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Build the Fight for Jobs or Income Now!

By staff |
September 2, 2010
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Members of the Network to Fight for Economic Justice have been leafleting and petitioning at unemployment offices demanding that Congress and state governments take action to extend and expand unemployment benefits.

Deb Konechne, of the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout and the Network to for to Fight for Economic Justice, states, “The anger about a lack of jobs is growing and our call to fight back is getting a great response from the unemployed.

The leaflet from the Network to Fight for Economic Justice reads in part:

“Every week hundreds of thousands are being pushed off the unemployment rolls. In Washington D.C., the Senate Republicans spent weeks blocking two federal programs that give 73 weeks of unemployment coverage. The Democrats didn’t do much to help us, until the last minute.

While corporate profits and Wall Street stocks go up, working people are stuck in the worst recession since the 1930’s Great Depression. Since the recession began in December of 2007, 8 million jobs were lost and 14 million of us are ‘officially’ unemployed - half for six months or more. 4 million more want to work but “stopped looking,” according to the government, and 8 million more work just part-time. Altogether, 25 million cannot find a job because of the economic crisis. It is not our fault. The system is broken.

We are not just losing our jobs. We are losing health insurance, homes and sometimes spouses and children. Small businesses are closing left and right. Schools and libraries are laying off teachers and workers because of falling taxes. Unemployment has discriminatory effects too. We need to organize and fight back for our families, neighborhoods, schools, communities and for ourselves.

Outrageously, Republicans in the Senate claim that extending unemployment benefits drives up the federal debt! These same politicians cut taxes for the rich and started two expensive wars. The federal debt under Bush doubled from $5 to $10 trillion, and now the politicians want to stick it to the unemployed by cutting us by $33 billion! Ridiculous!

Some so-called ‘economists’ claim that unemployment benefits actually cause unemployment. They say that $300 a week is an “incentive” to not work. There are at least five unemployed workers applying for every one job opening. We fill out dozens of applications without getting a job. There simply are not enough jobs.

The Republicans blocked the unemployment extension by using the filibuster. The Democrats could have stopped them at any time with the “reconciliation” tactic. But they didn’t. After hundreds of thousands lost UI, it took the replacement of a dead Senator for them to act. It is time for politicians to stop messing around, the people need to get together and fight back!”