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America Has 99 Problems and a Tax & Spend President is one of Them December 5, 2010

Conservatives have a an initial distrust of anything or anyone that uses tax payer dollars as a means of survival.

But if you ask a Democrat, America has 99 problems and they need your money to fix them.   Included in the list of 99 problems is not one bitch.

Not one Hillary.

Not one Palin.

For some people, the 99 problems equate to 99 weeks.  The exact number of weeks they may or may not have money to feed their families.

I have 99 problems which make me much too busy to blog. Work more, buy less.

From this article on the Future of Capitalism.com

 

December 4, 2010

Harvard economics professor and former Bush administration official Greg Mankiw has a post up about whether to extend unemployment insurance:

‘when I hear economists advocate the extension of UI to 99 weeks, I am tempted to ask, would you also favor a further extension to 199 weeks, or 299 weeks, or 1099 weeks? If 99 weeks is better than 26 weeks, but 199 is too much, how do you know?….’

I should note, by the way, that economists who strongly favor the extension of UI benefits, such as those who signed this letter, also tend to favor more income redistribution in general. I suspect, therefore, that the foundation of their support comes not from having weighed the specific pros and cons of UI per se, but rather from a more general desire to “spread the wealth around.” That issue is, as I tell my students, more a matter of political philosophy than it is of economics.

One of Professor Mankiw’s objections — that extending unemployment insurance “reduces the job search efforts of the unemployed” — could be addressed in part by turning unemployment into something more like a health savings account, where if an individual gets a job before the benefits expire the individual gets to somehow keep the unused portion of the benefits in an account that can grow for the next time around.

Are unemployment benefits the same as welfare?

Conservatives and Democrats will give you a different answer.

Afrocity is on the fence.  My mother went from one form of government assistance to another. The scales tipped more in favor of welfare but once in 1979, she worked for the “city” as a desk clerk.  When she was subsequently laid off, she received unemployment.  Unsurprisingly, I felt more legitimate when she was on unemployment.  The check was larger- $625 as opposed to the paltry $225 we received on welfare.  Unemployment also meant my mother had at one time actually had a job.

We were not on unemployment for 99 weeks…It was more like 20 weeks. I believe it ran out then mom made the transition back to the welfare boat.  It would be 15 years before she looked for work again.

But getting back to my actual question of is unemployment welfare and are the Republicans being meanie weanies for cutting it off at 99 weeks and before you answer– do you know how long 99 weeks is?

99 weeks =1.89737112 years

That is a long time to be unemployed.

That is a long time to create 99 problems.

Whole Foods-  November 15, 2010.

Afrocity is standing in the grocery line chastising herself for once again succumbing to the lure of organic produce and wholesome pumpkin flavored ice cream at $5.99 (on sale) for a 1/4 of a pint.   The woman in front of me spread her grocery selections on the checkout conveyor belt . Aloe Vera Juice at 8$, green tea rice $5 a bag, venison,  apple hickory duck sausage.  The total bill came to $254 and she paid with a foodstamp card.   Suddenly my guilt melted away. No longer did the $5.99 ice cream seem so bad, or my fennel bulbs, or horseradish cheese spread. My bill was around $57 and I paid with my own hard earned cash.  That woman was eating better than I was and using my tax dollars to do it.   Does this woman have 99 problems?

Michigan Avenue- Chicago, Il- December 4, 2010

Crate and Barrel had a 20% off all Christmas ornament sale.  I needed a topper for my tree. Instead of being greeted at the door by carolers, I was greeted  by protesters of extending the Bush tax cuts to evil rich people who make over $250K- You know like the small business owner- a woman recently widowed, who runs a small chain of mom and pop knitting shop in Chicago’s fabric district. She has lots of medical bills to pay from her husband’s Hospice care and cancer treatments.  Two kids in college too.  Does this woman have 99 problems?

She is a woman and the tax cuts are not bad for her but apparently NOW thinks so because she has a vagina .  Oh I forgot to add that NOW would have no problem with her being called a whore or a cunt-especially when they know that she makes over $250K.

Does NOW have 99 problems?

All throughout the year, Michelle Obama, eats lobster, wears $500 tennis shoes…  She has even released her favorite things list- Just like Oprah.  Too bad the average American cannot afford most of it.

Does Michelle Obama have 99 problems?

You see everyone has 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one of them but I can certainly tell you who is…

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

Harvard economics professor and former Bush administration official Greg Mankiw has a post up about whether to extend unemployment insurance:

when I hear economists advocate the extension of UI to 99 weeks, I am tempted to ask, would you also favor a further extension to 199 weeks, or 299 weeks, or 1099 weeks? If 99 weeks is better than 26 weeks, but 199 is too much, how do you know?….

I should note, by the way, that economists who strongly favor the extension of UI benefits, such as those who signed this letter, also tend to favor more income redistribution in general. I suspect, therefore, that the foundation of their support comes not from having weighed the specific pros and cons of UI per se, but rather from a more general desire to “spread the wealth around.” That issue is, as I tell my students, more a matter of political philosophy than it is of economics.

One of Professor Mankiw’s objections — that extending unemployment insurance “reduces the job search efforts of the unemployed” — could be addressed in part by turning unemployment into something more like a health savings account, where if an individual gets a job before the benefits expire the individual gets to somehow keep the unused portion of the benefits in an account that can grow for the next time around.

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3 Responses to “America Has 99 Problems and a Tax & Spend President is one of Them”

  1. yttik Says:

    Great post, Afrocity.

    I’m not sure if people understand where unemployment compensation comes from. It’s not free money, it’s actually billed to employers in the form of premiums. Many small businesses can not afford to hire anybody right now because the unemployment rates are so high and that’s on top of all the other payroll taxes. Add the ghost of Obamacare in there casting uncertainty about how much it will cost them to take on an employee and everything just goes stagnant.

    It’s also human nature, if I have a guaranteed check from the government coming every week, I’m not going to sacrifice that to take a lower paying job that I risk getting layed off from. It’s kind of like what motivates the rich. This mantra about “tax the rich” is so stupid, because the rich don’t just sit back and pay taxes, they do what they can to avoid them. Taxes are levied on profits, if you have a lot of money, you invest in tax deferred bonds, you stop hiring and growing, you reduce your profits. Nobody really wants to work for free. The wealthy aren’t going to just accept tax increases and let their wealth decline, just as somebody on unemployment is unlikely to give up that check and take a lower paying job.

    I also can’t figure out liberals who criticized trickle down economics for years and yet they seem to believe that if the government is collecting higher taxes, they’re going to trickle that money down to the poor. The poor are not better off under Obama. What have they got to show for it? We’ve now got 12 trillion dollars in debt. The government could have given every man, woman, and child 40 grand. Instead we’ve seen no cost of living increase in social security, cut backs in foodstamps, people still facing foreclosures, etc. So this argument about how liberals care so much about poor people just rings hollow. Show me how “taxing the rich” has ever trickled down to the poor?

    If you genuinely want to help poor people you get out of the way and let the people create decent paying jobs for them. Even Bill Clinton understood that you have to motivate people to work. His expansion of the earned income credit made people want to go take a job at McDonalds. Heck yeah I’ll work a crappy job, if it means a refund check of a few grand at the end of the year. Bill Clinton actually used tax rebates as a motivation to get people working again.

  2. The King of Texas Says:

    On Afrocity, your statement saying “…evil rich people who make over $250K- You know like the small business owner” those people are at the bottom of that tax bracket. In order to tax the people who make astronomical amounts of money you must tax them as well. The small business owner is of a dying breed. They are this way due to companies, like wal-mart, creating their products so cheaply. Not thanks to being taxed to death because quite frankly that problem doesn’t exist for anyone in America. This woman in chicago you refer to, you never state that taxes have caused a problem for her. You also sound like your making her up.

    On Yttik’s statement “Show me how “taxing the rich” has ever trickled down to the poor?” if you read Afrocity’s article at all its about tax dollars being spent on welfare, and increasing taxes on the upper tax bracket- so thats how it “trickles down” to the poor, through welfare and unemployment.

    now on my point of view, in order for big domestic firms to justify staying in business they need a demand for their products which would come from the general population- poor people account for a much larger percentage of the population than do the middle and upper classes do combined. there for if you want to sustain the large money makers like wal-mart, nike, pepsi-cola and the like you need welfare and unemployment.

  3. Hey Afrocity… I just thought I’d stop by. I’ve not been writing lately but should be getting back in the groove soon. Keep the faith sista!


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