Sunday, January 17, 2016

Dealing With The Five Percent

President Obama realizes that the problem with unemployment isn't just people losing jobs, it's people not having skills to get new jobs in new industries. His latest proposal is to do something about that.

President Barack Obama on Saturday proposed changes to the U.S. unemployment insurance system that he says would offer more security to the jobless and encourage experienced workers to rejoin the workforce, even if it means taking a pay cut.

"We shouldn't just be talking about unemployment; we should be talking about re-employment," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address.

The president's proposal would require states to provide wage insurance to workers who lose their jobs and find new employment at lower pay. The insurance would replace half of the lost income, up to $10,000 over two years. It would be available to workers who were with their prior employer for three years and make less than $50,000 in their new job.

The proposal also would require states to make unemployment insurance available to many part-time and low-income workers, and it would mandate that states provide at least 26 weeks of unemployment insurance. Nine states fall short of the benchmark, the White House said.

The "re-employment insurance" program would be part of the President's final budget proposal, which of course with the GOP controlling Congress and 31 states, it has zero chance of ever being adopted.  Perhaps in 2017 we'd have a more amenable Congress, but that would take people, you know, voting, and in record numbers.

It's not impossible, but at this point I don't see 2016 turnout being above 50%, much less the 70% plus it would take to shift Congress and the states.

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