Georgians who lose their jobs next year could see fewer unemployment checks under a bill passed by the state Senate. Supporters say it will help re-pay $700 million Georgia borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment reserves.
The bill would cut the amount of benefits jobless workers receive by as much as half. And it would mandate a one-week waiting period before workers start collecting benefits.
“For more than a decade, Georgia basically cut unemployment insurance taxes that employers were paying, even when times were good,” Richie said in an interview in December. “And in fact in the period from 2000 to 2003 virtually all employers paid no unemployment insurance tax.”
As a result, she says the state depleted more than half of a $2 billion reserve. The fund would have had more money if the state had then followed through with planned increases in the unemployment insurance taxes companies pay.
“It’s just important to understand we don’t have a spending problem in the state when it comes to unemployment insurance,” she said. “We have a revenue problem.”
“We used to have a deal: A rising tide lifted all boats. These days, a few gleaming yachts power comfortably past the wreckage of smaller vessels… executive pay at the country’s largest companies has more than quadrupled since the 1970s. Median wages have stagnated through much of that time and declined since the crisis.” — Ezra Klein
The CEOs have a point. Not on the tax holiday for overseas income — that’s a scam. But the U.S. could make it easier to do business here. We do need more high-skills visas. We do need to reform our tax code, reduce our deficit, upgrade our education system and repair our infrastructure. We even need to compete with the incentives these companies receive to relocate their factories and research centers; it’s a fact of the modern economy, and we can’t pretend otherwise.
But the self-pitying, self-righteous tone of these complaints misses the big picture, and makes the underlying problem worse: The rest of America doesn’t trust corporate America right now. The rich have been getting fabulously richer, corporate America is sitting on trillions in cash reserves, and where has that gotten the rest of the country? A shabby, jobless recovery in the early Aughts, followed by a credit bubble, followed by a crash in which ordinary Americans had to bail out Wall Street, followed by the worst economy in generations.
[…] That’s why corporate America’s solutions are looked on with suspicion. Executives say corporate-tax reform and more immigration would be good for the economy? Well, they said that about the Bush tax cuts along with financial deregulation, the rise in housing prices and credit-default swaps, too. But that era ended with Main Street a shambles and Wall Street richer than ever. Fool me once, and all that.
Anyone interested in the capital-gains tax and the marginal rate on income over $250,000 should spend an hour or two paging through the stories at WeAreThe99Percent. The blog, which posts pictures of people holding signs describing their situation, is a powerful primer on the very real sense of betrayal rippling through the country.
KEEP THIS IN MIND: do you immediately jump to the defense of the CEO’s right to make a huge salary? If so, understand that NO ONE disputes that right. So what do you suppose is the BASIC ISSUE after that knee jerk, ideological malarkey?
A little discouraging information from the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report: new claims increased to 418k (last week’s number was revised up 3k). This was toward the middle of the Bloomberg consensus range of 385k to 430k. It’s still rather unfortunate that we can’t seem to bust through that 400k barrier again. The report makes note of the special circumstance that 1,750 come from Minnesota’s government shutdown. From the report:
In the week ending July 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 418,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 408,000. The 4-week moving average was 421,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 424,000.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending July 9, a 0.1 percentage point decrease from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 3.0 percent.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 9 was 3,698,000, a decrease of 50,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,748,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,720,500, a decrease of 4,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,724,500.
While the trend data moved in the wrong direction, the data corresponding to actual people moved in the right direction:
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 464,865 in the week ending July 16, a decrease of 9,022 from the previous week. There were 502,065 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.0 percent during the week ending July 9, a 0.2 percentage point increase from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,761,025, an increase of 226,332 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 3.6 percent and the volume was 4,562,782.
The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending July 2 was 7,325,198, a decrease of 159,696 from the previous week.
In other news, this is the first time since the statistic has been tracked that those unemployed for 99 weeks or longer has been over 2 million. That’s a depressing thought for you.
This was a bad report (as are all reports above 400k), but the moving average is still falling from the nasty spike in June. It’s still plausible that better news is in front of us. Unfortunately, a gradual decrease followed by sharp spike as been a common pattern over the last couple years, and there are certainly risks in front of us that could take us that way as well.