Tag Archives: unemployment

North Carolina Slashes Jobless Benefits

Amazing….

Amazingly heartless, amazingly stupid and amazingly bad public policy….

I just can’t believe the People of North Carolina really want this…..even most of the ones who voted for these idiots.

But, of course, the GOP only cares about Corporations and Corporate welfare. They are the only “people” who matter to the Republicans.

Laura Clawson at DailyKos.com says it best:

Surprising no one, but brutalizing hundreds of thousands of people, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed major unemployment insurance cuts into law Tuesday. Under the new law, the maximum unemployment benefit is cut from $535 to $350, and the maximum weeks of eligibility are cut from 26 to 20, which cuts jobless North Carolinians off from the federal emergency unemployment compensation program.

The cutoff from federal benefits alone affects 170,000 people; overall, there are 400,000 unemployed North Carolinians.

The kicker is that this was done to protect businesses from having to pay higher unemployment taxes. But a big part of the reason it needed to be done was that North Carolina went into the recession with an underfunded unemployment insurance trust fund because of cuts to employer unemployment taxes. Now, with an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent, the fifth-highest in the country, the state is cutting the benefits that jobless people use to buy groceries and pay the rent and put gas in their cars to go to any job interviews they may be lucky enough to get.

Republican governance, y’all.

via Daily Kos: North Carolina slashes jobless benefits despite 9.2% unemployment.

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North Carolina Unemployment Bill Would Lose State $600 Million In Federal Benefits

Things just keep getting worse and worse under the McCory administration….

This is not just morally wrong, it’s stupid.

Democrats have to do a better job of making people aware of the real Republican agenda.  I can’t help but think if people really knew what these guys were up to, they wouldn’t vote for them.  The GOP is dependent on smoke and mirrors to hide their insensitivity and true plans.

I have to blame the Dems for letting them get away with this….

I keep saying, if the NC Democrats knew how to run a political campaign, we would not have to suffer under these heartless, wrong-headed Republicans.

I can only hope the NC Democrats realize this and are going to get their act together before too many people and wonderful institutions are hurt or destroyed by the GOP legislature and the GOP Governor.

From Huffingtonpost.com:

 

North Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill that would slash unemployment benefits and cause the state to lose roughly $600 million worth of extended jobless compensation paid entirely by the federal government.

The measure would reduce the maximum weekly benefit from $530 to $350 per person. If it passes, North Carolina workers will no longer receive long-term compensation starting in July, since states cannot remain eligible for federal unemployment insurance if local lawmakers cut weekly benefit amounts. An estimated 80,000 people would miss out on federal extended benefits, according to the North Carolina Justice Center, a worker advocacy nonprofit. At $25 million per week, the total loss over time amounts to more than $600 million.

Policy experts said the move would be unprecedented. “It is pretty amazing,” the center’s Alexandra Sirota said in an interview. “As far as we know, no other state has rejected federal dollars to push that level of benefit cuts.”

More:   North Carolina Unemployment Bill Would Lose State $600 Million In Federal Benefits.

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Bank Of America Charges Debit Fees for Unemployment Benefits Debit Cards

This is just disgusting….

I can’t say this often enough:  If States, Federal and Local Governments are going to contract with these banks to manage Government Benefits, these contracts should specify that these banks cannot charge these poor people fees to use the benefits.

This is robbery of the poor and most vulnerable by the rich, politically powerful, government bailed-out banks who assume these people don’t have the power to fight back.

B of A already gets a percentage of each charge from the merchant.  That’s fine as that’s how the credit/debit card system is meant to work.  The cost is- or should be- built into consumer  pricing….

These additional fees are at the very least immoral and should be illegal.

I’ll say it again:  Bank of America is just plain evil….

From the Huffington Post:

Bank of America recently aborted plans to charge ordinary banking customers $5 a month to use their debit cards in the face of national outrage. But the bank has quietly continued to mine another source of fees: jobless people who depend upon the bank’s prepaid debit cards to tap their benefits. Bank of America and other financial firms — including U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase — have secured contracts to provide access to public benefits in 41 states. These contracts typically allow banks to collect unlimited fees from merchants and consumers.

In short, the same banks whose speculation delivered a financial crisis that has destroyed millions of jobs have figured out how to turn widespread unemployment into a profit center: The larger the number of people who are out of work and dependent upon the state for sustenance, the greater the potential gains through administering their benefits.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous,” said Sue Berkowitz, director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center, a Columbia nonprofit that represents low-income people facing foreclosure, food insecurity and other problems. “It should not cost you any more to use a debit card than if they had issued you a check.”

For the state, handing Bank of America responsibility for unemployment benefits secured cost savings, said Berkowitz, but they have come at vulnerable people’s expense.

via For Bank Of America, Debit Fees Extend To Unemployment Benefits.

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Big Banks Extracting Fees On Unemployment Benefits

These big banks are just plain evil….

I was in BB&T last week and saw a sign saying they would charge either $8 or $12 to cash a check drawn on their bank for people without an account of their own.  That should be illegal.

And now I see this?

Evil… just plain evil.

If banks are going to administer Government benefits, they should be required, by contract, not to charge the people receiving the benefits.  They still make money from merchants when debit/credit cards are used and that’s fine.  It’s soaking the beneficiaries, who can least afford it, that is just plain wrong….

Evil…just plain evil.

I don’t know why anyone deals with these banks who doesn’t have to do so.  The rest of us should be moving our money out to Credit Unions or, at the very least, local community banks….

Out of work and living on a $189-a-week unemployment check, Rob Linville needs to watch every penny. Lately, he has been watching too many pennies disappear into the coffers of the bank that administers his unemployment check via a prepaid debit card.

The state of Oregon, where Linville lives, deposits his weekly benefits on a U.S. Bank prepaid debit card. The bank allows him to make four withdrawals per month free of charge. After that, he must pay $1.50 for each visit to the ATM and $3 to see a teller. Managing his basic expenses, including rent, bus fare and groceries, typically requires more than four withdrawals, he says. Unexpected needs — Linville recently bought a sport coat for $20 to prepare for a job interview — entail more. He’s afraid to withdraw his full benefits in one shot, knowing that the bank could sock him with a $17.50 overdraft fee if he exceeds his balance. So he pulls out small amounts of cash as he needs it, incurring about $15 in fees in the last two months he says.

“I’m so broke,” Linville said, his voice expressing resignation that this is simply how the world works. “But I don’t really have any other options.”

Across the nation, people receiving a range of state-furnished benefits — from unemployment insurance and food stamps to cash assistance for poor families — are facing similar options and reaching the same conclusion. In 41 states major banks and financial firms have secured contracts to provide access to public benefits via prepaid debit cards. And banks are increasingly extracting hefty cuts of these funds through an assortment of small fees. U.S. Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other institutions hold contracts to distribute these benefits on prepaid debit cards.

via Banks Extract Fees On Unemployment Benefits.

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Songs for the New Depression?

This is kind of looking and sounding familiar….

A little too modern…

A little too now….

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The Next Bubble Is About to Burst: College Grads Face Dwindling Jobs and Mounting Loans

This has been a concern to me for some time….

So many kids are graduating college with so much debt- and no jobs.

And the Republicans want to cut education funding and Pell grants….

But then, the GOP has never valued education because educated people don’t vote Republican- unless they are rich and voting their pocketbook…

A scary little article from Alternet.com:

It’s the beginning of summer: warmer weather, longer days, the end of the school year. And that means graduation for thousands of young people across the U.S.; graduation with more student debt than ever before, and into a job market that is anything but promising.

Young people between the ages of 16 and 24 face an unemployment rate nearly twice that of the rest of the population, according to data from the Economic Policy Institute. 2010’s 18.4 percent rate for youth was the worst in the 60 years that economists have collected such data. ColorLines notes that in 2010, 8.4 percent of white college graduates were unemployed, 13.8 percent of Latino graduates, and a dismal 19 percent of black graduates.

Those bright, shiny new degrees simply aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on all too often. The cost of a college degree is up some 3,400 percent since 1972, but as we all know too well, household incomes haven’t increased by anything close to that number — not for the bottom 99 percent of us, anyway.

More:   The Next Bubble Is About to Burst: College Grads Face Dwindling Jobs and Mounting Loans | Economy | AlterNet.

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Black Unemployment At Depression Level Highs In Some Cities

Another under-reported story….

From The Huffington Post:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the decade leading up to the Great Recession, Wanda Nolan grew accustomed to steady progress.

From an entry-level job as a fill-in bank teller, she forged a career as a commercial banking assistant, earning enough to become a homeowner. She finished college and then got an MBA. Even after the recession unfolded in late 2007, her degrees and her familiarity with the business world lent her a sense of immunity to the forces ravaging much of the American economy. Nolan was an exemplar of the African American middle class and the increasingly professional ranks of the so-called New South.

But in September 2008, everything changed.

A bank human resources officer called her into a private conference room. “All I heard was, ‘Your position has been eliminated,’” says Nolan, 37, who, despite being one of the more than 13 million officially unemployed Americans, still spends most days in her self-styled banker’s uniform of pearls and pants and practical flats. “My mind started racing.”

More than two years later, Nolan is still looking for a job and feeling increasingly anxious about a future that once felt assured. Her life has devolved from a model of middle class African American upward mobility into an example of a disturbing trend: She is among the 15.5 percent of African Americans out of work and still looking for a job.

For economists, that number may sound awful, but it’s not surprising. The nation’s overall unemployment rate sits at 8.8 percent and the rate among white Americans is at 7.9 percent. For a variety of reasons — ranging from levels of education and continuing discrimination to the relatively young age of black workers — black unemployment tends to run twice the rate for whites. Yet since the Great Recession, joblessness has remained so critically elevated among African Americans that it is challenging longstanding ideas about what it takes to find work in the modern-day economy.

via Black Unemployment At Depression Level Highs In Some Cities.

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