By Bud Meyers, contributor of Fox News Wall of Shame
A whole bunch of lazy couch potatoes must have gotten off their fat asses and went out and got a job last month. That's what I've been hearing in the news lately. People just woke up one morning and said to themselves, "I'm tired of being on the government dole. I'll be patriotic and go get a job today." The government is telling us that hundreds of thousands of people just mysteriously "re-appeared" after spending months in the Abyss...floating in a dark and empty void until all of a sudden, they just miraculously RE-ENTERED our 3-D dimensional world of time and space...and re-entered the job market. So only NOW are they being counted again. Unbelievable!!!!
Maybe it's because their unemployment benefits ran out, and they HAD to go find a job. Maybe all those great jobs were there all along, waiting to be taken, picked like apples from a tree - and we just had to wait for all those lazy jobless people to be desperate enough to go out and find one of them. Maybe they weren't looking hard enough, under every slimy rock, for those jobs delivering newspapers, stuffing envelopes, or flipping hamburgers.
But because more people were laid off than were hired, there was no net jobs gained, and the unemployment rate went up again, back to 9%. But leave it to the government and the media to sugar-coat bad news.
On April 20, 2011 I finally got medical treatment for my back after suffering for years. Apparently after 38 years of HARD WORK I've developed a form of arthritis is my back...from literally breaking my back. (See my post: What it Means to be Lazy (Written by a Lazy Man). I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxants based on my x-rays. I'll know more in my follow-up exam later this month when I get the results from my blood work.
So is it possible that the Republicans, the Tea Party, and the young punk trollers have been wrong about me all along? That I wasn't just a lazy parasite looking for a government hand-out as Glenn Beck had always accused me of? Could it really be that I was laid off in 2008 through no fault of my own and was never re-hired again because I'm 55 years old, and not because one morning I woke up and I preferred to live on half the income I previously earned while working - opting instead to collect unemployment benefits? Hmmmmm?
And then months later, after all my unemployment benefits ran out, and I could no longer pay my rent, I still refused to find a job because I was just lazy, and preferred being a homeless man rather than work for minimum wage?
According to John Stossel on Fox News, everybody found a job after their unemployment benefits ran out. WOW! That was sure a surprise to me! Maybe there is something very wrong with me then, because I'm not lazy, nor I am too old either. According to what the corporations have claimed, they say that they NEVER discriminate for age! So why didn't I ever find a job, even months after my unemployment benefits ran out? I don't have a criminal record or any history of mental illness. What does John Stossel know that I don't?
The CEO of General Electric says, “Today we go to Brazil, we go to China, we go to India, because that’s where the customers are."
Oh! So THAT'S the reason why! They sent all the jobs overseas, and now America has far fewer "customers". And because people like me (jobless) can no longer afford to buy their crap, they won't hire people like me to make their damn crap! NOW I understand!
And when I needed unemployment benefits, John Stossel, Fox News, the Tea Party, and the Republicans all said that America couldn't afford it....John Boehner actually said we were "broke. But none of them ever complained about the lack of incoming tax revenues from major U.S. corporations.
From the New York Times: "Taking advantage of myriad breaks and loopholes that other countries generally do not offer, some American corporations use aggressive strategies to pay less — often far less — than their competitors abroad and at home. A Government Accountability Office study released in 2008 found that 55 percent of United States companies paid no federal income taxes during at least one year in a seven-year period it studied."
Yet oddly, according to a recent (corporate-owned) New York Times/CBS News poll, only 37 percent of Americans said corporate taxes should be increased to help reduce the federal budget deficit. The rest agree with "an alternative argument" (the Republican slant) that "increased taxes would discourage American companies from creating jobs and hurt them in the global marketplace."
What country do those people live in? The rich and big business have had the Bush tax cuts for the last 10 years when millions of jobs were lost, and these same corporations, no matter how much tax they're "morally" obligated to pay, they still won't pay them - and they will still outsource American jobs overseas for cheaper labor anyway...EVEN WITH MORE TAX BREAKS.
The NPG reports that the U.S. population is growing by about 2.5 million people each year (208,333 a month), but the ADP reports that the United States only added 224,000 jobs last month (minus those who lost jobs for any net jobs gained.) There were 474,000 initial jobless claims in the week ending April 30, so the unemployment rate went up to 9% again. The Institute for Supply Management also said its service sector index rose at the slowest pace in eight months. That raised concerns for the health of the service industry, which employs about 90 percent of the work force. (America doesn't manufacture anymore, those jobs went bye-bye.)
From the New York Times: "Employment has risen from its low point, but it has grown no faster than the adult population. And the plight of the unemployed continues to worsen."
The "job creators" (with their tax breaks) couldn't even create enough jobs to keep up with natural population grown, let alone put 46 million under-employed and unemployed Americans back to full-time work earning a "living wage". Why? Because they're hoarding their money, getting richer as we get poorer.
AFL-CIO: Don't be fooled. "Right to Work" is misleading propaganda sponsored by the people voting to eliminate the minimum wage, protect outsourcing loopholes and against unemployment extensions. It is better described as "Right to Work FOR SLAVE WAGES". (I would have said, as in Boeing's case, we don't have "right to work" states, we have "right to leave" states.)
And America isn’t the only rich country dealing with a rise in wealth inequality. Most of the developed world is, too. A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that most of its member countries have seen their richest citizens get much, much richer in the last few decades, leading to a widening income gap.
And then there's also inflation, but if the cost of energy, food, housing, and healthcare is left out of the "core inflation" model that the feds use, then why bother to call it the cost-of-LIVING index if the most basic needs for actually "living" aren't being considered? To make the feds and the government look better at their jobs, the way the Department of Labor does when reporting the unemployment statistics? Try telling someone on a fixed income like Social Security (who haven't had a COLA for 3 years) how much it costs to live. Yet oddly, congress had to actually vote to NOT receive a COLA in their salaries...so why was that?
And I won't even bother mentioning record CEO pay (From the Huff Po: CEO Pay Now Exceeds Pre-Recession Levels) or the mortgage crises (From Mother Jones: Slumlord Millionaire) or the fact that the Republicans proved once again that they only care about rich people and corporations by announcing legislation that would cut unemployment insurance for the long-term jobless and toughen work search requirements for benefits recipients...forcing someone with a spouse and young children making a $900 mortgage/rent payment and a $300 car payment to give up a NET $300 weekly UI check to work at a minimum wage job GROSSING $300 a week.
So why couldn't John Stossel have explained all this stuff to me instead of doing his show "Freeloaders", when he was dressing up like a hobo and panhandling to prove to the world how "lazy" I was - and that begging for change can net somebody like me up to $100 a day? And even if I did that make that every single day, standing outside in the rain, sleet, snow, and on the hottest summer days (365 days a year), that would only be $36,500 a year. I'd hardly call that getting rich. And besides, that sounds too much like "work" to me.
But after being out of work for almost 3 years, and because of my pre-existing condition, I can no longer work like I once use to before I became so damn "lazy" - even panhandling would be too exhausting for me. So after breaking my back for the past 38 years, I applied for Social Security disability - which if approved, will be less than what I once received for unemployment benefits, which expired almost a year ago. So the best case scenario is: I'll get approved for disability and live in poverty for the rest of my life. The unthinkable would be if I were rejected.
John Stossel doesn't think I should get food stamps to eat, but he probably thinks the oil companies should still get billions of dollars in taxpayer-paid subsidies. I'll bet John Stossel just loves corporate welfare, and he must think the Koch brothers are gods.
Is John Stossel of Fox News a complete moron? Or do I really deserve to live in poverty for the remainder of my life (or die) because I'm lazy, and prefer being poor?
Or is Miz Stossel just another cheap two-bit corporate whore who gets paid very well by Fox News, laying down flat on his back, spreading his legs at the snap of the fingers by his corporate pimps, to spread this dirty, diseased, and lice-infested propaganda?
Or does John Stossel think he's pretty, and just likes playing "dress up", pretending to be an important journalist.