Since September of this year, 200,000 people have stopped receiving unemployment payments as their benefits expired. For over two months now, a quarter million people have been without any government (tax payer) assisted income. The media continues to report back to us the maddening heartbreak of thousands of people being forced out of their homes and taking to the streets, living in cardboard boxes, many under freeway overpasses to escape the rain and wind.
Thousands have died for lack of food and proper medical treatment. Many families have been forced to turn their children over to the state for fear that their living conditions might lead to infections of cholera, tuberculosis, dysentery or any of a number of inner city squalor diseases.
As reported, tent cities, favelas and tin slums have popped up all over the country. Sanitation and clean water is a constant challenge and the increased presence of rats and cockroaches has led many health officials to express concern of a possible epidemic.
The Red Cross is trying to keep up with the demand for medical supplies, but as Red Cross volunteer Rebecca Watts stated, “The strain on the system with 200,000 people…I mean…that’s a quarter million people that need just about everything to survive. And with 7,000 people being added every day, I don’t know how we’ll keep up.”
Mary Ashley Simmons of Little Rock Arkansas showed one reporter a mud covered Barbie lunch box she said she used to take to school with her every day. Her parents lived in a small suburb of Little Rock and when the Great Recession came her mother told her she could only take one thing with her, and she decided it would be her little Barbie lunch box. Now she uses it to collect scraps of food from the dumpsters behind many of the local restaurants near “Rockville,” the tent city she now calls home.
Every day, an additional 7,000 people run out of benefits and add to this cesspool of subhuman living conditions. It’s barbaric and tragic in a culture such as ours.
And most importantly, NONE OF THIS HAPPENED. 200,000 people are in fact off unemployment, that much is true, but none of what I just wrote above actually happened.
200,000 people lost…and 7,000 people a day lose their benefits and what happens? NOTHING. Where are the tent cities? Where are the tens of thousands roaming the streets living out of boxes and cars? Yeah…that’s what I thought.
Like I’ve said before, MOST people have alternatives. They can reduce their standard of living, take a lesser paying job, sell a car, tap their savings, move in with friends and family, downsize where they live…there are many options.
NONE of which anyone will take when they get a check in the mail that subsidizes their current standard of living.
If 200,000 people had flooded out into the streets when the free money dried up…you’d think we’d of heard of it by now. It’s simple why we didn’t hear about it. When the checks stop coming, they make the hard choices.
For 99% of the people out there, none of those hard choices include a cardboard box or a Barbie lunch pail.
Oh…almost forgot…Congress passed another 20 weeks in unemployment benefits today.
Party’s back on.
Categories: Unemployment & Labor Law