Posts Tagged ‘Unemployment’

What Kind Of Planet Are They Living On?

December 17, 2020

            The news of the past week seems to be supported by an undertow of statistics. A blur of staggering numbers appear to back everything up, whether it be Covid 19 rates, unemployment, potential relief funding, hunger, future evictions as well as current homelessness, etc. Not only that but Wall Street keeps climbing on the enormous debt and the potential for even more debt coming down the pike. Traditionally this would anticipate hefty Holiday Bonuses for traders and brokers. Will it be that way this year? Bucking a trend of traditional and inevitable thinking/reasoning seems to be an unpleasant necessity for regular folks, but is unimaginable for Newark area community leaders. Even a morbid change like the pandemic makes no impression. It used to be called “business as usual”, but what is the usual today? In Newark, Ohio, Kent Mallett’s report, headlined Licking County Courthouse windows to be replaced in 2021; cost at least $1.25 million (12-16-20, Newark Advocate), covers the exceptionally unimaginative. “Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb said the project won’t be cheap, nor quick, but the time is right.” According to Mallett, Bubb says “”We want historically-looking windows with 21st Century technology. That’s going to be the challenge. It’s a process like a custom remodel. We’re putting it in there for the next half century.”” For this the commissioners are putting the residents of Licking County in deeper debt? Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the former Family Dollar store building, promised as a low barrier shelter and just blocks from the already twice remodeled Court House, sits cold, empty and vacant. Lines at food pantries are longer, including some “first timers” who not long ago volunteered at them. And… well, Analysis points to the above for the dizzying array of shared lack backed up by a passel of numbers all representing real situations or people. A rather bleak winter is upon us. But Tim Bubb and his fellow successful Republican leaders must dwell in the eternal sunshine of a bright tomorrow. ““We’re putting it in there for the next half century.”” The debt based capital investment that they are putting “in there”, the Halls of Justice, assumes there will be a “human resource” around to benefit. With no investment in this resource, what kind of “next half century” are they envisioning? One with pristine “historically-looking” buildings and people living in tents? What kind of planet are they living on?

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Just Dropped In To See What Condition Our Condition Is In

December 10, 2015

Ongoing news of local concern has been the Ohio legislature’s current bills, HB 56 and HB 394. 56 is intended to promote education, skill and experience front and center on State job applications/interviews, with an applicant’s court record deferred until post application/interview, as part of background checks. 394 intends to drastically redo Ohio’s unemployment compensation protocol, rules and procedure, limiting duration and restricting eligibility. Both these proposals are in response to Ohio’s “improved” economy. They approach the improvement from radically different perspectives. 56 challenges John Kasich’s 2015 State of the Union boast (“And you know what’s really great? No one’s being left out. No one.”) while 394 verifies the presidential candidate as a man of action who keeps his word (by offering over $300 mil in tax cuts to businesses). Both are predicated on the perceived belief that the economy is better, and therefore… But is it? Both Donnie Trump and Bernie Sanders feel that economic indicators (relied on by many, including the FED for raising interest rates, etc.) do not reflect the condition on the ground. Like 56 and 394, the two presidential wannabe’s have different reasons and proposals regarding this condition. Writing for Washington Post’s online blog The Fix, Janell Ross headlines “A new study gets at what critics of the official unemployment rate have been saying” (12-9-15). Confirming 56 and 394’s believers, she reports that “On Friday, the government announced that unemployment had remained at 5 percent, meaning 7.9 million Americans were looking for work in November but were unable to find it.” Next paragraphs she writes: “There are about 17 million “job-seekers” in the United States, according to a report released this week by the Alliance for a Just Society, a nonprofit organization that has been tracking what workers need to earn to support themselves and how many of these jobs have been available for the last 15 years. To be clear, that figure includes the nearly 8 million Americans who meet the government’s official criteria for being “unemployed” and another almost 9 million people who are “underemployed (involuntary part-time workers), workers marginally attached to the labor force, and discouraged workers who would want a job if one was available”” Recently it was noted that nationwide, the average monthly rent for an apartment has risen to approx. $800 a month, with home ownership still not at the percentage level it occupied pre “Great Recession” (Analysis has repeatedly quoted Newark’s high non owner occupant residence rate, near 47%). Ross included a table showing various statistics. In Ohio the single adult living wage (needed to stay off government assistance for things like food, shelter, health care, etc.) is a full time job of $14.50 an hour. The total number of job seekers (the unemployed and those “who are “underemployed (involuntary part-time workers), workers marginally attached to the labor force, and discouraged workers who would want a job if one was available.”) is given as 507,000. Total job openings available in Ohio is given at 172,620, with only 52.7% of those paying at or above the single adult living wage. According to the Alliance for a Just Society, this is a 6 to 1 job gap ratio (those needing a living wage job to such available living wage job openings). This radically redefines the conditions under which HB 56 and HB 394 may realistically be considered. Analysis finds that HB 56 seeks to rectify/alleviate this condition while HB 394 would only aggravate it.