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Unemployed and hungry in the US

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"More than half a million jobs were lost in the US in November, the largest loss in a single month since 1974. Though initially the announcement had a negative effect on the markets, by the end of the day Wall Street again forgot about the little guy, the Dow closed up 260 points. The more than 1.2 million jobs lost over the past 3 months, and the 11th straight month of job losses, bring the unemployment rate to 6.7 per cent, the highest in 15 years. Also this week the Department of Agriculture released figures that show food stamp beneficiaries increased by 17 percent in the past year. That’s more than 31.6 million or 1 out of every 10 people in the US receiving food stamps or taking part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. TRNN spoke to Dedrick Muhammad of the Institute for Policy Studies. Muhammad says that 6.7 percent is not the true unemployment number because it does not include the underemployed and those who have stopped looking for work. Muhammad also says that the bailout is a "trickle down" bailout, that by giving money to the wealthiest institutions somehow this is supposed to help the middle class and working class."

Maybe it's time to start thinking about some more substantial economic changes to solve these peoples, like making banks public utilities as Leo Panitch suggests.

At the end of the day it seems like much of this relates to deficit in democracy, both in government and industry. It seems unlikely that we would be facing this financial crisis if resources were democratically and transparently managed.

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Originally posted to SteveAnderson on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 10:16 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And while we sort this mess out . . . (12+ / 0-)

    . . . donate to food banks. Whatever you can give.

  •  Please see the Feeding America (9+ / 0-)
    diaries that were published over the weekend.
  •  Last spring it was predicted ... (11+ / 0-) the Congressional Budget Office that the total number of food stamp (SNAP) recipients would reach 28 million by October 1. Some critics scoffed.

    Just for the record, as I have noted elsewhere, that 6.7% figure is an official rate of unemployment that fails to take into account a lot of people. A broader measure puts the percentage at 12.5%, when discouraged workers and those working part time who want full-time jobs are included.

    Many of those part-time workers are collecting food stamps because they don't make enough to make ends meet.

    Americans do not like to think of themselves as aggressors, but raw aggression is what took place in Iraq. - John Prados

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 10:25:46 AM PST

  •  food banks (5+ / 0-)

    I see the value in food banks, but really think we should put as much energy as possible making systemic change. There was huge inequality before this crisis, and will be after unless we make systemic, structural, economic change.

    but of course, give to food banks if you can

  •  Structural Problem (4+ / 0-)

    This is part of a long-term structural/systemic problem.

    About 1.9 million persons (not seasonally adjusted) were marginally attached to the labor force in November, 584,000 more than 12 months earlier.  These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months.  They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.  Among the marginally attached, there were 608,000 discouraged workers in November, up by 259,000 from a year earlier.  Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work specifically because they believe no jobs are available for them. Productivity, Structural Unemployment and the Uncounted

  •  There are even Kossacks on food stamps (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Panda, allep10, chrome327

    I have been out of work since Jan. 2006 due to disability. I spent a month a partial hospitalization, then some time as an inpatient. My Insurance would not cover another month of partial hospitalization (despite a mountain of Medical opinions).

    I was able to move into a halfway house and lost my house in a short sale to avoid forclosure (I had not lived there in several months while trying to sell it due to hospitalization and the halfway house)

    About that time I started getting Disability from my company insurance (there was a six month wait).

    Then in Sept. 08 I got a notice that there was a problem with my paperwork going back to August 06 (2 years) and I owed 45K, and until I pay, I will get nothing.

    I have had to reapply for SSI, Just got my food stamps today (damn, healthy food is expensive). I have to wait another month for rental assistance, although I may have to move since my rent is 500, and they will only give me money if my rent is less than 500.

    I suffer from extreme anxiety and depression (possible bi-polar), but I have trouble going outside. But I need some room in my apartment. I have a two bedroom, and I have my bed in the living room. I have one chair, single bed, night table, kitchen table. That is it. I need the space and the empty rooms.

    Although this is a Fark cliche the last month or so, I have no money, when some creditors tried to take my checking account money, they were blocked because my only source of income was disability.

    I am also trying to get medicaid so I can get a local Dr. (now i travel by train 5 hours each way for monthly appointments because that is where my insurance has Drs.

    I get less than $40 a week, and unless you wanna live on high sodium, high carbohydrate diet, with no fresh fruit/vegetables and minimal chicken it is tough.

    Meanwhile I am fighting SSI and my Disability insurance to get my monthly checks reinstated and get my SSI backdated to 8/06. I do have a lawyer working on it, but I have no phone and it is difficult to get out to use one.

    Finally, my original point, there are Kossacks on Food Stamps... we are everywhere, luckily there is a public safety net to catch some of us in the short turn.

    (My heat should be taken care of, gets cool here in Upstate NY) (Due to my medical condition they cannot shut my power of for another 45 days, then I should be able to get that extended if needed)

    By then I will be almost 4 months behind in rent... landlord is pretty cool, but even he has his limits.

    Hope. Peace. Integrity.

    by Random Excess on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 10:55:05 AM PST

  •  my friend tried to get FS (0+ / 0-)

    after 2+1/2 month application, he qualified for five dollars

    even the Devil slaves for the fortunate

    by OMwordTHRUdaFOG on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 05:32:35 PM PST

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