Thursday, July 9, 2009

Who's Driving This Apple Cart?

Associated Press reported today that 'new jobless claims plunged to their lowest level since January'. Naturally, my interest was piqued considering the recent rise in unemployment to 9.5%, so I clicked on the link.

Turns out reality is not nearly as good as the headline led me to believe. New jobless claims were still near 565,000, and were only that low due to the holiday weekend and 'the timing of auto industry layoffs'.

Here's the ridiculous sentence in the article that prompted this particular rant:
"Continuing claims... unexpectedly jumped to a record-high." (emphasis mine)
- Christopher S. Rugaber, AP

Unexpected by who? Certainly not by any person that's taken a moment to consider the situation.

When a person can now draw unemployment for more than a year - up to a year-and-a-half in some states - much of the incentive to not file a 'continuing claim' is removed. I don't think the record high of continuing claims is in the least bit unexpected by anybody. Do you?

I sympathize with those that have lost their jobs and really do want to work. This is a tough job market right now. But the unemployed do not need incentive to remain unemployed - they need a job. Private enterprise creates jobs. That is where the focus must be placed. If all of that extra unemployment financing were redirected to provide incentives for business to set up/stay/grow operations here in the U.S., that would provide a real solution. That would retain jobs, create more jobs, and generate more tax revenue for the government through higher levels of employment.

Instead, it seems like every proposal today is destructive to capitalism (see Cap and Trade, Universal Health Care)

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