America faces an actual unemployment rate of about fifteen percent. Currently, the "official" unemployment rate stands at 9.5% for June of 2010. The additional five percent are people who have fallen off the unemployment role, or given up looking for work. I have a hard time understanding that whole "given up looking for work" mantra. I don’t think it describes what’s really going on.
We have always had around a five percent unemployment rate. For whatever reason, some people seem to return through the unemployment door more than others. Republicans call them lazy; and maybe they are. But they still only make up five percent of the population. That doesn’t explain Republican disdain for the other ten percent of people who are out of work. I think it’s a mistake to confuse that ten percent with the five percent who might realistically be called "unmotivated".
In his 1943 State of the Union Address, Franklin Roosevelt said the American people
"expect the opportunity to work, to run their farms, their stores, to earn decent wages. They are eager to face the risks inherent in our system of free enterprise." He went on to say, "They do not want a postwar America which suffers from undernourishment or slums – or the (public) dole. They want no get-rich-quick era of bogus ‘prosperity’ which will end for them in selling apples on a street corner, as happened after the bursting of the boom in 1929." He ended that address with, "The spirit of this Nation is strong – the faith of this Nation is eternal."
I couldn’t say it better myself.
Maybe providing extended unemployment benefits rubs certain conservatives the wrong way, but my advice for you would be; don’t ever confuse an open palm reaching for help as one that has given up the fight or has become fat, lazy and unmotivated. It’s simply not true of the nature of this Nation. Conservatives have suddenly bemoaned the idea that President Obama and many others have walked away from the idea of American exceptionalism. Even if they have, the regular American has not.
For Republicans who denied extended unemployment benefits to the ten percent who would rather be earning a living than be on the public dole, you owe them an apology. Not only do you owe them that apology for being willfully ignorant of the spirit of this Nation, but you owe them that apology because you have comfortably sat in your air-conditioned offices and congressional chambers handing out platitudes while fifteen percent of your fellow Americans have had to wonder how they were going to pay for their next month’s mortgage or meals. You owe them that apology because instead of rolling up your sleeves and setting to work to find a solution for our high unemployment, you have chosen to attack the unemployed. You have decided that the seventy percent of people who are unemployed would rather remain unemployed than go find work. You are wrong.
You are wrong about the unemployed, and you are wrong about the American spirit. With your every denial of benefits and your every platitude, you attempt to destroy American exceptionalism. You hypocrites! There is a lesson for you and you should learn it well:
American exceptionalism doesn’t start with our jaw-flapping politicians in Washington. It starts with the very people who take the risk to go to work for a private employer, trusting that our elected officials in Washington won’t do something stupid that causes them to lose their job. It starts with the small business owner who takes the risk to start his own enterprise, risking his livelihood for the hopeful return of greater income and freedom. In America, American exceptionalism has always originated with the very people who conservatives are insulting.
I have owned my business now for over ten years, and the only thing I have ever been able to count on was that if I had a job opening available, there would always be at least five to ten people applying for that job. Absent from things I have been able to rely on are politicians with an (R) or a (D) after their name. It’s become so bad in these last years that mostly, I just ignore whatever the dumbasses in our Capital building are saying. But I just couldn’t ignore the Republican insult of our unemployed.
If that’s what you think of the American people, Republicans, then who the hell are you to question another man’s opinions about American exceptionalism? Nothing could attack that exceptionalism more than to call Americans lazy and unmotivated. How dare you! You owe all of America an apology. Especially the fifteen percent that you helped become unemployed through your asinine policies and irresponsible legislation. ?