Ah, leftist priorities. America is about to fall off a financial cliff yet so-called progressives now want to agitate among long-term unemployment insurance recipients known as 99ers – because they are eligible for 99 weeks of payments – from the government for not working. As if America, led by an imperial president who is now fighting three wars on two continents, doesn’t have enough problems.
Kat Aaron of the American Prospect, is outraged, outraged I tell you, that the 99ers haven’t risen up and initiated an American Reign of Terror. ”There are as many as 1.4 million Americans who have been unemployed so long they’ve exhausted their benefits, and they’re angry,” she huffs. ”So why aren’t they organizing?” (Aaron uses a more specific definition of 99ers. She describes them as “people who have exhausted all 99 weeks of available unemployment assistance.”)
The government estimates that 1.4 million Americans are in the same boat as Drescher — what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls the “very long-term unemployed.” The National Employment Law Project puts the number far higher, at 3.9 million. “As long as the economy continues to be in bad shape,” says Claire McKenna, a policy analyst at NELP, “I can’t imagine the number is going to go down.” There are also almost 6 million people who have been out of work for 27 weeks or more, some of whom are on their way to 99er status.
Yet despite their numbers — and their potential as a swing voting bloc, given their political diversity and shared predicament — the 99ers are oddly invisible. They have had no mass protests in state capitals, no marches on Washington, no storming of Wall Street. Why?
Of course organizing people receiving jobless benefits is an inherently subversive, destabilizing act. It is a profoundly antisocial, malicious act calculated to manipulate and hurt people. Moreover, it says to America: “We have a right to be financially supported by the government.” In other words, it is a step in the direction of a guaranteed annual income scheme; an ugly un-American idea long espoused by America’s most notorious poverty pimps — Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.
The late Cloward and his surviving wife Piven are known for the Cloward-Piven Strategy of orchestrated crisis, which figures prominently in my upcoming book, Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Ripping Off and Terrorizing American Taxpayers.
For what it’s worth, Piven is –or was– related to popular actor Jeremy Piven. She had been married to Jeremy’s uncle, the actor told me recently in a direct message sent via Twitter. I really like him as an actor, by the way, and I won’t hold his Fall of the House of Usher type family tree against him.
But I digress.
Cloward and Piven and the small-c communist group ACORN all tried with varying degrees to organize welfare recipients. In fact they went even further: They tried to unionize workfare recipients.
Let me write that again in case you missed it the first time: They tried to unionize workfare recipients. This defeats the whole purpose of workfare and Cloward, Piven, and ACORN all knew this. They just wanted to disrupt “the system” in order to bring it crashing down.
The Medusa-like Piven herself whined in the Nation magazine in January that Wall Street bankers weren’t being dragged from their homes and led to the guillotine because of the country’s high unemployment rates and an anemic economy. “So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs? After all, the injustice is apparent,” she wrote. Then she explicitly called for violence:
Local protests have to accumulate and spread – and become more disruptive – to create serious pressures on national politicians. 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.
It’s creepy stuff. I should note here that Jeremy Piven told me in his message that his aunt was “not evil.” Sorry, Mr. Piven, but I’m not willing to take your word on that.
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