 5 in the afternoon? Nope! It's not that it was hard to do it during those hours, but it still made me insane. That's not how it works! The internet doesn't close!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 2:52 PM
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76

"bootstrap" s/b "stopgap"


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 2:56 PM
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77

This analogy is like lifting yourself up by your own bootstraps.


Posted by: Grumbles | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:07 PM
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78

I think the emphasis on finding new work has been a part of the program for at least twenty years. Is that not correct?

My understanding is that it's been part of the program for much longer than that.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:09 PM
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Yes potchkeh, I did learn a few things from that movie, but while the servant waits, the master baits.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:26 PM
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80

That's not how it works! The internet doesn't close!

Repent, don't be dull.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:29 PM
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81

Oh I don't know, it's too obvious I guess, but it's good to be the king.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:35 PM
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82

Do people ever say hamstringing a solution?

auto da fe? what's an auto da fe?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:41 PM
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83

The internet doesn't close!

I'm imagining some terrible reason for this, like that the online form was hooked directly up to a printer that got turned off with the rest of the office.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:46 PM
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75: Wow, somehow I missed that before. That's insane.

(Now feeling guilty that I kvetch about dumb government website issues here. Nothing has risen to that level!)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 3:49 PM
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85

76 GETS IT EXACTLY RIGHT!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 4:27 PM
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86

84: Rook takes Queen!


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 4:28 PM
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87

75/84: My sister had to do the same thing (state of CA). She had it explained to her that if she were actively job-hunting, she should be available (to field offers or calls, I guess) between 9 and 5 (which is hilarious because in her field, hours are more like noon til 3 am), and the requirement that her check-in be during business hours was some sort of check that she was able to perform employment-related duties during normal hours. There were lots of related complicated rules she had to learn quickly. She's a freelancer, and accepting a job that lasted more than three days out of five meant she was then employed and had to reapply when the week ended (there were implications for the employer, too). She thought the protections were pretty strong overall for someone in her position, but it was still a huge pain.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 4:31 PM
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88

75: UI is still normally a lot less ridiculous and dehumanizing than TANF can be in some states (not having been eviscerated by Gingrich and Clinton in 1996), but then as per 74 it's often not available to the same people.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 4:42 PM
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She thought the protections were pretty strong overall for someone in her position, but it was still a huge pain.

oh the agony! oi the shame!


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 6:00 PM
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90

a lot less ridiculous and dehumanizing

I'm sorry, I just have to link this in its entirety.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 6:16 PM
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91
Our current system of extended-extended-extended benefits is obviously a bootstrap solution because it's not feasible to create a new program that supports people adequately. And it's stupid to criticize a bootstrap solution for it's bootstrappiness.

Without having read the thread: our current system of unemployment (and extended unemployment in times of financial downturn) is intended to enable people to find new jobs at roughly the level of employment for which they're trained and suited, rather than forcing them to take jobs for which they're overqualified -- working at Walmart, say -- simply because they're horribly financially strapped. The idea is/was that society functions better, the labor force is better balanced, if people are provided with enough financial support to enable them to take the time necessary to find an appropriate match for their skills and desires.

Obviously there's a lot of rhetoric out there about an alleged and dreadful mismatch in skills to the jobs now available. I don't know how accurate that actually is. We do know that back in the old days, (paid) on-the-job training wasn't considered as nearly unthinkable as it is now, and that reducing labor costs tends to be the number one approach to increasing profit margins -- by, in this case, hiring younger workers who'll accept lower pay and be more likely to have a reasonably matched skill set right out of the box, as it were.

In the end, there are at the moment 3 job seekers for every available job*, and no amount of throwing them under the bus is going to help the overall situation. I don't what the "bootstrapping" language is about.

* And a lot of people are looking at that and deciding to become self-employed (cottage industries), which is a big reason the unemployment rate is going down.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 6:39 PM
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92

I'm going to assume all of that has been said in one way or another!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 6:40 PM
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93

76 clearly gets it right. A stopgap measure. Which is what it's meant to be, in dire times.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 7:24 PM
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94

One last bit, from the OP:

I feel like it plays into Republican narratives and that drives me crazy.

This is a really interesting piece on the current, fundamental incoherence in the U.S. public's conception of what's needed and advisable, public policy wise.

In fact, the most common response to questions of this kind is for Americans to firmly refuse to make any hard or serious choices about how to reduce the deficit. On one recent survey, for example, 56 percent of Americans rejected raising taxes as a way to reduce the deficit but then an even larger 66 percent of the same sample also rejected cutting benefits. This same pattern of refusing to make clear choices is quite dramatically illustrated in the large number of polls in which people first emphatically claim that they want "a smaller government that does less" but then proceed to systematically reject cuts in virtually every major categories of government expenditure (except a few small and symbolic areas like foreign aid). A majority engage in what can only be called "magical thinking."
The Inconvenient Truth: Americans don't believe the traditional textbook perspective of Econ 101
This conclusion is reinforced by another recent poll which showed just how pervasive this lack of understanding really is. In answer to a question that asked a nearly perfect Econ 101 final exam query: "To help the economy recover from a recession, should the federal government usually increase spending, decrease spending or keep it about the same" a remarkable 55 percent of the respondents said government should actually decrease spending to help the economy recover from a recession while only 18 percent advocated an increase. When asked what would seem a remarkably leading question: if the federal government increased spending on infrastructure projects, would it result in more or fewer jobs, the respondents astonishingly split 49-51.

I apologize profusely for quoting at such length, but I'd like you to read the whole thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-23-14 8:01 PM
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95

88 is one of the most awful things I've read in a long time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 2:11 AM
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96

People should be required to shop around to buy unemployment insurance from private companies on state-run exchanges.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 4:34 AM
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97

I hope you mean the link from 88.

It occurs to me, now that I'm having occasion to research them for work, that we also have this bifurcation in employed people's program / poor people's program between SSDI (paid-in) and SSI (categorical). And that bifurcation continues in what health programs those programs get you: SSDI confers Medicare eligibility after a 2-year waiting period, while SSI confers Medicaid eligibility.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:18 AM
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The SSDI/SSI split was one of the really striking things that I encountered back when I was doing research in a public mental health system. The main thing I learned was that you really don't want to get the schizophrenia before you've had your first job. At that time and place, SSI was about $500 a month and SSDI was $1,400 or so.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-14 11:27 AM
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