Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Senator Rand Paul and the Republican Party Think Providing Unemployment Benefits Harm the Unemployed –

Because In Their World the Unemployed are Lazy Bums Who Would Rather Collect Benefits Than Work

A Dairy Plant’s Experience in Maryland Begs to Differ

In the recently passed budget compromise, extension of unemployment benefits was left out at the insistence of Republicans.  And while the Senate has voted to put them back in, there is no chance the House will follow, or even allow a vote.  Their position is exemplified by a statement by a leader of the Cruelty Wing of the Republican Party, Senator Rand Paul who exclaimed that extending benefits would be a disservice to the unemployed.

See in the fantasy world of Republicans there are plenty of jobs, and the unemployed are just a bunch of lazy good for nothing men and women who want to live off the hard work of the rest of us.  Here is reality, at a diary plant in Maryland.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — When the Good Humor ice cream plant closed here two summers ago, more than 400 jobs and a stable, punch-the-clock way of life melted away, another in a string of plant closings that have battered this once-proud manufacturing town.

The hulking plant sat vacant until a co-op of Virginia dairy farmers purchased it in summer 2013 to process milk and ice cream, though on a far smaller scale than the 60,000 cases of ice cream that global food giant Unilever churned out every day.

Randy Inman, the board president for Shenandoah Family Farms, said he expected the plant’s revival to trigger plenty of interest in its three dozen or so initial jobs. What he did not expect: 1,600 applicants and counting — a deluge.

That is correct.  There were 1,600 applicants for 36 jobs.  And here is more reality.

Many applicants are desperate former employees still without work in a county with 7.3 percent unemployment and in an economy where manufacturing job openings now require more specialized abilities than the lower-skilled positions that have gone overseas or, in the case of Unilever, to Tennessee and Missouri, where labor and operating costs are cheaper.

Wall Street is booming, the Federal Reserveis paring back its stimulus, there are bidding wars for houses again, but for blue-collar workers in places like Hagerstown the economic recovery has yet to materialize, and many around town worry that it won’t. Laid-off workers are living week-to-week on unemployment. They’re working temp jobs and trying to reeducate themselves. They are trying to save their houses from foreclosure.

As for Senator Paul and his ilk, no need for these workers to thank them for cutting off benefits.  The suffering of these people is thanks enough. 

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