Mark Vorpahl, Workers Compass
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor John Stoltenberg
In the political theater exhibited last December where 13 months of unemployment extensions were linked to continuing tax breaks for the rich, a significant issue was left out of the drama, though it directly impacts the lives of millions. That is the fate of those who have become known as the 99ers.
The 99ers are those who have not been able to find a job, though they have exhausted all their employment benefits. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits peaked from November 2008 to May 2009. Ninety-nine weeks later those still unemployed had exhausted their benefits and disappeared from the official unemployment statistics. They no longer have a social safety net to land in and crawl out of.
Mobilizing the Jobless, Frances Fox Piven, The Nation
An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees.