Thursday, June 24, 2010


Looks like the Senate is preparing to give up on its jobs bill, which has already been gutted. The result? States will be in even worse shape than they already are. They'll have to lay off yet more workers--up to 200,000 according to some estimates. It will heap pain on workers who are already unemployed and have been for a long time. That's also an anti-stimulative effect, by the way, since there are fewer people spending money.

Conservatives like to say that the unemployed aren't looking for work, and just sitting on their UI checks. Putting aside the ego hit a person takes from being unemployed, UI benefits aren't that generous. Even if there was evidence to support the theory that unemployment insurance disincetivizes job-hunting, and the studies I've seen show that it has little effect, there are over 5 people seeking work for every open position in the country. It's not a problem that a kick in the ass will help. We need to be creating jobs. And for that, we need further stimulus, not contraction and austerity. Inflicting pain on the unemployed doesn't accomplish anything but satisfy the desires of well-heeled congressmen to act like they care about the deficit.

Krugman thinks we're headed to a lost decade. I hope he's wrong. But things look worse by the day.

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