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2 million lose jobless benefits as holidays arrive

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  • Even if Congress does lengthen benefits, cash assistance is at best a stopgap measure, said Carol Hardison, executive director of Crisis Assistance Ministry in Charlotte, N.C., which has seen 20,000 new clients since the Great Recession started in December 2007.
    Unemployed and Unnoticed
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Tom Breen, Associated Press/MSNBC

Wayne Pittman, 46, of Lawrenceville, Ga., was working up to 80 hours a week as a carpenter at the beginning of the decade, but saw that gradually drop to 15 hours before it dried up completely.

Extended unemployment benefits for nearly 2 million Americans begin to run out Wednesday, cutting off a steady stream of income and guaranteeing a dismal holiday season for people already struggling with bills they cannot pay.
Unless Congress changes its mind, benefits that had been extended up to 99 weeks will end this month.

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That means Christmas is out of the question for Wayne Pittman, 46, of Lawrenceville, Ga., and his wife and 9-year-old son. The carpenter was working up to 80 hours a week at the beginning of the decade, but saw that gradually drop to 15 hours before it dried up completely. His last $297 check will go to necessities, not presents.

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"I have a little boy, and that's kind of hard to explain to him," Pittman said.

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Related:

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Unemployed and Unnoticed, Progress Report, Think Progress

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  • Today (Nov 30), Congress sets a new record; in the last 40 years, it has never allowed extended unemployment benefits to expire when the unemployment rate was above 7.2 percent.
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  • 2 million lose jobless benefits as holidays arrive
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  • Republican attack on labor goes way beyond Congress
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Republican attack on labor goes way beyond Congress

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  • The coming attacks on labor are much more than big business's legislative program to roll back labor law. The Republican, tea party and corporate right-wing agenda is much broader than legislation.
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  • This article is Part Two of a series. Part One,  "Republicans target labor" appeared last week (Nov 7-13).
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Scott Marshall, People's World

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If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

After re-reading last week's (Nov 7-13) article on this subject, I realized that the coming attacks on labor are much more than big business's legislative program to roll back labor law. The Republican, tea party and corporate right-wing agenda is much broader than legislation.

During the height of the Great Depression, with millions unemployed, most of big business continued to rack up big profits. In this crisis we see and hear constant reports of record profits and record bonuses in the corporate suites and financial houses - while millions are unemployed and now threatened with the loss of even meager unemployment benefits. Another feature of the Great Depression was that big business used the crisis to attack workers' wages and living standards directly, cutting wages even while turning big profits. And exactly the same thing is happening again.

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The rich get richer, with government help

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  • Under Republicans and Democrats alike -- enthusiastically in the former case, more ambivalently in the latter -- Wall Street received a sympathetic ear, even though its practices were enriching a tiny slice of Americans and posed real risks to the economy as a whole.
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  • Fast Track to Inequality
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  • Washington at Work--for the Wealthy
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Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, Bloomberg News/Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

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Four years ago, then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson took a moment from his economic cheerleading to acknowledge that, yes, economic inequality had risen. Over the previous three decades, the share of pretax national income raked in by the richest 0.1 percent of Americans had more than quadrupled. By the time Paulson spoke, this tiny upper crust of American households (average 2007 income: $7 million) brought home about $1 of every $8 earned in the country.

Paulson expressed concern about the trend. Yet his basic message was that Americans should get used to it. Growing inequality, he declared, "is simply an economic reality, and it is neither fair nor useful to blame any political party."

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Fast Track to Inequality, Bob Herbert, New York Times | NY

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  • Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class.
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  • “Over the last generation more and more of the rewards of growth have gone to the rich and superrich. The rest of America, from the poor through the upper middle class, has fallen further and further behind.” -- Political scientists Jacob Hacker of Yale and Paul Pierson of the University of California, Berkeley.
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  • Think Again: Inequality and America’s Antiquated Politics
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Washington at Work--for the Wealthy, Sam Pizzigati, Other Words

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  • "We cannot avoid the sad irony," as one new report <> has just concluded, "that government policy aimed at building wealth is largely helping the rich get richer."
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  • Uncle Sam is concentrating America's wealth, not sharing it.
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  • Think Again: Inequality and America’s Antiquated Politics
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  • Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support 'More Equal Distribution Of Wealth'
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The Top Five Priorities Of The New GOP

Hint: None Of Them Are Jobs

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Bill Scher, Campaign for America's Future

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

Republicans were triumphant in this year's election in part by arguing they would do a better job at creating jobs.

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But what have they been prioritizing since they won? What are they actually proposing to do now?

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Here are the biggest actions Republican have taken since Election Day. See if you can guess what's missing

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Revelations of Extreme 'Slave-Like' Working Conditions and Billions in Wage Theft Drive Nationwide Protests

As much as $19 billion is stolen from American workers annually in unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations and through the human trafficking of legal immigrant workers.

Art Levine,  In These Times

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cuppa jove to Evergreene Digest--using the donation button in the above right-hand corner—so we can bring you more just like it.

Activists in more than 30 cities, organized by Interfaith Worker Justice and backed by labor groups, are staging a National Day of Action Against Wage Theft on November 18. "As the crisis for working families in the economy has deepened, so too has the crisis of wage theft," says Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) Executive Director Kim Bobo, perhaps the country's leading reformer addressing the ongoing scandal.

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As much as $19 billion is stolen from American workers annually in unpaid overtime and minimum wage violations and, in some cases, through the human trafficking of legal immigrant workers. The latest case to come to light involves alleged horrendous conditions for immigrant workers reportedly hoodwinked in Mexico by a food services contractor for the New York State Fair and kept in near-slavery conditions of $2 an hour.

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