By Peter Mills.
It has become evident that Britain is not the only country with an incompetent government which is increasingly distancing itself from the economic plagues it releases upon the ordinary struggling people. We are growing increasingly used to it in Britain – but in the US wealthy politicians have transformed blatant self-centred cynicism into almost an art form!
On the Third Day of Christmas My True Love Sent To Me… well, in the USA, the present did not come from anyone’s ‘true love’. On 28th December last month, it came from the US Government, and it was not a gift, but a blow to individuals and families numbered in the millions throughout the USA.
As reported by Reuters on 9th January all Federal unemployment benefits for almost one and a half million long-term unemployed people (and their dependent families) ceased entirely.
The expiration of Federal jobless benefits under the weak and inept leadership of Barak Obama means that more than 1.4 million long-term unemployed people suddenly lost their unemployment benefit on the same day. Government is currently arguing about whether or not to extend these benefits and for how long. You’d think a competent government would make a firm long-term decision in advance of doing anything.
Cutting off benefits to the long-term unemployed was intended to press people to take jobs. But that is difficult to achieve in a situation of prolonged economic downturn
The magnitude of this humanitarian disaster can be better understood when it is realized that the number of unemployed in America is 7% of the working-age population on the official figure. The alternative Shadow Stats calculates it to be far, far higher.
To estimate the human misery caused, one must add to this figure all the wives and children and elderly dependents who are not part of the percentage figure. These are the people who are now not receiving any benefits and have to find some way to simply survive – and in a record-breaking cold winter in which some places in the USA have suffered temperatures colder than that measured by the explorer vehicle on the surface of Mars!
As Oliver Goldsmith put it so succinctly in 1770:
“Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates, and men decay.”