cuts in unemployment benefits

Posted: May 5, 2015
By: Clay Cerny


Bloomberg is a great source for news. One of many things I like about the website is its focus on issues that affect working people. Today it offers five graphs that make a sad argument: “Work-life balance is dead.” First, managers in developed countries work more than 40 hours a week. Interestingly, the company listed where the fewest managers who work over 40 hours is China (19%). Second, millennials are trapped between responsibilities at work and home. Third, flexible hours are often a euphemism that gives the employer an option to keep workers on the job at any time and anywhere. Fourth, many people have stayed at their current jobs because they remember what happened in 2008. They are afraid to make a change. Finally, U.S. companies are among the worst in developed countries for giving parents time off to care for family needs.

Is work-life balance dead? Maybe. The points made in this article are very compelling in what they say about the current economy, especially for workers in their twenties and thirties. However, these conditions are neither necessary nor permanent. Working people – union and non-union – need to press federal and state legislators to pass laws that guarantee rights in the workplace. FMLA was a tepid step in that direction. On the other side of the coin, we have seen state after state cut weeks that laid off employees can collect unemployment insurance. Several states have passed “right to work” (for less) laws that hamper unions and lower wages. We need national standards to protect workers and stabilize the economy. We will not get such protection until working people vote for candidates who support labor.

Posted: May 15, 2012
By: Clay Cerny

Laura Clawson of the Daily Kos explores the impact of cuts in unemployment.  Nearly a quarter of a million people have been taken off the unemployment roles, many in states where unemployment is still very high, including California where 100,000 people will no longer receive benefits.

It’s easy for politicians to cry poor or rationalize cutting a benefit.  It’s another thing for the person who now has no income.  Over the past ten years, federal and state governments have found ways to help the job creators who create no jobs.  How about doing something for the real wealth creators – workers – who are the victims of a system that pushes money up that never trickle down?