Persistence of Unemployment Likely to Test the U.S.

The longer people stay out of work, the more trouble they have finding new work.

That is a fact of life that much of Europe, with its underclass of permanently idle workers, knows all too well. But it is a lesson that the United States seems to be just learning.

This country has some of the highest levels of long-term unemployment ”” out of work longer than six months ”” it has ever recorded. Meanwhile, job growth has been, and looks to remain, disappointingly slow, indicating that those out of work for a while are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Even if the government report on Friday shows the expected improvement in hiring by business, it will not be enough to make a real dent in those totals.

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

25 comments on “Persistence of Unemployment Likely to Test the U.S.

  1. Scatcatpdx says:

    I worry about this as I approach my eight month of unemployment, I wonder about this. The problem is political. The Republicans known the right path but unable do it with a Democratic controlled Whitehorse . The liberals do nothing about job grown but off me more welfare. They seem to care more about spend money and Tier 5 that jobs. The Democratic stimulus spending only go to their union lackeys that cannot or will not hire enough workers.
    If I am still unemployed by Jan 2012 My choices would be to leave America or suicide. not going to live like this.

  2. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    A very large portion of our money went to keep foreign banks solvent.

    If they had used that money to forgive mortgages in the US instead of giving it to banks overseas, the economy would be BOOMING right now with people spending all their disposable income. Instead, we are stagnant with no relief in sight and a very real potential for hyper-inflation in the future…giving us a Jimmy Carter stagflation and misery index economy…AGAIN! What is it with Liberals? Where in history can they point to ANY nation spending its way out of debt or spending its way into prosperity? When a nation debases its currency, it is a sign that the nation is in deep trouble and likely nearing its end.

  3. montanan says:

    Scatcatpdx (#1) – I’m certain I cannot understand your current pain, but I will pray for work for you. Please don’t ever consider suicide as an option – even in jest – our Lord spent his earthly years loving and giving comfort to those who were living at society’s edges – and he still does. He loves you with His arms wide – just as much as He does someone for whom it appears everything is going right – in fact, maybe more.

  4. mari says:

    I wanted to apologize for getting testy in the earlier thread dealing with unemployment and the article from North Carolina that mentioned the welders. I’ve been dealing with economic difficulties and worrying about becoming homeless, as I’m running out of my savings.

    What I was feeling the other day when I commented, was that instead of giving into making value judgments, about our fellow citizens who we don’t know, that we instead find ways of working together to help ourselves and others. I’m aware that not every unemployed person does all he or she could do, but not everyone is that way. Nor is holding up illegal aliens as some bastion of being “hard working” or examples of what citizens aren’t doing. They are enabled by those who seek to displace US citizens from their jobs, and benefit from corrupt government and greedy employers. Please, let’s not allow ourselves to be divisive, turning on each other at a time like this.

  5. Gigs Girl says:

    It is beyond belief that ANYONE anywhere on this planet could blame Democrats for the problems we have with the economy. FACT: The last president came into office with a surplus. The very first thing he accomplished was to give a lower tax to the wealthiest people in this country.
    FACT: We then went to war with a country that had done absolutely nothing to us and it was KNOWN that there were no WMD’s.
    FACT: We had to borrow money to go to this war, backed by China. Now isn’t that fine and dandy!
    FACT: President Reagan was the first president to have more debt than all presidents before him.
    FACT: Republicans blame President Carter (a Christian where the rubber meets the road, which Americans say that they want, but really DON’t) for that economy when there was an oil crisis, but don’t seem to have a clue about oil crises when two oil men are in the White House – go figure! You did not have a clue when they ran for office what would happen to gas prices??
    FACT: Republicans claim that lower taxes in the hands of the wealthiest people create jobs – WHERE ARE THE JOBS!!!
    FACT: Republicans have no problem giving money to those who already have it and do not help the people in this country who have been unemployed (how many times now have they voted against extending unemployment) and WHY are they unemployed? Because we have outsourced all of our jobs so that the fat cats on Wall Street can make even more profits by doing so. Now, of course that would increase the deficit and the money to the wealthy would not. They will NEVER get enough.
    FACT: This president made a humongous mistake by having Rohm and Geitner in his cabinet. They are part of the problem.
    FACT: I certainly do not think that this president has not made mistakes. He went to the table offering compromise before the battle began – THAT is why so many Democrats lost. He needs some education from a good union man – and don’t EVEN go there – the first manufacturers to be outsourced were those in the south who did not have unions. To be perfectly frank, the Democrats have shown no backbone at all- at least those in the Senate.
    FACT: The Republicans have filibustered more bills in this Senate than in the history of any other administration – they began when the Democrats were elected in the last two years of the last administration. (almost 200 filibusters)
    FACT: The famous (or infamous) Mr. Boehner has said (and these are HIS words) “NO, HELL NO” to everything that the Democrats have tried to do to help the economy.
    FACT: That includes the health care bill, perhaps particularly the health care bill. The worst thing that ever happened in the health care system was that it became “for profit.” That means they give you the least amount of care for the most they can get out of you.
    I have ALL government controlled health care and I have never had such good coverage in my life (and I’m 72). It’s only because I am the wife of a man who has a 100% service-connected disability. When I worked and had illness in my family I had to fight to simply have a claim acknowledged, let alone paid.
    FACT: The banks ARE too big to fail. Why have they not been “broken up?” Ask your favorite Republican congressman. You would have people jumping out of windows again.
    You know, people who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Republicans today still want to follow the policies of Herbert Hoover. I continue to hear that the there were not jobs created in the past year – are you KIDDING me! The highways have been full of workers and many teachers have not lost their jobs – but not all!
    “Teddy Roosevelt held the ideal that the Government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces in the Nation, especially between capital and labor, [b]guaranteeing justice to each and dispensing favors to none.[/b] Roosevelt emerged spectacularly as a “trust buster” by forcing the dissolution of a great railroad combination in the Northwest. Other antitrust suits under the Sherman Act followed” ( Now we are back to banks that are so huge they cannot be allowed to fail.
    We keep hearing how terrible it was to “bail out” GM and Chrysler when they were not “bailed out,” they were given loans, which – in case you haven’t been watching anything but FOX news, the Republican network, are being paid back with interest. In case you don’t recall, by the way, it was President Bush that began that process. Do you have one CLUE how many MORE people would be out of work today if it had not been for these loans.
    Well, now that we have sent all of our manufacturing base overseas, it is more important to give money to the wealthy than to help those whose jobs have been taken away from them. You know, it would behoove you to watch the congress and senate in session from time to time. DO you ever even consider the number of people who will not have food on the table and some who will not even have roofs over their heads this winter and this Christmas?
    Exactly how long do you think this can go on? Do you not realize why they want you to invest in the market for your retirement – because then you have a vested interest in profit above all else. Look at what happened to the employees of ENRON and others – look what happened in the last few years. They want NO controls, none, on doing business. It should be perfectly clear to all of you that if we human beings were inclined to do the right thing we would not even need the Ten Commandments. They actually protect us from ourselves. It has just been reported that 50% of the congress are millionaires. Now you don’t think for one minute that they would be helping themselves trying to get the tax breaks continued, would you? Surely not!! Try reading about the fall of Rome, when the rich got richer and the poor got poorer and there was no one left to pay taxes so that they could not even support an army.
    Republicans even begrudge people who have to raise families a living wage and the new Tea-Party wants to reduce the minimum wage. Oh, the evil that men do.
    Finally, You might ask yourselves WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? You might like to read Matthew 25 beginning with v. 31 about the sheep and the goats and then decide who are the sheep and who are the goats. Perhaps you don’t think He meant what He said. If I am correct church history shows that the first Christians lived with “all things in common.” That ought to torque your jaws! Or maybe Isaiah would help when God punished the armies who conquered Israel, not because they won the battle, but because they gave all the credit to themselves and not to God. When it comes to “battle” what make us think we are on God’s side? You would think that if we were, we might have won at least one war since World War II. Not so . . . “Where have all the flowers gone . . . When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?”

  6. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    FACT: Al Samoud 2 missiles are WMD and Iraq had them in violation of multiple UN resolutions. Also, recent documents released in the “WikiLeaks” incident reveal that there were chemical weapons in Iraq and that as late “as 2008, American troops continued to find WMD in the region.” Get your “facts” straight”.

    FACT: We have had to borrow money from China to pay for Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits, and welfare; so what’s your point?

    FACT: In just two years, Obama has surpassed the eight years of Reagan government in debt increase. Reagan had an all Democrat congress and senate to deal with. The last two years of the Bush administration and the last two years of the Obama administration have been with a Democrat controlled congress.

    FACT: Jimmy Carter was incompetent as president, lead us into stagflation and the misery index, and was surprised that Soviet Communists lied to him about Afghanistan. The only thing that will save Jimmy Carter from his legacy as being America’s worst president is that Obama has managed to be worse in just two years.

    FACT: Health Care has ALWAYS been “for profit” in the United States and kings and leaders from around the world come here for the best medical treatments available. The recent Obamacare has done nothing to lower costs and has in fact INCREASED both the individual cost of health care and INCREASED our national debt by about $150 Billion.

    As to the rest…blah, blah, blah. Yes, some of the first Christians VOLUNTARILY lived in a communal setting…when they thought that Jesus was coming back the very next day. When a few years past, and they figured out that it might not actually happen that fast, they went back to private property as the norm. Since then, history is full of Christian scholarship supporting private property rights. I guess that when in doubt, one should just quote a folk song written by the communist, Pete Seeger.

  7. John Wilkins says:

    Actually Sick and Tired, I doubt Jimmy Carter will be known as the worst president. He was a conservative president who adopted policies that were horrifying to liberals, which is why Ted Kennedy opposed him. He was a lot like a Sunday School teacher berating people to do the right thing, but without Reagan’s optimism. He opposed the liberal wing of his own party.

    You’re fantasy about Reagan and Obama demonstrates the conservative tendency to confuse timelines, as if the minute a president takes office, they are the root cause of the current misery. After the crash, revenues decreased, increasing the deficit. Unless you make the argument that a democratic controlled congress caused the crash (which some have made), rather than the selling of CDOs or betting on perpetually rising housing prices, blaming Obama for the current deficit is political disingenuousness. Of course, for some of us, diminishing the real misery of Americans now is more important than the abstract misery of the deficit.

    Actually, most hospitals are not run as for-profit enterprises. I know you hate nuance, but the health care “market” is unlike buying shoes for several reasons. Most of us, for example, don’t feel we have the same information as doctors, unlike people selling us cars or shoes. The information is asymmetrical: we license doctors (which is inherently anti-market), and we can’t get refunds when the product we’re getting is substandard. Further, there is some guarantee that people will get sick. People can choose if they want different shoes, cars, or even if they need cars or shoes at all.

    But not everything in the health care market is not-for-profit. Hospitals buy equipment from different vendors. They participate in local economies when they build new wings. But they also charge the government for serving sick people; and they get money from large donors for doing good works (also an anti-market inclination, as there is no profit in good works).

    A hospital with a for-profit model could decide only to take in sick people who had money. Or perhaps it could then say to the sick and unfortunate, “first we’ll wag our finger at you for not knowing when you’d get sick and not saving money for these times and perhaps then we’ll let you in.”

    Actually, Obamacare has not actually increased expenses in the fashion you describe. As there are more people on health care, of course there are more expenses. But it doesn’t quite describe the whole story, which is that now lots of people who need health care have it. Perhaps in the conservative world, you can get something for nothing (say, wars without raising taxes), but in the liberal world, we’ve learned to add.

    Personally, I think we should have gone into further debt by putting money in the hands of people rather than banks. We could have forgiven college loans; we could have just paid for some of the mortgages directly rather than fund the banks; we could have tried to create jobs first. All these would have stimulated the demand necessary to get businesses moving. Instead, fantasies about the deficit, when the evidence is that there are no negative consequences to our current deficit.

    Sick and Tired, two hundred years ago we could have rested in being an isolationist country. Even 50 years ago most of our trade was within our borders. But if we do not honor our obligations to other countries or other banks, what is the guarantee they will honor their obligations to us, to the American countries that have invested abroad? It’s an interdependent world, whether we like it or not. Which adds, alas, a little nuance.

  8. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    #7, We agree. Obama will be known as our worst president. There was no fantasy about the Reagan and Obama timelines. In just two years, the Obama administration has outspent the entire 8 years of the Reagan administration. The comments I made in response to another’s comments about the Health Care system were never restricted to just hospitals, so my assertion remains correct – Health Care has ALWAYS been for profit in the US. People want their health care costs to go down…not universal coverage! The Health Care Bill was pushed as a money saver, but it isn’t!!! According to optimistic CBO figures, Obamacare is going to cost more than $1 Trillion and increase the debt by at least $115 Billion. The former director of the CBO believes that it will bankrupt the US. So, I don’t know what fantasy land you live in, but you are out of touch with the facts.

    If you are so worried about foreign banks failing…YOU write a check from your own pocket.

    The US is one of the richest nations on the globe and we have sufficient resources to be independent. We have enough coal, oil, natural gas, and geo-thermal potential for our own energy needs. We have an abundance of timber, minerals, clean water, and an industrious and intelligent population. Your globalism is a wasting disease to our Republic and if we don’t shake it off soon, it will kill the last best hope of mankind to be free. If socialism is so great, why don’t you emmigrate to another country and enjoy all the benefits of your utopian ideals?

  9. John Wilkins says:

    “health care has always been for profit” is more of an ideological selling point than actual fact. What you fail to distinguish is between different kinds of exchanges. Not all exchanges are for profit.

    As far as costs go, I think we might be looking at [url=]different sets of facts[/url]. Health care will reduce the deficit.

    As far as emigrating, I think a good capitalist would not mind emigrating at all to where the money is. Socialists are patriots as they seek to help their brothers and sisters through democratically elected governments; they question the motivations of plutocrats who use cheap patriotism so they can move money abroad.

    I do find the accusation of “socialist” quite tiresome. Companies do very well in “socialist” countries. They do poorly in countries where there is no government involvement. Ireland and Estonia have taken the conservative “capitalist” route. How have they done? Granted Germany also did – but they were already socialist! Iceland decided to protect the welfare state after the crash: and they’re doing better than Ireland!

    If I were a plutocrat I’d definitely choose living in the US. I take a risk, and the government bails me out. The peons get to battle it out among themselves. If I were poor, I’d probably choose another country, because I’d get an education and not worry about going hungry.

    As it is, however, I’m an American, culturally. My Dutch and English cousins don’t want too many Americans coming over, although they are generally happy with their system – far happier than Americans are with theirs.

  10. Scatcatpdx says:

    thanks for your prayers, it not a jest but a confession of sin of suicide what it my heart. I had to get out. I have struggling with this I do not want to be a 99er. I do not ant what Gigs Girl offers. She only offers despair and death in the end; at least death of the spirit. I just do not want to be a ward to the liberal state. I done with you all. welfare is doing me no good.

  11. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Prayer on being made redundant

    ‘Redundant’ – the word says it all –
    without purpose,
    surplus to requirements.’
    Thank you, Heavenly Father, that in the middle of
    the sadness,
    the anger,
    the uncertainty,
    the pain,
    I can talk to you.

    Hear me as I cry out in confusion,
    help me to think clearly,
    and calm my soul.

    As life carries on,
    may I know your presence with me
    each and every day.

    And as I look to the future,
    help me to look for fresh opportunities, for new directions.
    Guide me by your Spirit,
    and show me your path,

    through Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. Amen.

    Prayer for the current financial situation

    Lord God, we live in disturbing days:
    across the world,
    prices rise,
    debts increase,
    banks collapse,
    jobs are taken away,
    and fragile security is under threat.
    Loving God, meet us in our fear and hear our prayer:
    be a tower of strength amidst the shifting sands,
    and a light in the darkness;
    help us receive your gift of peace,
    and fix our hearts where true joys are to be found,
    in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  12. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    [Comment deleted by Elf – more nuance please and avoid personal criticism]

  13. John Wilkins says:

    Hm well, actually, the information is also on the CDO blog. Yes costs will go up, but they were going to go anyways. However, now people can blame the government rather than insurance companies.

    As far as people not wanting a public option or universal health care, it kind of depends on how the question is asked, doesn’t it. If you ask people, do they want socialized medicine, people will of course say “no.” If you ask them should they expand medicare so that it includes people above 55 and kids up to 18 you’ll get different answers. “Socialized” is usually a type of fear-mongering sloganeering, designed to get people away from talking about practical policy proposals to deal with real problems.

    My general point is simply that health care is different than buying a car. You may think differently, of course, but then, we don’t ask shoe salesmen to be licensed. It may be that we should open up the market so that anyone can open a medical school or hospital, and anyone should be able to call themselves a “doctor.” It’s one way to create a “free-market.” We tend not to do that. I’m sure there are some who are quite skeptical of doctors and think the whole medical establishment is a crock.

    Perhaps you might used different words – ones I picked up from the libertarian Paul Heyne – who taught me a lot about the market in just a couple long conversations. He uses the words “commercial economy” and “planned economy.” Most people would say that a commercial economy is better because it is free and voluntary. I agree. However, I also believe that some things can be planned – like old age, getting sick, and education.

    And I come from an old school – an ancient conservative tradition that has been lost by many. It believed that institutions are deserve respect for what they do. This includes corporations and businesses, government, not-for profits, associations, and the church. There used to be a time when we respect the work that public servants did, and the roles they played. Conservatives appreciated the bonds of different sorts of people (think Edmund Burke), and people’s place in society. Another formerly conservative idea was that institutions, as they are made of people, are imperfect. There will never be a perfect corporation, government, or market.

    There used to be a time when conservatives were anti-utopian. They didn’t think things could be perfected, but perhaps they could be improved, slowly. They also believed that human beings were short-sighted, selfish, and sinful – not the homo economicus that we’ve been led to believe is the nature of man. That kind of conservatism has long disappeared.

  14. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    [blockquote]As far as costs go, I think we might be looking at different sets of facts. Health care will reduce the deficit. [/blockquote]

    The source cited in the hyperlink provided by #9 is the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The University of Pennsylvania’s Career Services characterizes the Center on Budget and Policy as a Liberal Think Tank.

    The source of facts that I cited is the Congressional Budget Office.

    I will leave it to readers to decide which is more credible.

  15. John Wilkins says:

    Sick and Tired, with all due respect, your link indicates that the CBPP is non-partisan.

    Are you arguing that being liberal necessarily means one is wrong? Does the same hold if a liberal says that about conservatives? Is something wrong simply because a liberal says it?

    You linked to a letter about discretionary spending and increased administrative costs. Actually, I do not deny that there will be some increases in certain kinds of expenses. But, this is where a little nuance might help – those aren’t the only kind of expenses at stake. There are all sorts of other parts of the bill you do not mention.

    Here is something from the [url=]CDO blog[/url]:

    CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting both pieces of legislation—H.R. 3590 and the reconciliation proposal—would produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010–2019 period as result of changes in direct spending and revenues. That figure comprises $124 billion in net reductions deriving from the health care and revenue provisions and $19 billion in net reductions deriving from the education provisions. CBO has not completed an estimate of the potential impact of the legislation on discretionary spending, which would be subject to future appropriation action.

    So let’s me say one thing: whatever you may think, this health care plan is not the end of the world. It was a compromise, more conservative than Nixon’s, Kennedy’s or Carter’s (and more like Bob Dole’s), that included a lot of businesses in the health care industry who benefit from capitalism.

  16. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    The source you cited is biased in favor of the Liberal agenda, therefore it is suspect. It is so very biased, that a university service that looks to place graduates, lists it as a Liberal Think Tank. FindTheBest, an objective comparison engine, lists it as a Liberal Think Tank just under the Center for American Progress Liberal Think Tank. [b]The Washington Post[/b] cites it as one of the “left-leaning groups devoted to health care”. [b] The Weekly Standard[/b] article [i]Bias Beyond a Reasonable Doubt[/i], from the December 13, 2004 issue: [i]Yes, the media are overwhelmingly liberal[/i], cites the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as being a “Liberal think tank”.

    So, the source for your data is clearly biased toward the Liberal agenda and is therefore quite questionable. Liberals tend to discount out of hand anything that comes from the Heritage Foundation for the same reason…it is biased.

    I am glad to see that you finally admit that there will be increases in expenses [b]due to Obamacare[/b] and not just because “they were going to go up anyway”.

    The American people wanted AFFORDABLE health care and THAT is what they wanted from health care reform. According to the New York Times, when Obama the bill into law, he said, “it would “bring down health care costs for families and businesses and governments.” Well, he lied. Obamacare does [b]not[/b] reduce costs. Obamacare INCREASES the cost of health care and puts the bill on people that are already struggling to make ends meet.

  17. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Spoo! Typo…should read: “…when Obama signed the bill into law…”.

  18. John Wilkins says:

    Sick and Tired,

    First, I will concede. Giving 34 million more people health insurance will increase overall medical costs. Granted, I suppose some would have wanted that to be for free, but the entire point was to increase the number of people who had access to care. Personally, I think there are long term benefits for the country, and I don’t mind that I pay a little more (and it’s not that much) to ensure my fellow citizens are well. Health care will make all sorts of people more productive and less anxious.

    But note a couple things: The law will reduce consumers’ out-of-pocket spending on health care by $237 billion over 10 years, to a total of $3.3 trillion.

    Medicare will probably save 500 billion dollars.

    So is the law a disaster? I don’t think so. Is it complex? Yes.

    As far as the CBPP goes, it’s not the label that matters to me, but the questions and answers. One wag remarked “reality has a liberal bias” so it would be helpful if you pointed out what was, in fact, wrong rathe than simply say “it’s liberal.” That uses the ad hominem form of logical fallacy. Just call something “liberal” and/or “conservative” and it’s wrong, rather than proving why. You merely called it liberal. That’s not enough.

    However, what is true is that some of us find having millions of people off health care in a rich country to be morally reprehensible because it is unnecessary. That may be “liberal.” Others don’t care, or care as long as they don’t have to pay for it.

  19. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    [/blockquote]…the entire point was to increase the number of people who had access to care. [/blockquote]
    That is not true. As I documented with my NY Times citation, the president, when signing the bill, “said it would “bring down health care costs for families and businesses and governments.”

    He lied.

    The name of the Health Care law is The Patient Protection and [b]Affordable Care [/b]Act (PPACA). What the American people wanted was less expensive health care. What this socialistic law did was increase their expenses and take away their freedom. It needs to be repealed and a law that actually does what the title of this unconstitutional fish wrap says it will do…protect patients and make health care more affordable (so that more people can buy it themselves if they choose to do so).

    The millions of people that are “off health care” (except that they can go to an emergency room and get treatment – so that isn’t really true either, is it?) can buy their own insurance if they choose. They have made different priorities in life, and as adults are responsible for their choices. If health care actually cost less, it is likely that more people would choose to purchase it. Those that choose not to do so have every right not to do so…but we have every right not to pay their medical bills. (BTW, we already have a state insurance program that pays for kids and low income families health insurance, and we are already paying high taxes for that. Enough, already! I have a family too. We have expenses, too! I work hard to support my family…and all the welfare receivers…and all the free state provided health care receivers as well. ENOUGH!!!)

  20. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    Spoo…I’m angry and am making typos…

    “…and a law [b]needs to be passed[/b] that actually does what the title of this unconstitutional fish wrap says it will do…”

  21. Gigs Girl says:

    Oh, brother, “sick and tired” first you use the CBO to prove a point and then when you are faced with the reality that your information is incorrect according to CBO, you say the information is biased. Tsk Tsk. It’s pointless to try to provide facts to you, your mind is made up. Facts simply make you angry. Bet I know what you watch on TV!
    Too bad you did not listen to Mr. Stockman on Meet the Press on Sunday. You would REALLY have been mad at him for telling the truth about trickle-down economics. One day soon you are going to have to make up your mind as to whether you believe Matthew 25 (beginning with verse 31) or you simply think that Jesus did not mean what He said. THAT is the point. It seems to have been lost on you. It would be interesting, though, to know which of the first Christians with whom you spoke that you know so much about why they did not continue sharing things in common. Has it ever occurred to you that this world might not be in the shape it’s in had they continued to do so? There are still Christians who live this way and very successfully. One of them is the Alleluia Community in Augusta GA.

  22. John Wilkins says:

    Sick –

    Some people’s health care costs will go up. Others will not. Businesses will be getting tax credits. I haven’t seen convincing numbers that indicate that rises in health care are because of the bill. They went up, in some cases, by double digits even before the bill was passed.

    You say that millions of people can “buy health care if they choose.” Really? That’s fascinating. Are those the same people who are unemployed? How about the working poor, making $25,000 a year trying to feed a family of three? How much is insurance in your part of the country, for a family? Perhaps they should just go get jobs in finance, right? Become lawyers or doctors themselves?

    To be honest, most young people will not even choose affordable health care because… they’re not sick. The healthy tend not to buy health care until they get worried or have a family.

    I understand your lack of sympathy for the ill and sick. I imagine in your world view that most of them, without health insurance, are probably lazy and shiftless and simply don’t WANT to get a high paying job with benefits. But as a tax payer – do you support telling doctors and hospitals to turn away sick, uninsured people? they can’t pay for the care. Who will?

    There are also several numbers involved in the overall “cost to governments.” We all pay for inefficient emergency room costs. It’s simply a poor use of money – if we think using money wisely is important (it may not be).

    Personally, given that health insurance companies are fairly inefficient in transferring costs (I’m always perplexed at how much money is spent on administration and marketing rather than people who are actually involved in health), medicare seems to be more efficient (and it’s done federally). A better way would have been to simply expand medicare and the VA. Medicaid, which is handled by the states, is handled less well. If you compare the costs of our health care program per capita to, for example, Sweden, we spend a lot more. Perhaps we should have looked at a true socialized system rather than one that serves the interests of insurance companies (which I don’t believe are socialist).

    As far as fretting about paying for welfare, I don’t share your ambivalence. At least, I estimate that I pay less than $20 a month to pay for our welfare system. That’s two movie tickets. I’m lucky to be in a rich country, and I don’t mind sharing with other Americans, especially those who aren’t as lucky as I am. I’ll even pay for their defense.

  23. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    [blockquote]21. Gigs Girl wrote:

    Oh, brother, “sick and tired” first you use the CBO to prove a point and then when you are faced with the reality that your information is incorrect according to CBO, you say the information is biased. Tsk Tsk. [/blockquote]

    Tsk Tsk youself. John was quoting from the CDO (sic) BLOG, not the official report.

    [blockquote]22. John Wilkins wrote:
    You say that millions of people can “buy health care if they choose.” Really? That’s fascinating. Are those the same people who are unemployed? How about the working poor, making $25,000 a year trying to feed a family of three? How much is insurance in your part of the country, for a family? Perhaps they should just go get jobs in finance, right? Become lawyers or doctors themselves?[/blockquote]

    Oh John, you DO realize that these same folks for which your heart bleeds are now going to be FORCED by Obamacare to buy the insurance that they already could not afford at a HIGHER cost? Your argument is laughable.

    You decry my suggestion that they act like adults and prioritize their purchases to include health care coverage because they are too poor, and yet the very legislation that you blindly support will impose fines on these poor folk when they don’t buy the insurance that they already could not afford which now costs more. Really! Ha ha ha!

    When I was entering the job market, one of the things I looked for in an employer was that they provide medical insurance. I didn’t always get that, but what I did do was look for a better job that did have it…and after some time, I managed to get a job that did provide coverage. The thing is, back then, I was young and healthy and really only needed catastrophic insurance coverage. When I was paying my way in college, I had insurance. Etc. There are ways for even poor people to get health insurance if they are willing to work. As for those that are unemployed, there is COBRA that allows them to continue the health insurance that they had while employed. They are now getting over 2 years of unemployment payments and out of that money should continue their health coverage. They may have to sell the plasma TV or the boat or their McMansion (all things I avoided buying because I didn’t want to go deep into debt or over extend myself in case of catastrophe), but they can and should re-arrange their priorities.

  24. Sick & Tired of Nuance says:

    21. Gigs Girl wrote:
    There are still Christians who live this way and very successfully. One of them is the Alleluia Community in Augusta GA.[/blockquote]

    So, if that is so great and holy…why aren’t you living there?

  25. John Wilkins says:

    RE: “Oh John, you DO realize that these same folks for which your heart bleeds are now going to be FORCED by Obamacare to buy the insurance that they already could not afford at a HIGHER cost?”

    Well, if this is true then it’s a tragedy. What I understood was that the poor would continue to be subsidized, but there would be a modest fine for those who did not buy insurance. We don’t know exactly what kinds of products insurance companies will sell to the already healthy.

    My information indicates that the bill expands medicaid; and those who make up to $40,000 will get some sort of subsidy. Those who don’t get insurance from employers will be able to choose. Also – the “doughnut” hole for seniors will be eliminated, and they’ll even get an immediate $250 for prescriptions.

    so I could be wrong, but if you’re right, then it’s clearly a bad bill.